Buses are an ever-present sight on the roads and streets around St. Petersburg. Many people rely on this mode of transportation for everything from their commutes to work to their grocery shopping. To increase efficiency, these vehicles are designed to carry up to fifty or even one hundred people at a time. Unfortunately, this makes them unwieldy and dangerous in the event of an accident.
Bus drivers and their operating companies maintain a duty to care for all their passengers. If a passenger is injured due to negligence by a bus driver or operating company, that passenger has the right to seek representation from a personal injury attorney and demand compensation. A St. Petersburg bus accident lawyer could work with you to investigate what led to your accident, assign blame to the at-fault parties, and take the lead in settlement negotiations with municipalities and private busing companies.
Identifying the Defendants
Most car accident cases are straightforward when it comes to fault, since the only two parties involved are the at-fault driver and the injured plaintiff. However, when an individual is injured in an accident with a bus, identifying the defendants can become more complicated.
The simplest cases result when a bus is operated by a private busing company. In these scenarios, the company is directly responsible for the actions of their employees. As a result, a claim for injuries against a private bus company names the bus driver and their parent company as co-defendants. These claims can often be settled through an insurance policy.
Plaintiffs should be aware, however, that there is a strict time limit on when they can bring these cases to court. A law known as the statute of limitations controls when a Florida court will hear a case. According to Florida Statutes §95.11, plaintiffs have only four years from the date of injury to act.
More complicated scenarios arise when a bus is owned and operated by a city or town. Historically, the government could not be sued for personal injuries through the concept of sovereign immunity.
However, more modern laws allow citizens to sue for their injuries using each government body’s own claims system. Every town and city has their own system, and a St. Petersburg bus accident attorney could help clients identify the method necessary to collect compensation.
Common Damages in Bus Accidents
Buses are massive vehicles. As a result, they move with a lot of momentum and exert intense forces when they collide with other vehicles. This can result in devastating injuries for the people inside smaller cars.
In addition, passengers on the bus itself may be injured as well. The duty to protect extends to these people as well and as a result, so they also have the right to demand compensation for their injuries.
These drivers and passengers may suffer a myriad of severe physical injuries that can include:
- Broken bones
- Separated joints
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head trauma
In addition to any physical injury, plaintiffs can also claim damages for any lost income or emotional trauma. A bus accident lawyer in St. Petersburg could work with potential clients to inform them of the true value of their case and push for maximum compensation.
Get Help from a St. Petersburg Bus Accident Attorney Today
Bus drivers have the same responsibility to drive in a safe manner as all other motorists. This applies regardless of whether the bus is owned by a government body or by a private company. If the driver violates this duty and any other person is injured in a bus accident, the driver and operating entity for the bus in question maintains legal liability.
A St. Petersburg bus accident lawyer could help you prove fault and show conclusive evidence of your injuries that resulted, including mental anguish and lost wages in addition to physical harm. Whether you were hurt by a city bus or a private bus, you have the right to seek compensation, so let a St. Petersburg bus accident attorney fight for you. Call today to discuss your case.