Can I Sue the City if I Was Hit by a City Bus?

Can I Sue the City if I Was Hit by a City Bus?

Many people rely on city buses and other forms of public transportation to travel to and from work and other locations. However, when bus drivers and others drive negligently under the circumstances, serious accidents may happen, leading to serious injuries.

If a city bus hits you and you sustain injuries, you may have grounds to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages or income, and other damages through a city bus accident claim. Consult an experienced bus accident lawyer near you as quickly as possible to discuss your legal options.

A city bus lawyer can investigate your accident and determine your eligibility for filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the government entity. If you can move forward, your personal injury lawyer can file the necessary notice on your behalf and file a personal injury claim with the city’s insurance company after the appropriate period elapses.

But, Can I Sue the City?

If the insurance company does not offer you the fair monetary recovery you deserve for your accident-related injuries, you may sue the city by filing a personal injury lawsuit in the court system seeking damages.

Dealing with personal injury lawsuits involving government entities. can be complicated. Your city bus accident attorney will be your advocate every step of the way to maximize the monetary compensation you receive through your claim or lawsuit.

In addition to investigating your accident circumstances, your city bus accident lawyer can aggressively negotiate with insurance company representatives on your behalf and help you decide whether to accept a pending settlement offer from the insurance company or litigate your case in the court system.

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How Do Accidents Involving City Buses Happen?

Motor vehicle accidents involving city buses frequently occur when bus drivers drive carelessly and irresponsibly. One common cause of city bus accidents is a bus driver’s failure to follow all applicable traffic laws and regulations.

For example, the driver may misjudge a turn, speed excessively, fail to yield the right-of-way to another vehicle, use their turn signal, or use their mirrors while driving, causing a severe accident.

Similarly, a bus driver may cause an accident if they fail to watch the road attentively or otherwise engage in distracted driving. A bus driver may become distracted when they must address bus passengers or if passengers are engaging in distracting conduct. A driver may also become distracted if they text or otherwise use a cell phone while driving the bus.

Finally, bus accidents can happen when bus drivers are intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. Alcohol intoxication is especially problematic because it may cause a driver to exhibit erratic driving maneuvers and affect their physical and mental capabilities. An intoxicated driver may experience various physical symptoms, including dizziness, nausea, and blurred vision. As a result, they may be unable to judge distances effectively or fail to see an oncoming vehicle.

Similarly, a drugged or intoxicated driver may experience delayed reflexes and reaction time, preventing them from stopping their bus to avoid a collision.

At other times, accidents involving city buses may happen through no fault of the bus driver. In these situations, the accident may occur because of another driver’s carelessness or negligence. If that driver negligently causes their vehicle to hit a bus, bus passengers may suffer severe injuries in the collision.

If you sustained injuries in a city bus accident that resulted from the bus driver’s or a third-party driver’s negligence, you have legal options that you can consider in your case. Your bus accident lawyer can explore those legal options on your behalf and identify the best course of action for your case.

Types of Accidents Involving a City Bus

Several scenarios are possible in a motor vehicle collision involving a city bus. In some situations, the bus may collide with another vehicle or a stationary object due to the bus driver’s own negligence. Other times, a negligent third-party driver may cause their vehicle to strike the bus.

Can I Sue the City if I Was Hit by a City Bus?

Bus accidents near highway merge lanes or at traffic intersections typically involve a broadside or T-bone collision. In this accident scenario, one vehicle hits the side of another vehicle.

Another common type of accident involving buses is a rear-end or tailgate accident, where one vehicle strikes the back of another vehicle, usually because the at-fault driver is speeding.

At other times, bus accidents involve sideswipe collisions, where the front of one vehicle hits the side of an adjacent vehicle traveling in the same direction.

Finally, a bus accident may involve a head-on crash, where the front of one vehicle strikes the front of another vehicle or where the front of a bus strikes a stationary object.

All these accidents may lead to serious and debilitating injuries for bus passengers. If you suffered injuries in one of these types of bus accidents, you need to secure the legal representation you need immediately. At that time, your attorney can enter an appearance on your behalf and begin aggressively advocating for your legal rights.

Bus Accident Injuries

Many city buses do not have seatbelts. As a result, when a bus passenger is involved in a severe accident, their body may move abruptly forward and backward, from side to side, or completely out of the seat, leading to severe injuries. l

A bus passenger’s injuries in a collision will vary based on the circumstances. Factors that may affect the injury or injuries that a bus passenger suffers include whether the bus has seat belts, the force of the collision, the number of collisions, the type of collision that occurs, and the bus passenger’s bodily movements at the time of the crash.

Some of the most common injuries that bus passengers may suffer in an accident include eye injuries, traumatic brain injuries, mouth and teeth injuries, soft tissue whiplash injuries, spinal cord damage, full or partial paralysis, internal bleeding, internal organ damage, rib fractures, broken bones, bruises, and open lacerations.

