Although bus accidents are less common when compared with other motor vehicle accidents, the results are often devastating. Buses are often difficult to maneuver and stop, making it less safe than many motor vehicles. In addition to that, buses lack many safety measures like airbags and seatbelts increasing the chances for passengers suffering fatal injuries in an accident.
The primary step in filing an accident claim is determining the party who is liable for the accident. The plaintiff is responsible for proving the liability of the bus accident that is decided according to the law of negligence. To ensure that they get the compensation and justice they deserve, the plaintiff should be backed by an expert injury lawyer.
Parties That Could Be Liable For The Bus Accident
As buses are considered common carriers, the bus operators have greater duty of care while operating the vehicle. Mere reasonable care is not enough when it comes to operating common carriers, and instead, the common carriers are expected to maintain the highest degree of vigilance and precaution. Even a slight negligence from the part of the bus driver can make him liable for the resulting injuries. Inadequate training, driving while being drunk or fatigued, using cell phones while driving, and allowing the vehicle to become overloaded are some of the examples of bus driver negligence.
In some cases, a third party could be liable for the bus accident. It may include other drivers on the road, motorcyclists, pedestrians, or bicyclists. If a bus accident has occurred due to the negligence of the third party, the victim can file a lawsuit against them. The victims have the duty to prove that the law required the third party to act in ways that prevent harm but they breached the duty. Using cell phones while driving, changing lanes without giving a turning signal, following the bus too closely etc, are some of the examples of negligence from third party.
Difficulties In Determining The Liability In Bus Accidents
In cases when the bus driver is at fault for the accident, things might become complicated because many buses are owned by the government. Procedure for filing accident claim against a public agency is different from that of a private agency. The statute of limitations for claims against a government agency is about 6 months whereas the time allowed for filing lawsuits against private parties is 2 years. The limited time period makes it difficult for the victim to prove the liability and file a claim against a government agency.
Once you have decided to file an accident claim against a party, make sure you have the adequate knowledge in its legal formalities. A bus accident attorney can assist in the process and increase the chances of an early settlement.