Tour bus accidents are common in places that tourists frequent. A city like Las Vegas has several tour buses ferrying tourists to and from various destinations across the state. Accidents happen due to factors like careless driving by the tour bus driver, other motorists, or poor road conditions. Many people sustain injuries, including tourists, drivers, and other road users.
Most accidents involving tour buses in Las Vegas are avoidable. We have laws advocating compensation for anyone who incurs catastrophic injuries in a tour bus accident due to another person’s negligence. Our help and support at Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm will ensure you understand and use the provisions of the law that best applies to your case. We will also walk you through the complex legal processes and fight alongside you until you obtain the compensation you deserve.
What Are Catastrophic Injuries?
Catastrophic injuries have severe consequences that can permanently prevent a person from performing gainful or meaningful work. They are life-altering injuries that you could incur in a car accident. Most catastrophic injuries occur after a severe road crash. They cause severe and permanent harm to a victim’s body and change their lives and the lives of their loved ones. Some people do not recover fully from injuries like these.
Catastrophic injuries occur when a sensitive part of a human body sustains injuries in an accident. It could be the person’s head, brain, or spinal cord. These are parts of a body that control the functionality of other parts of the body. For instance, an injury to your head could affect your brain and how you perform day-to-day functions.
Catastrophic injuries have lasting and sometimes permanent effects on a person’s functionalities and capabilities. They are extensive injuries that could cause you to lose a significant part of your life. For instance, a person’s ability to move or use their hands could be impacted after a tour bus accident. But with extensive medical care and physical therapy, the person can recover part of that ability. Some people lose parts of their bodies permanently. It could be a hand, leg, toe, finger, or even an ear. That will affect how you function and feel about yourself.
Catastrophic injuries are common with tour bus crashes in Las Vegas. It helps to know that you are eligible for compensation if you incur a devastating injury while on a tour bus. The money you recover will help you pay for the expensive long-term treatment you need to partly or fully recover from your injuries.
Due to their grave nature, it takes a long time for a person to recover fully from a catastrophic injury. Some people have to adjust their life to cope with the injury. It costs a lot of money that could be unaffordable to the victim or family. The law holds the negligent party responsible for the resulting damages after a car accident. With the right legal help, you should be able to identify the responsible party to file a claim against them in a civil court.
Victims of tour bus accidents deserve more compensation for their other damages and not just the catastrophic injuries. The victim will remain out of work for a long time as they recover from their extensive injuries. You will require compensation to cater to your daily needs before engaging in gainful employment. If you have lost your earning ability, you will require payment to master a new skill that will allow you to start earning again. Some victims need life-long compensation if their ability to work has been ultimately affected. It helps to engage the help of a competent car accident lawyer if you wish to obtain full payment for your damages.
Catastrophic Injuries in Tour Bus Accidents
Tour bus accidents are sometimes minor and other times severe. A severe accident will likely leave great destruction behind, including victims with catastrophic injuries. The gravity of a car accident is based upon several factors, including the speed at which the bus was moving, the type of accident it was (head-on collision, rear-end collision, rollover), the road on which the accident occurred, and whether other vehicles were involved. Injuries sustained by victims also differ from one victim to the other.
Here are common catastrophic injuries in Las Vegas tour bus accidents.
Traumatic Brain injuries
Brain injury is the severest injury you can suffer in a car accident. It occurs when the brain is affected due to an accident’s impact. If the accident caused your brain to shift inside your head, you would likely incur severe trauma. Traumatic injuries to the brain result from direct trauma to the brain in an accident. It could happen if you hit your head on a hard surface or something sharp goes through your head, disrupting the normal functioning of your brain.
These are common injuries in bus accidents because tour buses lack most safety features in personal cars, like airbags and seat belts. Passengers are not well protected in the event of an accident. When a mishap happens, passengers in tour bus accidents are tossed back and forth inside the bus. Your head could bang hard on the wall, roof, or bus floor, causing your head and brain severe injuries.
Some brain injuries are more severe, especially those that result in brain hemorrhage. They could cause you to lose consciousness or even remain comatose for days, weeks, or months. Here are some symptoms that could indicate a traumatic injury to the brain after a tour bus accident:
- Loss of consciousness
- High sensitivity to lights and sound
- Insomnia or sleeping for more extended periods
- Slurred speech
It is advisable to seek medical help right after the accident to diagnose and prevent your condition from worsening. Some people recover fully from traumatic brain injuries, though it could take a long time of medical treatment and care. Others have to live on medications and constant medical needs for the remaining part of their life.
