Buses are a useful form of transportation, and several residents in Massachusetts rely on buses to get to and from school or work. While these vehicles are considered an efficient and relatively safe type of public transportation, buses occasionally present dangers to their passengers and others. Yet, more than one party could be liable for the fatalities, injuries, and damages that are caused by a bus accident.
Vicarious liability is a legal concept that extends liability beyond the party that directly may have caused the damages in question. Examples of such extensions of liability can include spouses, parent and child, owner of a vehicle and driver and, what is most likely the case in a bus accident, an employer and employee.
For example, if an accident were to occur with a school bus, the parties that could be held liable could be the bus driver, the company that is contracted to provide the bus to the school, and even the school district. In the case of a tour company, when that tour company enters into a contract with a bus company, there is an implied duty that the tour company will hire a bus company with a clean safety record. If injuries occur on a bus operated by a bus company with multiple safety violations, the tour company could share liability with the bus company because they failed to meet their duty.
Additionally, bus companies are frequently held liable in the event that a negligent bus driver causes an accident. This is because the bus company has the duty to hire a safe driver that meets the position's basic requirements. If the driver was not fit for the position and he or she causes a bus accident, the bus company could be held liable through vicarious liability.
A bus accident can result in serious injuries. Because of that, those harmed in such a crash will likely require medical treatment to recover from their injuries. In order to offset the financial harms caused by a bus crash, victims might choose to file a personal injury claim against those responsible for the incident.