Slip and Fall

Who Can Be Held Liable in Accidents Involving Buses?

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By Clair B. Norton
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Who Can Be Held Liable in Accidents Involving Buses

Bus accident law can be confusing. Many buses are owned and operated by government entities, such as school districts or public transportation bureaus. Because of this, filing an injury claim against these entities is more difficult. State and local laws differ, but the basic procedure is the same: victims must file a “notice of claim” within a limited time frame. This means that they may not receive compensation immediately.

Because buses carry passengers and cargo, accidents involving buses are particularly serious. Because buses are so large and heavy, victims often sustain serious injuries. They may have a valid claim for compensation if they are involved in a bus accident. The legal process can be complicated, so contacting an experienced New York bus accident lawyer is a good idea. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal process and get maximum compensation for your damages.

When an accident involving a bus occurs, an investigation is necessary to determine who is at fault. This investigation will determine whether or not the driver’s standard of care was violated and whether that breach contributed to the accident. If the accident was caused by negligence, the bus company can be held liable. If the bus driver was distracted, failed to maintain a proper distance, or failed to notice something on the road, he or she is responsible.

In some cases, the bus company is directly responsible for the accident. In such cases, the bus operator was negligent in hiring or training the driver. The MTA, for example, might be held liable if they failed to thoroughly background check the driver. A bus manufacturer should hire and train drivers with the proper training and experience to ensure a safe ride for passengers. A bus company may also be held responsible for maintenance problems.

Government-owned buses may have different protections than private transportation companies. Generally, if a private bus company is involved in an accident, the driver cannot be sued unless it’s obvious that the driver was negligent. However, different jurisdictions apply different standards for overriding governmental immunity. If the bus company is negligent, a jury can still award damages to the victim.

If the bus driver was an employee of a charter company, the company may also be liable for the accident. Vicarious liability does not apply to independent contractors. Buses may be large, complex vehicles. Many of them may not receive the proper maintenance, and this may lead to an accident. Examples of negligent maintenance include tire blowouts, skidding, or brake malfunctions.

When multiple parties are involved in an accident, liability can be a complicated issue. Insurance companies often argue that they are only partially responsible for an accident. In other cases, two parties may disagree on how much fault they have incurred. A skilled attorney will investigate all parties involved in the accident and use case law and statutes to determine who can be held responsible. A bus accident attorney is invaluable in such a case.

The bus company must have reasonably safe buses, hire qualified drivers, and demonstrate its fitness as a common carrier. The company could be liable if the driver causes an accident due to carelessness. Additionally, the bus company may be held liable for a faulty bus or a slick driver. If these factors are not met, the company may be held liable for any injuries or damages caused by its negligence.

In some instances, school bus companies can be held liable for the damages caused by an accident. A school bus driver can also be held responsible for an accident if he or she is negligent. If a bus driver fails to follow safety regulations, the school system’s insurance company is typically liable for the damages. This is called vicarious liability and applies when an accident occurred while performing his or her duties.

In addition to bus companies, the owners of government buses may be held responsible for the accident. Depending on the circumstances, a lawsuit can be filed against these entities. However, it is vital to file a notice of claim as soon as possible after the accident occurred to protect yourself from losing your right to sue. A lawyer who specializes in bus accidents may be your best option for pursuing your claim.

Common carriers, like government agencies, are responsible for a common carrier’s negligence. Because these companies transport people and goods, they have a higher duty of care to avoid harm to passengers. The threshold for establishing a common carrier’s liability is much lower than for a passenger car. As such, a person who is injured in a bus accident has the right to file a lawsuit.

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