The Most Important Things to Know After a Bus Accident

May 24, 2021

If you’ve been injured in a bus accident, you may be able to sue—but depending on who owns and operates the bus, special rules may apply. It’s important to talk to a bus accident lawyer in Santa Rosa, CA as soon as possible. A good attorney can help you sort through your legal options and navigate the special laws regarding buses.

Here’s an overview of what to expect if you’ve been in a bus accident.

Who can you sue when you’re injured by a bus?

People use buses as an inexpensive and convenient way to get around town—in many cases, public transportation is their only mode of transit. While buses are generally safe to ride in and around, accidents do happen. Since they tend to be large vehicles carrying heavy loads, victims may suffer serious injuries. You shouldn’t have to bear those costs alone, which is why many bus accident victims wonder if they can sue the city or government that operates the bus.

When the bus is owned and operated by government agencies, that can complicate matters. It often means that there is a far shorter period of time in which you may file (the statute of limitations), and there are often additional hoops you’ll have to jump through to get compensation. It’s important that bus accident victims contact an attorney as soon as possible—specifically, one who has experience pursuing cases against government entities.

What are the special rules for bus accidents?

When an entity or business offers public transportation, they’re generally subject to common carrier laws. Common carrier laws create a higher duty of care—one of the key elements in negligence cases—for public transportation operators, like bus drivers. This is because they have a responsibility to safely transport a greater number of people than the average driver.

If a bus driver’s negligence caused your accident, you and your attorney can pursue a negligence case against them. Instead of suing the bus driver individually, like you would in a regular car accident, you’ll need to sue the government entity responsible for their operations. For example, you’d sue the city of Santa Rosa and the local transit authority if you were hit by one of our city buses.

To prove the driver was negligent, you must show that the driver had that common carrier duty of care to the passengers, they breached that duty and you were injured as a direct result of that breach. That could include failing to observe the rules of the road, distracted driving and more. However, special rules for suing government entities only give you six months to fill out a form with the entity to preserve your claim. If you miss that window, you’ll miss the opportunity to recover compensation.

If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a bus, it’s crucial that you hire an experienced bus accident attorney in Santa Rosa, CA as soon as possible. Call the Law Offices of Max G. Arnold, Inc. to get started.

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