Injuries caused by car accidents are some of the most common grounds for civil cases heard in courts today. Injuries from an accident where a bus is involved are not quite as common and are sometimes more complex. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the process for recovering damages due to injuries can be complex.
If you were injured in a bus accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you may file a third-party suit against the insurer of the negligent driver. If, however, the accident was caused by negligence on the part of the bus driver, the then the operating entity of the bus may be liable under the legal theory of “common carrier” law. If the bus is operated by a government body, you may be forced to bring your suit against the government, which can make matters much more complicated.
To properly pursue your claim, you should have the help of the experienced Dallas bus accident injury attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. We have the knowledge and dedication to ensure that you get the compensation to recover from your injuries comfortably. Call us at (817) 476-1797 to get the facts about your case.
Who Is at Fault for Accidents Involving a Bus?
The first step in your legal journey when injured on a bus during an accident is determining who was the likely cause of the accident. If the accident occurred due to the negligent acts of another driver, your claim is best served by suing the other party or their insurance carrier. For instance, if you were riding a bus when a car ran a red light and rammed the bus from the side, your case would be against the driver of the car that ran the red.
If, however, the bus driver ran the red light, and was hit by another car while driving lawfully, your claim is against the bus driver. If the bus is owned and operated by a township, municipality, or other government administration, your case is against that government entity. Suits against the government have additional complications. Keep reading to find out more, or call our Forth Worth bus accident attorneys for a synopsis of compensation for accidents involving a government-operated bus.
Factors Proving Fault in Bus Accidents in Texas
Sometimes it can be difficult to properly articulate the fault in an accident. Here are some common factors of bus accidents that prove fault in the driving of the bus:
- Bus drivers who haven’t received proper training
- Bus drivers who are overtired, fatigued, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Buses/equipment that aren’t functioning correctly
- Buses that are overly packed with passengers
All of the above suggest government liability for injuries sustained during a bus accident. If you feel that one or more of these may apply to your situation, speak to the Odessa personal injury attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C.
Common Carrier Law for Bus Accidents in Texas
In many states, including Texas, operators of “common carriers,” or vehicles in the business of carrying passengers that are open to the public, are held to a higher standard than your average driver. The Texas Supreme Court described the common carrier to have a duty to “exercise such a high degree of foresight as to possible dangers and such a high degree of prudence in guarding against them, as would be used by a very cautious, prudent and competent man under the same or similar circumstances.” In other words, it is easier to attribute negligence to a bus driver than to a civilian car driver.
How Do I Sue the Government for My Injuries Caused by a Bus Accident?
If you are suing the government for damages from your injuries, you should be aware of several differences from the regular Texas civil procedure requirements.
First, you must notify the specific department of the government that you are suing prior to filing the lawsuit in court. The notice must come in written form and be submitted to the correct department within the government. If you fail to adhere to these strict guidelines, your case may be thrown out.
Second, the statute of limitations is different for civil cases against the government. You only have 180 days between the time of the accident and the deadline for filing your suit.
For these reasons, it is important to act quickly and decisively if you hope to pursue a case against the government for injuries sustained due to negligent bus driving.
What Can I Be Compensated for Due to My Injuries from a Bus Accident?
The state of Texas requires common carriers to hold liability insurance policies in order to operate. If you have successfully established that the other party is liable for the injuries you have sustained, you could look to recover damages from any or all of the following categories:
Pain and Suffering
This includes any physical, mental, or emotional trauma that you might experience as a result of your experience. These are very real consequences of a bus accident, and you may be compensated by a Texas court as a result.
A Texas court will account for not only your future expenses, but any expenses you have already incurred as a result of the accident. Even a ride in an ambulance can run up a substantial medical bill, and you should not be responsible for your care due to the negligence of someone else.
Lost Wages/Ability to Work
If you had to miss time at work or failed to qualify for work opportunities that you may have enjoyed otherwise, the court may order that the liable party compensate you for any wages you would have received but for the injury you sustained.
Get Help with Your Personal Injury Claim from a Bus Accident Injury
If you sustained an injury on a bus due to another party’s negligent actions, you deserve compensation for your injuries. Call The Queenan Law Firm’s Houston bus accident lawyers for a free consultation on your case at (817) 476-1797.