Using public transportation is a great way to save on gas and help reduce your carbon footprint on the environment. But when a city bus or subway is involved in an accident, the legal fallout can be quite complex because so many different parties can be involved—the people injured in an accident, the bus driver, and the company that is responsible for the vehicle. Determining the levels of responsibility and liability in an accident involving public transportation is difficult, because no two cases are the same, Florida accident lawyers say.
In a recent case in Fort Lauderdale, six people were taken to two hospitals after a city bus crashed into a four-door Jeep during a workday route. According to police reports, five of the hospitalized people were passengers on the bus, and the sixth was in the Jeep at the time. Several other bus riders were treated on the scene for minor injuries and did not need to be taken to the hospital.
In an accident, liability and restitution responsibility is often assigned to the driver who is determined to have caused the crash. But when riders on a public bus are injured in an accident caused by the bus driver, responsibility for the crash can still be assigned to the driver, but additional liability may fall on the company that hired the driver.
Drivers who work for public transportation companies are typically hired after a vetting process of some kind, and an inquiry into their previous driving history. Employers should be checking drivers’ backgrounds for drunk driving charges, arrests, citations for sleeping on the road or driving negligently, speeding tickets, and other traffic violations that may put the general public at risk. If the vetting process is skipped over, or falsified, this is further fuel for a liability claim if that driver causes an accident.
When you suffer an injury in a car accident, even if it is minor, the bills for the ambulance ride, hospitalization, and treatment can all rack up quickly, leaving you in a financial crunch for an accident that was not your fault. These injuries could also cause you to lose a day of work, and potentially even take a pay loss. People who are treated at the hospital may be entitled to compensation that covers both their medical expenses and their financial losses as a result of lost time. If you have been injured in a crash caused by a bus driver, Florida car accident lawyers recommend that you seek the proper medical treatment from your family doctor or a hospital, so that all your paperwork is in order and your injuries and the procedures you underwent are documented for your case.
Public transportation companies can also be held liable for damages caused to another vehicle in a collision involving one of their busses or drivers. In the recent accident between the bus and the Jeep, the Jeep’s owner may be able to seek compensation for the damage to the car in addition to any other charges.
At David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A., our car accident and personal injury attorneys represent Florida clients who have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, whether it is an individual driver or a negligent company. Contact David Fuchs today to get started on your case.