In addition, in the most forceful collision scenarios, bus passengers may suffer permanent injuries that cause them pain and symptoms for the rest of their lives.

After a bus accident, you must complete your medical treatment regimen and get all the required care within a reasonable time. Failing to finish your medical treatment regimen often sends a red flag to insurance company adjusters.

In fact, when accident victims do not complete all their medical treatment or miss medical appointments, adjusters tend to believe that their injuries are not all that serious. Consequently, the adjuster may be unwilling to offer you the fair monetary compensation you deserve for your injuries.

While you concentrate on recovering from your injuries, your bus accident lawyer can start advocating for you. Specifically, they can begin gathering your medical treatment records, medical bills, and other documentation to eventually submit to the insurance company in your case or use as evidence at trial.

Suing a Government Agency

In a motor vehicle crash that involves a city bus, the city government may be fully or partially to blame for the accident.

First, the city agency may be responsible for the actions of a government employee under the theory of vicarious liability. That legal principle might hold the owner of the bus (in this case, the city) automatically liable for their drivers’ negligent actions or inactions when their drivers are acting within the scope of their employment.

Additionally, cities are responsible for hiring only capable, responsible bus drivers. If the city negligently hires a bus driver with a record of moving violations or DUIs, it may be responsible for negligent hiring, retention, or entrustment.

Given the city’s potential liability for injuries and damages in a bus accident, you or your attorney can file a legal claim or lawsuit against the city under the circumstances. However, you must satisfy several procedural hurdles before filing a claim or lawsuit.

Specifically, the accident victim must submit a standard tort claim from the Office of Risk Management.

Risk Management maintains. This standard tort claim form must include certain information, including the contact information, date of birth, and name of the claimant, the incident that allegedly caused the damages, a statement regarding the time and place of the incident, the names and contact information for all involved individuals, the amount of damages claimed, and a statement regarding the accident victim’s actual residence at the time they presented their claim.

Additionally, the individual filing the claim must not ordinarily take formal legal action until sixty days have passed. During the sixty-day timeframe, the applicable statute of limitations period will not move forward.

A bus accident victim must comply with all the procedural and notice requirements. Otherwise, if they file a lawsuit against the city too early, the city will file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which the court will subsequently grant.

A knowledgeable bus accident attorney in your area can satisfy all these procedural requirements, putting you in a position to file a formal claim or a lawsuit in the court system for monetary compensation.

Elements of Proof in a Bus Accident Claim or Lawsuit

In a bus accident claim or lawsuit, the injured bus passenger must satisfy their legal burden of proof to recover the monetary damages they deserve, including:

  1. They must establish that the bus driver or a third-party driver violated their legal duty of care by driving irresponsibly and negligently under the circumstances. This means the at-fault driver violated one or more traffic laws or road regulations.
  2. They must establish that their bus accident directly resulted from this breach.
  3. They must establish that they suffered at least one physical injury from their bus accident.

When insurance companies dispute fault or liability for a bus accident, the accident victim’s attorney can retain an accident reconstructionist who can identify exactly how the collision happened.

A medical expert may need to causally relate an accident victim’s claimed injuries to the accident or establish that the accident victim suffered a permanent injury in the accident.

Recovering Monetary Damages Following a Bus Accident

In a claim or lawsuit that involves a city bus, accident victims who can satisfy the legal elements of their claim may be eligible to recover various types of monetary damages. Since every bus accident case is different, not all accident victims will be eligible to pursue or recover the same amount of compensation.

The compensation that an accident victim ultimately recovers through a claim or lawsuit will depend primarily upon the severity of their injuries, the specific accident circumstances, the insurance company adjuster with whom they are dealing, and whether they suffered a permanent injury in their accident.

First, a bus accident victim can recover compensation for their related medical expenses, both past and anticipated. They can also recover monetary damages for lost earnings or loss of earning capacity.

Additionally, bus accident victims can receive monetary damages for their intangible losses, including recovery for their accident-related mental distress, loss of spousal companionship, pain and suffering, inconvenience, lost quality of life, loss of use of a body part, permanent disability or disfigurement, lifetime care costs, and long-term care costs.

A knowledgeable bus accident attorney in your area will know the types of monetary damages you may recover in your case and can formulate a ballpark figure for the likely settlement or verdict value of your claim or lawsuit. Your attorney can also advise whether you should consider accepting a settlement offer or pursue litigation in the court system for monetary damages.

Speak With an Experienced Bus Accident Lawyer Right Away

Tatiana Boohoff, Attorney for Bus Accident Lawyer
Tatiana Boohoff, Bus Accident Lawyer

If you recently suffered injuries in a motor vehicle crash that involved a city bus, you need to obtain the necessary legal representation from an experienced personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible. Your attorney can gather the necessary documents for your case and satisfy the applicable notice requirements.

Your attorney can also handle every step of the settlement negotiation process or pursue litigation in court for monetary damages. If your case must go to a civil jury trial or binding arbitration proceeding, your lawyer will stand by your side every step of the way, aggressively advocating for you and working to maximize the total monetary recovery you receive in your case.

