The laws related to bus accidents come under common carrier law. A common carrier refers to a business or a person, which uses the license, and authority given by a governmental entity to offer services for the general welfare of the public by transporting goods and people for a fee.
The common carriers may be a public entity or a private company. There is the control of the federal, state, and local levels, on the laws associated with them. The state government regulates the transportation of goods and people within a state. On the other hand, the federal government regulates the transport of goods and people from one state to another according to the norms of the Interstate Commerce Act.
There are several other transportation methods, which come under the common carrier law. This includes cable cars, taxis, trolleys, trains, school buses, cruise ships, airplanes, etc. The common carriers have the responsibility to show reasonable care for the passengers and goods since they are doing it for a fee. In fact, they are supposed to show extra care and concern for the public than the normal reasonable care shown by the non-commercial drivers.
If the drivers under the common carrier law fail to fulfill their duty of extra care and vigilance, it will be considered as negligence. If you are a person who was injured due to such negligence, you have the right to hold the driver responsible. There will be special rules that apply in this case.
In case of a bus accident, which occurred because of the negligence of the associated carrier, he will be responsible for the damages caused, according to the wrongful death law or the personal injury law. The negligence of the carrier may take any form like over speeding, failure in maintenance of the vehicle, driver fatigue, tire failure, improper training of driver, etc. If the passenger suffering damages in the bus accident is a minor child or a person with disabilities, there will be special rules applied in the case.
Since most of the common carriers are governmental agencies, there are statutes of limitations implied on the filing of the claim. If it is a government entity that you are filing against, you will have to give a notice beforehand. It is better for you to seek the help of an experienced bus accident attorney as early as possible after the bus accident. He can guide you in doing the necessary things at the right time.