Buses carrying commuters and students are involved in around 63,000 traffic accidents annually (source: University of Michigan). Public transit is a lot more common in areas with a higher concentration of density, however, with more people comes more traffic and more impatient drivers. As a result, some of the public transit vehicles are unfortunately involved in accidents. The question then is, who’s reliable in the case of an injury to a passenger in a bus, train or cab? Are you in a legal position to contact a car accident lawyer or a personal injury lawyer?
In this blog, we’re going to cover all the bases when it comes to steps and procedures that should be taken if you’re planning on contacting a personal injury lawyer after a public accident.
Things to Know About Bus Accidents
Buses are the most common form of public transportation and they face the same risks as any other vehicle, but they come with additional risks that are unique to buses alone. The risk of a tip-over or rollover accident is higher in a bus because of its tremendous size, weight and shape. Another risk factor in buses is the fact that they don’t feature any form of safety restraint or supplemental safety device (e.g. seat belts, airbags).
Liability and Filing A Claim
The cause of an accident can be the result of a bus driver’s negligence or the recklessness of another driver, so this is the first step in determining who is at fault and who will be held liable by your personal injury lawyer.
If the accident was caused by another driver, you are entitled to make a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer. Your car accident lawyer can help you build a strong claim that will be aimed at getting you the compensation that you deserve for damages, injuries, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
If the accident was caused by the bus driver, you’ll have to file a claim with the government. This is because buses are owned and operated by government entities like school districts and transportation bureaus.
Filing a Government Claim
A claim against the government can get tricky because the procedure varies from state-to-state, but to start, you should file a “notice of claim” as soon as possible; there are usually shorter filing periods when it comes to these accidents. In a “notice of claim” you should include things such as:
- A statement of the claimant’s intent to ask for compensation for any damages, injuries and lost wages caused by the recklessness of the government entity.
- A description of the time, place and circumstances.
- Description of injuries and damages.
- The claimant’s name and address.
This notice of claim is going to be the first step in taking action against the government entity, and you’ll want to seek out the legal assistance of a personal injury lawyer to settle the rest of the case.
If you’ve been involved in a public transit accident and are in need of legal assistance, contact a car accident lawyer here at Robert J. DeBry and Associates. We know that going up against the government can be intimidating but that is why we are here to represent you through the entirety of the claim.