Types of Bus Accidents

Types of Bus Accidents

Bus accidents include head-on collisions, side-impact collisions, rear-end collisions, and rollovers. You can also classify bus accidents by who causes the collision.

Two primary types of bus accidents catch lawyers’ attention: bus accidents that cause injury and accidents that cause wrongful death. After these serious accidents, victims deserve justice—and a bus accident lawyer near you can secure it.

Types of Bus Accidents by How the Vehicles Collide

We can classify bus accidents by how the bus collides with another vehicle. From this crash-type lens, types of bus accidents include:

Rear-End Collisions


One of the more common accident types, rear-end collisions, happens when one vehicle runs into the back of another.

Buses can weigh more than 60,000 pounds. This dangerous amount of weight can crush the back of another vehicle, severely injuring occupants of the impacted vehicle (and occupants of the bus). You can usually hold the rear-ending motorist liable when they strike another vehicle.

Head-On Collisions

Though head-on collisions are comparatively rare, they’re extraordinarily dangerous.

If a bus strikes another vehicle in a head-on fashion, it may indicate that:

Types of Bus Accidents

  • One or both of the motorists left the lane they should have stayed in
  • A motorist lost control of their vehicle
  • A motorist did not understand road markings or traffic rules
  • Some vehicle defects caused the vehicle to veer into oncoming traffic
  • A motorist was traveling in the wrong direction on a one-way roadway

An attorney will determine why a head-on bus accident happened and you can hold responsible.

Side-Impact Collisions

When a vehicle strikes another on the side, it’s called a side-impact collision (sometimes called a T-bone collision). These accidents are especially dangerous for someone occupying the side of the vehicle struck during the collision.

Single-Vehicle Accidents

Some bus accidents involve only the bus. Rollover accidents and collisions between a bus and a fixed object, such as a sign, traffic pole, or tree, are single-vehicle accidents. Rollover accidents are another kind of single-vehicle accident.

Single-vehicle accidents can result from dangerous road conditions, driver error, vehicle defects, and other hazards.

Causes of Bus Accidents

While few studies explore the causes of bus accidents, we know that bus accidents may result from the same hazards that cause car, truck, and motorcycle accidents. Some of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents include:

Driver Error, Carelessness, or Inattention

Drivers remain the greatest safety hazard on America’s roadways.

A bus driver or other motor vehicle driver can cause a bus accident by:

Motorists typically know when they’re engaging in dangerous actions, and you can hold them liable when those dangerous actions cause an accident.

Driver Impairment

Impaired motorists pose an outsized risk of causing an accident, as they may not even know the dangers they pose to others. An impaired motorist may have limited vision, a skewed perception of their surroundings, difficulty controlling the vehicle, and may pose a higher risk of impulsive behavior.

All of these things can impair a bus driver:

  • Alcohol
  • Prescription drugs
  • Illicit drugs
  • Caffeine
  • Their own emotions
  • Fatigue

Bus drivers may drive for long periods. This may make them susceptible to fatigue and tempted to rely on caffeine or other stimulants to remain alert. Law enforcement officials and your attorney should investigate any driver suspected of drugged or drunk driving at the time of the accident.

Vehicle Defects

Defective vehicles can cause accidents, and defects may arise from:

  • Poor design
  • Manufacture using cheap or shoddy components
  • Errors during the manufacturing process
  • Improper assembly
  • Improper maintenance

Vehicle defects may be the responsibility of the vehicle manufacturer, a component manufacturer (such as a tiremaker), the owner of the bus, or the bus driver. An attorney will work with experts to identify the nature of a vehicle defect and determine who is liable for that harmful defect.

Dangerous Road Conditions

The road presents no shortage of hazards that may lead to a bus accident, including:

  • Potholes
  • Uneven pavement
  • Broken traffic signals
  • Downed signage (including stop signs)
  • Unmarked or unclearly marked roads

Municipalities generally must ensure safe road conditions. Your attorney may file a lawsuit against a city or other governmental body responsible for your bus accident.

Who Can You Hold Liable for a Bus Accident Victim’s Damages?

Bus accident lawyers evaluate liability on a case-by-case basis, and potential defendants in a bus accident case include:

A Bus Driver

If a bus driver’s direct actions, failure to respond to hazards, distractions, or impairment results in an accident, you can hold the driver personally liable for your damages. You can hold the driver’s employer liable, though, in which case suing the employer may present the soundest legal strategy.

The Owner of the Bus Involved in the Accident

You can hold the bus owner liable if the bus driver caused the accident. You can hold the bus owner solely liable if their actions contributed to the collision.

Negligence by a bus owner may include:

  • Hiring an unqualified driver
  • Failing to monitor the bus driver for drug or alcohol use
  • Failing to repair or replace a dangerous bus immediately
  • Failing to train a bus driver properly

An experienced attorney will understand a bus owner’s duty of care, and they’ll recognize any failures that led to your collision.

