Bus Accident Lawyer
More and more people depend on public transportation to get them to and from their destination. Commuting to work on a bus relieves you of the responsibility of maneuvering through rush hour traffic and finding usually expensive and/or elusive parking places. Many bus commuters catch up on their reading, nap, get a jump on their workday, or keep abreast of the latest news while en route to their destination via a municipal bus.
We often take our safety for granted, trust the bus driver, and assume we will get to our destination unharmed. But accidents do happen, and when they do, serious injuries can be a result of such accidents.
Bus Accident Causes
There could be many factors that contribute to causing a bus accident. These may include:
- Bus drivers not sufficiently trained
- Mechanical malfunction including steering, brake or another mechanical system failure that may occur due to improper maintenance
- Alcohol or drug use by drivers
- Distracted driving either by other passengers, cell phone use, or other distractions
- No background check verifying bus driver’s experience done prior to hiring
- Driver fatigue because of driving too many consecutive hours on the road
Who is Legally Responsible for Bus Accidents?
There may be more than one party responsible for a bus accident. The bus company’s responsibility is to hire drivers who are capable and for having the buses adequately maintained. This is not only for the protection of its passengers but also for the safety of everyone else on the road. If a bus company fails to comply with basic standards of operation, it can be held responsible for any accidents involving its buses. However, if the driver caused the accident due to illegal behavior or negligent conduct, they could also be held liable for the accident.
As in practically every personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff must be able to prove the defendant was negligent in their actions and the accident (and therefore your injuries) are a result of that negligence.
Proving negligence requires the plaintiff to provide evidence that:
- The defendant had a duty to act with reasonable care.
- The defendant breached that duty
- The plaintiff suffered some type of injury because of that breach
Can you Sue the Bus Company?
Most buses are owned by municipalities or government agencies. If you are involved in an accident with one of these types of buses, any legal claims against these types of agencies can be difficult and extremely time-consuming. Attorneys are bound by state laws that have specific guidelines for filing claims against local and state governments or any of their agencies.
In most states, personal injury claims have a cap amount of $200,000 that a plaintiff collect. This means if you are injured in a bus accident, the most you can collect in damages compensation is $200,000. If your injuries are more extensive and you feel you are entitled to more than that, you will have to file a claim against any additional parties you feel were negligent as well.
Because the paperwork and timeframes can get very complicated, it is important to trust your lawsuit to a bus accident lawyer experienced in bus accidents.