Tampa Bus Accident Attorneys
Many people rely on buses to travel to and from work and school. Like any vehicle, there’s always the possibility a crash will occur. Passengers who get hurt should know their rights and legal recourse options. However, there are various rules for dealing with different kinds of bus crashes. Filing a claim against a privately owned and operated business is much different than filing a lawsuit against a government entity. The right bus wreck attorneys can improve a case’s outcome.
Possible Damages in Bus Crashes
Buses can inflict serious damage and injuries because they are much bigger than standard passenger vehicles. But bus drivers aren’t usually speeding down a highway. They spend most of their time going slower on city streets and in residential areas. Even though buses have a lower risk of crashing, they still don’t have the safety features that cars typically do.
Like any other wreck, a bus crash can result in severe injuries such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal injuries. Accidents involving buses can also cause serious property damage. Someone who suffers injuries or other damages in a Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority (TBARTA) bus crash, school bus accident, tour bus wreck, or long-distance bus service crash must know how to deal with these situations. The bus accident attorneys at Bulluck Law Group can help, so keep our firm in mind if you ever need a Tampa HART and school bus accident lawyer.
Bus Accident Common Causes
Bus wrecks happen for many reasons. Since most public transportation buses travel in busy cities, aggressive drivers and traffic congestion are significant concerns. Driver inattention, driving under the influence (DUI), and road construction can also contribute to crashes. School buses operate in residential and suburban areas as well as cities, so they’re vulnerable to those circumstances, as well as potentially dangerous country roads. Major bus crashes have occurred after drivers fell asleep, fainted, or experienced seizures behind the wheel. Victims may have different options for obtaining compensation for damages depending on how a wreck happened.
Determining Liability in a Tampa Bus Crash
When a bus wreck causes injuries to passengers, other drivers, or pedestrians, the victims must figure out who is to blame for the crash. If you are involved in a situation like this, get as much evidence as you can to support your case.
Take pictures of the crash scene, get eyewitness contact information, and find out who’s responsible for the bus. If a Florida citizen takes a long-distance bus trip outside of the state, and a wreck happens, the victim must adhere to the law in the state where the crash occurred.
Am I Able to Sue TBARTA?
If the bus is owned by a private company like Greyhound, the victim has to file a lawsuit against the business. If the crash involves a publicly-operated bus company like TBARTA, the situation is different.
Filing a claim against a government agency is much harder than filing a lawsuit against a private business. Many public entities have sovereign immunity from civil liability claims, which may also play a role in accident cases that involve school buses.
An injured party can usually only sue a government entity if that entity accepts the lawsuit. Not many circumstances would lead to this, but most communities buy insurance for these types of situations. If there is no insurance, the injured party can file a lawsuit against their Uninsured Motorist insurance policy to recoup damages.
Laws Regarding Common Carriers
Common carriers are companies that provide transportation and shipping as paid public services. They tend to carry a higher duty of care than other motorists. Bus companies, taxi services, airlines, and seafaring services are a few types of businesses that may be considered common carriers. When a paying customer is hurt by a common carrier, the victim can generally file a Personal Injury claim against the company.
Common carriers are regulated by the federal government in several ways. They have to notify customers of any possible safety hazards. They are usually liable for property damages and injuries to customers. However, in some situations, such as freak accidents and natural disasters, common carriers are exempt. That’s because these kinds of circumstances are unpredictable. As long as the common carrier can prove reasonable measures were taken to ensure passenger safety, they can escape passenger damage liability.
How Can a Lawyer Be of Service?
Bus crash attorneys in Tampa are valuable assets for people who have suffered injuries or losses from a bus wreck, whether it was a publicly-operated or privately-owned common carrier. When legal action isn’t an option, injured parties can file claims against their insurance policies. However, this is a complex process, and claimants often get pushback for such claims. A lawyer can help a victim examine their insurance policy to figure out which damages are covered. A lawyer can also talk with an insurer to facilitate a more agreeable settlement for their client.
If an injured passenger files a claim against a publicly-operated common carrier for a bus crash, there are likely more people who suffered similar injuries in the same wreck. Bus accident attorneys in Tampa can assist these injured parties in forming class-action claims or investigating other legal options.
How to Prove Negligence
The most common way for a bus crash to result in personal injury claims is if the bus company is privately owned and the wreck stemmed from clear negligence. Plaintiffs in bus crash cases against privately-owned companies have to prove four factors of negligence to win their lawsuits:
- The plaintiff must show the court the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care in the situation. In bus crash claims, this means establishing the plaintiff was a passenger in the defendant’s vehicle during the wreck.
- Next, the plaintiff has to prove the defendant failed to uphold their duty of care. For instance, the bus company’s breach of duty could be the failure to properly train a new driver who caused a wreck or the failure to take care of a known safety issue on the bus.
- The plaintiff may only sue if they suffered injuries or losses as a result of the defendant’s breach of duty. Even if it’s clear the defendant was negligent, there’s no claim if the plaintiff suffered no harm.
- The plaintiff has to prove the link between the plaintiff’s damages and the defendant’s negligence. The plaintiff has to prove causation, which means the damages would not have happened if the defendant wasn’t negligent.
The right Tampa Bus Accident Lawyers can make a huge difference in the outcome of a bus accident case, no matter if the defendant is a publicly operated entity, a private carrier, a product manufacturer, or a negligent third party. Contact our team today to schedule a FREE consultation with one of our Attorneys. Once we examine the details of your case and determine liability, we can advise you of your best options for recovery.