Bus passengers involved in an accident can pursue damages from the at-fault party. The challenging part of bus accidents is that a variety of parties could be responsible for paying your bills. Getting to the bottom of who was at fault and who owes you payments for your bills can be difficult in these situations.
That’s why finding a high-quality Indiana bus accident attorney will be extremely helpful for your case. Here’s what you need to know about bus accidents.
Possible At-fault Parties
Bus accidents are often more complex than standard car accidents. That’s because a variety of parties could be at fault for the accident. Here’s a look at some of the possible liability scenarios.
- A negligent driver who hits a bus: a bus driver is rarely responsible for a collision. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen, but it’s more common that another motorist hits the bus and causes the accident. In that case, you’ll be filing a claim against that driver’s insurance.
- The city that operates the bus: some scenarios involve the city failing to properly maintain the bus or to follow proper protocol. For example, we had a case involving a disabled woman. The driver was in a hurry and did not properly secure the wheelchair with the safety belt the way that they are supposed to. When the bus had to stop abruptly, the woman was thrown from her wheelchair into the metal railing in front of her. She suffered an injury. Cases against the city will be more complicated because they have additional laws and regulations for how quickly you must file a claim and the maximum you can pursue against the city.
- Private companies operating a bus: some buses are operated by an independent company, such as Greyhound or Megabus. These cases tend to be much clearer cases to handle than those with the city involved or after collisions with other vehicles. But that’s not to say that they are easy to get payouts for because you’ll still be dealing with an insurance company that is focused on limiting its financial liability.
When you board a bus, you’re entrusting your well-being to the driver and the bus company. That means that they have a duty of care toward you because you are paying them for a service.
Therefore, you’ve met the first element of negligence. Here’s a look at the four elements you must prove when demonstrating that another party was negligent leading up to your injuries.
- The other party had a duty of care toward you, which we’ve demonstrated the bus driver and the bus company owe to you. But other motorists on the road also have a duty of care toward other motorists, including bus drivers and their passengers.
- The other party breached its duty of care toward you. For example, the bus driver that failed to properly secure the disabled woman and her wheelchair demonstrates a situation where the person breached their duty of care. But the same is true if another motorist isn’t paying attention and rear-ends the bus causing an accident.
- The breached duty of care directly caused the victim’s injuries.
- The victim suffered damages as a result of their injuries, meaning you had medical bills, missed work or other financial damages due to your injuries.
Bus accidents are often extremely complicated and you might find yourself in a situation where various insurance companies keep pointing you to another party or insurance company. And all you want is someone to make things right by paying for your ensuing bills.
For a team of bus accident experts, schedule a free consultation with Stewart & Stewart. We’ll guide you through the process and protect your rights.