Bus Accident Lawsuits and Settlements

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Many individuals wait for a bus to transport them from one destination to another. Some of those who wait include our children, mothers, brothers, or other loved ones. It may even be you riding the bus daily. No matter the scenario, people who take the bus are putting their lives in risky situations.

Buses are large vehicles that carry many travelers. They do not have seatbelts, airbags, or other safety restraints. All of which pose significant hazards to riders and other people on the road.

Although there are public transit safety rules in place, accidents happen. With every bus ride, people trust the driver and their ability to fulfill their duty. Society expects bus drivers to follow the rules of the road, state laws, and to prioritize passenger safety.

As bus accidents impact their passengers, they also affect motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Thus, there are features of bus accident lawsuits and settlements that differ from regular auto collisions.

What to do if in a Bus Accident

If you are in an accident with a bus and survive, you likely have severe injuries and significant damage. From the size of the bus alone, it can cause massive destruction and death. This does not include factors like speed, weather, or negligence. All of which could have caused the bus crash.

Get Immediate Medical Attention

The first thing to do after a bus accident is to call 911 and receive immediate medical attention. Calling emergency services is usually the responsibility of bus staff. However, if you are able to make the call, do it yourself.

Get medical treatment for yourself and the lives of others, which could be in danger. Many states require bus accident victims to seek medical care within a certain amount of time. If, by the time you get aid is too late, depending on your state’s deadline, they may deny your claim. You do not want to lose your lawsuit due to merely running out of time.

Even if your injuries do not appear severe, still get examined by a doctor. Not only will it show the condition of your health, but it can improve your case. Get tests for your back, spine, neck       and head. Since these injuries do not always immediately show symptoms, it may take days or possibly weeks for this to happen, at which time it might already be too late to preserve your rights.

Even though in most cases the bus company will pay the expense of your medical visit, even without suing them. Check to see if they will absorb the amount or have your lawyer look into it for you.

Bus companies often have unique insurance that is more comprehensive than standard vehicle insurance. The bus insurance usually covers all passengers. Make sure to speak with your attorney as he or she will understand the laws and conditions related to such an insurance policy.

Call for Police

Reporting to law enforcement is the next necessary step. Get the police involved to document the details and speak with witnesses of the bus accident. The police will file a report citing the cause of the accident for the injured or killed.

You may need to use the police report as evidence if you file a legal claim. It may even make or break your suit, which is why police involvement is essential after any bus accident.

Collect Evidence and Proof

If you have the ability, you need to collect evidence and proof. You need to get specific documents and details about the bus accident scene.

Here are a few items you must get:

  • Names and home addresses
  • Phone numbers and email addresses
  • Bus Driver and Company information
  • Witness and other passenger contact information
  • Officer business card, badge number, and department.
  • Take photos and/or video of the bus accident scene from different angles.

Although the bus company may supply the other passengers' names, it may not have witness information. If possible, do everything yourself or have someone like your lawyer do it for you. Make sure you never rely on receiving information from a potential defendant in your case.

Make sure you gather essential information from the people at the accident scene, first. As people can leave a scene quickly, you want to gain as much information as you can. Only collect evidence and proof if you are medically okay to do so; otherwise, call your lawyer.

Hire a Lawyer

Whether you can or cannot fight for your legal rights after an accident, a lawyer can. He or she will help file a claim and represent you in court. Your attorney can also contact witnesses, insurers, and the bus company to investigate the accident claim.

Your lawyer will also fill you in on the possibility of a limit on the amount you can recover for damages. They can share with you if there is a damage cap or ceiling law in your state.

Hiring an experienced attorney is how you can gain the legal knowledge you need. To understand the laws of your state about bus accidents and how to file a compelling case.

What is Sovereign Immunity?

There are many factors to consider when filing a bus accident claim, which a lawyer can explain. Sovereign immunity does not exist in regular accident lawsuits, and most do not know about it.

Both a private and government entity can own the bus involved in the accident. Whether it is a tour bus, school bus, or public transit bus, it depends on the owner if employees can receive sovereign immunity.

Identifying the owner of the bus is essential as sovereign immunity applies only to government employees. This immunity is the protection of employees in legal proceedings, requirements to make a claim, and caps on the compensation amount for damages. Check with state laws to find out if there are stricter procedures.

If you or your lawyer identify the bus owner as a private entity, sovereign immunity does not apply and needs to be treated as standard negligence and personal injury cases.

Filing a Bus Accident Lawsuit and Deadlines

Bus accident lawsuits have several vital deadlines you need to know about. Injured parties have a statute of limitations, meaning by law, you must file a lawsuit within a specified timeframe. If you miss the end date, you lose your ability to sue. The timeframe is often set by the jurisdiction where the bus accident happened.

If you are planning on suing, you must provide a notice of your claim. This is a written notice that must include specific information about the bus accident and your injuries. To find out what the items are contact your lawyer, he or she can fill you in on your state’s laws.

The notice also has a statute of limitations for personal injury suits, which requires the action of providing one within around two months. Keep in mind that this is separate from filing a lawsuit and treating it as such.

Conclusion

Bus accident lawsuits and settlements are not as straightforward as most would like them to be. There are many factors, state laws, claim deadlines, and bus ownership, can also affect your case. You want to get adequate compensation for the injuries and damages you have had to endure from the bus accident. To ensure you give it your all, talk to a qualified lawyer as soon as possible. They can file your claim for financial recovery, so you take the time you need to recover from the accident.

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Main Office: 200 E. Robinson St. Suite #250, Orlando, Florida 32801. Attorney Jeffrey Kaufman, Licensed in Florida Disclaimer: the purpose of this site is to provide information about legal options, not to provide legal or professional advice. You should not assume that the information on this site applies to your case without consulting with an attorney first. Requesting an initial consultation does not create an attorney client relationship. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be solely based on advertisement.

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