Another Motor Vehicle Driver

A bus driver does not always cause a bus accident. In some cases, you can hold another motorist liable for a collision.

A bus accident victim may seek compensation through the motorist’s insurer or may sue the liable party personally.

A Vehicle Manufacturer

If a bus accident results from a vehicle defect, you can hold the manufacturer of the defective vehicle or component responsible for your damages.

A Municipality

In cases where dangerous road conditions cause a bus accident, you can hold the municipality in which the accident happened liable for the accident.

Who Suffers Harm When a Bus Accident Occurs?

When a bus collides with another vehicle or a fixed object—or rolls over without striking anything—those who suffer injuries may include:

  • The bus driver
  • Bus riders
  • The driver of another motor vehicle involved in the accident
  • Occupants of a motor vehicle involved in the accident
  • Pedestrians struck by a bus or another motor vehicle

Depending on how the accident happened and who caused the collision, any of these parties may have grounds for an insurance claim or lawsuit.

You May Pursue Compensation for an Injury or Wrongful Death Related to a Bus Accident

Bus accidents can prove costly for victims, but an insurance claim or lawsuit may secure the compensation you need.

You may seek compensation if:

  • You suffered one or more injuries during a bus accident
  • You lost a loved one to injuries they suffered in a bus accident
  • Your loved one suffered a severe injury that prevents them from retaining their own lawyer

If you did not cause the accident, you shouldn’t suffer the financial and non-economic consequences of the accident. A lawyer can ensure that you don’t.

Should I Hire a Lawyer After a Bus Accident?

You must decide whether to hire an injury lawyer after a bus accident. To make this decision confidently, you must understand what a lawyer offers you.

Those who hire a bus accident lawyer:

  1. Get the law firm’s full financial backing (with no out-of-pocket costs): Bus accident victims are often in difficult financial circumstances, and law firms know that. A firm will not require any upfront fee from you; it will cover the cost of completing your case.
  2. Gain access to the firm’s (potentially considerable) resources: Personal injury firms offer attorneys, paralegals, financial backing, experts, investigators, and other resources. All you have to do is hire a law firm to gain access to these resources in service of your case.
  3. Don’t have to worry about their claim or lawsuit: Bus accident lawyers lead their clients’ cases from start to finish. As soon as you hire an attorney and provide any information they request, it’s time to focus on recovery.
  4. Receive the benefit of their lawyer’s experience: There is no substitute for experience when it comes to winning a bus accident case. If you decide to hire an attorney, seek one with prior experience representing bus accident victims.

Is it any wonder why so many bus accident victims choose to hire a lawyer? These are significant benefits that come from hiring an attorney. Plus, bus accident lawyers do not generally receive a fee unless they win for the client, so there is no direct financial risk in hiring an attorney.

What Information Should I Use to Choose a Bus Accident Lawyer?

As you research bus accident lawyers in your area and decide which law firm to hire, consider:

  • Whether the law firm has a record of handling bus accident cases (the longer the track record, the better)
  • What case results the law firm has obtained in bus accident cases, if any
  • Whether client testimonials are generally positive or negative (you can look at Google reviews and any other public forums for reviewing the firm)
  • How many attorneys the firm employs
  • Whether the firm has an office in or near your area

Complete a free consultation with any law firms you consider hiring. You can ask a firm’s representatives any questions, and you may get a brief feeling of how the firm treats its clients.

Recoverable Damages for a Bus Accident Victim

Several conditions tend to worsen the harm of a bus accident, including when the collision occurs at high speeds. However, any bus accident can cause harm, so every bus accident victim should consider hiring an attorney.

Some of the recoverable damages a bus accident lawyer can seek compensation for include:

  • Medical expenses, which can be significant in bus accident cases that cause significant injury.
  • Pain and suffering, which may include post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, lost quality of life, anxiety, chronic pain, and other mental or physical health conditions. Accident victims may even experience substance issues and suicidality in severe cases.
  • Professional harm, as you may receive compensation for lost income, diminished earning power, and any other professional harm resulting from a bus accident.
  • Property expenses: If you suffered vehicle damage or any other property damage as a consequence of the bus accident, your attorney will seek compensation covering those damages.

A bus accident lawyer may seek justice for the loss of your loved one through a financial recovery for:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Your pain and suffering
  • The decedent’s pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship (for a spouse)
  • Loss of guidance and support (for a child)
  • Loss of the decedent’s financial support
  • Any other economic or non-economic harm resulting from the wrongful death

Your bus accident attorney will create a complete account of your damages and determine the cost of those damages.

How Bus Accident Lawyers Seek Compensation for Their Clients

Your lawyer will manage every detail of your case, including:

  • Investigating the cause of the bus accident and determining liability
  • Calculating the cost of your accident-related damages
  • Documenting each of your accident-related damages
  • Negotiating a settlement (or at least attempting to)
  • Taking your case to trial if necessary

Many bus accident cases settle, but your attorney can take your case to court if necessary.

