Buses are a convenient and accessible means of transportation for thousands of people throughout the state of Florida. However, accidents involving buses happen every day. Driver error, mechanical failure, and external hazards can all contribute to the likelihood of a collision.
If you or a loved one were injured in a bus accident and you are unsure of your legal options, a Miami personal injury lawyer can help. Our team understands that bus accidents come with a unique set of legal issues, which can sometimes involve communications with multiple parties.
We can provide legal help if you suffered injuries such as:
- A motorist
- A bicyclist or pedestrian
- A driver or passenger on a bus
You can reach the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine and receive a free case review whenever you are ready to begin.
Recovering Compensation Following a Miami Bus Accident
Bus accidents can cause many different types of injuries, including spinal cord trauma and broken bones. It is critical to follow through with medical attention after a bus accident, even if you feel unhurt. Some injuries may not immediately present symptoms, or your body’s response might mask certain conditions.
Seeking medical help as soon as possible is also essential from a legal standpoint. You will want to start connecting your injuries to the accident as soon as you can.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you could be entitled to the following:
- Medical bills
- Ambulance transportation costs
- Hospitalization expenses
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Assistive medical devices
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Partial or total disability
- Scar tissue
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of consortium
If you lost a loved one as a result of a bus accident, a Miami bus lawyer can help you recover expenses related to their medical bills, lost income, and funeral and burial expenses.
Recovering Compensation Through an Insurance Settlement
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) notes that bus companies must maintain a certain level of insurance that provides financial assistance in the event of a collision. Depending on the size of the vehicle and its seating capacity, buses can have anywhere from $1.5 million to $5 million in liability coverage.
However, if you were struck by a bus owned and operated by the government, these amounts may not necessarily apply to you. We would have to evaluate the many aspects of your case before we can advise you on your financial recovery options. Our team can work to get you compensated through an insurance settlement. If we cannot, then we can file a lawsuit and present your case in court.
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine are standing by to help you today.
Settlements versus Jury Awards
In many cases, accident victims like you will try to recover a pretrial settlement before taking the case to court. These settlements offer various benefits over courtroom trials, including:
- Speed: It usually takes less time to negotiate a settlement than to fight for a jury award.
- Amount of work involved: While we have to investigate your case regardless of how we pursue damages, having to prepare a court case on top of that adds a considerable amount of work.
- Expense: Seeking a settlement typically involves fewer filing fees, travel expenses, and other legal costs.
If it is at all possible, a bus accident lawyer from our office can meet and negotiate with the insurance company’s representatives. However, we are not afraid of the courtroom. We can go over all of your options before you make a decision.
Whose Insurance Pays for a Bus Accident?
Whose insurance you turn to after a bus accident injury depends on your role in the accident and what types of insurance you carry.
For example, say the bus hit your car, for which you have purchased personal injury protection (PIP) but not property damage insurance. In this case, you could get compensation for medical bills from your own policy but would need to sue for property damage. If you were a bus passenger, the situation will be very different.
As soon as possible after an accident, you will want to call your insurance agent to review your policy. You can also hire a lawyer to review it with you.
How do I Talk to an Insurance Adjuster?
An insurance adjuster is an insurance company employee responsible for assessing claims. The key point to remember is that they work for the insurer, not for you, so they may prioritize the insurer’s needs (to save money) over yours (to get a fair recovery).
The safest way to talk to an insurance adjuster is through a lawyer or with a lawyer present. We can safeguard your rights by:
- Fielding all calls and emails from the adjuster, and letting you know if and when they have made a settlement offer
- Telling you if any settlement offers fairly reflect your injuries or if it would be better to hold out for more money
- Advising you of your rights and obligations—for example, while you have to cooperate with the adjuster’s investigation, you do not have to provide a recorded statement just because they ask for one
- Ensuring you never have to speak with the adjuster alone, which could give them the opportunity to elicit harmful statements from you (e.g., an admission of guilt)
If your or the other party’s insurance company tries to talk with you before you have a chance to speak to a lawyer, tell them that you are in the process of acquiring counsel and that your lawyer will be in touch with them soon.
Proving Negligence in a Miami Bus Accident
To recover compensation, your legal team will need to prove that another party’s negligence resulted in your injuries.
When people are hurt in a bus accident, there could be multiple parties responsible for the collision, including:
- The bus driver
- Another motorist
- The bus company
- A government agency
- Bus and part manufacturers
- Maintenance contractors
An accident could be caused by a driver who exceeds the speed limit, falls asleep at the wheel, or does not exercise their duty of care. Your lawyer can review the evidence present in your case to conclude why your accident happened. From there, they can determine who can be held financially responsible for your damages.
If you or a loved one were hurt in a bus accident, the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help with a free consultation.
How a Miami Bus Lawyer Can Help You
Sustaining serious injuries after being in a bus accident can put a halt to your life as you know it. Right now, you might be struggling with medical bills or be unable to work. When you partner with our team, we do not want you to worry about the financial recovery process. We can step in and handle your legal matters so that you can focus on your health.
We can build a case by:
- Providing an investigation into the cause of the accident
- Requesting and gathering evidence to prove negligence
- Identifying the liable party (or parties)
- Proving negligence
- Estimating the value of your damages
- Negotiating for a settlement with the liable insurance company
- Representing you in court, if a fair settlement cannot be reached
- Giving you your lawyer’s number so you can contact us at any time
It is important to be aware of the state’s statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit.
For injuries sustained in a bus accident, you typically have four years from the date of the collision to initiate action, per Florida Statutes § 95.11. You have two years from the date of your loved one’s passing if you wish to file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, this period may vary based on whether or not the bus was operated by the government.
If Florida’s personal injury statute of limitations expires, you will likely be unable to claim compensation or hold the at-fault party responsible for their actions. To find out more about the laws that could affect your case, call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today.
Start Pursuing Financial Recovery Now
If you need help gathering evidence, proving negligence, or seeking a fair settlement for your bus accident injuries, the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine is ready to help. You do not––and should not––have to face the legal process alone.
Our injury lawyers assist people in Florida who have been hurt in accidents due to negligence. We can get started discussing your legal options at no cost to you today. We can also discuss how we offer our legal services on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you do not have to pay our attorney’s fees unless your case is successful.
To learn more about your legal options following a bus accident in Miami, call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today.
We Can Help.