For the most part, both commercial and public bus drivers can be trusted to operate their massive vehicles safely and with proper consideration for the wellbeing of their passengers. Unfortunately, the few who do not do that will sometimes cause accidents that impact multiple people at once. The resulting injuries are difficult to treat and even more challenging to pay for.
If you sustained physical harm because of negligence by a bus driver, their employer, or a third party responsible for bus maintenance or construction, you might have grounds for a lawsuit that a Kennewick bus accident lawyer could help with. These types of claims often work differently from other forms of civil litigation. Retaining a skilled personal injury attorney experienced with handling cases like yours could be crucial to boosting your odds of success.
How Negligence Could Cause a Bus-Related Injury
Everyone who drives on public roads, from commuters to truckers to bus drivers, has an implicit duty under the law to follow traffic rules and act reasonably in order to minimize the risk of causing an accident. If a bus driver breaches their duty by driving recklessly or carelessly, and causes an accident as a direct result, their failure to follow the rules and/or engage in responsible behavior could constitute legal negligence. This makes them liable for all damages caused by that incident.
Importantly, a bus accident does not necessarily have to involve a collision with another motor vehicle or a roadside obstacle to serve as grounds for litigation. For example, if a bus driver accelerates too quickly to give boarding passengers time to find a seat, they could potentially be found at fault for any injuries to the passengers.
Alternatively, fault for certain types of bus accidents may lie with parties other than the driver of the bus involved. For instance, a bus crash resulting from a sudden brake failure may be the fault of a negligent mechanic or component manufacturer. Wrecks that stemmed from a lack of training for the driver might impose liability on that driver’s employer. Determining who specifically bears the blame for a specific incident is one of many ways a Kennewick bus accident attorney could provide crucial assistance to an injured individual.
Special Rules for Claims Against Government Entities
Another way in which bus accident claims may work differently from other personal injury cases lies in the unique rules that apply to claims against government authorities. While people injured in public bus accidents have three years to start the litigation process just like people injured in private bus accidents, the three-year deadline for a public bus is for filing a formal notice of claim with the specific municipal entity responsible for bus operation.
After providing this notice, claimants must wait at least 60 days before they can actually file suit. A bus accident lawyer in Kennewick could explain these and other special regulations for cases of this nature during a private consultation.
Seek Help from a Kennewick Bus Accident Attorney
Accidents involving commercial and private buses causes hundreds of injuries every year, many of which have lasting consequences. If you find yourself struggling with missed work income, medical bills, and other financial and personal losses due to a bus driver or busing company’s misconduct, seeking fair financial restitution could be essential to protecting your future prospects.
Working with a Kennewick bus accident lawyer is often an important first step to achieving a positive outcome to this type of claim. Call today to schedule a meeting.