If you were involved in a bus accident — whether as a passenger, the driver of another vehicle, or a pedestrian — you may have suffered severe injuries. You might be facing medical bills, lost wages, and considerable pain and suffering.
You may be entitled to compensation for these costs. However, the process of recovering compensation after a bus accident is often more complex than after a typical car accident, as the case may involve a government agency like the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA). A bus accident lawyer in Upper Arlington at Bressman Law can help: 877-538-1116.
Who Might Be Liable for My Injuries?
The parties liable for a bus accident may differ from parties liable for a typical car accident. In car accident cases, the at-fault driver and its insurance company are usually responsible for paying for your injuries and property damage. With a bus accident, however, one or more parties can be liable:
Bus Driver & Employer: If the bus driver caused the accident, the company or agency that employs the driver will likely also be liable. This is because, under vicarious liability laws, an employer is liable for its employees’ actions within the scope of employment. The bus driver’s employer might be a tour or charter company, a metro transit authority like COTA, a school district, or another organization.
Maintenance Company: If the bus accident results from poor maintenance, the maintenance company may be liable.
Manufacturer: If your accident resulted from a defective part, such as brakes, we can help you hold the manufacturer liable in a product liability claim.
What Can I Expect from a Bus Accident Claim?
In general, bus drivers are held to higher standards than other drivers. Even still, bus drivers may violate these standards and act negligently by, for example, using a cell phone, driving while fatigued, driving while intoxicated, or simply not paying attention.
Many negligent behaviors involve violating a law that bus drivers and other common carriers must follow, such as:
Hours of Service: Federal law limits drivers of passenger-carrying buses to 10 consecutive hours of driving, after which they must take at least eight hours off before resuming professional driving.
Texting and Driving: A bus driver cannot text or use a handheld device behind the wheel. To make a phone call, the driver must do so hands-free or only need to press one button to connect.
Alcohol: The legal limit for commercial drivers is half the limit for passenger drivers. If a driver has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 or more, he is over the limit.
Turning and Passing: Some states have laws governing turning and passing practices for drivers of buses and other commercial vehicles.
Attention and Awareness: Specific laws require bus drivers to exercise extra caution and awareness, especially regarding pedestrians.
Typically, more evidence is available for bus accidents. This evidence includes maintenance records, drivers’ logs, and the camera records of events in and around the bus. However, gathering this evidence can be difficult as much of it is in the hands of the bus company that can delete it after a certain period.
As a result, a crucial part of a bus accident claim is the “spoliation letter,” which is a formal letter we send to the bus owner/company requesting it preserve all evidence relating to the claim.
How Bus Accident Lawyers in Upper Arlington Can Help You
When you file a bus accident claim, you will likely face a bus company and insurance company. In the face of such intimidating foes, many people on their own settle for less than they deserve.
Ohio also has a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims, beginning from the day of the accident. So quick action is paramount. But you may be recovering from the accident and unable to gather evidence and testimony and file a claim in time. A bus accident lawyer at Bressman Law can help take care of all the preparatory tasks and help you file your claim before time runs out.
We can also assist you with settlement negotiations, helping you receive a satisfactory settlement amount to cover all your expenses. A settlement is often the best outcome because it avoids the stress and expense of a lengthy civil suit. However, if the bus company refuses to give you the compensation you deserve, we are not afraid to take it to court.
How Can I Discuss My Case with a Bus Accident Lawyer Near Me?
At Bressman Law, we know how to navigate the complexities of the bus accident claims process. We have the experience and knowledge necessary to fight for your rights and help you get the compensation you deserve — whether your case involves a private company, COTA, or a school district. To get started today, give us a call at 877-538-1116.