Buses offer inexpensive, convenient public transportation options. Many people throughout Tampa, from schoolchildren to commuters, rely on them to get around the Tampa area each day—and assume when they get on the bus that they will have an overall safe experience. Unfortunately, not all bus experiences offer that security. Sometimes, bus accidents occur, which result in severe injury.
If you suffer injuries in a common carrier collision, trying to handle your case on your own could lead to frustrating interactions with the insurance company and a long wait to get the compensation you deserve. Instead, contact a Tampa bus accident lawyer at Perenich Injury Law Attorneys to learn more about your rights after a crash. Our dedicated team of personal injury attorneys are ready to help.
How Can Perenich Law Help Navigate Your Bus Accident Claim?
Many bus accident victims find themselves floundering. Do they have adequate time to file a bus accident claim? Did the bus driver cause the collision? How do you know when you have the right to file a claim?
At Perenich Law, our seasoned lawyers understand the many challenges faced by people who have sustained severe injuries in an accident, including Tampa bus accidents. We help our clients fully understand the compensation they may deserve and how to manage their claims. We also provide comprehensive support that has, in the past, helped many of our clients maximize the compensation they could recover for severe injuries.
We look at your bus accident details to ensure that you have the data you need.
Evidence can prove critical as you move forward with any personal injury claim, including bus accident claims. If you do not have adequate evidence, you may not know who bears liability for your bus accident and your injuries.
Furthermore, you may not have the evidence you need to establish who caused the accident in a way that the liable party cannot deny. We help our clients search out that vital evidence, which we use to help put together a compelling claim that details our clients’ right to compensation.
We ensure our clients know how much compensation they deserve following a bus crash.
All too often, we speak with clients who have received meager settlement offers from the insurance company involved in their claims. Those offers may not even reflect the total medical costs the victim suffered, much less the full range of financial challenges that often go along with serious injuries. Our dedicated Tampa bus accident attorneys work closely with our clients to look at all of the bills they faced following their accidents, then help them recover as much compensation as possible for their injuries.
We represent our clients in their dealings with the insurance company.
It does not take long for many victims to realize that dealing with the insurance company after a severe accident can offer some of the most frustrating challenges you may face. Insurance companies may seem like they represent your interests. In reality, however, they often act to protect the company’s interests, not the injured individuals in desperate need of their services.
We represent our clients in those dealings by negotiating with the insurance company to determine the client’s compensation. Alternatively, we can take cases to court when necessary to increase the odds of getting the total compensation the client deserves after the insurance company fights to lower that amount.
Types of Bus Crashes in Tampa and the Injuries They May Cause
Bus accidents can occur in a variety of scenarios.
Accidents between buses and cars can occur due to negligence on the part of either driver. Sometimes, a bus driver may not pay adequate attention to his vehicles. Distracted driving can prove dangerous for any driver, but the danger increases substantially when the distracted driver drives a large bus. While bus passengers may suffer less severe injuries, since they have the bulk of the bus to help protect them against serious accidents, the driver and passengers in a small car that has an accident with a bus may suffer much more severe injuries.
Bus/car accidents may also occur due to negligence on the car driver’s part. Car drivers may not realize how much room the bus needs to maneuver safely in some cases. In other cases, the car may try to pass the bus unsafely, particularly if the car driver attempts to pass a school bus illegally as it moves through Tampa neighborhoods.
If a passenger vehicle driver’s negligence causes an accident that results in your injuries, you may need to file a claim through that driver’s insurance policy.
In bus/car accidents, victims may suffer the same types of injuries that they would suffer in any other kind of car accident, including:
Back and neck injuries
Spinal cord injuries
Bus drivers usually exercise extreme care to help prevent accidents with pedestrians. Unfortunately, sometimes, they may end up failing to notice the presence of a pedestrian in a crosswalk or one who has moved too close to the bus. Bus drivers may also commit to dangerous maneuvers to get through traffic more quickly.
Back and neck injuries, including herniated discs and strained muscles
Often, the bus driver will bear liability for a bus/pedestrian accident, frequently resulting from driver inattention.
Slip and Fall Accidents
In addition to traditional collisions, bus accidents can also occur because the victim slips and falls while getting on the bus or trying to walk on the bus. Slip and fall accidents often occur due to poor maintenance on the bus over time or because of poor construction, like slick flooring. Bus companies often bear liability for slip and fall accidents.
Injuries may vary, including:
Broken bones, including broken hips
Back and neck injuries
Who Bears Liability for Tampa Bus Accidents?
