Passenger Bus Accidents: Factors That Make Them Complicated Lawsuits

Passenger bus accidents are a common occurrence and often end in tragedy. Injured passengers will usually sue the bus company, driver, or other entity for damages after a crash. However, bus passenger accidents often lead to lawsuits that are more complicated than others, which is why it’s so important you seek legal counsel before filing your suit.

Why Are Passenger Bus Accidents Complicated?

Bus accidents are more complex than your standard auto accident because many more moving parts are involved. An experienced bus accident lawyer will be able to help you navigate the tricky landscape of a bus accident lawsuit. 

Still, you need to understand what makes these accidents so complex. Take a look at the following factors, and keep them in mind when speaking with your lawyer. 

You Need To Identify Who’s at Fault

Passenger bus drivers have a duty to protect their passengers. Unfortunately, bus crashes happen very frequently. The most important thing you need to do when you decide to sue after an accident is determine who’s at fault. When it comes to bus crashes, there are multiple entities you might sue. 

The bus driver could be at fault if they crashed the bus due to negligence. Similarly, the bus company could also be at fault if that negligence was preventable. Repair companies that performed poor repairs, other drivers, and property owners are other entities your lawyer will need to look at.

Bus Insurance Policies Are Complex

Another factor that makes bus accident lawsuits different from car accidents is bus driver insurance policies. Bus insurance policies cover the driver, passengers, and vehicle. However, policies typically place a cap on damages paid per passenger in a bus crash. 

In many cases, insurance companies will seek to divide a settlement equally among passengers. Unfortunately, that can be problematic when some passengers suffer catastrophic injuries while others walk away with a few scrapes. To maximize your damages, you and your lawyer will need to plan your case carefully.

Government-Owned Buses Might Have Immunity

A significant wrench in the legal process is immunity. Municipal buses that are government owned are often immune to lawsuits due to sovereign immunity, and this type of immunity prevents anyone from suing the government without its consent.

So, unfortunately, suing the government or any of its entities is complicated. All lawsuits against the government will go under each state’s Tort Claims Act. Claimants must file specific documentation before suing, or their claim could be unsuccessful. For that reason, hiring an experienced bus accident lawyer is critical.

Some Suits Will Have Damage Caps

Damage caps are limits to monetary awards in lawsuits. Many cases have damage caps, and passenger bus accident lawsuits are no exception. Unfortunately, these caps can make claiming what you’re entitled to tricky or impossible. 

While not every passenger bus accident suit will have a maximum dollar amount, there’s always the chance yours might. Discuss all your options with your lawyer to ensure you’re seeking the maximum benefit. 

You’ll Have Multiple Options for Damages

When creating your damage claim, you and your lawyer will have to sift through the various types of damages to decide which best suit your case. Some of the most common damages claimants seek are for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage

Medical expenses account for every trip to the doctor or hospital after the accident, including appointments for physical therapy or mental health counseling. In addition, lost income could be due to work missed due to injuries, while property damage could include your vehicle. Finally, pain and suffering damages will help you get back on your feet during and after your recovery.

Wrapping Up

Passenger bus accidents happen each day in the US. In many cases, there are very few injuries. However, you might be entitled to compensation if you’re involved in an accident and get injured. If that’s the case, an experienced attorney can help you navigate the complicated process and seek justice for your injuries. 


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