Buses are an essential mode of transport in the State of Florida and all over the United States. Both motorists and people without vehicles use them from time to time depending on their needs and over time, people’s preference for buses has only grown.
In 2019 for instance, the state of Florida recorded over 45,000 new bus registrations. However, with the increase in new registrations, there has been a corresponding increase in the number of bus accidents as well. According to the department of Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles 2018 annual report, bus accidents resulted in 60 incapacitating injuries and over 300 non-capacitating injuries.
While these figures may not be as high as those for other vehicle types, they have significantly increased from former years. This means that more people are being involved in bus accidents.
If you are a bus accident victim, contact our office today to speak with a New Port Richey Bus Accident Lawyer and let us offer you quality legal representation to ensure you are adequately compensated for the damages you have suffered.
Bus Accident Types
There are several types of bus accidents that are categorized according to their nature. They include;
- School bus accidents
- Private bus accidents
- Shuttle bus accidents
- Commercial bus accidents
- Cargo/freight bus accidents
Bus accidents can also be classified according to the parties involved whether a bus collides with another bus, with a car, a motorcycle, or knocks on a pedestrian.
Common Bus Accident Injuries
- Cuts and bruises
- Broken and disjointed bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Injuries to the head and skull
- Wrongful death
Liability in Bus Accident Lawsuits
Liability in bus accidents within Florida and all over the country is normally hinged on the following factors;
This refers to instances where an accident occurs due to the reckless and irresponsible actions of an involved party without which the accident would have otherwise been prevented. Negligence in a bus accident can be attributed to the driver, the owner, or a third party. For a victim to be compensated, they have to prove that the driver’s, owner’s, or third party’s negligence directly contributed to the accident.
b) Product Liability
While most bus accidents occur due to the direct consequence of an instantaneous action by a party, some occur due to a hitherto undetected problem. In some cases, bus accidents occur as a result of mechanical malfunction caused by defective vehicle components.
In such a case, the responsibility for the bus crash lies in the hands of the manufacturer who used the defective component in the assembly of the vehicle. The component could be a tire, the braking system, or the accelerator.
However, for a product liability lawsuit to be successful, the defect has to be the direct cause of the accident. Also, the driver should have been driving appropriately and there should have been no prior knowledge of the defect.
c) Wrongful death
Besides a regular personal injury bus accident lawsuit, people who have lost loved ones due to a bus accident can also file for wrongful death. This is done to at the least provide financial compensation to cover the financial implications of the loss and the accompanying expenses. Like in all other personal injury cases, there has to be adequate proof of liability for the suit to be successful.
Florida state government liability limitations
The owner of a bus may be an individual, a company, or the government. However, many public transportation buses are owned by the government. As such, Sovereign immunity is a critical determinant of whether one gets compensated for their damages or not.
This is because governments are insulated from liability by Sovereign immunity. In Florida, the government can fulfill claims of up to $200,000. Beyond this figure, there is no waiver, and as such, the government cannot be blamed for sole liability.
What Causes Bus Accidents in New Port Richey?
Like all other accidents that lead to personal injury, bus accidents have well-documented causes. Bus accidents can be a direct result of the driver’s negligence, another motorist’s negligence, the owner’s, or that of the bus manufacturer.
Some of the most common causes of bus accidents directly attributed to the driver include;
- Distracted driving; This may occur due to the driver having their attention elsewhere including being on the phone, in a conversation, or distracted on something else hence leading to an accident.
- Speeding and reckless driving; This involves a blatant disregard of traffic rules and regulations including exceeding speed limits, ignoring stop signs and traffic lights, and unsafe overtaking and overlapping.
- Fatigue; Whether due to driving for long hours or not getting adequate sleep, physical fatigue greatly undermines a driver’s ability to pay full attention while driving which easily leads to an accident.
- Drunk driving; Alcohol compromises the judgment and situational awareness of a driver. This makes them more reckless and prone to violating traffic safety measures which easily results in bus accidents.
