Buses often cause considerable injuries to not only the occupants of the bus but other motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists on the roadways. If you suffered injuries or losses due to your involvement in a bus accident, you may have the right under the law to receive justice and compensation for those injuries and losses.
Consider speaking with our legal team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 921-7227 where we can help you understand more about your legal rights related to a bus accident, and how a Tampa bus accident lawyer can help you with your specific case.
Determining Liability in a Bus Accident
Bus accidents often involve challenging facts and circumstances, making it often difficult for a victim to determine who (or which entity) has legal liability and responsibility to pay their medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. However, determining liability remains the critical legal lynchpin upon which a victim can receive compensation for their injuries and losses.
As a result, determining liability remains extremely important for legal purposes. In some cases, an independent investigation will be ultimately required, and in other cases, accident reconstruction specialists can help determine which driver’s or entity’s negligent actions resulted in a victim’s injuries. While the determination of liability may take a considerable amount of time, the following are some of the entities or persons that may have a legal responsibility to pay you for your injuries, damages, and losses.
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Whether you were a passenger on the bus, or a motorist, pedestrian, or motorcyclist hit by a bus, you may have the legal right to pursue compensation directly from the bus company. While the bus driver may have negligently operated the bus in some way causing the accident, a legal theory known as “respondeat superior” allows a victim to file a claim against the employer for negligent actions of their employees taken during the course of their employment. In some cases, the bus company potentially hired a driver that had a history of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, or a driver that had a suspended license. Even if the bus company had no way to know that their driver would operate a bus negligently, they may still remain legally responsible and liable for the actions of their employees.
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In some cases, a private company or organization actually owns the bus. This may be the case regarding churches, airports, or hotels. Any company or organization that has its own private bus to shuttle people or guests from one location to another may have responsibility if the driver operates the vehicle in a negligent manner, causing an accident. In these cases, the legal theory of respondeat superior also applies, and the private company may remain responsible.
Some government entities own buses, including school buses and public buses used for local transportation. If you suffered injuries either as a passenger on a public or school bus, or you suffered injuries as a motorist, passenger, pedestrian, or bicyclist hit by a public bus, you may have the right to pursue compensation in the state of Florida against that particular government entity, such as those articulated in Florida Statute §768.28. However, if it is determined that the bus was actually owned by a government entity, the process to file a claim is much different than filing a claim in civil court against a private entity.
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Any vehicle can have a manufacturing defect or design flaw in a part or component that leads to an accident. If an investigation into a bus accident determines that the cause of the accident was in any way related to a design flaw or manufacturing defect, you may have the legal right to pursue compensation directly against a designer, manufacturer, or retailer of the vehicle. These types of cases fall under product liability law, and all manufacturers have regulated guidance under which they allow products to enter into the stream of commerce.
If they fail to ensure that their product remains safe for the public, you may have a right to file a claim against that manufacturer or retailer. Some of the types of bus parts that may cause an accident resulting from a manufacturing defect or design flaw include the following:
- Defective tires
- Cracked or broken wheels
- Failure of steering mechanisms or steering wheels
- Failure of braking mechanisms
- Electrical system failures resulting in fires
- Fuel system failures resulting in fires
- Seatback failures in the bus
- Failure of windshield wipers
- Failure of lights
Determining which entity or entities remain legally responsible and liable for your injuries and losses following a car accident may prove complex and challenging. In many cases, a victim will need an independent investigation, an accident reconstruction expert, additional expert witnesses, and testimony from other drivers, passengers, and witnesses in order to build a strong personal injury case to receive compensation. A Tampa bus accident lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help you determine legal liability and also help you understand which entities to pursue to receive justice.
Connect with a Tampa Bus Accident Lawyer
If you suffered any kind of injury related to a bus accident in the state of Florida, you may have the legal right to receive compensation for your medical bills, future medical bills, lost wages, future loss of wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
If you suffered injuries as a result of a bus accident, consider speaking with our legal team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 921-7227. We will help you understand how a Tampa bus accident lawyer can determine much compensation you may have the right to pursue for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.