Mitigating traffic congestion and accessibility issues is an increasing concern for growing cities like Sarasota, Florida. Public transit is still developing in the area, where 1,176 people reported depending on public transit to get to work, according to the United States Census Bureau.
Riders use Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) on a daily basis for other reasons, from exploring the city’s cultural offerings to taking care of routine errands. When other options for transportation like driving a private passenger car, walking, or riding a bike are not convenient or accessible, these fixed-transit routes give transportation options for vulnerable populations.
If you or a loved one were involved in a bus accident in the Sarasota area, you might want help from a lawyer to recommend your best next steps. Bus passengers should not face the difficulties of a lawsuit concerning a public entity alone. Contact the offices of Ben Crump Law, PLLC to request the services of a Sarasota bus accident lawyer. Learn more information when you call for a free consultation at (800) 921-7227
About Bus Accidents in Florida
Public transit systems often provide more help than harm to people who need ways to get around, which is why few people consider safety risks before boarding a bus. However, bus crashes can lead to injury or death. People who depend on public transportation should not hesitate to board buses or other vehicles, but once an accident does happen, it can help to understand the legal implications of a bus accident.
Public Transit Rules and Safety Measures
Government-funded transportation lines like Sarasota County Area Transit must meet certain safety standards in order to serve the public, according to Florida Statutes § 341.061 (2a). This law covers a number of nuanced regulations that involve the mechanical safety of the bus, standards for drivers, accessibility requirements, and more. Adherence to these regulations may be significant in determining liability for the injuries or losses incurred from the accident.
Factors in Bus Accidents
Depending on what caused the accident, the bus driver and the entity that owns the transportation service may be liable for your recovery costs. Any accident that happens is required to be documented through a crash report with law enforcement, who can investigate what caused the accident, and who is liable for the damages.
Buses can be involved in accidents in a number of ways, where the liability may or may not fall on the bus operator. Some common ways bus accidents happen are through the following scenarios:
- Driver issues: Driver is distracted, impaired, drowsy, or otherwise driving with negligent behavior like speeding, driving recklessly, or not yielding to traffic signs.
- Safety operation issues: Bus weight is unevenly distributed, or there is a lack of safety equipment for standing or sitting passengers.
- Other drivers: Road and traffic conditions, plus the behavior of other negligent drivers, can easily cause devastating car accidents.
- Weather: Driving in dangerous weather without proper precautions can cause a lack of visibility, hydroplaning, or other dangerous situations for passengers.
- Systemic Errors: Employer did not hire the driver correctly, or puts them on the job with a lack of training.
Your accident will be considered on an individual basis, and the list of accident factors above should not be considered exhaustive for bus accidents.
While buses are usually designed for safety over driving efficiency, both play a role in the chances of getting into an accident. You may be in a bus accident while in motion, or stationary and waiting to move. The circumstances for each case will likely be different, so you have the option of consulting with a Sarasota bus accident lawyer as soon as you can safely do so.
The lawyers at Ben Crump Law, PLLC can handle public, private, and school-related bus operations. To have a professional evaluate your case, contact our offices today for a free consultation.
For a free legal consultation with a bus accidents lawyer serving Sarasota, call (800) 921-7227
Legal Options for Bus Accident Victims
Determining liability can be tricky for things like bus accidents, where the damage can be seemingly benign, or nearly catastrophic. There is a range of options for seeking legal help, especially when drivers or insurance companies refuse to compensate you fairly for the injuries and losses suffered.
Seeking Compensatory Damages
Most bus accident victims will seek compensatory damages based on lawsuit claims that they were not fairly compensated for injuries and losses. This means bus accident victims may have more than one type of legal claim to consider. Working with a lawyer can help you stay informed about all of your options, plus providing you with counsel to make the best decision for your needs.
Filing a lawsuit against a publicly owned entity can be complicated, but a lawyer can ease the burden of the entire litigation process. For example, the statute of limitations for bringing a case against SCAT may be different from the limitations for cases against individual drivers or privately-owned companies.
Additionally, depending on the damages you are seeking, the claim types will vary from mere months to a couple of years from the date of the accident or the moment the injury was realized.
It would be rare to hold a public bus driver personally accountable for accident damages since their employer would likely be responsible for anything that happened while they were on the job. Additionally, criminal charges would be filed on the part of the state attorney at the time of the accident if any crimes occurred, like drunk or distracted driving. However, separate charges should not prevent you from seeking additional compensation for your losses.
Sarasota Bus Accident Lawyer Near Me (800) 921-7227
Get Legal Help After a Bus Accident
Working with a Sarasota bus accident lawyer to clarify your legal options can help facilitate a financial recovery so you can focus on physically recovering from your injuries. Navigating the legal process alone can be frustrating and isolating, especially in the vulnerable recovery period directly after the accident.
Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC to fully explore and understand all of your legal options after you or a loved one experiences a bus accident. Call our offices today for a free consultation about your case at (800) 921-7227.