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.

March 1, 2024
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