- Inexperienced driving; While all states require that all motorists have a Driver’s license to prove they have undergone the requisite training to drive, some drivers drive without having adequate training. Such unskilled drivers risk causing accidents.
In some cases, a bus accident is not the driver’s fault but the manufacturer’s. This is when they use a defective component during the manufacturing of the vehicle and the defectiveness causes a technical malfunction which results in an accident. This is what is known as product liability.
Bus accidents can also occur due to the negligence of the individual or entity charged with the maintenance and repair of the vehicle, local authorities where there are unsafe roads and traffic conditions, or a negligent third party.
What Compensation Can Be Recovered in a New Port Richey Bus Accident?
In accordance with the laws of the State of Florida, bus accident victims with merited and verifiable claims are entitled to just and fair compensation for damages endured. This compensation caters to both monetary and non-monetary damages.
The monetary damages for which compensation can be recovered include;
Expenditure On Treatment and Medication
This provision is applicable for both past and future medical expenses. New Port Richey bus accident victims are entitled to be compensated for the medical bills they incur during the course of their treatment for injuries sustained from a bus accident.
The medical expenditure varies depending on the severity of the injuries, their nature, parts of the body affected, and the specific medical experts required to treat those injuries. Therefore, medical damages cater for any medical consultations, drugs, surgery, and intensive care necessitated by the bus accident injuries.
Loss Of Current Income
In cases where accident injuries are not fatal, they can have adverse financial implications on the accident victim. This is because a lot of time is spent on being treated for injuries sustained forcing accident victims to work for way fewer hours than before.
This compromises bus accident victims’ ability to sustain themselves financially. As such, New Port Richey bus accident attorneys help accident victims recover compensation for the remuneration lost because of taking time off from work for appointments with the doctor, surgery, and compulsory bed rests.
Diminished Future Earning Capacity
Our bus accident attorneys understand that some injuries sustained from bus accidents may cause permanent damage or take too long to heal. During that future period, the victim may be incapacitated to work as much as they normally would or even not be able to work at all.
As such, our personal injury attorneys seek monetary compensation for the period for which the injuries may take to heal while still significantly diminishing the victim’s earning capacity. This way, the victim gets to maintain their dignity and avoid suffering by having their financial needs catered to by the liable parties.
New Port Richey bus accident victims can also recover compensation for the following non-monetary damages;
Physical Pain and Suffering
It goes without saying that bus accidents lead to immense physical pain and suffering for the victims involved. The pain and discomfort endured varying according to the nature of the accident and the severity of the injuries sustained.
Whether they are lacerations, broken bones, burns, or others, bus accident injuries cause victims a lot of pain they would otherwise not have to endure. Therefore, our skilled bus accident attorneys ensure that our clients are adequately compensated for that suffering.
Mental and Emotional Distress
While it is the physical injuries caused by bus accidents that may be more visible, accident victims endure a lot of emotional anguish and distress. This is because like other life-threatening incidents, a bus accident is a very traumatizing experience that leaves the victim in shock and scared for their lives.
Depending on how intense the scare is, victims may suffer lasting emotional damage that may manifest itself as paranoia and phobia as well as traumatic flashbacks. This is a major consideration during the awarding of damages and our New Port Richey bus accident lawyers can get you the compensation you deserve for emotional pain and suffering.
School Bus Safety Standards
Bus drivers have a duty of care for all their passengers. However, this duty of care is much more critical when it comes to school-going children. Because of their small age and relative vulnerability, it is the responsibility of bus drivers to ensure that they are safe at all times whether just before they climb into the bus, while in the bus, and when getting out of the bus.
To assure their safety, bus drivers are expected to ensure they have their seat belts on when on the bus. The bus driver is also required to drive with utmost caution so that no accident occurs and puts the lives of the children passengers in danger.
Therefore, bus drivers are expected to adhere to traffic regulations by obeying stop signs and traffic lights, not exceeding speed limits, and driving carefully. They are also required to ensure children board and alight the bus at safe, designated areas so that children do not get knocked over by other motorists.
