Who Might Be Liable for a Bus Accident?
When a bus strikes a pedestrian, cyclist, stationary object, or moving vehicle, the resulting damages are often catastrophic. Thankfully, those who sustain serious injuries are sometimes entitled to compensation for their losses.
If you were injured in a crash that involved a bus, you may be able to recover funds for medical bills, loss of income, emotional distress, and other damages. Before you can seek a payout, though, you’ll have to identify who was to blame for the crash and then gather evidence to prove their liability.
When it comes to bus accidents, there are several parties that could be deemed liable. Let’s take a look at some of the most common culprits below:
1. Another Motorist
If the bus driver was following the rules of the road prior to the wreck, another motorist may have been responsible. Should this be the case, you may be able to file a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. As long as you can prove both liability and damages, the insurer should be willing to cover your losses up to the policy’s limits.
2. The Touring Company
If the bus was operated by a private touring company, they may be liable for the damages. Businesses in the transportation field have an obligation to maintain their fleet, conduct thorough background checks on all their employees, and train their drivers adequately. If the touring company failed to do any of the above, you may have grounds for a claim against them.
You may also be able to take action against them if it is determined that the negligence of the driver was to blame for the crash. Generally speaking, employers are liable for the damages their employees cause while performing their job duties.
3. A Government Agency
If the bus was operated by the government, the associated agency may be responsible for any damages that the crash ends up causing. Should this be the case, the proceedings will differ slightly from those for claims against individuals or private entities.
Because of a doctrine called sovereign immunity, for example, your total payout may be limited. And if the agency proves uncooperative, you may have a much shorter filing deadline to pursue it. Whereas the standard statute of limitations for personal injury suits is three years, you have just 180 days to notify the defendant if you’ll be taking action against the government.
4. The Manufacturer of the Vehicle or Its Parts
If the bus crashed because of some kind of defect or mechanical malfunction, the associated manufacturer may be to blame. In such a scenario, a product liability lawyer can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
Call 605-721-2800 to Discuss Your Case with a Rapid City Bus Accident Attorney
If you were seriously hurt in a traffic accident through no fault of your own, the attorneys at Beardsley, Jensen & Lee, PLLC can help you gather the evidence needed to prove liability and damages against all responsible parties. Call 605-721-2800 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a bus accident lawyer in Rapid City.
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