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Responsibility in a bus accident

If a person is in a bus accident in New Jersey several different entities might be responsible. Since a bus is what is known as a "common carrier", it is held to a high standard of safety just like other common carriers such as planes, cabs and cruise ships. In general, a legal standard of "reasonableness" is applied when determining liability. This means that while a bus driver who is unsafe might be held responsible in case of an accident, if the bus is hit by a drunk driver, the bus driver is unlikely to be liable.

Furthermore, there are other entities that may be liable in addition to or instead of the driver. When an entity has some responsibility in an accident, it may be known as "comparative negligence". For example, if a tour company fails to research a bus's safety record and the company has many violations, the tour company could be held partly responsible if an accident occurs.

The bus company may also be liable. Buses should be well-maintained, and drivers should have clean safety records. If a driver is negligent, the company may still be liable even if these standards are maintained. Finally, if a person on a bus falls after stepping off the bus because of an obstacle, the property owner may be liable.

A person who is involved in a motor vehicle accident involving a bus may be seriously injured whether the person is a passenger on the bus or the driver or passenger in another vehicle. That person may anticipate enough compensation from the insurance company to cover medical costs. If the compensation offered does not cover these and other expenses, the financial stress can be enormous, and the person may want to file a lawsuit against the entities responsible for the accident.

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