St. Petersburg Charter Bus Accident Lawyers
Florida has numerous charter bus companies for residents and tourists traveling the state. They are a common sight on our highways but can be dangerous for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, when charter buses are in accidents, injuries can be serious. If you or a loved one has been injured in a charter bus accident, you can recover the full cost of medical treatments. Call our St. Petersburg charter bus accident lawyers for a free case evaluation. We will thoroughly review your case and provide options for recovering damages through legal means.
Are Charter Bus Accidents Different Than Other Accidents?
The short answer is yes. Charter bus accidents are typically more severe than other vehicular accidents. The design of a charter bus is top-heavy, making it prone to rollovers. This, combined with the lack of passenger seatbelt usage, means most injuries are severe. Additionally, the weight from passengers and luggage can make the bus as heavy as a semi-truck. If a crash occurs, the bus is crushed under the weight as people and luggage are thrown about. The flying debris acts as projectiles, further injuring passengers.
What Should I Do if I Am in a Charter Bus Accident?
The first and most important step in an accident is to receive medical care. If you do not require immediate medical care, stay at the scene to collect proper documentation. It is important to collect as much information as possible to build a compelling case, if necessary. Follow the steps below after a charter bus accident:
Call the Police
If no one else has called the police, call them right away. Police reports are important and necessary documentation when filing a claim in court. Protect yourself and other passengers by ensuring a police report is complete and accurate.
Almost everyone has smartphones now, so be sure to photograph as much as possible at the scene. Take photographs of the charter bus, other vehicles, damage, road conditions, and inclement weather. You can use photographic evidence during settlement talks or court cases to establish fault.
Collect Personal Information
If there are witnesses to the crash, obtain their personal information and phone numbers. If time allows, have each give a short statement about the accident.
Pay Close Attention to the Driver
Often charter bus accidents are the bus driver’s fault. Observe the driver for signs of impairment. If you believe the driver to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, alert the police as soon as they arrive.
Seek Medical Treatment
If you did not require immediate medical help, visit your physician or urgent care clinic for a full evaluation afterward. Sometimes injuries such as whiplash or head trauma are not obvious. After the appointment, ask for copies of all medical records, including any x-rays and tests.
What Are Common Causes of Charter Bus Accidents in Florida?
Charter bus accidents typically occur because someone was negligent or reckless. It can be the bus driver, bus company, manufacturer, or other drivers. Establishing fault is a lengthy and complex process, so contact us as soon as possible to build your case. Common reasons for charter bus accidents in Florida include:
- Inadequate driver training
- Inclement weather conditions
- Drivers who have not passed background checks
- Poor bus maintenance
- Defective manufacturing or parts
- Overweight buses
There are several reasons a charter bus may crash, but you as an individual will not have access to all necessary documentation to establish fault. For example, our attorneys can contact the bus company to find out whether drivers received proper training and screening. Without a skilled law firm behind you, your case will not have the evidence necessary to fight for damages. When insurance companies become involved, the process will become more difficult. Insurance companies are looking to save money and employ high-powered law teams to defend personal injury cases.
What Types of Injuries Are Common in Charter Bus Accidents?
The size, weight, and lack of seatbelt usage on a charter bus mean an accident is typically serious or fatal. Unfortunately, charter bus injuries are often life-altering events. Common injuries and issues from charter bus accidents include:
- Head and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue damage
- Injuries from luggage or projectiles
- Internal bleeding
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Who Can Be at Fault in a Charter Bus Accident?
Determining fault is a process best left to professionals, such as Bulluck Law Group. With proper evaluation and review of the evidence, we can determine where the fault lies after a charter bus accident. When you first visit us for a consultation, bring all documentation collected for a thorough review. We will analyze the police report, witness statements, and medical records to help establish a case. It is often difficult to establish fault, especially when multiple vehicles are involved.
There are three common entities at fault in charter bus accidents:
Charter Bus Company
In almost all Florida cases, the court holds the charter bus company responsible for a crash. Buses and professional transportation must adhere to strict regulations and safety standards. Any poor maintenance, negligence, or improper training of bus drivers can indicate the company is at fault. Bus companies have a legal and moral obligation to maintain the safety of their vehicles and to properly screen and train employees.
The Charter Bus Driver
Although the company is typically liable for accidents, the driver may also be at fault. If the driver was acting in a negligent or reckless manner, he or she can be liable. The driver will also be held accountable if he or she was under the influence of a substance at the time of the accident.
Sometimes, the fault may lie with other drivers on the roadway. Drivers of other vehicles can be found to be completely or partially at fault after charter bus accidents. If the other driver was driving recklessly, was distracted, or performed the actions negligently, he or she may be at fault.
What Damages Can I Receive From a Charter Bus Accident?
If you are injured in a charter bus accident, you are entitled to recover all costs and expenses from the accident. Our firm often negotiates with insurance companies to recover substantial damages from injuries. We are experts in our field and understand evidence and techniques for holding insurance companies accountable for paying damages. At times, insurance companies may not have enough money to cover damages or may refuse to negotiate with us. If this happens, we will pursue the case in the local court system. Luckily, our team here at Bulluck Law Group is successful in settlements and trials. We often recover money for damages that include:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Prescriptions drugs
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Mental health treatment
- Lost wages
- Long-term lost wages due to disability
Depending on the circumstances around your accident, you may be eligible for compensation due to pain and suffering or punitive damages. Each case is different, and monetary awards will depend on the fault and severity of injuries.
The Bulluck Law Group Difference
Here at Bulluck Law Group, we are experts in accident and personal injury cases. If you or a loved one was injured in a charter bus accident, call us today for a free case consultation. We will be happy to review your case and assist with all your legal needs, free from obligation.