Determining who is liable for your damages after a Fort Lauderdale bus accident, and how to go about recovering these damages, is a much more complex process than in a typical car accident. Florida has a no-fault auto insurance system in place, so you may only be able to recover compensation from your own personal injury protection (PIP) policy. If you suffered serious injuries, however, a bus accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, FL, can help you pursue additional compensation.
The bus accident attorneys from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine offer free case evaluations for crash victims. We can help you understand your options for filing a liability claim if you suffered serious injuries. We can pursue a case against an individual driver, a private company, or a government agency. Call us today at 1-800-747-3733 for your complimentary consultation with a member of our team.
Recoverable Damages After a Fort Lauderdale Bus Accident
Depending on the details of your case, there may be a range of damages available to you.
Damages From Your PIP Coverage
The first place you turn after any Florida motor vehicle accident is always your own no-fault insurance policy. If you acted negligently and caused the bus to collide with your car, this policy may offer the only damages you can recover. If you suffered only minor or moderate injuries, you might not be able to recover any additional compensation.
Your PIP coverage should pay for:
- A limited amount of medical coverage for non-emergency medical care;
- Up to the policy limits for emergency medical care; and
- A portion of your lost wages related to the accident.
Damages From a Third-Party Liability Insurance Claim or Lawsuit
If you meet Florida’s serious injury threshold or another exception to the no-fault laws, you may be eligible to pursue damages through a third-party liability claim or personal injury lawsuit against the party who is liable for the crash.
The damages available from these actions include:
- Any outstanding medical bills;
- Future or ongoing care costs;
- Lost wages and future lost income;
- Future lost benefits if you cannot return to work;
- Property damage, including repair or replacement of your vehicle;
- Miscellaneous out-of-pocket costs; and
- Pain and suffering
Exploring Liability in a Fort Lauderdale Bus Accident Case
Because a bus accident can encompass a wide variety of different scenarios, there is no single way to handle this type of case. Different laws apply depending on who caused the accident, who owned and operated the bus, and a number of other factors.
If Another Motorist Caused the Accident
No matter if you were on the bus or driving your own vehicle, you can hold another motorist responsible if they caused a bus accident and you suffered serious injuries. We can help you file a third-party liability insurance claim based on their auto insurance policy or file a personal injury lawsuit against them.
If a Bus Driver Working for a Private Company Caused the Accident
If a bus driver working for a private tour company or other private entity caused your accident and serious injuries, the legal doctrine of vicarious liability goes into effect. This doctrine allows us to hold the driver’s employer liable for their negligent acts and the damages you suffered. We can file a third-party liability claim based on the company’s liability policy or file a lawsuit against the company.
If a Bus Driver Working for a Public Transportation System or Public School System Caused the Accident
When the bus driver who caused the accident works for a government agency—such as Broward County Transit or a local school system—sovereign immunity applies to your case. State sovereign immunity laws protect government agencies from facing lawsuits in many cases and limit the amount of compensation available after this type of crash. The law limits the payout after a bus crash to:
- $200,000 per person; or
- $300,000 per accident.
Proving Negligence and Liability in a Fort Lauderdale Bus Accident
There are a number of common reasons why bus accidents occur. We need to investigate your accident to understand what happened, who acted negligently, and who is liable. We enlist the help of accident reconstruction specialists and other experts, as well as utilize our own knowledgeable team, to get to the bottom of what caused your crash.
Some of the most common reasons we see bus drivers cause accidents include:
- Speeding, often to keep on schedule;
- Distracted driving;
- Careless acts, such as running red lights;
- Driving carelessly in rain or other inclement weather;
- Drowsy driving;
- Misjudging turns on roads not designed for buses; and
- Mechanical failure because of poor maintenance.
Once we understand how negligence caused your accident, we can file an insurance claim with the liable party. Often, we can negotiate a fair settlement amount with the insurance company or bus company’s legal team without needing to litigate the case.
While we prefer to act quickly because it helps us build a stronger case on your behalf, Florida law gives us four years to file a lawsuit against a private motorist or bus company in a bus accident case. The process is different, however, when the liable party is a government agency. The deadline to take action is much shorter, so it is important to contact us as soon as possible for help with this type of claim.
Discuss Your Case with a Bus Accident Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale.
If you suffered serious injuries in a Fort Lauderdale bus accident, the attorneys from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you understand your legal options for compensation. We offer free case reviews and can handle your case on a contingency basis. That means you only pay us after we collect compensation on your behalf. Call us today at 1-800-747-3733 for your free evaluation and consultation.