Understanding What Happens Legally After Bus Accidents
Each year, they are roughly 5.5 million car accidents that occur in the United States. But not all of the accidents involving vehicles on American roads involve individually owned cars. At times, they also involve vehicles relied upon for public transportation. In cases like these, they can be, but are not always, even more devastating than accidents involving individually owned vehicles. Certainly, they have a greater potential to involve more victims. The question for many is what happens when these vehicles are involved in accidents in terms of personal injury claims, and how they work in terms of federal transportation laws.
Perhaps some of the most common types of accidents that occur involving multi-passenger vehicles are bus accidents. Below are some of the issues that victims should be aware of involving personal injury matters and bus accidents.
What Usually Happens During Bus Accidents?
Technically speaking, bus accidents can occur under a variety of different conditions. Usually, they are collisions, which means that the buses are colliding with guardrails, other vehicles, bridges, trees, or various debris. While it is possible for mechanical errors to occur within buses, or for roads to become unexpectedly unsafe, the fault can often be traced back to the bus drivers. Otherwise, the error can be attributed to the bus management company, those responsible for catching mechanical failures within the bus, or another driver on the road.
Bus accident injuries can understandably be quite severe, which is why federal transportation laws surrounding driving buses can be fairly strict. Occasionally, passengers can be injured even if the bus accident itself wasn't very severe, or didn't occur at all. Bus passengers can actually be injured in slip and fall accidents taking place within the bus. This could be due to slippery conditions caused by rain or melted snow, or perhaps drinks being spilled within the bus. These injuries are why bus service providers are supposed to clean buses regularly and ensure that their slick pathways are dry. Even these injuries can potentially be very serious.
Obviously, injuries sustained in collisions are even more likely to be severe. Passengers can be subjected to whiplash, bumps and bruises, cuts, sprains, and strains. But they can also be subjected to injuries that leave them permanently disabled, and unable to work for the long term. No matter what, bus accident victims should feel as if they have the right to pursue personal injury claims through their lawyers.
Who Are Personal Injury Claims Filed Against Following Bus Accidents?
Not only is it important to speak with a lawyer following a bus accident; it is important to speak to a lawyer that specializes in personal injury law and these types of accidents. These lawyers can help navigate federal transportation laws and determine who would be responsible for the accidents and the subsequent compensation.
Filing a lawsuit can be more complex when the lawsuit involves public buses, which are managed and operated by state and federal governments. Government bodies are typically protected from lawsuits through "sovereign immunity" laws. But these laws merely prevent governments and government departments, subdivisions, and affiliate agencies from being sued without their consent. A government-run transportation agency can therefore be sued, but the process is a bit complicated.
Due to federal transportation laws among other things, claimants normally need to expect a different process than what they would experience if they were filing claims against private entities or individuals. Additionally, claims must be filed before the statute of limitations expires. This is why it is crucial for individuals to hire experienced lawyers that know exactly what they're doing.
While a bus accident lawsuit can be intimidating, with the right lawyer and the right conditions bus accident victims can potentially receive settlements that they deserve. It's important for them to remember that many personal injury claims do not lead to trials. Rather, those claims are settled in the pre-trial stage. The compensation received through settlements can be substantial, but it is meant to cover medical bills, as well as work lost, emotional damages, and more. Bus accident victims should not feel as if they are taking advantage of a bad situation, but rather pursuing their rights and recognition of their trauma.