Bus Accidents and Farmers Insurance
With 66,000 bus accidents occurring in the United States in 2022, the number of annual accidents has continued to increase. Nationwide, hundreds of these crashes are fatal each year, and Texas has the highest national rate of bus crash deaths per 100 million total vehicle miles traveled (VMT). It is sadly no surprise that some of the most tragic and deadly bus accidents in history have occurred in Texas.
Bus accidents are especially deadly for other motorists. Pedestrians and bicyclists account for 1/3 of bus collision deaths each year, with motor vehicle passengers accounting for the remaining 2/3. Insurance coverage taken by operators of these large vehicles can help with recovery costs. But, if you suffer a serious bus accident resulting in catastrophic injury or death, no amount of payment will ever compensate you for what you have suffered. Insurance companies like Farmers, Allstate, State Farm, Progressive, Nationwide, Geico etc. are well-practiced to protect their interests after a serious accident.
In addition to the worries of fighting giant corporations for your fair compensation, many bus accidents involve city liability. Examples may include the involvement of a city bus or city infrastructure as a contributing factor in an accident. Often, cities narrow the more standard personal injury statute of limitations of 2-years to a 90- or 60-day window in which you are allowed to bring a lawsuit.
In light of the serious injuries and damages, complications of insurance company restrictions, and city or state imposed limitations that arise after bus accidents, it is extremely beneficial to seek the help of a skilled bus accident lawyer. Our legal experts have extensive experience in all types of motor vehicle collisions and know how to handle large insurance companies like Farmers. We are always ready to fight for the right compensation of our clients because we understand the pain caused by a dangerous accident. If you have been injured in a bus accident, please contact Thompson Law immediately for the help you need.
Bus Insurance Regulations and Requirements
There are two main classifications that determine the insurance and liability requirements that bus owners must carry. These standards are set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and there are additional protections from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).
The main FMCSA standards are:
Does the bus only travel within state limits, or does it cross state lines to travel elsewhere?
Interstate: Provides bus transportation that sometimes or always crosses state lines.
Interstate: A bus provides transportation only within its home state.
2. Is the bus designed to carry less than or more than 16 persons including the driver? Minimum levels of financial responsibility are determined by the highest seating capacity of the vehicle in the fleet operated by the passenger-for-hire interstate motor carrier.
Vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers: $5,000,000 insurance required.
Vehicle designed to carry 15 or fewer passengers: $1,500,000 insurance required.
There are exceptions to these insurance requirements and they do not apply to:
A motor vehicle that only carries school children and school personnel to and from school
A motor vehicle that provides taxicab service and has a seating capacity of less than 7 passengers and is not operated on a regular route or between specified points.
A motor vehicle carrying less than 16 persons to and from work in a daily round trip
A motor vehicle operated by a motor carrier under contract to provide transportation to pre-elementary, elementary, and secondary students for planned, sponsored, and extracurricular trips paid for by the school district.
Types of Buses and Who is Responsible for Insuring Them
Insurance rules and requirements may vary for different types of buses depending on their range of use. The organizations that insure these fleets are often the responsible parties in the event of an accident. Your experienced bus accident attorney (commercial vehicle link while above) will be able to evaluate the details and circumstances of your accident to determine which responsible parties to pursue for damages.
School Buses – You may be surprised by the relatively minimum requirements for what it takes to become a school bus driver in the state of Texas. School districts are responsible for maintaining insurance coverage for the buses in the fleet serving their schools and districts. In addition, they are required to purchase and maintain vehicles in their fleet that comply with federal and state safety standards, which are often repeated or amended through their general liability insurance policy requirements. Conversely, school bus manufacturers must build the carriage and body of their buses to meet these standards, and must be documented accordingly before they are able to sell the buses to school systems.
Bus Rapid Transit – Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) includes city buses like Dallas’ DART and other public transit buses that aim to ease congestion in congested metro areas and support a larger public transit network. The fleet is owned and insured by the city or state.
Commuter buses – Serving as public transportation for major metropolitan networks, (Dallas’ DART also qualifies as commuter service), these buses may be owned and operated by the city or state they serve, and may also be insured by this ownership. is coming.
Inter-city buses – Greyhound, Megabus and other mega coaches all have their unique niches, but mostly share common characteristics. They mainly transport passengers between regional city centers as well as long routes, often overnight and in competition with train travel. These buses are insured by the companies that own and operate their fleet.
Causes of Bus Accidents and the Injuries that Can Result
The causes of bus accidents are often similar to those of other motor vehicle collisions, although there are some differences in the size, weight, and bearing of the buses. Due to their height and weight distribution, buses are more prone to rollover after some type of impact or change in speed. Even if a bus driver is driving safely, accidents can happen with cars around him and in his big blind spot. Some of the causes of bus accidents include:
Impaired or careless driving – speeding, failure to maintain lane position
Dangerous driving conditions – bad weather, morning/evening/dark driving, icy or slippery roads
Heavy traffic – aggressive driving, stop/start hazards
Construction – Poor signage and visibility, driver confusion, complex traffic patterns
Distracted driving – texting, checking maps, eating while driving
Some bus statistics are comforting, including the fact that school students who travel to their school by bus arrive 70% safer than those who travel by car. However, when things go wrong with buses, the resulting injury and damage can be serious. Experienced personal injury claimants see tragic consequences after serious bus accidents including:
Flying object injuries
Cuts, scratches, bruises
Head, neck, back, spinal cord injuries
amputation or amputation
Formed in 1928, and now serving the nation with more than 19 million policies in every US state, Farmers Insurance Exchange is comprised of 47 companies, and was ranked 222nd on the Fortune 500 in 2017. Farmers reported gross income of $15.6 billion that year. A net worth of $20.6 billion.
Within the automobile insurance space, Farmers offers numerous options and plans for commercial vehicle coverage, ranging from small packages related to routine business operations to full coverage for businesses on wheels – such as additional coverage requested by bus offices, food trucks or trailer bus owners. . Bus insurance packages are offered with options for coverage to provide the levels of protection required by federal and state law.
Need to file a claim with Farmers Insurance? After an accident where the at-fault driver has Farmers insurance, there are several ways to contact them to begin the claim process, including reporting a claim on their website, here at their phone number (link to 1-800-435). 7764), here to report auto and other claims or possibly even by visiting their new mobile claim centers operating an emergency assistance office out of the bus.
Insurance companies like Farmers want to make it as easy as possible to file a claim so that individuals believe they don’t need an experienced bus wreck attorney to protect them.
Best chance for your best claim with an experienced bus accident attorney by your side
The best approach to filing your claim with the bus company’s insurance carrier is to seek the advice and counsel of a specialized bus accident attorney. While the above revenue numbers and experience with insurance companies like Farmers can be daunting, remember that you don’t have to face the big insurance corporations alone. Add an expert to your team by hiring a specialized bus accident lawyer. With an attorney like Ryan “The Lion” Thompson representing you, you streamline the claims process and improve your chances of an optimized compensatory outcome.
Our experts are standing by to take your call, answer your questions and help you every step of the way. Even after a horrific bus accident, you have options and resources. Contact Thompson right away to get started, we look forward to helping you soon.