Bus accidents can leave destruction and injury in their wake. Whether the crash was caused by a negligent bus driver or another dangerous driver on the road, you could be entitled to compensation for any injuries in the crash. Even if you were in the other car that the bus hit, you could be able to file an injury claim against the bus company.
However, Florida’s car insurance rules make it hard to sue for pain and suffering for an injury and limit the damages you can get in some cases. Working with a lawyer, you can better fight to get the compensation you need.
Call our bus accident lawyers at The Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer at (954) 751-4258 for help with your case today.
What Kinds of Bus Accident Cases Do I Need a Lawyer for in Palm Beach County, FL?
If you were hurt in a bus accident, you should get a lawyer. This might sound unnecessary, as you might know that you have insurance if you were hit by a bus driver. Nonetheless, there are important technicalities in the area of car accident and bus accident insurance laws that make it hard to get full compensation for an injury. Working with a bus accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve anyway.
All auto accidents in Florida are governed by no-fault insurance rules. These rules make it so the driver of the car pays for medical bills and lost wages for anyone injured in their car. The other driver’s insurance pays for injuries in that car. In bus accidents, the bus holds a lot of passengers, and they should all get compensation through the bus company’s insurance.
These passengers – and anyone injured in another car – will all face the same restriction: there are no pain and suffering damages paid this way. In addition, only a portion of your damages are covered, meaning that there will always be damages that are not paid through this kind of insurance claim.
You might be able to get the rest of the damages for medical bills and lost wages through a third-party claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance. This could be the bus driver’s insurance or the other driver’s insurance, depending on how the accident happened in the first place. Even so, pain and suffering damages still are not covered.
To get pain and suffering damages, you need to show that you have “serious injuries” that qualify for these damages. Our attorneys can help you demonstrate that your injuries need this standard.
When to Call a Lawyer for a Bus Accident Case in Palm Beach County
As for when during the progression of your case you should contact a lawyer, the answer is usually that you should call as early as you can. If you get a lawyer early on in your case, you can have them help you with evidence collection, they can track the medical expenses and other damages you face, and they can work to file claims quickly to help you avoid delays in payment.
There is also a statute of limitations that stops injury victims from being able to sue after a certain period of time. In 2023, Florida actually halved this statute of limitations period from 4 years to 2 years. That means that bus accident victims now more than ever need to act quickly to get compensation for their injuries.
Know that when you call our lawyers, there is no commitment. You are not deciding then and there to take on our services. We offer free case evaluations where we can explain how we can help and let you know what your options are. If you do decide to work with us, you are also not making any commitments as to whether you will go to court or go to trial. Our attorneys are legally and ethically required to leave that decision to you when the time to decide comes.
How Fault Plays a Part in Bus Accidents in Palm Beach County, FL
As mentioned, Florida uses no-fault insurance. However, that only pays for some damages, so you usually need to file a claim against the party who caused the crash to get the rest of your damages covered. Identifying who was at fault will play a big part in your bus accident case and have some surprising outcomes.
Generally, passengers cannot be liable for a crash. That means that one of the drivers – either the bus driver or the other driver – will be at fault. If you were a passenger, you might also be able to get partial damages from each of them if they each made mistakes on the road.
Courts and insurance companies consider a driver at fault when they either committed a traffic violation or they drove in an unreasonable way, and that the violation or error caused the crash. This can mean drunk driving, distracted driving, speeding, tired driving, running a red light, or any other issue.
Bus companies can also be partially or wholly liable for a crash. Bus drivers usually work as employees of these bus companies, so any mistakes they make within the scope of their job duties could be considered the bus company’s mistakes. This allows you to hold the bus company “vicariously liable” for its drivers’ errors.
Bus companies also usually own and maintain the vehicles. That means any issues with the bus that caused a crash could be the bus company’s fault. This could lead to them sharing partial liability with the bus driver or any other drivers involved in the accident.
Contact Our Palm Beach County Bus Accident Attorneys Today
For help with your case, call (954) 751-4258 to speak with The Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer’s bus accident attorneys.