Thousands of accidents occur each year involving buses. Given the large size of the vehicle, these accidents generally produce more severe injuries as well. Anything from whiplash and soft tissue injuries, to head injuries and broken bones are prevalent. Though seemingly similar to traditional automobile accidents, bus accidents claims are handled very differently because most busses are owned by state or local government entities. We will outline everything you need to know if you plan on filing a personal injury claim after being involved in a bus accident.
Types of Bus Accidents
When a bus is involved in an accident, it can occur with another vehicle, a pedestrian, or neither. Pedestrians account for the highest number of bus related fatalities, but collisions with other vehicles are very common. The severity of injuries fluctuates depending on the size of the other vehicle, amongst other factors. Bus accidents can also occur due to road obstructions and weather conditions. The liability in each of these situations depends on the specifics of each accident.
Common Carrier Law
Public transportation companies in some states may be subject to “common carrier” law. In compliance with this law, the degree of care that is owed to the passenger is higher compared to the average person. Even though the common carrier law may apply, the injured person is still required to prove negligence.
Procedure and Damages
If you find yourself injured in a bus accident, you should immediately seek medical treatment because your health is your number one priority. From there, if you decide to move forward with a lawsuit, there are specific steps you must complete in a timely manner to ensure your claim does not get compromised.
In general, the statute of limitations for personal injury suits is two or more years but you will want to verify what the stature of limitations is for the state in which your accident happened. Additionally, a notice of claim will also need to be submitted and the deadline for that could be as little as just a couple of months. The filing of a notice of claims does not commence a lawsuit and the failure to file a notice of claims within the given period can result in the loss of the ability to sue.
Fast-forward and assuming your claim ends in your favor, one downside to dealing with government entities is damage caps. This cap varies from state to state, but it is important to keep in mind. Some states limit non-economic damages, loss of consortium, and other injuries that are hard to quantify. States may also limit or bar punitive damages.
Contact Us Today
In a large city where public transportation is relied upon by the majority of the population, bus accidents are frequent. Furthermore, bus accident lawsuits can be confusing and complicated. The assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer can ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve. Call us today at 1-800-THE-FIRM and let The Cochran Firm New York fight for you.