Who is liable for a bus accident depends on exactly how the crash occurred, including which driver committed a negligent act that ultimately resulted in the collision. In many Tampa bus accidents, the investigation uncovers driver liability. Take a look at the parties that may share liability for a common carrier collision:
The Bus Driver
Sometimes, bus drivers may commit dangerous acts, including drinking and driving or driving while distracted, that may leave them directly liable for an accident caused by their negligence.
In some cases, bus accidents may occur due to the negligent behavior of other individuals, including drivers. For example, a driver who T-bones a bus or tries to speed around a bus, causing a severe accident, may bear liability for the accident. In that case, you might have to pursue compensation through that driver’s insurance company.
The Bus Company
In some cases, the bus company may assume liability for the accident even if the bus driver was at fault. A lawyer may look carefully into the details of your accident to determine whether the bus company shares liability for the incident.
In the following situations, the bus company might be liable:
Maintaining a fleet of buses requires attention to detail and regular updates. If the bus company does not keep a bus in good repair, it can increase the risk of mechanical failure or cause dangers like increased trip and fall hazards, which may multiply the risk to bus users. If the bus company fails to complete needed maintenance or address known problems, the bus company may bear liability for injuries.
Hiring or Retaining a Dangerous Driver
Tampa bus drivers need to adhere to strict standards on the road to protect themselves, their passengers, and others who use those roads. Tampa bus companies need to monitor their drivers carefully. They need to check a driver’s record before hiring to ensure that they do not have a dangerous accident history. They may need to carefully evaluate the driver’s performance after hiring to ensure that they do not pose a danger. Suppose the driver frequently causes accidents or engages in dangerous behavior like ignoring the road rules, drinking and driving, or driving while distracted. In that case, the bus company may bear liability for the accident.
Unsafe Working Conditions
Bus drivers can only spend so many hours on the road, driving the same route repeatedly, before road haze starts to set in. Road haze may increase driver distraction or raise the risk that drivers will cause an accident. Bus companies must carefully monitor the hours they require their drivers to spend on the road and prevent excessive hours that could increase accident risk. Furthermore, bus companies with unsafe policies may try to stay on schedule regardless of safety concerns. They may bear liability for accidents resulting from that negligence.
Talk to a knowledgeable lawyer in Tampa about your bus accident and how to pursue compensation through the bus company, if needed.
How Much Compensation to Expect After a Tampa Bus Accident
You may feel that compensation tops the list of things you need to know about your bus accident claim. Unfortunately, no two bus accident claims are the same. At Perenich Law, we will evaluate the actual losses you sustained due to your bus accident so that we can help you calculate the damages you should expect as part of a bus accident claim.
#1. Who caused the accident?
Some entities may have higher-value insurance policies than others, which may influence the amount you can claim in compensation for your injuries. For example, suppose you have a bus accident caused by another driver. In that case, you may have a more challenging time getting the total compensation you deserve. On the other hand, if the bus company is liable for the accident, the bus company may have a higher-value insurance policy that considers the likelihood of multiple people suffering injuries in a bus accident and can make higher payouts.
#2. What injuries did you suffer, and what medical treatment did you need for them?
The severity of your injuries can make a big difference in many bus accident claims. Suppose you suffered relatively minor injuries and needed relatively little medical treatment for those injuries. In that case, you may recover a lower compensation amount than if you suffered severe injuries and required extensive medical treatment.
Carefully consider all the medical bills you faced as a direct result of your accident. A lawyer can help you calculate the value of those bills and put them together for your claim.
#3. Did you have to miss time at work because of bus accident injuries?
Lost wages can cause a serious financial strain after your bus accident. As part of your claim, you have the right to include compensation for the wages that your injuries caused you to miss out on, from time off immediately after the accident to recover to the days you have to take off work for follow-up treatments and appointments. Furthermore, if your bus accident injuries will permanently stop you from working in your former field, you may have the right to claim compensation for lost earning potential.
#4. What suffering did your bus accident injuries cause?
In addition to claiming the direct financial losses associated with your bus accident, you may have the right to include compensation for overall pain and suffering. Talk to your lawyer about the impact your injuries have had on your life.
Contact Perenich Law Injury Attorneys After Your Tampa Bus Accident
If you suffered severe injuries in a bus crash, Perenich Law Injury Attorneys can help. Our family-based firm has assisted local Tampa residents with many bus-related personal injury claims and has the experience necessary to help you obtain the financial compensation you deserve after experiencing a bus-related accident. Call a Tampa bus accident lawyer at Perenich Injury Law Attorneys today for your free consultation.