Buses provide a vital service to the people of Port St Lucie. Many commuters rely on them to transport them around the county and state every day. Since buses are bigger than many other vehicles and they carry large numbers of people at a time, they can be quite dangerous if they get involved in an accident. Many people who are injured in such a crash find themselves needing the services of a Port St Lucie bus accident lawyer.
Bus drivers and the operators of bus companies are responsible for the safety of their passengers. If a passenger is injured because of their negligence, they have to right to seek compensation. Usually, this is too complicated to pursue alone and victims need the assistance of a bus accident attorney in pursuing damages.
Common Types of Bus Accidents
Bus accidents can occur in several different ways and passengers, other motorists and pedestrians can suffer injuries. Sometimes, a bus may hit a car and cause injuries to the occupants of both vehicles. If the bus driver was responsible for the accident, victims can hold the driver and his employer responsible. However, if another driver’s negligence caused the bus to crash, the passengers can hold that driver liable.
Not all bus accidents involve more than one vehicle. Single vehicle accidents can occur if drivers are distracted or impaired by drugs and alcohol. Drivers may also run red lights or otherwise drive recklessly. In addition, poorly maintained buses and road conditions can also lead to accidents. No matter what is the reason for the crash, if the driver loses control of the bus, it may roll over onto its side or crash into a wall. Since passengers in a bus aren’t typically restrained in any way, they can suffer quite severe injuries on impact.
Sometimes injuries occur because of dangerous conditions inside the bus. For example, someone may fall on slippery steps or aisles when getting into or out of a bus. This may not seem as serious as a traffic accident but slips and falls can result in life-threatening injuries. If the interior of a bus was not properly maintained, and this led to your injury, you can hold the bus company responsible.
Buses may also hit pedestrians who are walking along the street, crossing at an intersection or getting off the bus. Children are more likely to be victims since they are small and drivers may not see them until it is too late. Accidents can also occur when bus drivers fail to yield at a crosswalk or before turning at an intersection.
Identifying the Defendant in a Bus Accident
Determining the cause of the crash is key to knowing who to hold liable for damages. In many car accident cases, determining fault is straight-forward. Bus accidents can be more complicated. As noted above, bus drivers are not the only parties who can be held liable. Bus accident lawyers often have to collect evidence and hire investigators to find out exactly what happened and who should be held accountable.
Some buses are operated by private companies. A claim for compensation would, therefore, name both the bus driver and the company which employs them. The company’s insurer will usually settle the claim if the driver was on duty. This process can be relatively simple.
Things get a bit more challenging when the bus is owned by the city or town. However, you can still pursue a government entity for compensation if you’ve been injured. You will need to get help from a bus accident attorney in identifying the correct defendant and taking the right steps to get what you deserve.
Common Damages Sought Following Bus Accidents
When buses get into accidents, they cause a range of injuries including:
- Head trauma
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
Depending on how serious the injuries are, victims can face huge medical bills, lots of time away from work and significant loss of income. Some may never even work again. Victims can, therefore, seek compensation for these losses as well as pain and suffering. In the unfortunate case where a victim dies, their families can also seek to recoup funeral expenses, loss of income and loss of consortium. Having one of the Port St Lucie bus accident attorneys at Gonzalez Levenson is key to getting the compensation you deserve.
How Port St Lucie, FL Bus Accident Attorneys Can Help
Bus drivers are required to drive in a responsible manner just like all other drivers. If they breach their duty to passengers and other road users, they can be held liable. If the owner of the bus is at fault, they too can be made to pay. Bus accident attorneys have the skills and knowledge to assist you every step of the way.
They will ensure your claim is filed within the statute of limitations or that an exception is made for your case if it meets the criteria. In Florida, you have four years from the date of the accident to take legal action except in specific cases. These include situations where:
- the injured person was mentally incapacitated when the accident occurred. A maximum of seven years is allowed to pass between the date of the accident and the filing of the lawsuit.
- the defendant left the state after the accident and before the lawsuit could be filed
- the defendant stayed in Florida but hid away themselves or changed their name or identity to prevent the summons from being filed.
Contact the Bus Accident Lawyers at Gonzalez Levenson Today.
Whether you were a passenger on the bus or the driver of a car, you have the right to seek compensation if you were hurt in a bus accident. Contact the attorneys at Gonzalez Levenson today for assistance with your case. We have years of experience with accident claims and we will investigate, negotiate, and litigate if necessary. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and begin the journey towards getting the compensation you deserve!