How is liability determined in a bus accident?
If you’ve been in a bus accident, you likely have questions about who is at fault and how you might be compensated for your injuries. In many cases, a bus accident is no different than a car accident. But, special situations can change things. Depending on the accident the bus driver, bus company or transportation municipality could be considered legally responsible for your injury.
The rules of the road are the same as for bus accidents as they are for car accidents. However, the bus driver, as a professional, may be held to a higher standard of care than a private vehicle owner would be. For this reason, it’s usually a little easier to argue that the bus driver should be found liable. This is especially true in the case of buses owned by municipalities for public transportation and drivers of bus lines that regularly transport passengers.
Buses Carry Many Passengers. Will There Be Enough Insurance?
When a large number of people are involved in an accident, there may not be enough insurance to cover every injury claim. If you can prove that the bus driver is at least somewhat at fault, you open up the much larger liability policy carried by the bus owner, increasing the total available liability insurance limits.
For instance, if a private car owner causes an accident involving a bus you would want to be able to hold the bus driver at least partially responsible in order to increase your chances of receiving a full settlement for your injuries. After all, issues like fatigued driving, poor driver training or screening, poor load balancing and equipment malfunctions can also contribute to an accident.
Filing an Injury Claim for a Bus Accident
When a municipality owns the bus you have been injured on, filing for damages can become even more complicated. Cities, counties and towns often have special rules for filing a claim. They may include specific types of paperwork or time limits for notifying the municipality that you intend to file a claim.
A good personal injury attorney can help you navigate the maze of paperwork and legal requirements, preserving your claim and safeguarding your injury settlement.