Get Legal Help for a Bus Accident Case as Soon as Possible

Tatiana Boohoff - Attorney for Bus Accident in Tampa
Tatiana Boohoff, Tampa Bus Accident Lawyer

Your Tampa personal injury lawyer will start your case as soon as possible, as they will want to gather evidence and file your claim before any statutes of limitations expire. Put your lawyer in a position to succeed by hiring them as soon as possible.

Request A Free Consultation Today!

Experienced Lawyer for compensation for a bus accident near Tampa

What Type of Compensation Can I Get for a Bus Accident?

For most of us, getting from place to place is a necessity. Whether it’s work, school, a doctor’s appointment, or visiting family and friends, transportation is a part of life. Buses offer a convenient and inexpensive way to get around – even if you have your own vehicle. That said, every time you get on a bus, you are entrusting your safety to the bus company, the bus driver, and the other motorists on the road.

So, what happens after an accident? If you have suffered injuries in a bus accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation to get your life back on track. In many cases, you can obtain compensation for your medical expenses, physical and emotional pain and suffering, and other losses you experience.

That said, navigating your way through the aftermath of a bus crash can be overwhelming. Fortunately, you never have to do it alone. Contact an experienced bus accident attorney to get assistance recovering the compensation you need.

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Bus Accident Statistics

Bus accidents are too common, often leading to severe injuries or death.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration:

  • 4,998 buses and commercial trucks were in fatal crashes.
  • The number of fatal bus crashes declined from 235 to 156.
  • The percentage of fatal bus crashes that involved a bus or commercial truck dropped by three percent.
  • There were 46 bus crashes across the country.
  • There were nine crashes involving city buses.
  • 86 transit/charter buses were in fatal crashes.

Compensation Available in Bus Accident Cases

There are several types of recoverable damages that you may recover after a bus accident. How the accident occurs and the losses you sustained as a result of the accident determine what you are entitled to recover and the value of your overall settlement.

Types of compensation bus accident victims may recover include:

  • Current and future medical bills
  • Current and future lost income
  • Pain and suffering/mental and emotional trauma
  • Property damage

Current and Future Medical Bills

Bus accidents may cause physical injury or disability. An award for medical expenses includes current and future medical losses from a bus accident. An accident plaintiff can recover compensation for the initial emergency medical, doctor’s visits, and rehabilitative costs. Your award for medical losses may also include medical equipment like wheelchairs or crutches.

Current and Future Lost Income

When a bus accident causes you to lose time at work, you can recover compensation for your lost income. Sometimes injuries leave the victim unable to ever return to work due to a disability. If a bus accident victim’s disability is permanent, they may recover compensation for a lifetime of losses.

Pain and Suffering/Mental and Emotional Trauma

In addition to the tangible losses that bus accident plaintiffs may be entitled to, you can recover damages if your losses are mental or emotional.

The suffering you can experience after an accident goes beyond what is visible. An accident attorney can help you understand your rights to pain and suffering or mental and emotional losses after a crash and help you recover the compensation to which you are entitled. One way you can help your lawyer establish your pain and suffering is to keep a detailed journal about how your injuries have affected you, both physically and mentally.

Property Damage

A defendant in a bus accident case may be on the hook to pay for your property damage after a collision. If you were driving your car when the crash happened, the cost of repairing your vehicle might increase the overall value of your bus accident settlement.

Potential Defendants in Bus Accident Lawsuits

Bus accident cases are unique because of the number of potentially responsible defendants. If you get into a bus accident, you have likely been in an accident with a person driving a vehicle for hire.

Under the legal doctrine of vicarious liability, if an employee acts negligently, their employer may face legal liability for causing the victim harm. Therefore, victims can often name the bus driver’s employer as a defendant.

Potential defendants in a bus accident lawsuit include:

  • The bus driver
  • The bus company that employs the driver
  • The owner of the bus
  • Mechanics that may have negligently repaired the bus
  • Other drivers, cyclists, or motorists

Finding each defendant will be difficult or impossible if you do not have the right legal help in a bus accident case. It is of the utmost importance that you name every potentially responsible party to ensure you receive full financial compensation.

Common Causes of Bus Accident Cases

There are some common causes of bus accidents. Bus drivers, passenger car drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians share the road daily and must ensure they act safely to avoid accidents and injuries. Unfortunately, accidents happen far too often.

Some common causes of bus accidents include:

  • Bus company negligence
  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Traffic violations
  • Poor maintenance
  • Negligence of other drivers
  • Defective buses
  • Fatigued driving

Bus Company Negligence

The bus company that hired the driver and likely owned the vehicle must refrain from acting negligently. Bus companies may be negligent in their hiring, retention of employees, or failure to supervise.

