When Do You Need a Bus Accident Lawyer?
If you or someone close to you was injured due to a negligent bus driver, you may be entitled to compensation. However, if you are unsure whether you have grounds for filing a lawsuit against the negligent party, then you should consult with a lawyer specializing in personal injury law. A qualified bus accident attorney can help you determine if you have a case and how much money you could potentially recover.
Common Causes of Bus Accidents in Florida
There are many reasons why people get involved in bus accidents. Some of these include:
- Driver error
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Mechanical failure
- Bad weather
- Distraction by passengers
These are just some of the common causes of bus accidents in Florida. If you have sustained injuries from government-owned buses or a school bus, contact the experienced Florida bus accident lawyers at Denmon Pearlman for a free consultation.
What to do After a Bus Accident
If you were involved in a bus accident, there are many things you should consider doing after the incident:
The most important thing you can do after a school bus accident is to stay calm. This will help you avoid making decisions affecting your bus accident case. It is also essential to take care of yourself physically.
- Make sure everyone is okay.
- Call 911 or another emergency number if anyone has suffered injuries. Do not leave the scene before the police get there. Seek medical treatment if needed.
- Contact your insurance company to seek legal advice and file a claim.
- Check with your local police department about any requirements they may have regarding filing an accident report.
What is My Bus Accident Claim Worth?
You may be entitled to compensation if you have been involved in a school bus accident. Compensation may include lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and more. You must speak with a Florida bus accident lawyer to understand how much money you could receive.
A personal injury lawyer works with you to ensure that you are fully compensated for any losses you suffer. They will also advise you on what steps you should take next. For example, if you were injured at work, they might recommend that you file a workers’ compensation claim.
Every bus accident injury claim is unique. Most injured parties can receive compensation for all the out-of-pocket expenses related to their injuries, such as medical expenses and property damage. However, several other factors can influence your total claim value.
Some of those factors include:
- The severity of the injury
- How much the injury has impacted your quality of life
- Non-economic damages such as mental anguish from bus accidents
If you are found to be the at-fault party for a bus accident, you could be awarded less compensation by Florida’s comparative fault law.
How Should I Deal With a Florida Insurance Company?
Florida law entitles you to receive a settlement after school bus accidents. However, insurance companies will seek to maximize their profit.
Insurance companies will:
- Deny just claims
- Lowball settlement offers
- Hire private investigators
- Write a check to you for one claim and then trick you into releasing all accident claims
At Denmon Pearlman, our personal injury attorney team deals with insurance companies all day long. Our team will keep the insurance company honest so we can help you get a fair settlement.
Statute of Limitations for Florida Bus Accidents
In the state of Florida, you must file a personal injury claim within the statute of limitations period. The statute of limitations for personal injuries is usually four years, but this is not the case if someone is injured on a bus or one owned by a municipality (such as school buses). In this case, you must file a Notice of Claim within three years of the date of the accident, and then you must wait at least 180 days before filing your personal injury lawsuit. If you wait too long to file a lawsuit after the date of the accident, your case may be dismissed, or you may have to prove negligence by the defendant.
If a driver violates traffic laws by speeding, running red lights, etc., we call that negligence. If a driver is negligent and causes an accident, they’re responsible for any damages caused by their actions.
Sometimes there are multiple causes of a school bus accident. And sometimes, you might be partially at fault, but the majority of the blame for the crash might fall on bus drivers as the state of Florida is a comparative fault jurisdiction.
If you’re involved in an accident, you’ll still have a claim, and any settlement amount will be decreased by the percentage of fault you had in the accident.
Florida Bus Accident Statistics
According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles crash report, of the 341,400 automobile crashes reported in Florida for 2020, 4,722 involve buses.
Among those who drove buses, there were:
- No fatal bus accidents.
- Seven incapacitating crashes (with catastrophic injuries).
- 43 non-incapacitating injuries.
- 137 possible injuries.
Passengers in the same bus crash suffered no fatalities, 19 disabling injuries, 154 non-disabling injuries, and 701 minor injuries. These statistics show the risks that can occur if drivers don’t follow traffic laws or drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Contact a Florida Bus Accident Lawyer with Denmon Pearlman
Our experienced attorneys at Denmon Pearlman believe all types of bus accidents are unique and will fight to get you the settlement you deserve. Every person and every claim is unique, and we’ll get you taken care of on a contingency fee basis! Contact our Florida bus accident attorneys today for a free case evaluation.
How do I pursue a claim after a bus accident?
Florida is a no-fault state, so injured bus passengers must first file an injury claim with their own insurance company. Suppose the cost of damages exceeds the insurance coverage. In that case, they may be able to sue the bus driver, the bus company, or the government municipality (in the case of a public transportation accident) for compensation.
It’s harder to file a claim against a government agency in Florida because the claim window is usually shorter than a regular injury claim against a private insurance company. Those who suffer minor injuries should pursue their claims through the courts, but if they suffer serious injuries resulting in significant general damages for lost wages and pain-suffering, they should pursue a lawsuit.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a bus accident in Florida?
If you are injured by a public bus or a bus owned by the government or municipality, you have three years to file a Notice of Claim. After that, you must wait 180 days to file a personal injury claim.
How much can I claim for an injury on a bus?
Every bus accident case is different, and there are different expectations for the outcome of each case. If an injury affects it even just a little bit, it can affect your compensation. That’s how we calculate the value. It’s all about getting a full picture of our clients in every way that their accidents and bus accident injuries have affected them.
Are bus drivers liable for accidents?
Being common carriers, buses and bus drivers owe a duty of care to their passengers and other drivers. After an accident, filing a lawsuit can be quite complicated because there could be several responsible parties that may be liable for the damages. If a third party hit the bus, a personal injury lawyer can help determine negligence and file a suit against the negligent driver or the driver‘s insurance company. If the bus driver’s negligence caused the accident, then the process becomes more complicated.
If the government or municipality owned the bus, then your Florida bus accident attorney might first try to negotiate with the insurance company in an attempt to obtain a reasonable settlement.
An experienced lawyer can help bus accident victims file a lawsuit against an insurance company and deal with a third party or government agency. Your bus accident lawyers will have access to medical professionals, auto safety experts, and specialists who can help recreate accident scenes to get you fair compensation.
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We have your back. Whatever you might be suffering from, accidents, injuries or medical malpractice, we have you covered throughout Florida
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