How are Bus Accident Suits Handled?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that national fatal bus accident rates have steadily been on the rise since 2005. Of these fatal bus crashes, 13% involved intercity buses, school buses accounted for 42% and 33% were transit buses. With the number of buses involved in fatal crashes occurring from 2005 to 2015 rising by 11%, it’s important to address your legal rights if you find yourself injured or involved in a bus accident. Bus accidents can yield more serious injuries simply due to lacking the same safety restraints found in smaller passenger vehicles.
Involvement in a Bus Accident
There are multiple ways to be involved in a bus accident. You could be in a third-party vehicle that is struck by or hits a bus, or you might be a passenger on a bus that is involved in an accident, which may or may not involve a third-party vehicle. In each of these circumstances, if you sustain injury or damages, you may be eligible for compensation.
Depending on the circumstances, seeking compensation relating to a bus accident could be complicated. The simplest scenario occurs when the accident is caused by a third party. In that case, you’ll file a claim with the insurance company of the third-party vehicle found liable for the accident. If there are further unpaid-for damages after the insurance company denies or pays a claim, you may elect to file suit with the driver of the third-party vehicle.
This is not the typical scenario for a bus accident suit. Often, the bus is owned by the government. When the driver of a government-owned bus is found to be at fault, or the accident was due to faulty maintenance or performance of the bus itself, that government agency could be found liable. It can be more difficult to file a claim against the government agency simply due to their more restrictive guidelines. They often also have shorter qualifying deadlines for turning in claims and initiating legal action.
Florida has exceptionally restrictive guidelines and requirements for filing a claim. Navigating the claims process can be daunting and requires an experienced hand to deal with these complex filing requirements, in order to avoid losing the opportunity to file. It’s essential to involve a knowledgeable attorney early on to avoid filing errors and penalties.
Steps to Securing Compensation
Once the government entity’s liability has been established, the first thing your attorney may do is try to negotiate a fair settlement with their insurance company. This can be the quickest and easiest solution. Tison Law Group attorneys can advocate for you to receive the highest amount of compensation for your injuries.
If the insurance claim is denied, then it may be necessary to file a suit against the government entity itself. If need be, Tison Law Group will use their resources to further investigate the incident, gather evidence and testimonies, consult experts and engage in additional negotiation tactics on your behalf.
If you’ve been involved in a bus accident, you’ll need Tison Law Group on your side to make sure you understand your rights and have the best opportunity possible for recovering any damages. Contact our office to schedule your free consultation today.