3 FAQs about Filing a Bus Accident Claim in Florida
As traffic continues to build in South Florida, many are turning to buses and mass transit systems to commute and save time. While generally safe and efficient, bus travel may still expose passengers to serious injuries related to motor vehicle accidents. Many of the risks associated with traveling on a bus are beyond the control of passengers, and may remain unknown until after a catastrophic crash or injury. These risks include driver fatigue, poor driver training, distracted driving, inadequate bus maintenance, lack of safety features for passengers, tire and mechanical failure, and negligent failure to follow the rules of the road.
Because passengers typically do not have available seatbelts, they are easily thrown around and can collide with other passengers or aspects of a bus. This is true during minor collisions and can even happened in the absence of a collision if bus drivers fail to safely operate vehicles.
If you were injured in a bus crash or accident, you may be able to recover compensation for many of the losses stemming from the accident. Before you can recover money for your injuries, however, you and your lawyer will have to establish that your injuries were caused by the negligence of the bus driver or other motorist on the road. The sooner you contact and attorney, the sooner that attorney can begin gathering important evidence and building your case.
1. How Do I Prove Liability after a Bus Wreck?
To prove fault, you will need evidence establishing who or what was responsible for causing the accident. The types of proof you might need will vary depending on the unique circumstances of the crash. Here are some common examples of the type of evidence your attorney may use:
- Surveillance camera footage;
- Dashcam video;
- Photographs of the accident scene;
- Photographs of bus and vehicles;
- Eyewitness testimony;
- Electronic or “black box” data;
- Driver training file;
- Driver accident file;
- Bus maintenance records; and
- Toxicology reports.
2. How Can I Demonstrate My Damages?
The value of any personal injury case depends largely on the extent of your injuries. Even if you can establish that a bus driver caused an accident, you will likely not be entitled to compensation unless you can prove that the accident directly caused your injuries. The best proof is usually your medical records and testimony from your treating physicians and healthcare providers. Although your attorney may also consult with and retain medical professionals to explain and analyze your case, your treating physicians will likely serve as a foundation for any expert testimony.
Your damages may also include time missed from work, emotional or non-economic damages (such as emotional distress, pain, suffering, and loss of the ability to enjoy life), and any out-of-pocket expenses you incurred. To prove these damages, your attorney may collect receipts, paystubs, tax returns, and other financial documentation establishing your expenses, wages, and ability to earn money. Additinally, your attorney may elicit testimony from friends, colleagues, co-workers, and others who can testify as to how your injuries have affected you.
3. How Long Do I Have to Take Legal Action?
That Statute of Limitations for personal injury cases involving bus accidents is typically four years. In cases involving wrongful death/fatalities, however, the Statute of Limitations is only two years. That said, there are many exceptions to these general rules, every case is different, and the Statute of Limitations may vary depending on your particular theory of liability. That is why it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after a bus accident in order to discuss your case and how best to proceed.
While you may have years to file a lawsuit, we understand that many individuals wish to have their claims resolved quickly and out of court. Cases involving bus accidents can oftentimes be settled without litigation. Even if litigation is necessary, most cases are resolved without a trial.
Speak to a Bus Accident Attorney in Florida Today
If you were seriously injured in a bus wreck, you can confidently turn to the legal team at Viñas & DeLuca, PLLC. Our attorneys have handled numerous cases involving bus accidents and are available 24/7 to answer questions and offer a free and confidential case evaluation.
We have over 35 years of combined legal experience, arming us with the knowledge and resources necessary to help you prevail in even the most complex cases. Contact us today at (305) 372-3650 or click through to our Contact Form to request a free case review with a Florida bus accident attorney.