Can I Pursue Compensation for Injuries Sustained in a City Bus Accident?
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Sep 07, 2020 in Personal Injury
If you suffer injuries in an accident involving a city bus, you may wonder whether you will be able to pursue compensation for medical costs, lost wages and other damages. The answer is, as for most accidents, maybe. It is not enough simply for the driver to be at-fault. In a city bus accident, there are other contributing factors that could determine your eligibility.
Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak discuss some of the differences involving city bus accident claims and how you may be able to pursue compensation for your injuries.
If you are involved in a bus crash, we strongly recommend that you seek legal advice from a licensed attorney as soon as possible. Our South Bend personal injury lawyers offer completely free initial consultations. There is no obligation after this meeting, and if we represent you, there are zero upfront costs or fees to pay.
Accidents Involving a City Bus
While bus accidents may be less common than a car crash, the injuries sustained may be more severe or life-altering. In part, this is because of the size and weight of a bus, but also because there are fewer protective measures than you would find in a car, such as seatbelts.
In addition to bus passengers, there are others who may have been involved and injured in the crash, including:
- Drivers or occupants of other vehicles
- Motorcycle riders
As with every type of accident, investigators will need to first determine whether negligence caused the crash and if so, who may have been responsible. In some collisions, there may be multiple parties who could share liability and who may be held financially accountable for the resulting injuries and other damages.
When You May Be Able to Pursue a Claim
After being involved a city bus accident, the burden of proof is on the injured person. This means that you, or your attorney, must use the legal theory of negligence to prove that the harm you suffered was caused as a direct result of the careless or reckless behavior on the part of the driver. This legal theory involves proving that:
- The city bus driver owed you a duty of care to keep you from harm
- The driver breached that duty in some way, such as running a red light, texting or operating the bus while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Your injuries were a direct result of the bus accident and that you suffered real damages, such as medical costs or lost wages
Even if you are unsure whether you may have a claim, we strongly recommend that you seek a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys. We are prepared to review the circumstances of how your accident happened and whether you may have a valid claim.
Why City Bus Accidents Are Complicated
City bus accidents are different and more complex that an accident involving a car. There are additional procedures that you must follow, and laws also apply differently.
Some of these differences include:
City buses, such as the IndyGo rapid transit bus in Indianapolis are often managed by local, city or county agencies, and these government agencies must be included as defendants in your lawsuit.
Statute of Limitations
Indiana’s statute of limitations, when filing against a government entity, is typically just 180 days from the date of the accident. In a car crash claim, you would typically have two years from the date of the incident. If you intend to pursue compensation for your injuries, you or your attorney must file this notice within the deadline or your claim will not be considered.
Tort Claims Against Government Entities
In many types of bus accidents, the driver and government agency may be granted additional protection. Essentially, that means there are certain circumstances under which a driver and the relevant government agency will be granted immunity, and you will not be able to pursue a claim against a negligent party.
For example, if the bus driver has an accident because of roadway design, you may not be able to pursue a claim against the driver or his or her agency.
Caps on Damages
In Indiana, while there are circumstances where you may be able to pursue a claim for damages against a government agency after a city bus accident, damages are capped at $700,000. Injured victims may not pursue punitive damages in this type of claim.
Hiring an Attorney May Benefit Your Claim
Having an attorney on your side who understands the complex laws for pursuing compensation against a bus driver and a government agency can help you to get the compensation you need after an accident.
If we determine you may have a case, we will thoroughly investigate the accident and work to gather supportive evidence to build a strong claim on your behalf.
At Pfeifer, Morgan and Stesiak, we understand state laws involving city bus accidents, and we are deeply committed to protecting the legal rights and bests interests of our clients. We have obtained millions in compensation on behalf of the injured victims we have represented, and we are prepared to do the same for you.
Learn more about how we may be able to help. Contact our firm to schedule your free consultation.
Free Initial Consultation. No Upfront Costs. Call Today: (844) 678-1800