With its storied past, Charleston is a bustling city full of thriving communities and businesses. Everyone has to get around town to reach workplaces or schools, and many rely on public transportation like that provided by local agencies.

The high number of travelers coupled with pedestrians, other vehicles, and a host of factors increase the potential for a crash. Whether you hop on a bus to go to work or use a shuttle to explore historic sites like The Battery, bus accidents can upturn or even cut short your life. What’s more, since buses carry so many passengers, you’re not the only one whose life can be impacted.

Following a bus crash, you may be confused, hurt, and unsure of how to navigate your recovery and legal situation. That’s where lawyers familiar with bus accidents in Charleston can step in.

Seek Assistance From Our Charleston Bus Accident Lawyers

The experienced attorneys at Hughey Law Firm know how to handle tough government agencies or insurance companies who stand in the way of the compensation you’re entitled to following an accident. Our legal team will work tirelessly to represent you or your loved ones to assist you in making the best choices for your situation.

If you are already the victim of a Charlestown bus accident, contact Hughey Law Firm as soon as possible. Our attorneys can begin evaluating your case and figuring out your options and the next steps.

What does South Carolina consider a bus?

According to the South Carolina code of laws, Section 56-5-180:

“Every motor vehicle designed for carrying more than ten passengers and used for the transportation of persons and every motor vehicle, other than a taxicab, designed and used for the transportation of persons for compensation is a ‘bus.’“

School buses

In addition, another common type of bus is a school bus. South Carolina law, Section 56-5-190, says a school bus is exclusively “used to transport children to or from public school or in connection with school activities.”


In downtown areas like downtown Charleston, there are sometimes shuttles that provide low or no-cost rides to explore particular routes and areas. In Charleston, you’ll find the Downtown Area Shuttle or DASH. Even though they go by a different name, shuttles are considered buses under the law as well.

Other considerations

Very large passenger vans may also be classified as buses if they hold ten or more people. As always, it’s best to consult with a personal injury attorney to cover the particulars of these vehicles and where they fall under South Carolina law.

Types of Bus Accidents

Several different kinds of accidents may involve buses.

Here are some possible scenarios:

  • You are a passenger on a bus that crashes into another vehicle or property
  • You are driving your vehicle and get run into by a bus
  • You are a pedestrian on the sidewalk or crosswalk and get hit by a bus
  • You are riding a bicycle or motorcycle and get into an accident with a bus

The Inherent Dangers of Buses

According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, there is a traffic collision once every three minutes. In fact, over four million people ride Charleston public transportation like buses every year. Additionally, there is a crash resulting in injury every 13 minutes and a fatal accident every nine and a half hours.

There are many reasons why riding a bus or sharing roadways with buses can put you more at risk. Some of the biggest dangers, whether you are riding on a bus or experience an accident with a bus, include:


Unlike typical vehicles like personal cars or trucks, buses are extremely large and heavy in comparison. Typical cars weigh anywhere from 2,500 to 5,000 pounds on the higher end for large pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles.

In the United States, most transit buses are 40 feet long, have two axles, and weigh 30,000 to 44,000 pounds with a full passenger load. In addition, one-third of that weight comes from passengers alone. What’s more, larger, three-axle buses can weigh up to 65,000 pounds fully loaded.

The size alone of buses contributes to the potential for dangerous crashes with magnified impact and higher instances of severe injury or death.

Limited Safety Features

Many buses or shuttles lack basic safety features that we have grown accustomed to having on other types of vehicles. A lot of times, there are no seatbelts or passenger safety devices. Additionally, the law doesn’t require airbags in buses. The lack of passenger safety features can make accidents even worse for occupants.

Despite the many different types of airbags available for other vehicles, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), such technologies have not been extended for use on buses or are deemed too costly to institute.

Crowded Cabins

Peak travel times throughout the day may fill all seats and standing room on buses. Overcrowded buses can be loud and distracting for the operator. In addition, if there are too many passengers, the bus could face dangerous instability in turns and emergency maneuvers.

If a crowded bus hits a pedestrian or car or truck, the outcome can be even more catastrophic. Unfortunately, due to the size of buses and the force involved in a crash, many pedestrian accidents involve permanent disability or death.

Common Injuries Caused by Bus Accidents

Because of the sheer weight and size of buses, accident injuries are much more severe than other types of accidents.

