A bus accident is one of the most dangerous types of accidents. A bus normally has several passengers at any given time. The likelihood of injuries increases for a bus collision because of the amount of passengers.
While Florida public transportation is vital in society, it is important to know about potential accidents and what to do if it happens to you. Unfortunately, bus accidents are quite common. Some of the incidents are unpreventable, while others are because of negligence. A bus accident attorney in Lakeland can arm you with the knowledge to protect your rights.
If you have been involved in a bus accident, a Lakeland personal injury lawyer can help you fight for your rights.
Bus Accident Lawyer Statistics
While there are different types of bus accidents, there have been 108 deaths nationwide in 2021 from a school bus-related crash. According to the National Safety Council, this number is up 50% compared to the pandemic-related lower number of 54 deaths in 2020.
From 2012 to 2021, approximately 70% of deaths in school bus-related collisions were occupants of vehicles other than school buses. About 16% were pedestrians. Around 5% were school bus drivers, another 5% were bus passengers, and about 3% were pedal cyclists.
Out of the people who sustained injuries between 2012 and 2021 from a bus-related collision, around 30% of them were school bus passengers. Around 9% were school bus drivers, and approximately 53% were other drivers. The remaining were bicyclists and pedestrians.
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Types of Bus Accidents and Risk Factors
There are many risk factors for bus accidents. Florida is a busy state, and with more people moving there, it increases the risk of an accident even more. Some of the most common types of bus accidents are:
- School bus accidents
- Public transportation collisions
- Private buses or motor coaches
- Airport shuttles
- Passenger vans
- Other similar bus types
The risk factors can be anything, but some of the most common are:
- Drivers over the age of 55-65
- Drivers younger than 25-years-old
- Driving over 65 mph
- Driving under 20 mph
- Driver fatigue
- Risky driving
- Distracted driving
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The Common Carrier Law
The US has a law called “The Common Carrier Law.” This law was put into effect so public transportation vehicles have a higher level of responsibility. Under this law, buses have to go under the normal speed limit a regular vehicle would drive. The bus driver is solely responsible for the passengers, and they must pay full attention to the road and traffic.
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What to Do if You Are Injured from a Bus Accident
Once you seek the medical attention you need for your injury, the next step is seeking compensation. You do not need to pay for your injuries by yourself if the accident was not your fault. You just need proof.
The first step is to find an attorney to help you and compile all of the evidence you have. This involves documenting everything on your part. If you were on the bus, for example, a city transportation bus, you can see if anyone has photos of the incident or any videos. Document where you were sitting and anything else you remember about the accident.
You can also see if anyone else on the bus can be a witness for you to explain what happened and to support your case.
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How to File a Bus Passenger Injury Claim
A bus accident can lead to significant injuries, and you should know how to seek justice and compensation. Your injury may need ongoing medical treatment; you should not be left with that expense.
A bus accident claim is usually filed under PIP (Personal injury protection). Another option is to file under BIL (Bodily injury liability). If another driver hit the bus you were on and does not have the two insurance options above, you can use your UM or UIM coverage.
You can take legal action if you are without insurance coverage or do not have enough to pay all hospital bills and other losses, such as missed work. To do this, you would file a lawsuit for personal injury. A Lakeland bus accident lawyer can walk you through this process.
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Types of Bus Accident Lawsuits in Florida
If you or a loved one have an injury from a bus accident, you can seek justice and compensation. Some common types of bus collision lawsuits are:
Product Liability Lawsuit
A bus driver or other motorist is not always to blame. Sometimes, a bus can have faulty brakes, a defective part, or something else contributing to the accident. If true, you may have a case to pursue a product liability claim against the bus manufacturer. You would have to prove that the faulty part(s) of the bus was not from your negligence but from the manufacturer itself.
You can submit a negligence claim if your accident stemmed from a negligent party. For example, if the bus driver was not paying attention to the road and acting reasonably, this caused the incident. Usually, this happens if a bus driver is distracted by a cell phone, something else around, driving aggressively, driving under the influence, or speeding. This can be easier to claim if there are several passengers since that would mean more witnesses.
Government Liability Lawsuits
You can file a government liability claim if your accident involved a city bus. This is when you can prove that the government entity did not provide safe and adequate roadways. If you prove there was poor construction, maintenance, and design, you can succeed more with such a claim.
Work with a Bus Accident Lawyer in Lakeland to Prove Your Case
Even if you have the proof and the witnesses, you should still work with a lawyer to help represent you. With someone so knowledgeable about legal jargon, you could have more success with a Lakeland bus accident attorney.
You may still have a case whether your injury is minor or severe. Contact us for a free consultation and to see which step you should take next.