Buses are large, heavy vehicles that do not handle well, require a significant distance to come to a stop, and have considerable blind spots. In order to operate them safely, drivers must undergo rigorous training. For these reasons and many others, they pose unique hazards to passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers on the road. When accidents happen, victims can suffer serious injuries. If you have been injured in a bus accident, call a Boca Raton bus accident lawyer for help.
Common Causes of Bus Accidents
Many bus accidents are the result of the driver’s negligence. The driver may have been speeding, made an unsafe lane change, or run a stop sign. In this way, they are not much different than the typical car accident case. However, many bus accidents do have causes that require special attention.
- Mechanical failures. Buses spend thousands of hours in service every year, typically in difficult traffic conditions. Repeated stopping and starting can be hard on the engine, braking system, and tires. Failure to perform routine maintenance and promptly make repairs can lead to major mechanical issues that can result in accidents.
- Distracted driving. While all drivers are prone to driving while distracted, bus drivers can become distracted by their passengers. If they are not given adequate breaks, they may be trying to eat or drink while driving – common but serious distractions. When bus drivers fail to pay full time and attention, they can cause serious injuries to their passengers or other people on the road.
- Sudden starts and stops. City buses are constantly stopping and starting as they let passengers on or off. If the driver is too heavy on the brakes or the accelerator, passengers can suffer serious injuries when they are thrown to the floor, into other passengers, or into hard objects inside the bus. These sudden stops and starts can also make them unpredictable for other drivers on the road.
- Lane change and turnout accidents. Because they have such large blind spots, bus drivers need to exercise considerable caution when changing lanes or turning back out into traffic after a stop. Failure to adequately check their blind spots can cause a car accident or injury to pedestrians or bicyclists.
- Turning accidents. Buses have a larger turning radius than most vehicles, which means that they need more room to turn. Right turns can be particularly difficult. If the driver is going too fast or otherwise fails to account for the bus’s larger turning radius, they may strike other vehicles, pedestrians, or bicyclists.
Every bus accident is unique, but establishing the cause will be critical to proving your claim. A Boca Raton bus accident lawyer can investigate what happened so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
Have You Been Injured in a Bus Accident as a Passenger?
With passenger vehicle accidents, the claim is usually between the two drivers. For obvious reasons, bus accidents can involve injuries to a significant number of passengers. And because most buses do not have seat belts, a bus accident can result in very serious injuries to the passengers. If you have been injured as a passenger in a bus accident, you should contact a Boca Raton bus accident lawyer for help with the following:
- Identifying who caused the accident – the bus driver or the other driver.
- Ensuring that your claim is well-documented and appropriately filed in the event that you are competing with multiple other claims
- Navigating the unique complexities of making a claim against a municipal entity (if you were riding a public bus)
- Identifying the appropriate party that you need to pursue if you were riding on a private bus
If there were several other passengers injured, you need to understand that your claim may be in competition with other claims. It is therefore imperative that your claim be properly filed and is one reason why you should seek legal representation as soon as possible. In addition, it is important to understand that you are entitled to seek your own counsel – you do not need to agree to be represented by someone else’s attorney.
The Role of Insurance in Your Bus Accident
Florida is a “no-fault” accident state, which means that the parties in an accident file their claims with their respective insurance companies. Generally speaking, you only sue the other party if you have losses that are not covered by your insurance.
In a passenger vehicle accident, this is a relatively straightforward process because each driver presumably has personal injury protection (PIP) coverage under the automobile policy. In a bus accident, however, you are, of course, not driving your car. What are your options?
- If you have a car registered and insured in the state of Florida, you may have PIP coverage under your automobile policy.
- If you do not have an automobile policy, your only option may be your health insurance.
If you do not have health insurance, your only option will be to pursue a claim against either the bus company or the other driver, whoever is responsible for the accident. There may be other options available, but as you can see, the claim process can quickly become complicated. Even if you do not plan to file a lawsuit, a Boca Raton bus accident lawyer can help you navigate the claim process so that you can get the compensation you deserve.
Injured in a Bus Accident? Contact The Grife Law Firm and Talk to a Boca Raton Bus Accident Lawyer Today
Whether you are a passenger, a driver, a pedestrian, or a cyclist, you face tremendous challenges after your accident. At The Grife Law Firm, we can handle every aspect of your claim so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries. To discuss your case and how we can help, call us at 561-998-0770 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Turn To A Boca Raton Boca Raton Bus Accident Lawyer Attorney At The Grife Law Firm
No Fees Unless You WinIf you have been injured because of someone else’s careless actions on the water, you should contact a Boca Raton boat accident attorney at The Grife Law Firm to find out more about your legal options. We assist injured individuals throughout Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, including in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami. Call us at 855-998-0770 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation. We also are available to assist people who need a cruise ship accident attorney when they are injured on vacation.
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