Riding the bus is a common and necessary method of transportation in America’s cities and highways. Buses are designed to be sturdy, safe, and convenient, but they are not purely machine-operated so they are subject to human error. When bus accidents happen, serious injuries and even death can occur.
If you or someone you love have been injured in a bus accident, it is imperative that you retain a skilled, knowledgeable attorney to zealously represent you. Filing a personal injury claim against the person or company responsible for your accident may help you recover compensation for your injuries. Call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today to speak to an attorney about how I can assist you in getting the compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Bus Accidents and Associated Injuries
Even though buses appear to be safer than other motor vehicles because of their size and the fact they are driven by trained professionals, they are just as at risk for collision. The factors that cause bus crashes are also similar to those involving other motor vehicles. Some of these causes include:
- Driver distraction or negligence
- Weight distribution problems
- Lack of passenger protection
- Construction problems
- Road conditions
- Inclement weather conditions
- Equipment defects
- Driver fatigue
- Left turns
- Bus fires
- Blind spots
- Excessive speed
- Prescription drugs
- Illegal substances
- Driver’s lack of training and/or experience
- Unfamiliar roads
Two determining factors of the severity of injuries sustained in a car accident are force of impact and location. Also depending on where an individual is seated will play a role in what kind of injuries he or she will suffer from as well as the severity of injuries. Common injuries that are associated with bus accidents are:
- Broken bones
- Back and neck injuries
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Lacerations and cuts
- Facial injuries
- Torn ligaments and tendons
- Head injuries (concussions and skull fractures)
- Accidental amputation
Statute of Limitations for Bus Accident Claims
The State of Florida statute of limitations for filing a personal injury suit for injuries sustained in a bus accident is four years from the time the accident took place. If the claims involve a wrongful death suit, there is a two year statute of limitations following the date the accident took place. If an individual wants to file suit against any municipal, county, or state government agency, he or she must do so within three years of the time of the accident.
If a bus was maintained, owned, or operated by the government, a victim’s compensation may be limited. Recovery can be barred because of sovereign immunity which shields the government from liability. There is an exception where damages amount to $200,000 or less. In that case, the State is liable as if it were any other person or entity. A victim may be required to name multiple defendants if damages exceed $200,000.
Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Policy
Florida is a no-fault auto insurance state meaning that when an individual gets into a car (or bus) accident, that person will seek compensation from their own auto insurance company first and sometimes exclusively for injuries sustained in that accident. Being “at fault” does not bar recovery in Florida. All drivers must purchase the minimum required insurance coverage called Personal Injury Protection or “PIP.” Unless a driver has suffered a permanent injury or a family member has been killed in an accident, PIP coverage replaces a victim’s right to sue for economic and noneconomic damages arising from his or her injuries.
PIP pays for the following types of damages arising from bus accident injuries:
- If a victim receives treatment within 14 days of the motor vehicle accident, PIP will reimburse that individual for 80% of all necessary, reasonable, and related medical expenses for treatment of an emergency medical condition
- If an injury that a victim sustains is not considered an “emergency condition,” the victim may be limited to only $2,500 in coverage. If a victim is not treated within the 14 day period, PIP will not cover medical expenses.
- PIP offers coverage from transportation costs for reasonably medically necessary medical treatment.
- PIP will reimburse an individual for 60% of lost earning capacity or 60% of lost income.
- PIP insurance will provide payment of a $5,000 death benefit.
Aside from the $5,000 death benefit, the remaining PIP benefits are limited to $10,000 per person. The State of Florida requires that all private buses and school buses carry PIP insurance.
Miami Bus Accident Attorney
It is easy for victims of bus accident injuries to feel like they are pulled in a million different directions following the crash whether it be staying current with medical bills, talking to insurance claims adjustors, or deciding how to go about recovering damages. It is important that victims focus on healing, but it is also important that parties who were at fault are held responsible for their actions.
If you or a loved one were injured in a bus accident, call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA to discuss your options. Prosper Shaked will fight tirelessly for your legal rights so that you receive compensation for your injuries. For a free and confidential consultation, call (305) 694-2676 and let us assist you in pursuing your claims.