What is a Bus Accident Settlement?

Get your no-obligation
case evaluation

Your information is kept 100% confidential. We do not spam or sell your information.

If negligent behavior causes a bus accident, the injured will want to file a lawsuit. The crash may cause temporary or permanent damage, and the wounded will seek compensation. If the injured party needs treatment or therapy, they will want their medical fees covered.

The bus size, number of passengers, no seat belts, or airbags can cause injuries as well as fatalities. If there are several injured people, the negligent party may have to face many factors. They will need to handle legal consequences, lawsuits, and significant restitution payouts.

Just as there can be several plaintiffs, multiple defendants can also exist. If many are responsible for the crash, they need to know how to manage a lawsuit settlement.

Features of Bus Accident Lawsuits and Settlements

Not all bus accidents result from negligence. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) says buses are among the safest modes of transportation.

But bus crashes that come from negligent behavior can be acts of a single person, group, or company.

Those Liable for Bus Accidents

Whether the accident is with a tour bus, school bus, charter bus, or city bus, plaintiffs need to know who is liable. Find out who caused the bus accident before submitting a lawsuit to the courts.

Those responsible for bus accidents can include:

  • Bus driver/operator/owner
  • Bus driver manager/supervisor
  • Other vehicle drivers
  • Bus maintenance company
  • City, county, or state department
  • Bus stop property owner
  • Bus manufacturer/parts producer
  • Injured parties, their vehicles, actions, and decisions
  • Other variants and circumstances

Although blame can be put on the bus driver or manufacturer, it can also sometimes be the injured party. This shared responsibility can change the claims of damages, lawsuits, and compensation results.

4 Elements of Negligence

Most personal injury claims require plaintiffs to show the burden of proof. Before receiving compensation, the injured must prove negligence, which caused the crash.

The elements of negligence are:

  1. The defendant owed a duty of care
  2. The defendant breached their duty of care
  3. The plaintiff proves the defendant was negligent
  4. The defendant's breach and negligence were significant components in causing the plaintiff's injuries

How a plaintiff collects restitution from the bus accident will depend on state law. In some states, the courts will reduce the claim, basing it on the plaintiff’s share of the fault. It often comes down to who was negligent and by how much.

Upon suing, get to know what to do if settlement negotiations begin. If uncertain about the process, contact a local attorney.

Here is some bus accident settlement information to help move forward.

What is a Bus Accident Settlement?

Shared liability or not, some will present the other a different resolution. This is often the beginning of the negotiation process. Bus accident settlements require both parties to agree on an amount. Sometimes it can be less than the initial lawsuit amount. Accident settlements also request plaintiffs not to pursue any future claims.

With car crashes, however, it is the individuals who own their vehicles. They will get in touch with their insurance company and a lawyer to resolve it. When it is a bus accident, the settlement process differs. Since local government and state entities own many of the buses, the rules change.

Thus, when in a bus accident, contact a personal injury lawyer to learn more about the unique process.

1. Sovereign Immunity

Sovereign immunity means the government receives immunity from lawsuits. If a school bus is in an accident, the government employee is protected from "sovereign immunity." This can involve special requirements limiting the total amount of damages available.

Thus, most state agencies will permit a lawsuit if the party agrees to abide by the government’s rules.

If the accident involves a private bus, rather than a government entity, the method is the same as negligent personal injury cases.

2. Notice of Claim and Statutes of Limitations

Bus accident lawsuits have several actions with essential deadlines. Failure to start a lawsuit before the end date will result in no longer having the ability to sue. The jurisdiction sets statutes of limitations, which can hugely differ by state.

A "notice of claim" is when the lawyer sends a notification of the intent to sue. Like with the statute of limitations, not filing a notice of claim has the same results, which is loss of the ability to sue. Dates can range from several months to two years or more but ask a personal injury attorney about them.

Yet, even if you file for a notice of claim accurately, it does not start the statute of limitations process. The same goes for filing a notice of claim that does not start a lawsuit.

One specific rule is that a "notice of claim" must be in writing. Local laws determine what specific information to include about the accident and injuries.

If injured in a bus accident, a lawyer can assess the lawsuit and help with resolving your case. An attorney will help calculate the settlement value and consider all relevant factors. They can help craft, reject, and deliver settlement offers as well as counteroffers.

Conclusion

A bus accident lawsuit can be complicated, and it is best to get a professional to do it right. A personal injury lawyer can explain more about bus crash lawsuits and settlements.

If in a bus accident, make sure the process does not make the situation worse. Get a qualified lawyer who will handle court procedures, lawsuits, and settlements.

Learn More

K L Logo

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.

© Kaufman and Lynd PLLC.