Injuries to the Spine
A severe spine injury from a tour bus accident can significantly alter your life. Any amount of trauma to the spine, however slight, can damage the spinal cord, resulting in paralysis down from the neck or the waist. Most injuries to the spine are a result of devastating vehicle accidents.
As previously mentioned, tour buses lack some safety features you will find in a personal vehicle. Thus, passengers are not well protected from injuries in an accident. A severe crash will throw you off balance in the bus, causing you to land on a hard or sharp object on your back. That could result in severe injuries to your back and spine.
Paralysis takes away your ability to perform essential body functions like moving, holding, reaching out, speaking, and even eating. It means that you will require full-time care even after leaving the hospital. Additionally, you could remain in the hospital for a long time, receiving treatment and therapy to help you regain some mobility. That will cost you a lot of money and time. Paralysis will also affect your ability to perform in gainful employment. Thus, you could require financial support for the remaining part of your life.
There are usually three regions of the human spine that could incur injuries in a bus accident.
- The cervical spine — The area around the neck and upper back
- The thoracic spine — The middle part of your back, almost the same level as your lungs
- The lumbar spine — The lower back
When an injury to your spine occurs, it is usually the area below the affected injury site. That is why injuries on the upper part of the spine, close to the neck, are usually the most dangerous. They will likely affect the entire body.
It is necessary to seek immediate medical attention right after the accident. It will help you avoid permanent damages and could improve your recovery chances.
Fire is uncommon in vehicle accidents, but it happens. If a tour bus catches fire while passengers are stuck inside, they could sustain first, second, third, or fourth-degree burns. But, you can sustain severe burns in a bus accident even without an actual fire if your skin comes into contact with hot metal as you are tossed back and forth during the accident. Severe burns from car accidents are life-altering. Even though some people survive the burns, they are left with severe scarring or loss of mobility that will affect various aspects of their lives.
First-degree burns are the least severe. They only affect the outer skin layer. They are most common in car accidents and could happen even without an actual fire. You could sustain a first-degree burn in a bus accident if your exposed skin rubs against an object inside the vehicle. These burns are usually excruciating. They also leave a scar that could affect how you look and feel. But, first-degree burn injuries recover fast. They do not place the victim’s life in grave danger.
Second-degree burn injuries are more severe as they affect your skin's outer and second layers. They could also occur even without an actual fire. For instance, if your exposed skin comes into contact with hot metal, you could sustain second-degree burns. These burns heal too, but they leave a large scar that could affect how you look and feel about yourself. They are also very painful. Some victims undergo skin grafting to restore the appearance of the affected part.
Third and fourth-degree burns are more catastrophic or life-altering. They penetrate deep into your skin and could even damage your nerve tissues. If you sustain severe burns in a bus accident, you will require skin surgery. The healing process is also long and expensive. Thus, you will need to undergo therapy after leaving the hospital for your emotional well-being. Some fourth-degree burns affect nerve tissues and muscles, and sometimes bones. Some people lose their lives while undergoing treatment.
Common Reasons for Catastrophic Tour Bus Accidents in Las Vegas
It is crucial to understand the cause of tour bus accidents that result in catastrophic injuries. That will help you determine eligibility, which is critical for filing compensation in a Las Vegas civil court. Tour bus accidents occur due to several factors. Sadly, most of these causes are avoidable. Sometimes negligence plays a significant role in causing accidents in which many people’s lives are altered.
Let us look at some leading causes of tour bus accidents in Las Vegas and the eligible parties:
Disregard for Traffic Rules
Most vehicle accidents, including tour buses, occur when drivers disregard traffic rules. These rules are there to ensure smooth operations on the road. They guide motorists on what to do while on the road to keep every user safe, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. Some traffic rules warn drivers of impending danger, while others caution them against specific behavior that could compromise their safety and other motorists. If bus drivers ignore traffic rules, they will likely cause an accident where they or their passengers sustain catastrophic injuries.
For instance, some tour bus drivers ignore yielding right of way to other motorists, resulting in serious collisions, especially if one or both were driving at high speed. Speeding and dangerous driving are also common causes of devastating road accidents.
If you suffer a catastrophic injury in a bus accident that occurred due to negligence by the driver, the driver will be held responsible for the resulting damages. You can file a lawsuit against him/her in a civil court for compensation.
When a driver is tired, they will not carefully operate a bus as they would if they were well-rested. Nevada law provides guidelines on how long bus drivers must operate before taking a break. For instance, a bus driver in Las Vegas must only work ten hours per shift and can only resume work after eight consecutive hours of resting. Working over the provided limit leaves the driver exhausted and incapable of operating a vehicle safely.
