Bus Accidents under Texas Law

Companies that transport passengers for a business are considered "common carriers." A common carrier is an individual or business that advertises to the public that is available to transport people or property in exchange for a fee.

A common carrier is bound by law to transport any passenger or freight as long as there is sufficient space, the fee is paid, and there are no reasonable grounds to refuse to do so. If a common carrier unjustifiably refuses to carry a person or car go they may be sued for damages.

State laws regulate common carriers engaged in business within state borders. When state lines are crossed, the federal government is in charge of regulating these carriers.

Bus companies are held to a very high standard of care exceeding that of other forms of commercial transportation. In cases that involve a bus accident the bus company, as well as the driver are held to a "high degree of care" defined by Texas law as "care that would be exercised by a very cautious, competent and prudent" organization or individual.

Bus companies and their drivers must also follow guidelines set forth in Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

Surprisingly, many buses do not have the seat belts. This is simply because bus manufacturing companies have decided to exclude them to save costs. However state laws may require some or all buses to be equipped with seat belts especially those carrying children.

Another inherent danger in bus accidents is the large volume of unlaminated glass typically found on these vehicles. Broken windows can lead to dangerous flying debris as well as provide openings from which passengers may be thrown from the bus and come into contact with pavement or other exterior objects.

Although bus transportation is considered one of the safest modes of transportation, it is actually amongst the least regulated methods of public transportation. And buses owned and operated by schools are even less regulated than public and charter bus companies.

If a passenger on a bus suffers injuries because of the lack of a seat belt they may have a legal claim against the bus manufacturer. In these cases the passenger must prove that had they been wearing a seat belt the injury would have not occurred.

Due to the size of most buses the incidence of injury and the severity tend to be pronounced. The sheer weight of the vehicles can turn what would otherwise be a simple collision into a life-threatening situation.

Bus Accident (Accident) in Texas Law

Agriculture Code

Bus

pertaining to protection of carrier from damages

Education Code

Bus

pertaining to criminal history records of school bus drivers, who bus emergency evacuation training, bus seat belts policy, reporting of bus accidents

Education Code

Bus

pertaining to definition of professional employee of a school district, immunity

Finance Code

Bus

pertaining to definition of motor vehicle, loans and finance transactions

Government Code

Bus

pertaining to court costs on conviction, passing a school bus, limitation of liability, exceptions, authority for parking and transportation facilities, wheelbase and horsepower restrictions, definition of eligible project

Health & Safety Code

Bus

pertaining toilet facilities in bus stations

Human Resource Code

Bus

pertaining to definition of public facilities, discrimination prohibited

Insurance Code

Bus

pertaining to job protection insurance defined, bail bond certificates, bus association

Local Government Code

Bus

pertaining to bus drivers, contracts for civil works projects, definition of system, specific powers relating to assessments, improvement projects, regulation of transit authority passengers

Occupation Code

Bus

pertaining to manufacturer or distributor ownership, operation or control of dealership

Penal Code

Bus

pertaining to smoking tobacco, possession of alcoholic beverage in motor vehicle

Special Districts Code

Bus

pertaining to specific powers relating to improvement projects or services, optional transfer for certain improvements

Tax Code

Bus

pertaining to exempts vehicles, costs associated with transportation for transit projects

Transportation Code

Bus

pertaining to motor bus lines, passenger car minutes for bus private bus, passing a school bus, operation of school bus, school bus equipment standards, passenger safety prohibitions on motor vehicle other than bus

Transportation Code

Bus

pertaining to carriers exempt from gross receipts taxes, immiscible permission for ground transportation, motor bus lines, hydrogen fueled vehicles and refueling stations,definition of high occupancy vehicle, definition of facility, state funding a farm to market roads, permitted improvements or facilities on immiscible street, driving on certain authority right-of-way, operation of public transportation system, definition of advanced transportation, encumbrance of transportation system, operation of local public passenger transportation and rule transit district prohibited, duties of interim executive committee, definition of public transportation provider, definition of public transportation services, passenger car, municipal bus, private bus, fees, vehicles that weigh 6000 pounds or less, commercial motor vehicle or truck tractor, vehicles that weigh more than 6000 pounds, foreign commercial vehicles, permits, issuance of disabled license plates, municipal and private buses, restrictions on the operators of school buses

Transportation Code

Bus

pertaining to junior-college buses, class b. license, endorsements, definition of multifunction school activity bus, passing a school bus, buses to stop at all railroad grade crossings, speed limits, coasting, safety belts, use of wireless communication device, operation of school bus, school bus a quick but standards, restrictions on use of lights, additional lighting equipment requirements

Transportation Code

Bus

pertaining to brake reservoir or reserve capacity required, brake warning devices required, performance requirements for breaks, visible warning devices required, display of hazard lamps, fire extinguisher, safety glazing material required, additional equipment requirements for school buses and other buses used to transport school children, additional equipment requirements for other buses, requirements for multifunction school activity buses, rules relating to school buses, section only by state certified and supervised inspection station, commercial motor vehicle inspection program, maximum width, maximum length, trolley bus, passenger safety provisions on motor vehicle other than bus, issuance of disabled parking placards to certain institutions, definition of commercial motor vehicle, definition of bus

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