Most motor vehicle accidents have straightforward liability. For example, when two privately owned cars collide in an intersection, the driver who entered against the lights will be liable for the damages they caused to the other driver. When an accident involves other types of vehicles, such as a bus, issues such as liability may quickly become more complicated.
There are several different types of bus accident liability claims, that may depend on the circumstances of the accident and the division of responsibility among involved parties.
Third-Party Liability Claims
If you were a passenger on a bus and the accident was caused by the driver of another vehicle, their insurance carrier may be responsible for the damages they caused. To protect your rights ensure compensation for your injuries, medical treatment, economic loss, and property damage, you may need to file a third-party liability claim.
Bus Driver Responsibility
If the bus driver was at fault or a defect of the bus itself caused the accident, claims may be made against multiple parties, such as the driver, their employer, the owner of the bus, the maintenance provider, and/or the government agencies responsible for inspection and licensing.
The potentially liable parties may be determined by bus ownership. In the rare circumstance that the bus driver personally owned the bus and did not work for another company, their insurance may be responsible for covering the damages associated with the accident. However, bus drivers do not often own the vehicle they drive. In those cases, who may be responsible for covering the damages associated with the accident?
When the government owns the bus involved in an accident, as is the case with school buses and many buses used for public transportation, an injured passenger should begin by filing a “notice of claim” with the government. This requires describing the extent of injuries and the compensation being asked. The notice of claim details the extent of losses in terms of medical expenses, lost time at work, and pain and suffering. In many cases, working with an experienced lawyer is the best way to navigate this potentially complex process.
Bus Company Ownership
If the bus was owned by a private company, as may be the case with tour buses, school buses, and some public transportation buses, an accident victim will need to file their claim with the bus company because the company’s insurance carrier may be responsible for paying for damages. Working with a lawyer can be the best way to ensure your claim is comprehensive and accurate.
Legal Help After Your Bus Accident
If you have been involved in a bus accident, you may need a lawyer to help you navigate the claims process and help you get the compensation you’re due for your damages. Speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer at The Law Office of William W. Hurst and learn if we may be able to help. Contact us today at (317) 636-0808 or online for a free consultation.