Hiring unqualified drivers is a particularly dangerous form of bus company negligence. Drivers should have a valid license, a criminal record free from infractions, including driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and other red flags that should trigger an employer to look further into the driver’s ability to complete the job safely.

Besides hiring the best people for the job, companies must retain and supervise good employees. If an employer keeps drivers that are unsafe or do not properly supervise, the company should be liable for any harm they cause.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of traffic accidents. There are three major categories of distracted driving: cognitive, visual, and manual.

Cognitive distractions happen when a driver takes their mind off driving when they think about something other than driving. Visually distracted driving happens when a driver takes their eyes off the road. Finally, manual distractions occur when a driver takes their hands off the wheel.

Fatigued Driving

Driving while fatigued is as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. A tragic accident can happen if a driver closes their eyes for even a moment. Exhausted drivers sometimes experience microsleep. Microsleep is a brief moment when a driver nods off. Microsleep happens so quickly that the driver may not realize they are sleeping, and an accident may happen.


Speeding causes thousands of preventable traffic crashes each year. The sheer size of buses makes them deadly weapons when a driver chooses to speed. When bus drivers speed, the effects can be devastating for passengers, other vehicles, and anyone in its path.

Poor Maintenance

Bus companies are responsible for maintaining their vehicles. Companies may hire third-party mechanics to work on their buses. The mechanics that complete work for the bus company may be responsible if they are negligent and the work they complete causes an accident and injuries.

Defective Buses

Defective vehicle manufacture may result in liability for the manufacturer of the bus if the defects result in an accident. In cases of improper maintenance of vehicles, the victim can recover compensation from the company that assembled the bus. These cases can be complicated, and finding each defendant alone can be nearly impossible. An attorney’s assistance can help increase your odds of full financial recovery.

Negligent Drivers

Other drivers may be to blame for a bus accident. Drivers that fail to obey traffic rules, drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, drive while fatigued, or act negligently in any way may be partially or wholly responsible for causing the accident.

Traffic Violations

Bus drivers must make sure they obey traffic laws. Following traffic rules can help drivers avoid an accident. When every driver follows traffic laws, everyone on the road is safer. Drivers should avoid running red lights, blowing through stop signs, always yield to passengers, and obey all traffic signs.

How To Determine Liability After a Bus Accident?

Determining liability for bus crashes can be difficult. Hire an attorney to put you in the best position to determine liability. Finding out who is responsible for a bus accident may require an investigation into the facts of your case and possibly hiring expert witnesses.

At the accident scene, the police will create an initial report. In their report, the officer will draft a narrative of the accident in which they will determine liability. This is not the final finding of liability, but insurance companies will use the police report during their investigations.

Each insurance company will investigate the cause of the accident. After determining liability, the opposing insurance company may offer you a settlement to resolve the case. If that insurance company finds that you are responsible for causing the accident, you may want to speak to an attorney before moving forward.

Your attorney may hire an expert witness as part of their investigation. Expert witnesses help build a case for recovering compensation. For example, an accident reconstructionist can paint a picture of how the accident happened for your legal team and the jury. A medical expert witness can help you prove that the accident caused the injuries you are now suffering.

What Should I Do After a Bus Accident?

What you do after an accident is critical and can make or break your case. First, you should seek medical attention after a crash. Seeing a doctor can help take care of your physical well-being, and it can help your case. Prompt medical care can help prove causation in a personal injury lawsuit.

Avoid speaking to an insurance company without legal counsel. Speaking to an insurance adjuster without speaking to an attorney can put you in a corner. Insurance adjusters work to protect the profits of the company. They work to avoid paying out insurance claims whenever possible.

Share the evidence that you have with your attorney. Your attorney will want to see pictures of your injuries, medical records, bills, photos of your vehicles, and any other evidence that you have that may help prove your case.

How Long Do I Have to File a Bus Accident Lawsuit?

The deadline for filing a bus accident lawsuit is called the statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a time period given by state law for injury victims to file a claim for damages with the appropriate court. Missing the statute of limitations can be fatal to your claim.

What if I Cannot Afford an Attorney?

If you are worried about the cost of legal services after a bus accident, your attorney may have contingency fee payment arrangements available for potential clients. A contingency fee arrangement allows a client to defer payment for legal services until the end of a case. Clients typically will not pay an attorney for their work unless there is a financial settlement.

The attorney will receive a percentage of the final settlement amount in exchange for their legal services. The client and lawyer agree to the amount the client pays before any work begins.

How Can a Bus Accident Attorney Help Me?

Navigating the aftermath of a bus accident can be overwhelming, confusing, and feels nearly impossible. You need an experienced advocate to help you accomplish your goal of receiving all the available compensation to which you may be entitled. An accident attorney you accomplish your goal by negotiating with insurance companies, preparing your case for trial, and helping you avoid common pitfalls that accident plaintiffs who represent themselves tend to fall into.

