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City Bus Accident Settlements

City Bus Accident Settlements

Buses are generally safe vehicles for the passengers on board, due to their weight, size, and safety features. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that buses are among the safest forms of passenger transportation.

Unfortunately, the safety doesn’t extend to everyone on the road. The size and weight of buses can make them a serious threat to pedestrians, cyclists, and people occupying other vehicles. On rare occasions, bus passengers can also sustain injuries.

The dangers associated with city buses are heightened when bus drivers or their employers fail to ensure the safety of their passengers and everyone else on the roads. If either or both parties have neglected their duty, those who have sustained injuries as a result may be able to hold them legally accountable.

Damages in City Bus Accident Settlements

Bus accidents can result in debilitating injuries. Medical expenses and missed days or weeks of work can add up to astounding losses. Many bus accident victims’ lives are forever altered by their injuries. If you’ve been injured in a bus accident, you deserve to receive a settlement that covers reasonable and necessary care and compensates you for other losses.

What Factors Can Affect Your City Bus Accident Settlement?

Public transportation in Texas is subject to the Texas Tort Claims Act, which establishes strict requirements for bringing a personal injury claim against a government entity. Here are factors, laid out by the Texas Tort Claims Act, that could affect your case:

  • Proof of negligence. City buses fall under the definition of a “common carrier,” which are vehicles that offer transportation services to the public. Common carriers must meet high duty of care standards, and proof of negligence of those standards is needed to establish liability.

Examples of driver negligence include speeding, talking to passengers or using a mobile device while operating the vehicle, aggressive driving, and driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Examples of company negligence include forcing the driver to work longer shifts than hours-of-service (HOS) regulations allow, failing to perform routine vehicle maintenance/inspections, failure to vet drivers in their employ, or failing to properly train drivers.

When it can be proven that a driver’s or carrier’s negligence contributed to your accident, your likelihood of receiving compensation is drastically increased.

  • Notice of Claim restrictions. The statute of limitations for personal injury is generally two years, but there is even less time to take action if you were injured in, or because of, a public transportation vehicle. You must file a Notice of Claim soon after the accident — sometimes within just 45 days of the accident.
  • Limits on damages. There may be a cap on the damages that are available to cover your expenses. If you are not the only party that sustained an injury in the accident and there is a limit to the amount of damages that can be paid, you need to act swiftly.

Other factors that can affect your case include the severity of your injuries and the insurance coverage available to you, such as your own underinsured motorist coverage. These factors can significantly affect the amount of compensation you may be able to recover.

How Long Do City Bus Accident Settlements Take?

This is a hard question to answer because there are many factors that can affect the length of your case. Although you will need to file your claim fairly quickly after your accident, resolving your case can take much longer. Here are a few issues that may impact your city bus accident settlement timeline.

  • The number of people injured. If you were the only party injured in an accident, your case will typically be much more straightforward than one that involves many accident victims. An accident with multiple injuries will often take much longer to resolve.
  • The cause of the accident. Proving negligence in a case can be a complex process. Your lawyer will need to conduct an investigation — called “discovery” — to determine which factors may have caused your accident and collect evidence and statements to support their conclusion. A number of different factors can contribute to city bus accidents, including negligence on the part of the bus driver or other drivers on the road. Or there may be a bigger issue at play, such as inadequate employee training, business practices, or manufacturer defects. Proving these kinds of negligence may result in a longer discovery process.
  • The severity of your injuries. Very severe injuries may take longer to diagnose and treat, and will have a greater impact on your future health, welfare, and livelihood. Therefore, it may take longer for your legal team to estimate and calculate the potential value of your damages and losses.
  • The responsiveness and compliance of other parties. A city bus injury claim requires a great deal of communication between the various parties involved, including drivers, city employers, other injured individuals, insurers, and their legal representatives. The responsiveness and cooperation of these entities and individuals can affect the length of your case.
  • The litigation process and jury trial. While most accident cases never go to trial, if the parties cannot come to an adequate settlement, your lawyer may recommend that you take your case to a jury. This will add time to your case.
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Why Hire a Lawyer to Help with Your City Bus Accident Settlement

Due to these time-sensitive factors, you will want to contact a commercial vehicle accident lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer with experience obtaining city bus accident settlements can help you navigate the complex issues at play. A case consultation with a lawyer can help you estimate the settlement you may be likely to receive and the expenses, harms, and losses for which you may deserve compensation.

In this distressing period of time following an accident, it is important to have an advocate with a clear head and the knowledge of how to pursue the best outcome for your case. Your lawyer will obtain documents, interview witnesses, and gather other evidence to bolster your case. They will manage communications between you and the other parties involved as well as provide needed support and guidance in a difficult time.

How FVF Can Help

At FVF Law, our goal is to transparently educate the victims of commercial vehicle accidents on their options and the specific factors that affect their individual cases. We offer free, no-pressure evaluations because we want potential clients who have sustained injuries to feel confident in whatever path they choose rather than confused by their circumstances.

If you choose FVF to advocate for you, it is our goal to maximize your recovery by pursuing compensation for your losses and holding the responsible parties accountable. Contact us to schedule a free, no-commitment evaluation.

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