Important Facts to Know About Bus Accidents in Anchorage, AK


If you are one of the 12,000 passengers who get around town via the Anchorage Public Transportation Department (PTD) People Mover, you probably think you are enjoying one of the safest forms of transportation possible. Unfortunately, some statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) might be sobering. Approximately 27,000 people were injured in the 15,000 bus crashes that occurred in 2018, including bus passengers, occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians, bicycle riders, and other road users.

While it is a relief to know that you have legal options under Alaska personal injury laws, there are multiple aspects of a bus crash claim that make these cases more complex than other motor vehicle collisions. Your Anchorage bus accident attorney will take charge of the details, but here are a few important facts to know about these dangerous incidents.


Victims suffer severe injuries in Alaska bus collisions. There are two unique factors present in accidents involving buses, and each can affect the severity of the injuries to victims.

  • As the occupant of another car, you easily see the bus significantly outweighs your vehicle. With a large size differential, the impact for the smaller auto will be much more extreme.
  • If you are a passenger on the bus, you will probably not have access to a seatbelt or other safety restraint. You are more likely to be tossed around the interior, striking against hard surfaces.


Claims are more complicated due to the nature of the at-fault party.

The People Mover is owned and operated by a government entity, and many other bus systems are also public in nature. Alaska’s abolition of sovereign immunity makes government bodies liable for their torts, including negligent operation of a bus. However, there is also the issue of the employer-employee relationship. You might need to prove that the bus driver was acting within the scope of employment to succeed with a bus accident injury claim.


You can recover compensation for a wide range of losses.

Like other claims for traffic accident injuries, you can seek monetary damages for such losses as:

  • Medical costs to treat your injuries;
  • Lost wages, if you were unable to work because of being hurt;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Emotional distress;
  • Implications for your personal relationships with family and loved ones;
  • Decreased quality of life; and,
  • Many others.

Still, you should note that there may be damages caps when pursuing an Alaska government body for damages. In addition, you cannot obtain punitive damages against a public agency.


Get Legal Help from an Alaska Bus Accident Lawyer

These facts may be helpful as an overview, but the information does not cover some of the specific rules and legal concepts that apply in a real-life bus crash situation. Instead of putting your rights at risk, trust our attorneys at Power & Power Law to pursue those responsible for causing your injuries. To learn more, please contact our offices in Anchorage, AK. We can set up a no-cost consultation to assess your situation and discuss how to proceed.