Millions of children depend on bus transportation every day for school. In addition, millions of people in big cities depend on public transport to commute to a job. Others use bus transportation to travel cross-country.
If you are injured while riding a bus, you may wonder who is at fault. The bus driver? The manufacturer of the bus? The city government?
Auto accidents that involve a city bus are unusual and often involve unique circumstances. If you were injured in the accident, it is vital to reach out to a bus accident attorney who can advise you on your next steps.
Bus Accident Injuries
Unfortunately, people are injured in auto accidents involving public transportation every year. When this unusual circumstance occurs, it is difficult to know who is responsible for your injuries. Auto accident injuries involving buses are notoriously significant and may result in thousands of dollars in damages because of expensive ER visits and doctor bills, along with missed time from work.
Bus accidents contribute to a wide range of injuries as passengers may report broken bones, sprains, bruises, whiplash, or concussions. The more severe injuries may include internal organ damage, bleeding, or death.
Buses are also not constructed well enough to absorb the impact of an auto accident. For example, most city buses do not provide seat belts. Additionally, their high center of gravity makes them prone to rollovers.
When a bus flips and no one has a seatbelt to wear, it is likely going to cause severe and devastating injuries. Therefore, while the chance of an accident while on a bus is lower than other forms of transportation, the resulting injuries are usually severe.
Fault Factors Contributing to a Bus Accident
Several factors help determine who is at fault in an auto accident, including incidents that involve a bus. In some instances, a special investigation is needed to determine liability.
Here are just a few factors that may cause or contribute to a bus accident:
- A driver who operates the bus while he or she is fatigued.
- A driver who is not adequately trained nor properly screened for employment.
- Someone who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs while operating a vehicle.
- Buses that are overloaded or improperly loaded.
- Buses and equipment that are not maintained correctly.
Are you trying to determine who is at fault for your injuries? Contact a bus accident attorney at Stewart & Stewart for assistance.
Bus Accident Injury Claims
Bus accidents are not only unusual but also unique in how damages are awarded to injured victims. In general, a personal injury settlement is the best course of action when you are involved in a traditional auto accident involving one or more standard vehicles on the road.
The procedure for handling a personal injury lawsuit in court is fairly straightforward. However, bus accidents are more complicated because they usually involve many passengers and other unusual circumstances.
If the driver of another car or truck caused the accident, the injured passengers of a bus might file a third-party claim with the at-fault driver. The process is comparable to if another driver in a personal vehicle injured you. It enables you to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance and seek compensation for losses.
However, the circumstances are entirely different if the at-fault individual of the accident was the bus driver. The reason for this complication is because most buses are owned by government entities like school districts and public transportation bureaus.
As you might imagine, filing an injury claim with a government institution is far more complicated. The procedure varies by state as well as jurisdiction, which is why you should reach out to a bus accident attorney to discuss the details of your case.
Filing a Notice of Claim
The legal process of a bus accident where the driver was at fault traditionally starts with filing a “notice of claim.” The specific procedural rules vary depending on where you live, or where the accident occurred, but you usually include the following with the claim:
- A statement of your intent to seek compensation for injuries and/or property damage caused by the negligence of the government entity.
- A description of the time, place, and circumstances that led to the bus accident.
- The nature of the claimant’s losses or damages.
It is important to note that most municipalities allow only a short amount of time in which you can file a claim against a government entity. Therefore, if you were injured in an auto accident that involved a city bus, you need to contact an experienced attorney immediately.
The deadlines for filing a lawsuit are important because if you miss a filing deadline or fail to submit the proper paperwork, you may miss out on receiving any form of damages from the at-fault driver or government entity.
Stewart & Stewart—Experienced Bus Accident Attorneys
Contact Stewart & Stewart today at 1 (800) 33-33-LAW to get help managing your personal injury lawsuit. We can help make sure you meet local municipality guidelines, determine who is at fault in a bus accident, and pursue damages on your behalf.