Do I Need Legal Representation With a New Port Richey Bus Accident Lawyer?
This is a question many bus accident victims ask themselves. A bus accident should be easy to prove because it is messy and its consequences visible, right? While the first part is definitely true, proving that you are the victim of a bus accident caused by someone else’s negligence and demonstrating that you should indeed be compensated for damages isn’t always easy.
Florida State laws require that there be sufficient, compelling evidence to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that you deserve to be compensated. Insurance companies are also difficult to deal with as they do all that’s within their power to avoid compensating bus accident victims fairly.
Therefore, bus accident victims are highly advised to enlist the legal services of highly qualified personal injury lawyers. This way, they can get professional help navigating the complexities of bus accident lawsuits and stand a higher chance of being compensated by the liable parties.
How Does A New Port Richey Bus Accident Attorney Ensure I’m Compensated?
The goal at our law firm is to ensure that all our clients are awarded fair compensation for the damages they incur as a result of accidents due to negligence. Therefore, we have a systematic, clear-cut strategy to ensure we win favorable settlements in all our personal injury cases.
As your bus accident attorney, we offer the following;
Free Consultation and Evaluation of Your Case
Our New Port Richey Personal Injury Lawyers offer a free consultation to all our clients. This means that you do not pay us anything upfront. This makes it easier to begin working on your bus accident lawsuit straight away. At this stage, you share the specific details surrounding the bus accident with the qualified personal injury attorney attending to you.
We ascertain the validity of your claim and then assess the nature and unique circumstances surrounding the accident. A thorough evaluation is then made based on the facts after which we recommend the best legal course of action to take.
Collection Of Critical Evidence
Florida laws governing proof of liability in personal injury cases are very stringent. As such, it is absolutely important to provide irrefutable evidence to demonstrate the liability of any accused parties.
Once you hire us as your bus accident lawyers, we move with speed to build a strong and compelling lawsuit. We visit the site of the accident and take photos and videos to be used as evidence. We also photograph all visible injuries you may have sustained.
Once that’s done, we speak with witnesses, record their statements, and capture their contact information. We also go through medical and police reports as well as enlist the services of other accident experts where necessary. We do all this in a bid to build an indisputable, foolproof case to ensure you get the best possible compensation.
Demand and Negotiation for Fair Compensation
Once we have all the facts of the accident with accurate, irrefutable evidence to back your lawsuit claim, we engage the liable parties and their insurance companies and demand your compensation.
We ensure that the proposed settlement amount is sufficient compensation for all the monetary and non-monetary damages you have endured. Our bus accident attorneys have extensive experience in engaging with insurance companies and hence they employ their sharp negotiation skills to guarantee you the best outcome.
Litigation in a New Port Richey Bus Accident Case
In the unfortunate event that the defense wants to avoid compensating you justly for your damages and hence refuses to agree to a fair settlement amount, the matter is taken to court. Our lawyers will put up a solid and compelling argument on your behalf to ensure that the court rules in your favor and awards you the compensation you deserve.
Most insurance companies invest heavily in formidable legal defense teams and that’s why our bus accident lawyers will pull all stops to ensure you have a powerful argument to prove liability that warrants compensation.
Schedule a consultation with our New Port Richey Bus Accident Lawyer today.
Are you a bus accident victim in New Port Richey asking yourself “is there any bus accident attorney near me?”
Well, look no more.
Our law firm is best suited to offer you legal representation in filing for your bus accident compensation claim.
We have a team of highly qualified lawyers who have a stellar record of winning bus accident victims favorable settlements. Our personal injury attorneys ensure that you are treated fairly and that any settlements are negotiated with the sole purpose of achieving your welfare.
Our attorneys are also very conversant with Florida traffic laws. This puts them in the best position to be trusted with filing the bus accident lawsuit on your behalf. With their competence and experience, you are assured of getting the most favorable compensation and quality legal representation. Therefore, contact us today and let us represent you in your bus accident lawsuit.