Recovery for Injuries from Bus Drivers and Motor Coach Companies
By their very design, buses are prone to serious accidents. Top-heavy and long, drivers need substantial skills and care to keep a bus from tipping and its backend from hitting a pedestrian or motorist. Furthermore, the vehicle has abundant blind spots that can prevent a reckless driver from seeing vehicles in adjoining lanes. Speed, distraction, exhaustion or drug use compounds the already dangerous factors that contribute to accidents.
Brais Law Firm represents bus occupants, pedestrians and motorists who have been injured in bus accidents. Partner and bus accident attorney, Keith Brais, is a member of the Multi-Million Advocates Forum, an organization only open to attorneys who have won recoveries of $2 million and more. In 2014 alone, our firm won more than $21 million for our clients*. For a more complete list of recoveries won by the firm on behalf of our clients please click “Results”.
We thoroughly investigate your case to determine what happened and who is liable. Depending upon your injuries, we may pursue damages for your medical bills, lost income, diminished future income, disability, disfigurement, pain and suffering.
Laws Affecting Long-Haul Bus Drivers
Long-haul bus drivers are subject to strict Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations designed to keep passengers and motorists safe. FMSCA rules govern the bus driver’s hours of service (HOS) and use of smart phones while driving.
FMCSA’s HOS rules establish safe driving and working times for long-haul bus drivers, including:
- Limiting drive time to 10 hours
- Not allowing drivers to drive past the 15th hour after coming on duty
- Limiting a seven-day workweek to 60 hours of drive time and an eight-day workweek to 70 hours of drive time
- Requiring a driver who sleeps onboard the bus to remain in the sleeper berth for at least eight hours
FMCSA’s cell phone use and texting laws set strict provisions to protect bus passengers and motorists from distracted bus drivers. Violation of these rules can cost the driver up to $2,750 in fines and disqualification of commercial vehicle driving privileges. The driver’s employer is subject to up to $11,000 in fines. Whereas bus drivers are permitted to use hands-free means, under the hands-free ban, they are not allowed to:
- Hold a mobile phone in her or his hand while driving
- Make or terminate a call by pressing more than a single button
- Move out of a restrained, seated position to retrieve or answer a phone
- Write, send or read a text message
- Search the Internet
- Facebook, Tweet, Instagram or conduct other social media activity
Regulations Governing Miami Sightseeing Buses
Sightseeing and tour buses are ubiquitous throughout South Florida’s popular tourist destinations. Drivers maneuver these large unwieldy vehicles, including double-decker hop-on/ hop-off buses, through crowded pedestrian areas and make multiple, sudden stops that can be difficult for a motorist to anticipate.
Local laws are just now beginning to catch up to the high volume of tour bus traffic in South Florida. Our South Florida bus accident lawyers remain up-to-date on the changes in the law to deliver the best representation we can to you.
Contact a Miami Bus Accident Lawyer & Hold the Bus Driver and Company Liable for Your Accident Injuries
To learn more about your rights to recovery from the bus driver and bus company responsible for your injuries, schedule an appointment with Brais Law Firm today. Your case evaluation is free. We handle bus accident claims on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not pay us attorneys’ fees unless we recover compensation. We can schedule meetings in our main Miami office.