Buses are considered common carriers, vehicles that carry passengers for money. As common carriers, buses have higher standards for safety than typical motor vehicles. Bus companies must take due care to prevent accidents relating to driver negligence, vehicle breakdowns, and other issues during the transport of passengers. Bus accidents can occur due to a variety of factors. In most cases, however, there are one or more parties that caused or contributed to the harmful collision. When this is the case, accident victims may have legal recourse available.
If you believe negligence lead to a bus accident injury, talk to a skilled lawyer about your case. The car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Chalik & Chalik can offer trustworthy counsel during this difficult time.
Who Is Liable for Your Bus Accident?
After a bus accident that leaves you in the hospital with expensive medical bills and lost income from missed days at work, your first question might be, “Who is liable for paying for my damages?” There are many parties who might be responsible, so one conversation with an attorney can help you settle this matter. Retaining an attorney can mean starting the claims process through an insurance company and/or the civil court system as soon as possible. There are a few possibilities when it comes to legal responsibility for a bus accident in Fort Lauderdale:
- The bus company. If you suffered injuries in an accident while on a privately owned bus, such as a tour bus, party bus, or charter bus, the company may be responsible for damages. Privately owned bus companies carry their own insurance to cover damages in the event of crashes. The company is vicariously liable for the actions of bus drivers.
- The school. If your child sustained an injury in a school bus accident, you may have a claim against the school. It is the school’s duty to hire responsible drivers and maintain the buses in its fleet. Any type of negligence that results in an accident, including driver incompetence, may come down to school liability.
- The city of Fort Lauderdale. Public bus accidents can result in lawsuits against the city itself. It is possible to sue the city of Fort Lauderdale for negligence relating to a city bus crash. You must act quickly to file claims against the local government. You typically only have six months to file the initial administrative claim.
- A third party. Other parties may be to blame for the crash, such as another driver or the manufacturer of a defective bus part. If something such as a defective seatbelt contributed to your injuries, you may have a case against the product manufacturer and the party responsible for causing the accident.
Determining liability for bus accidents in Fort Lauderdale requires an investigation of what caused your injuries. There may be more than one party to blame for what happened to you, so these issues can complex. Working with attorneys with a long history of success can give you confidence in the face of complicated bus accident claims in Fort Lauderdale. Call the law office of Chalik & Chalik today for help, and remember, consultations are always free.