Any accident that takes place at a bus stop or otherwise involves a bus can be an extremely stressful and frightening experience as it’s unfolding, but even after the dust settles accident victims will likely have a lot of questions left to answer. This includes everything from medical treatments to car repairs and time away from work, and the solution to most of these leads to the filing of a personal injury claim. Ironically enough, however, that brings up yet another question–who exactly should I sue for my bus-related accident?
Determining the party who is liable for your damages can be tricky, especially in the case of a bus accident. Luckily, you don’t have to answer this alone, as the trusted team from Van Law Firm is always available to help in your time of need. Our bus stop accident attorneys can defend your rights and recover the compensation you deserve; simply call our office nearest you to learn more about what VLF can do for you.
Determining the Party at Fault
Unlike most other motor vehicle accidents, determining fault for a bus-related accident can be tricky because there are more parties involved. Even professionals can get confused in these cases, as a bus may very well be owned, maintained, and operated by separate parties. Liability can be singular or split between parties, and this depends on the circumstances. Some of the parties who may be found liable include:
- The owner of the bus: There are numerous companies or entities who might own a particular bus, such as a city, a school district, or a private charter or touring company. All bus owners are expected to make an effort to hire trustworthy drivers, train them properly, and ensure that buses are being kept in good working condition. When they fail to uphold these responsibilities and a crash ensues, the owner could be found liable.
- The bus driver: In most cases, the driver of a bus is the first person we point to in terms of fault. This may not always be true, but drivers are likely to be held accountable for any accident caused by distractions, traffic violations, or driving under the influence.
- Bus manufacturers: If an accident occurs due to a defect in the bus’s design or a faulty component in the manufacturing process, the manufacturer or designer can be held liable.
- Mechanics or maintenance crews: A large part of bus ownership involves frequent maintenance and inspection. Any vehicle that has been approved for public use is expected to be mechanically sound, so a neglected or poorly maintained bus can sometimes be attributed to the mechanic or third-party maintenance company responsible for working on the bus in question.
- Government agencies: In very rare instances, a road hazard such as severe potholes or cracks may cause a bus accident, in which case you would need to file suit against either the city, county, or state (whichever agency is responsible for the road in question). This is a very difficult task as suing government agencies is much more difficult and complicated than a standard suit. However, it is certainly possible, especially if the hazard was exceptionally negligent.
- Other drivers on the road: Sometimes, a bus accident can be the end of a chain reaction rather than the beginning of one. If a seperate driver did something wrong that then led to a crash, the fault can be traced back to the original source.
After the Accident, How Much Time Do I Have to File Suit?
Bus accidents are no different from any other personal injury claim in the sense that you only have a certain amount of time after the accident occurs to file suit–this is known as a statute of limitations, and they are widely different across states. For the most part, statutes of limitations are either two or three years, although some circumstances can extend that timeline. Every good attorney should be extremely familiar with the statute of limitations for their jurisdiction, so be sure to discuss the topic with them as soon as possible.
Connect With Experienced Bus Accident Attorneys
If you’ve suffered injuries in a bus-related accident, you may only have one chance to recover the compensation that your damages warrant. Don’t waste your time with inexperienced or incompetent attorneys–simply call Van Law Firm and let our award-winning team take it from there. With over 500 5-star reviews so far, it’s plain to see that we work hard to maintain a standard of excellence. Call our office nearest you now to experience that standard for yourself.