Some of the injuries that you may encounter include the following, but this is in no way an exhaustive list:

  • Broken bones
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Head and neck trauma
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
  • Internal trauma
  • Organ damage
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Death

Challenges Associated with Bus Accidents Claims

Since many buses are owned and operated by municipal local government entities, this makes getting the compensation that you deserve all the more difficult for the regular person. An experienced Charleston bus accident attorney will compile all the needed paperwork and evidence to pursue your claim following your accident or the accident of a loved one.

In addition, there are other typical challenges with dealing with a bus accident claim, including:

  • The statute of limitations: According to South Carolina state laws, you have three years from the date of an accident that caused personal injury to pursue civil cases.
  • Long hospital stay or disabilities: Following injury from an accident involving a bus, you may be recovering in the hospital for a long time or permanently disabled. Because of this, it’s pivotal to seek the assistance of an experienced injury attorney for you or your family members.
  • Potential limits on damages: Some states limit the damages you can collect in a lawsuit or settlement. South Carolina, for example, caps punitive damages and damages against government entities. These damage caps may make it intimidating to start the claims process alone. Consult our Charleston bus accident lawyers for help with your situation.

Financial Responsibilities From Bus Accidents

After any accident, there are naturally resultant financial burdens. Since accidents are unexpected, your life and that of your family can get turned around. Some of the challenges that come with being injured in a bus accident arise from paying for medical care and your inability to work and enjoy life as you once did.

Don’t wait for these bills to add up and cause even more of a burden of stress and uncertainty. Contact a Charleston bus accident lawyer at the Hughey Firm as soon as possible.

Some of the financial challenges include:

Lost Wages

When you are in the hospital recovering from an accident, you are missing out on your paycheck from your regular employment. Even if you only work part-time or run a household, your absence from work and home results in costly burdens on you and your loved ones.

What’s more, you may have to undergo weeks or months of physical or occupational therapy to relearn lost skills as a result of your injury. Worse yet, you may have a difficult recovery or be permanently disabled. Your attorney will work hard to ensure that you are compensated for your time away from work, be it temporary or long-term.

Doctor and Hospital Bills

The moment you are attended to for medical care by emergency response teams or you step into an emergency room, expensive bills start adding up. Every action, review, medicine, and lab test or imaging scan is another charge on what seems like a never-ending invoice from the hospital.

After you are discharged from the hospital, you still have follow-up doctor and specialist appointments which can take hours out of your day and cost hundreds or thousands of dollars every visit.

Rehabilitation and Therapy Costs

If your doctor transfers you to a rehabilitation center after your hospital stay, you will incur another huge financial burden. When you should focus on your well-being and rebuilding your health, you could lose sleep wondering how you will pay these additional costs.

Even if doctors discharge you to your home, you might still need in-home physical or occupational therapy sessions. Depending on the severity of your injury, these sessions could be a regular part of your routine going forward.

Transportation Costs

When you are hurt or recovering from an accident, sometimes you cannot drive due to your injury or medications. If your primary mode of transportation was a bus, you justifiably may not want to ride a bus due to the trauma associated with the memory of your accident. Alternately, if you need special medical equipment or a wheelchair, the preferred way of getting around is medical transport.

Some families may opt for renting or purchasing a larger vehicle or van capable of carrying their loved ones and medical equipment. With the host of other bills, this further adds to your financial uncertainty.

Pain and Suffering

Even more upsetting than the direct economic consequences of a bus accident is the subsequent pain and lessened joy of life that follows. We know this as pain and suffering, but the law also calls it non-economic damages. Do not let the name mislead you. Pain and suffering is a very real and costly result of an accident injury.

Some of the pain you may deal with can relate to your injury worsening or affecting other areas of your health. For example, a broken leg can lead to stress on your arms and your back, since you have to adjust to using crutches or sitting in a wheelchair.

What’s more, because you are injured or unwell, you must cope with not feeling like your old self or engaging in previous activities or hobbies that once brought you joy. Even simple tasks like grocery shopping or gardening can feel like huge hurdles to take on if you are hurting from an accident.

Not to mention, social isolation frequently arises from spending large portions of your day in bed recovering or waiting for and receiving care in doctors’ offices.

Charleston Bus Accident Attorney

Get In Touch With a Charleston Bus Accident Lawyer Today

It is nearly impossible to pursue compensation for a bus accident by yourself. Connect with an attorney who has the know-how to deal with reviewing your case and assisting you on your journey. The attorneys at Hughey Law Firm have represented hundreds of folks in South Carolina. Our diligent work has helped many people recover the compensation that they were due.

If you or a loved one has injuries from a bus crash in the Charleston area, call Hughey Law Firm at (843) 881-8644. You can also contact us through our website or use our chat feature online at any time as well.