Bus accidents are usually very complicated than auto accidents because there can be several parties involved in a bus accident. In addition, there may be more than one party, who is responsible for the accident. Sometimes, it might be the poor condition of the road that caused the accident. In some cases, it might be the bad condition of the bus, which led to the accident. On the other hand, it might be that the other vehicle involved in the crash had some mechanical failure. For example, if a truck crashes into a bus because of its brake failure, the truck manufacturer can be held liable for the accident.
It is very important to note that even the passengers on the bus can be held liable for the bus accident, at times. If any of the passengers have distracted the driver or assaulted him or if he had tried to seize the control of the bus, he may be held liable for the accident caused due to his action.
These complications make it difficult even for a bus accident attorney to determine the parties liable for the same. You need to hire a bus accident attorney who is very well experienced in dealing with such cases. He must be able to rightly understand all the factors at play in the accident so that he can successfully file a lawsuit against all the liable parties. In the further pursuit of the case, the damages of the accident will be split between the responsible parties.
The percentage of liability of each of the party at fault will be considered while distributing the damages. This will vary from state to state. In case of equal responsibility, all the parties who are liable will be asked to pay the same amount despite how much responsible they are for the accident. In some states, the percentage of liability for each party will be considered, and the compensation amount will be fixed according to this percentage. This is called as the comparative negligence.
In the comparative negligence system, the percentage of negligence of each party in the accident will be calculated and the damages will be distributed based on this negligence percentage. If the bus driver is 70% responsible for the accident and you are responsible for 30%, your compensation amount will be equal to the percentage of negligence on your side.
This system of comparative negligence gives you the opportunity to sue against the bus authority even when you are partially at fault. It is better to seek the legal advice of a bus accident attorney to know your position in the case.