Victims of bus accidents can suffer the consequences of their injuries for years—sometimes even for the rest of their lives. The sheer size of these vehicles can generate serious injuries with hefty medical expenses, along with the added potential of affecting their ability to work in the short or long term.
If you suffered injuries in a bus accident, an El Paso bus accident lawyer can represent you in the pursuit of compensation from the at-fault party. This could be the bus driver, bus company, a municipality, or even a parts manufacturer. Each type of defendant requires a different set of rules and strategies for recovering damages. Let us put our knowledge of bus accident laws to work for you.
Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC today for a free case review at (800) 921-7227.
Common Causes of Bus Accidents
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported 67 bus accidents in 2018. These collisions injured an excess of 6,700 people. Everything about a bus adds to the seriousness of these accidents, and many factors affect how these vehicles operate, as well as who might hold liability when things go wrong.
Common causes for bus accidents include:
- Unruly bus passengers
- Road rage
- Driving at excessive speeds
- Bus driver fatigue
- Aggressive driving
- Driving while under the influence (DUI)
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
- Faulty or defective bus components
- Driver error
- Driving while distracted
- Driving in excess of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) hours of service limits
The cause of your bus accident determines from whom you can and should pursue compensation via a third-party insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
For a free legal consultation with a bus accident lawyer serving El Paso, call (800) 921-7227
Studying the Cause of Your Bus Accident
The legal team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC can investigate your bus accident to determine how it happened and identify the individual or entity who should bear liability for your damages.
Our investigation will involve the following efforts:
- We will visit the scene of the bus accident.
- We will interview witnesses.
- We will obtain photos and videos.
- We will review the bus’s maintenance records.
- We will study the bus operator’s driver logs.
- We will gain access to the operator’s cell phone activity records.
- We will review the bus carrier’s safety records.
- We will analyze the bus’s “black box” data.
Our investigation will enable us to identify the at-fault party and give us the evidence we need to build your case for liability.
El Paso Bus Accident Lawyer Near Me (800) 921-7227
Other Possible Liable Parties in a Bus Accident
Determining liability in a bus accident can prove challenging for someone not familiar with all the aspects of this form of transportation and the laws behind it. As with any other personal injury case, the issue of liability depends on your ability to establish the following facts:
- The at-fault party had a duty to take reasonable steps to keep you from harm.
- The at-fault party breached this duty of care.
- The at-fault party’s breach of duty caused the accident.
- You suffered injury—physical, financial, psychological—from the accident.
The bus driver, for example, certainly owed you a duty of care. If the driver’s negligence caused your accident, their employer might assume liability for your damages. If the brakes of the bus malfunctioned, the manufacturer of the brakes, and possibly other entities throughout the supply chain of the brakes, might be liable. If a roadway construction site dropped debris on the road, leading to the accident, you might pursue damages from the construction company.
If Your Bus Accident Involved a Municipality
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 101.001 that address specific rules that coincide with filing an injury claim against a Texas government agency or employee. If your accident involved a Texas Department of Corrections inmate bus, for example, these rules would apply to your claim.
The Texas Tort Claims Act, passed in 1969, states that governmental units cannot claim immunity from liability for wrongs they or their employees commit. So long as the employee that caused the accident acted within the scope of their employment and the individual would be found liable in the same circumstances as a private individual.
If your accident involved a local government, like a city bus, you must file your claim with the local municipality. The amount of damages you can recover from a municipality in Texas are limited as follows:
- $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $100,000 per accident for damaged property
Deadlines for Government Claims
According to the Texas Tort Claims Act, If your bus accident involved a municipality, you have six months from the date of your accident to file your claim with the government unit. The City of El Paso enforces its own deadlines for claims against the city.
A lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC knows about El Paso’s rules for filing your claim against the city or another government unit. Let us handle the matter for you so you do not have to worry about getting it right.
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Statute of Limitations for a Bus Accident Injury in Texas
Beyond these deadlines for claims against government entities, the state of Texas also enforces a statute of limitations of two years for any personal injury case. This means that you have two years from the date of your injury in which to file a lawsuit against the liable party.
Most personal injury cases never reach a courtroom. Rather, the liable party’s insurance company tends to strike a settlement deal to avoid a lawsuit. Your lawyer will file a third-party claim against the liable party’s insurance policy and negotiate with the insurer to reach a fair settlement.
In the event that the insurer refuses to agree to a fair settlement, however, your attorney can file a lawsuit against the liable party and litigate the matter in a civil court. The sooner you hire a lawyer to begin the process of recovering compensation for you, the more time you give them to build your case, try to reach a strong settlement with the insurance provider, and still meet the state deadline if a lawsuit follows.
Damages You Might Recover
Every personal injury claim is different—the circumstances of the accident vary, as do the severity of the injuries. Some of the types of damages you could recover in your case include:
- Medical treatment costs
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
Furthermore, if you lost a loved one due to injuries they suffered in a bus accident, you can pursue a wrongful death action. The wrongful death lawyers at Ben Crump Law, PLLC can represent you in this matter.
An El Paso Bus Accident Lawyer Will Fight for Your Right to Compensation
The team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC does not shy away from tough cases. We will identify the at-fault party in your case and fight for your right to recover damages.
We work on contingency, meaning you pay us only when and if we win your case.
Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at (800) 921-7227 for a free consultation.