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Hurt in Houston- Bus Faulty Safety Gear
Buses are a reliable and safe form of public transportation. Though many things can cause bus accidents, their safety features help protect you. That is why many bus accident injuries involve faulty safety gear.
Once simple large vehicles, buses are now complex. Just like passenger vehicles, they have multiple devices that should protect passengers. Many of those systems are electrical. Others are mechanical. Either way, unless they are maintained, they may fail.
Safety equipment failure has two main consequences. The first possibility is that it leads to an accident. For example, brakes are essential safety equipment. Failing to maintain them can lead to a crash.
The second possibility is an increased risk of injuries in an accident. If damages are more significant than expected, it may be because the safety equipment failed.
Who is responsible for a bus’s faulty safety gear?
Who is responsible for a bus’s faulty safety gear? There can be several possibilities.
First, we need to look at who owns the bus. In Houston and the surrounding area, there are three main owner categories.
- Houston Metro
- School Districts
- Private Bus Companies
The first category is Houston Metro. The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County runs Metro. It is a public transportation company that operates buses, light rail, and other public transportation.
School districts own and operate school buses. The greater Houston area is enormous! Driving around Houston, you can be in 9 counties. That means more than 60 school districts and hundreds of private and state charter schools.
Private bus companies are the final category. These bus companies are for-profit and operated by private owners. Party buses and charters usually fall into this category.
The owner of the bus is responsible for maintenance. Some companies may delay or omit care to save money. Others may keep buses running because they lack replacements. Whatever the reason, they may be at fault if they knew or should have known about a problem and ignored it.
Next, we have to consider who is to blame. Other parties might be responsible. Just like the bus’s owner, they are responsible for ensuring safe operating equipment. These parties include
- Bus drivers
Bus drivers handle the buses daily. If they know about a problem, they should report it. If a driver knows the bus is not safe but drives it anyway, they might be liable.
Mechanics should keep the buses in shape. Improper maintenance or repair can create hazards.
Manufacturers are responsible for providing safe vehicles. They might be accountable if they find out about equipment failure but do not address it.
So, who should pay for your injuries? Determining that is challenging. If you are hurt in a bus accident, we investigate the accident. We look at the cause of the accident and the cause of the injuries. Then, we seek compensation from all of the parties responsible.
Do you need help with your faulty safety gear claim? Contact us at the Salazar Law Firm. We offer no-obligation consultations. We can assess your claim for free and let you know the next steps.