Forget Crashes: The Biggest Risk to Bus Passengers is Falls

Not all Alaskans take advantage of public transportation options in Anchorage but, for those that do, the bus is an essential lifeline for work, errands, and personal travel. In fact, Anchorage’s People Mover boasts a monthly weekday average ridership of 12,000, carrying riders from the Downtown Transit Center to Government Hill, Spenard/Airport, Eagle River, and beyond. Bus transportation is affordable and safe, and crashes are relatively rare.

However, traffic collisions are not the only concern with bus travel. You might be surprised to learn that falls are common on city and municipal buses, and these incidents can also lead to serious injuries. Fortunately, Alaska personal injuries laws protect you in the same way as they do with collisions, so you have legal remedies for recovering compensation. Talk to an Anchorage bus accident attorney about your options, and read on for some information about how falls occur.


Risks to Passengers and Standees

Buses in urban areas like Anchorage do not reach the high speeds that increase the likelihood of crashes. The bigger risk when it comes to falls is the constant accelerating and braking. At times, the operator is abrupt and sudden in maneuvering around traffic, particularly during busy morning and evening commutes. The nature of city bus travel enhances the dangers to passengers, so consider the following:

  • Though the seats and seat backs are sturdy and equipped with extra padding, there are no seat belts for passengers.
  • During rush hour, the vehicle is crowded and more people are standing.
  • Design features on the bus can be limiting. Handrails, grips, and straps may be too high or awkwardly positioned to provide stability.
  • Seated passengers can be hurt or crushed by a standing passenger who falls after a hard brake.


Compensation for Victims After a Fall

The good news with non-traffic bus accidents is that the injuries tend to be minor. Still, many victims may need medical care for broken bones, bruises, cuts, concussion, or other head trauma. Plus, standing passengers often suffer spinal cord injuries, whiplash, and soft tissue injuries after a fall.

There are two types of compensation available for victims of bus accidents, including:

  • Economic Damages: This category covers losses that are tangible and usually associated with a specific dollar value. You may be entitled to economic damages for medical costs, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses to treat your injuries.
  • Noneconomic Damages: Familiarly known as “pain and suffering,” this class of damages involves the personal, subjective losses you sustain. Emotional distress and lost quality of life are examples of noneconomic damages.

Consult With Our Alaska Bus Accident Lawyers About Your Remedies

The Municipality of Anchorage has a large legal department and hefty budget for defending bus accident claims, whether they stem from a crash or abrupt movement. You level the playing field by retaining legal counsel to fight on your behalf, so please contact Power & Power Law. We can set up a no-cost case review at our offices in Anchorage, Alaska. Once we assess your situation, a business accident attorney can advise you on options.