Contact a Bus Accident Attorney Today

Tatiana Boohoff, Lawyer for Bus Accident cases near Tampa area.
Tatiana Boohoff, Bus Accident Attorney in Tampa

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a bus accident, contact an experienced attorney in your area immediately. Contact a personal injury lawyer in Tampa will help protect your legal rights after an accident, help you minimize your losses, and maximize your access to financial compensation.

Request A Free Consultation Today!

Boohoff Law P.A. – Tampa Office

829 W Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd,
Tampa, FL 33603
Phone: (813) 725-5606

Experienced Lawyer for elements of a bus accident lawsuit near Tampa

The Elements of a Bus Accident Lawsuit

If you have been involved in a bus accident, it’s important to understand that bus accident lawsuits are typically negligence cases. You will need to prove each element of common law negligence, including duty, breach, causation, and damages, to succeed in your case. Consider consulting with a bus accident lawyer to guide you through the legal process.

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The Elements of Negligence


Every driver owes a duty of care to other drivers on the road. A bus driver owes a special duty of care to members of the public that they transport. The driver must ensure their passengers do not get hurt on their trips. The bus driver also owes a duty of care to anyone else on the road, including other motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists.

The bus driver and the company also must maintain safe equipment. If the bus has defects, the driver and the company must ensure the vehicle does not get onto the road. They must fix defects if they have prior knowledge of them.

A driver’s duty of care also covers injuries that occur outside of the bus. The bottom line is that the duty of care begins when the driver picks up a passenger and drops them off at their destination.


A breach happens when someone fails to uphold their duty of care to others. For example, if a bus driver fails to take care of driving responsibly and hurts someone, they will be responsible for paying for their injuries. Similarly, if a bus company fails to maintain its vehicle, it can be liable to anyone who suffers harm due to its failure to do so.


Causation is often one of the most challenging elements of a negligence case to prove. Insurance companies work overtime to avoid paying insurance settlements. That means adjusters will try to discredit your claims. They may claim that your injuries did not directly result from the accident or that some intervening cause was actually to blame. Fortunately, an experienced attorney can protect your rights.


Finally, an accident victim must prove damages to win their case. Even if you can prove each of the first three elements of negligence, if you did not suffer any losses related to the accident, you cannot recover compensation because there are no damages to compensate you for.

Common Carrier Duty of Care

A driver that transports the public for hire has a duty of care to ensure their passengers are not injured. This is the common carrier rule.

To qualify for the common carrier status, the service provider must show:

  • The company has a regular place of business. A regular place of business is any bona fide place where business transactions take place. Examples of a regular place of business can include a factory, warehouse, or office. As for bus drivers, a regular place of business can consist of a bus depot or station.
  • The company advertises its business to the public. Public transportation companies qualify for common carrier status because they advertise their services, even if it may not be immediately apparent.
  • The company charges a fee for its services. City and charter buses have a fare associated with receiving their services.

Potential Defendants In a Bus Accident Lawsuit

Bus accident cases can get complicated. Most of these accidents have many potentially responsible parties at the center. It is important to name each defendant. By naming each possible defendant, accident victims can ensure they are in the best position to fully recover for all their damages after a lawsuit.

Potentially responsible parties in bus accident claims can include:

  • The bus driver
  • The bus company that employs the driver and owns the vehicle
  • The bus manufacturer
  • The company that maintains the vehicles
  • Other drivers
  • The owner of the land where the bus stop is
  • The city, state, or local government

What Is Vicarious Liability?

Vicarious liability is a legal theory that allows plaintiffs to sue companies if their employees acted negligently and caused an injury. Companies typically have “deep pockets” or significant financial resources that individual plaintiffs can never access. If your losses or injuries exceed the driver’s insurance limits, naming the company as a defendant can help you get the financial recovery you need for full compensation.

To prove that a company is vicariously liable, you must show that:

  • The bus driver was working at the time of the accident.
  • The driver was an employee of the bus company when the accident happened. If the driver was an independent contractor, the company might not face liability for causing the accident.

Potential Claims Against Companies

Plaintiffs may have a cause of action to collect compensation from bus companies if their drivers do not act carefully during trips. Bus companies must keep their vehicles safe. They must ensure that the vehicles carry the correct insurance on their buses and hire upstanding professionals to work for them.

Negligent Hiring

Companies must hire qualified and dependable professionals, especially if they are common carriers. Bus companies must carefully review each employment application and ensure they can safely handle a vehicle the size of a bus.

The kinds of qualifications that bus companies may look for in employees can include:

  • A clean driving record.
  • A criminal record free from charges or convictions for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Proper CDL license.

Failure to Supervise

Bus companies have a duty to supervise their employees. This goes for anyone that works in the company: the drivers, maintenance workers, receptionists, and all other employees.

Examples of lapse of supervision or lack of supervision of employees by a company can include:

  • The company does not address issues it knows or should be aware of, and someone gets hurt.
  • The company failed to learn of a driver’s failure to meet company standards.
  • The bus depot is poorly maintained.

