Many people rely on buses to get where they are going throughout South Florida. These large vehicles, which can weigh up to 40,000 pounds, can hold dozens of passengers. In addition, they share the road with much smaller passenger vehicles.
The bus driver’s competence and care are critical. It does not take much for them to make a mistake that can have devastating consequences for both the passengers and other drivers in their vicinity.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a bus accident, you need quality legal representation, both in terms of your lawyer’s experience and their service. Contact the attorneys at Maderal Byrne & Furst PLLC to begin the legal process with a skilled Florida bus accident lawyer.
Causes of Bus Accidents in Florida
It is getting much harder for bus companies and transit agencies to find drivers these days. Understaffed employers are putting less experienced drivers out on the road faster. You never know how well-trained or safe the driver is when you get into their bus, and you may not find out until it is too late.
Some of the most common causes of bus accidents in Florida include:
- Inexperienced or poorly trained drivers
- Inadequate inspections and maintenance on the bus
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Reckless driving
- Fatigued driving
Our lawyers will immediately get to work to learn who and what was to blame for your accident, gathering the evidence that you will need to be in an advantageous position to receive financial compensation.
Who Can Sue After a Bus Accident?
The two primary classes of people who can sue after a bus accident are:
- Passengers on the bus who were injured in the crash
- Drivers and passengers in another car who were involved in an accident with the bus
What to Do After a Bus Accident in Florida
Your actions after a bus accident matter in determining whether you can get compensation and how much you can receive. What you cannot be expected to do too much when you are dealing with physical injuries and do not know the legal process, you should do everything in your power both to further your healing process and put you in a better position to be paid for your injuries.
First, you need prompt medical care, both to start you on the road to recovering as much as you can and to get documentation of your injuries for when you file a claim. Generally, you need to wait to file a claim until you reach the point of maximum medical improvement.
Soon after, hire a Florida bus accident lawyer. You can leave the legal process to an experienced attorney who will immediately get to work on your behalf.
You should not just hire any attorney. You should retain one who has a track record of fighting for clients and delivering results. The team at Maderal Byrne & Furst has experienced litigators, including a former federal prosecutor, and is committed to bringing a case to trial if necessary.
Florida’s Common Carrier Doctrine in Bus Accidents
There is often a common carrier standard at work in cases involving transportation. Bus companies are considered common carriers when they offer transportation services to the general public for money. While the negligence standard applies to a bus accident case, there is a higher standard of care that a bus company must follow.
Common carriers must exercise the utmost care, diligence, and vigilance when it comes to the safe transportation of passengers. While you still must meet your burden of proof, it may be easier to prove your case once you have the necessary evidence.
Suing the Government in Florida Has Different Rules
State and local governments can be sued in negligence-based personal injury cases. The Florida Waiver of Sovereign Immunity Act gives you a cause of action to sue government entities. Mass transit bus companies fall under this law.
There are a number of special rules that attach to a claim against a government entity:
- There is a $200,000 cap on damages in your case (or $300,000 per incident or in a crash when someone is killed)
- The bus driver cannot be held personally responsible for the crash unless they acted on purpose
- You must first notify the government of your claim before you can file a lawsuit. You can only go to court after a 180-day investigation period or after the government has denied your claim.
Mass transit agencies will often litigate cases. They can also be very difficult in settlement negotiations. Local and state lawyers and government claims departments can be every bit as tough as insurance companies — but so are we.
How a Bus Accident Attorney Can Help You
Bus accident cases can be complex, especially when you have been injured in a bus company crash. Our skilled and committed lawyers can:
- Investigate your accident, gathering evidence on your behalf and helping you determine the right party to sue
- Counsel you on your legal options
- Estimate the value of your damages after reviewing your individual circumstances
- File a claim or lawsuit on your behalf
- Negotiate a settlement agreement or argue your case in court
When we say that our lawyers go above and beyond, we mean whatever lengths are required of us to fight for your legal rights. Your cause is our mission. We have the know-how and the tenacity to help you get the best possible legal result.
Contact a Florida Bus Accident Attorney Today
When you want a lawyer with the drive and experience to go the distance on your behalf, reach out to the Florida bus accident attorneys at Maderal Byrne & Furst. We are recognized leaders in complex litigation, and our victories have drawn national and international attention.
Our commitment to you is that we will fight for you from the beginning to the very end of your case. You should schedule an initial consultation as soon as you can after your accident. You can message us through our website or call us today at (305) 520-5690. We aren’t paid unless you win.