If it is established that the cause of the tour bus accident was driver fatigue, the tour bus company will be responsible for the resulting damages. Thus, you can file a lawsuit against the company if you have sustained a catastrophic injury in the accident. The company will pay enough compensation to ensure that you have received proper medical care and financial support until you recover fully.
Intoxicated or Distracted Driver
Sometimes a driver’s conduct could result in a devastating accident in which one or more people sustain catastrophic injuries.
Drunk driving is still a significant problem globally, regardless of the numerous campaigns and strict laws to curb the menace. A drunk driver is a danger to him/herself and anyone else on the road. If it is established that the tour bus driver was intoxicated, which caused him/her to lose control of the vehicle, the driver will be responsible for your injuries.
Distracted driving is another issue that affects many drivers. It is attributed to many road accidents in the state. Drivers are urged to pay attention to their driving every time they are on the road. Checking, texting or talking on a mobile phone, or playing with the stereo while driving can quickly distract a driver and result in a severe accident.
Poorly Maintained Tour Bus
Tour buses should be well-maintained to avoid mechanical issues that could cause an accident. Their owners must follow a regular maintenance routine to ensure all their buses are in perfect working condition. Any problem noted during this regular maintenance must be repaired on the spot.
If the cause of the tour bus accident in which you sustained a catastrophic injury was poor maintenance, the bus owner or the mechanical shop in charge of its maintenance could be held responsible. If the owner has not been following up with the regular maintenance of his/her buses, he/she will be liable for the resulting damages if the tour bus was involved in an accident. If the repair shop did not conduct thorough maintenance and repair on the bus as required, it would be held responsible for the resulting damages after an accident.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Some conditions on the road make it dangerous for motorists to operate, especially new drivers. An unfamiliar driver will find it hard to drive safely on a poorly-maintained road. Constructions along the road could also become dangerous if drivers are not provided with adequate signage. Some objects on the road could also cause a driver to cause a severe accident if they crash on them or swerve around to avoid hitting them.
If a dangerous road condition was the cause of the accident in which you sustained a catastrophic injury, the government agency responsible for road maintenance will be liable for all your damages.
Damages Available After a Catastrophic Tour Bus Injury
You can pursue compensation through a civil court in Nevada if you have sustained a catastrophic injury in a bus accident due to another person’s negligence. But, you must piece together a complete claim for a judge to award all your damages. You should also identify a liable party and demonstrate how their negligence caused your injury. If you have sufficient evidence to support your claim, you need to identify your damages to include in your claim. Damages after a catastrophic injury will be economic and non-economic.
Economic damages include tangible losses you must have incurred after the accident. They must be directly related to the catastrophic injury you sustained in the accident. They could include:
These will include all medical costs you have incurred right after the accident like emergency medical care, visits to the doctor, medications, consultation fees, and other out-of-pocket expenses you must have paid for your medical needs. Your medical costs will include the costs you have incurred and what you expect to incur in the future. Remember that it takes time for catastrophic injuries to heal. Thus, you will need enough compensation to continue receiving medical care until you recover fully.
You should also consider the time you will be out of employment to recover from your injury. It could be a month, several months, or even years. Proper diagnosis by an experienced healthcare provider will provide an approximate time within which you could go back to work.
You will calculate your lost wages according to the amount you make in a day from your current job.
Lost Earning Capacity
Some catastrophic injuries leave victims without an earning capacity. For instance, if you have been incapacitated, you will have lost your earning capacity. This compensation will allow you to continue catering to your daily needs. It could also enable you to acquire a new skill that will help you earn a living after your full recovery.
They are the intangible losses you incurred due to the catastrophic injury. Here are some non-economic damages you can include in your claim:
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Lost consortium
It helps to work closely with a competent car accident attorney to ensure you include all your damages in the claim before filing it in court. The judge will review your claim and consider the evidence presented by you (the plaintiff) and the defendant to conclude the case. With the right legal help and guidance, you should receive the compensation you deserve.
Find a Skilled Las Vegas Car Accident Lawyer Near Me
Have you sustained a catastrophic injury after a tour bus accident?
You are eligible for compensation, thanks to Nevada personal injury laws. However, you must identify the cause of the accident, determine the liable party, and put together a winning claim to receive the compensation you deserve. Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm has a team of competent personal injury lawyers willing to take you through the legal process. We offer professional advice and support and fight with you until you obtain a fair outcome for your case. Call us at 702-576-0010 and let us study your subject to devise the right winning strategy.