Negligent Retention

Negligent retention is a cause of action that a plaintiff may have against a company for keeping an employee after discovering that they are unqualified or underqualified for their position. Companies must continuously evaluate their employees and qualifications and make changes if they see fit.

Inadequate Maintenance

Bus companies routinely inspect their vehicles. Companies must also hire qualified mechanics to inspect vehicles. A bus company may face legal liability if it fails to maintain its vehicles properly. Companies must also keep detailed records of their maintenance checks.

How Long Do I Have to File a Bus Accident Lawsuit?

The deadline to file a bus accident claim depends on the state. The deadline to file a lawsuit is called a statute of limitations. Statutes of limitations vary based on the type of case. In bus accident cases, most states allow plaintiffs 1-3 years to file a lawsuit.

If the city, state, or local government is to blame for your injuries, you may be entitled to relief, but there is an uphill battle when suing a government entity. Most states require a notice claim if you intend to sue. If you fail to do so, you may lose your ability to sue. The statute of limitations does not begin until after filing the notice of your intent to sue.

What Injuries Are Common In a Bus Accident Lawsuit?

Every case is unique. No two plaintiffs suffer the same sorts of injuries. However, the sheer size of buses can cause devastating injuries.

Common injuries in bus accidents can include:

  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Concussions and other head traumas
  • Paralysis
  • Internal bleeding
  • Organ damage
  • Amputation
  • Cuts, scrapes, and bruises
  • Spinal cord injuries

You need to get proper medical treatment for all injuries you suffer immediately.

What Damages Are Available in a Bus Accident?

There are three general categories of damages in bus accident cases. The three kinds of damages are economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are tangible losses that an accident victim suffers. These losses are typically easy to prove, but accident victims may not know what compensation they are entitled to.

Economic damages can include:

  • Current and future medical bills and repayment for the cost of ongoing treatments
  • Current and future lost income
  • Lost earning capacity (this refers to the inability to return to the same type of work)
  • Property damage

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damage is intangible damage that results from a bus accident. It is usually more difficult to prove these damages than economic damages. Despite the difficulty victims face as they try to prove these damages, each accident victim is entitled to receive compensation for them.

Examples of the non-economic damages you may recover include:

  • Lost enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional trauma
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are not widely available. The availability of punitive damages is dependent on the state. Many states limit how much money plaintiffs can recover if they receive a punitive damages award.

These damages apply if the defendant acted wildly outrageously or in a manner that courts wish to deter others from acting in the future.

How Can a Bus Accident Attorney Help Me?

Getting the compensation you deserve after a bus accident lawsuit is usually tricky for a person not represented by counsel. Having an attorney working on your behalf can significantly increase the odds of you having a larger settlement amount that addresses your losses thoroughly. An experienced attorney can help you in the following ways:

Negotiate With the Insurance Company on Your Behalf

Most civil cases begin with settlement negotiations with the insurance company. After filing a police report, you should report the accident to your insurance company to comply with your policy. The other driver and their employer will also file a report with their insurance company.

You may hear from their insurer asking for a statement about your side of the story, but it is not a good idea to speak with opposing insurance companies without speaking to an attorney first.

In bus accident cases, defendants usually have massive insurance companies working for them. An unrepresented accident victim will likely have trouble taking on these giants. If you find yourself in a bus accident lawsuit, you need an attorney working on your side.

Investigate the Cause of the Accident

Experienced attorneys will investigate the accident independently of the police report and the insurance company. You win civil lawsuits based on the facts, so your attorney should have a strong command of the facts before beginning your case. Your attorney knows what to look for and what evidence to collect at an accident scene.

Identify Each Potentially Responsible Party

A legal team can help you find the parties that are responsible for causing your accident. There are many possible defendants in bus accident cases, so having an experienced legal mind working on finding everyone who should pay for your injuries is essential.

Speak With Debt Collectors and Hospital Billing Departments for You

Your attorney and their team can field calls from debt collectors from the hospital medical billing department and other debt collectors related to the accident. After a bus accident, you may receive letters and phone calls from debt collectors. This correspondence can be so stressful that it can compromise your physical recovery. You can rely on your legal team to take that stress off you so you can focus solely on healing.

Help You File a Lawsuit

Civil lawsuits, including bus accidents, involve various procedural rules. Following each procedural rule carefully can protect your legal claims from dismissal on technical grounds. A knowledgeable accident attorney can help you ensure that each procedural rule is complied with and your interests are protected.

Contact a Bus Accident Attorney Today

Tatiana Boohoff, Lawyer for Bus Accident cases near Tampa area.
Tatiana Boohoff, Bus Accident Attorney in Tampa.

There is no reason for you to face the aftermath of a bus accident alone. If you or a family member has suffered injuries or other losses in a bus accident, call an attorney in your area and create a legal team that will work diligently to get you the compensation you deserve.
Waiting to retain a personal injury lawyer in Tampa or trying to handle your case yourself may obtain far less compensation than you deserve.

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