The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) operates over 1,500 buses covering 325 routes in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Thousands of commuters rely on these buses and trust that they will provide safe riding between destinations. Unfortunately, driver error, poor maintenance, and other negligence cause bus accidents to occur too frequently, resulting in devastating personal injuries for passengers and other motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists. Bus accident victims often require specialized care, including long-term physical and psychological treatment. Worse, claims against WMATA can be notoriously complex.
Called by Washingtonian Magazine as the “lawyer you call when you want to sue WMATA.” Senior Partner Patrick Regan has successfully handled more than 25 bus and rail cases worth tens of millions of dollars in damages throughout his career.
The Washington, DC bus accident lawyers at Regan Zambri Long PLLC routinely take on claims against WMATA and other bus companies in the DC Metro area. We understand the complexities of a lawsuit against the WMATA and will fight for your rights to deserve the compensation.
Depending on the circumstances and the type of bus involved, several different parties may be liable for your bus accident injuries. In general, possible responsible parties for the bus accident may include:
If the driver of a DC Metrobus is at fault for your accident, then you may be able to hold WMATA accountable for your injuries and damages. This is generally the case when driver error or lack of maintenance causes the wreck. Because evidence may be lost the longer you wait to speak to an attorney, you contact a bus accident lawyer as soon as possible after a Metrobus crash.
The school district may be held liable for a school bus accident, including bus crashes caused by driver negligence. The school district can be held responsible for poor maintenance on the bus, lack of proper training, or hiring negligent drivers.
In some cases, another motorist may cause a bus crash. You may be able to collect compensation from that driver’s insurance policy, as well as the bus company’s insurance policy, and your own.
If a private company owns the bus that caused the accident, then that company’s insurance should cover your injuries and damages. For example, after a tour bus accident, you may be able to file a claim against the tour company for any injuries you may have sustained.
In some cases, the manufacturer may be liable for a bus crash caused by defects in the vehicle components. More often, however, parts fail due to a lack of maintenance.
Usually, bus accident victims do not know who caused the accident or what parties may be liable for the damages. Our firm’s Washington, DC bus accident lawyer can investigate the incident, determine the cause, and find all responsible parties.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 74,000 bus crashes in the United States in 2019. Of those crashes, 14,000 accidents result in an injury, and 232 involve a fatality. With so many accidents occurring throughout the United States, many may wonder what the common causes of bus accidents are. And the answer is usually driver error.
Too many times, a bus accident could have been avoided if one or more parties had acted responsibly. The most prevalent causes of bus accidents in the DC metro area include:
Bus drivers need to be adequately trained to handle these large vehicles. But even the best-trained driver could easily ignore the rules of the road. Therefore, when a driver violates their duty of care and drives recklessly, you have cause to file a claim against the bus driver.
Example of driver negligence includes:
Like trucking companies, bus companies may cut corners and fail to maintain their buses regularly. A defective part can quickly put the public in danger without regular maintenance to keep buses from running correctly.
Inclement weather can easily make driving dangerous for even the most experienced driver. For example, a sudden winter storm can turn the roadway into a sheet of ice. Properly trained drivers know they need to drive with caution in bad weather; however, many take chances to meet their schedules. This can easily result in a deadly accident.
The negligence of another driver can be the cause of a bus crash. Like bus drivers, other drivers have a duty to drive safely and follow the road rules. However, this is not always the case.
For more than four decades, the Washington, DC bus accident lawyers at Regan Zambri Long PLLC have been helping victims and their families recover compensation after these types of negligence cause a bus accident to occur. We will go after the other party responsible and make sure you get the justice you deserve.
The personal injuries caused by a bus accident can be extensive and severe. First, buses are much larger and heavier than typical vehicles. If a bus crashes into a car, the car will likely sustain much more damage than the bus. The same is true of accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists. Second, bus passengers typically do not wear seatbelts and may stand if the bus is crowded. In an impact, bus riders could fall or be thrown into seats, windows, or other passengers.
Some of the most common types of bus accident injuries include:
Our Washington, DC personal injury lawyers have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. Backed by decades of experience fighting against the WMATA, our firm has an established reputation for pursuing legal excellence in complex bus accident cases.
As our client, you will enjoy peace of mind knowing that we will be protecting your legal rights from start to finish. We will do everything in our power to secure the maximum compensation you need to pay for injury-related expenses, such as medical care and lost income, as well as full compensation for all of the physical and emotional consequences of your injuries.
We serve clients throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area, including residents of Maryland, Virginia, and other states. Our law firm offers free initial consultations and we work on a contingency fee basis. Call (202) 960-4596 or contact us online today to discuss your legal options.
It depends on many factors – where you live in the metro area and the parties that were responsible for the accident. If you are filing a claim against a private bus company, you have three years from the date of the accident to file in DC and Maryland and two years in Virginia.
However, if you were hit by a public transit bus, the time limits for filing a claim against the WMATA are different:
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may be able to hold the at-fault driver or bus company liable for your injuries. In some cases, the bus owner or a third party could be held at fault for the accident.
For example, faulty brakes prevent the bus from stopping, causing the driver to hit another car. The force of the impact causes you to fall and hit your head on the floor. In a case such as this one, you can sue the bus company for not properly maintaining its buses and the manufacturer of the brakes for producing a faulty product.
Depending on the severity of the injuries and the circumstances surrounding the accident, bus accident victims could receive the following compensation for their accident:
Depending on whether you’re a passenger on the bus, a pedestrian, or another driver, your first step is to remain calm and call 911 as possible. Then do the following:
If the bus company or its insurance company calls you before you have a chance to speak with an attorney, make sure you keep the information of the accident to yourself. Do not agree to make a recorded statement and do not sign any forms sent to you by the company or insurance carrier. Instead, contact a DC bus accident lawyer at Regan Zambri Long right away to protect your case.