I was honored to speak to a large roomful of lawyers, from around the nation, at the American Association for Justice’s Jazz Fest Program in New Orleans, LA. My topic, in case you hadn’t guessed, was Why Treating a Bus Wreck Case Like a Car Wreck Case is a Multi-Million Dollar Mistake.
As in most commercial vehicle cases you want someone to work with a lawyer who has handled these cases before, and frequently. Questions about whether the bus was commercial or private bus change the law applicable to the bus! Even whether the vehicle was a bus can be litigated? Did you know that vans are frequently considered buses? Even a car, in some circumstances, can be considered a bus! Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation 390.5 defines a bus as: Bus means any motor vehicle designed, constructed, and/or used for the transportation of passengers, including taxicabs. If only it were that easy or that the only definition of bus! The definition is shifting with Government, Paratransit, Private, Charter, School, For-Hire, Sight Seeing all having different standards, rules, regulations and statutes applicable! One example would be that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations don’t generally apply to school buses, but do apply to school buses used for extra curricular activities! In short this area is a hodge podge of special standards, rules and laws and inexperienced bus lawyers can easily be surprised, and not in a happy way for their clients!
Make sure you know your lawyers experience with bus cases as opposed to car cases.
My thanks to my fellow speakers for putting on a great program!