A hotel shuttle bus heading to Blue Grass Airport was struck by a silver sedan in in Lexington Thursday, August 29, 2019. A Lexington Fire Department Spokesman said that there were nine people injured, six of whom had significant injures and three were taken to the hospital with the others as a precaution.
It’s unknown what caused the crash, but witnesses reported that the silver car was turning in an intersection when it struck the shuttle bus. The accident is still under investigation, and it’s unknown if any charges will be filed.
Shuttle Bus Crashes
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around 150 people die each year in shuttle-related crashes. While this seems like a low number compared to the 35,000 people that die each year on our nation’s highways, it represents a much larger group of people who sustain serious injuries while riding in buses and shuttles.
What makes these crashes unique is that a single mistake can cause a large number of people serious injury. According to a study by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute, there are around 63,000 buses (shuttle, passenger vans, tour buses and others) that get into accidents each year. Out of those, 14,000 are injury accidents and there are around 325 fatalities.
Many of these cause significant injuries to a number of people in one accident. This can create challenges for those looking to get compensated for their injuries.
Shuttle Bus Injuries
Most shuttle buses riders don’t wear seat belts and many buses don’t even have them equipped except the driver. This is changing as some states are passing laws requiring some shuttle buses and transportation vehicles to have seat belts.
Many of the injuries in a shuttle bus come from the passengers being thrown around inside the vehicle. The size of the shuttle bus compared to most vehicles on the road helps protect the passengers as the mass of the vehicle can absorb some of the impact. However, there are some common injuries that come from being thrown about inside the bus. They are:
- Head Injuries
- Broken wrists
- Broken arms
- Sprained knees
- Broken Ribs
Shuttle Bus Liability
When a bus is involved in a crash, the number of injured can be high. In Kentucky, if a shuttle bus can carry more than 15 people, then it must have at least $5 million in liability coverage. In most cases, this will be sufficient to cover the damages from those injured in a crash.
However, if the shuttle, van or passenger vehicle for hire carries 15 and under, then the insurance requirements are much less, only $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident. If 10 people are seriously injured, that would only be $30,000 each.
This can cause a significant problem for those seriously injured, and even those whose injuries are less serious, they still might not be fully compensated as the courts will have to determine how much each person gets depending on the damages and the amount of funds available.
Should I get an Attorney?
If you’ve been injured in a shuttle bus crash, you should speak to an attorney right away. Many of the other victims will probably get representation, and those who do will undoubtedly have a better chance of getting more of the available funds.
You might think that since it was obvious that it wasn’t your fault, the insurance company will have to pay you what your deserve. While this is the law, there is a lot of wiggle room for the insurance company to get away with paying far less than would be fair.
Don’t let this happen to you. At Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, we offer a free consultation where you can be advised of your rights under the law. Call us today and we will stand behind you to make sure that you are treated fairly and that you get the highest compensation allowed by the law.