Bus accidents can be devastating, and passengers can suffer serious injuries and even death. You may be facing medical expenses or other costs and unsure of your legal options for seeking compensation for these damages.
A bus accident lawyer in Port St. Lucie, FL can help. Bus accidents are typically more complicated than car accidents because there are more parties involved: the bus driver, bus owner, government entities, and third-party drivers.
Liable Parties in a Bus Accident
You may be familiar with the insurance claims process if you have ever been involved in a minor fender-bender. Bus accidents usually involve a more complex investigation and could involve multiple parties.
Bus drivers have to follow special regulations that most drivers do not know about. Other vehicles also have to abide by different laws when approaching a bus, such as the Florida law that requires drivers to stop when a school bus displays a stop signal.
Our personal injury attorneys can use their knowledge of these Florida laws to determine whether any of the following parties could be liable for your injuries:
- The bus driver
- The company that owns, rents, or operates the bus
- Government entities
- The bus manufacturer or a party responsible for maintaining the bus
- A third-party driver
Call our law firm at 1-800-747-3733 to discuss the details of your bus accident and determine your legal options.
How to Seek Compensation for Bus Accident Injuries
After your initial consultation, our attorneys will thoroughly investigate your case. Using police reports, photographs, witness statements, and other evidence, we will attempt to recreate the accident and figure out whether negligence played a role in the crash.
We will also review your injuries, medical reports, and other potential damages. You may be able to recover many different types of damages, including the following:
- Emergency transportation costs
- Doctor visits
- Physical therapy appointments
- Medical testing, such as x-rays
- Past and future lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Mental and emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium if you lost a loved one
We represent bus accident victims on a contingency-fee basis. You do not have to pay us any legal fees upfront, and we only get paid if you receive a settlement or a jury award.
We may have to file a lawsuit against multiple parties in these cases. Many times, we will be dealing with an insurance company who represents the bus driver or the company who operates the bus. We may also bring a claim against the government, which involve some special legal rules.
Litigation Involving Government Entities
Government entities are involved in many bus accident claims. They could own the bus if it is a public school bus or public transportation.
There is a legal rule known as sovereign immunity which protects the government from liability in some cases. Florida has a sovereign immunity law which provides that the government can be liable in certain tort actions, such as a bus accident case.
However, liability can be limited to a sum of $200,000 in these cases. If your damages exceed this amount, we may have to determine whether there are other liable parties responsible.
Our attorneys can help you navigate the procedural requirements for bringing a lawsuit against a government agency if it is necessary to seek compensation for your injuries.
Potential Causes of Bus Accident Injuries
Many complex regulations apply to bus safety, particularly for public buses. We also check that the appropriate parties followed the correct safety procedures.
Bus drivers operate on tight schedules in a high-pressure environment. They can become fatigued and make errors that lead to serious bus accidents.
School bus drivers need to follow even more procedures to ensure the safety of school children. If a school bus driver fails to activate the stop signal or follow other safety measures, then they may be responsible for a child’s injuries.
In addition, standard negligence laws can apply to some bus accident cases. If a third party driver cuts off a bus and causes an accident, they may be responsible for injuries to bus passengers.
Time Limits to Bring a Bus Accident Lawsuit
Florida’s statute of limitations for negligence claims is typically four years from the date of the incident. But there may be situations where this time limit is shorter.
Wrongful death cases have a two-year statute of limitations. Lawsuits against government entities may also have different time limits.
Advantages of Building a Case Sooner
If you do decide to seek compensation for your injuries, acting quickly has some advantages. Bus accidents may have many more witnesses than other car accidents because there are more passengers on a bus. It is easier to track these people down and get witness statements if you do so just after the accident.
You may also be able to obtain other evidence with less difficulty. If you make a claim against an insurance company, you are better off notifying them as soon as possible.
Waiting too long to bring your claim could hurt your case or bar your claims altogether. Once a doctor has treated your injuries, contact an attorney to make sure you do not miss your opportunity to pursue compensation.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
Shortly after your accident, consult with a personal injury attorney to discuss your case. Our attorneys offer a free case evaluation, so you have nothing to lose by learning more about your legal options.
At Anidjar & Levine, we help injured victims get back on their feet by seeking compensation. Call us at 1-800-747-3733 to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our Port St. Lucie bus accident attorneys.