Most people know what to do in the event of a car accident, but what happens when you’re involved in a bus accident? Whether it’s a school bus, Greyhound bus, Disney bus, or the Palm Tran, the stakes can be much higher when involved in a bus accident. Florida is in the top five states to have the most registered buses in the nation, so the odds are even higher for our citizens to experience this type of accident. If you are the victim of a bus accident, do not waste time in finding a trusted lawyer to represent you and your rights. The complex nature of these accidents will require legal expertise, and the sooner you get that, the better.
WHAT CAUSES A BUS ACCIDENT?
Several factors increase the intensity of a possible bus accident. In comparison to regular cars, the size of a bus can be its own worst enemy. The overall size and weight of a bus requires a bus driver to be mindful of and skilled in the ways of maneuvering such a large vehicle. Another major factor that sets buses apart from regular cars is the amount of passengers a bus can hold. There are simply more lives at stake when moving a bus.
Some major causes of bus accidents include, but are not limited to:
- Poor road conditions
- Inclement weather
- Poorly skilled drivers
- Ill-timed reactions
- Neglected maintenance
- Machine defects
WHAT KIND OF INJURIES CAN BE CAUSED BY A BUS ACCIDENT
If you are involved in a bus accident, you should seek medical attention immediately. Some possible injuries may include things like:
- Internal bleeding
- Sprains / Breaks
- Increased blood pressure
- Damage to heart
- Anxiety / Depression
After you are medically stable, contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Depending on what injuries you sustained, you will need compensation to cover the cost of your medical needs. You may be eligible for compensation for any medical appointments, surgeries, rehabilitation efforts, wages lost, or alternate transportation services needed during this time.
ARE BUS ACCIDENTS COMMON IN FLORIDA?
Unfortunately, Florida is no stranger to bus accidents. In March of 2012, a school bus crashed into a semi-truck in St. Lucie County, killing a 9 year-old student and injuring 14 others. The accident took place when the school bus turned in front of the semi-truck, and the truck hit the back right side of the bus. The bus completely spun around and the truck was flipped upside-down. Though passengers from the bus sustained injuries all over the pain spectrum, the truck driver was not injured. In an incident like this, an investigation would take place regarding the bus manufacturer, the bus driver, and the truck driver to determine fault.
More recently, in September of 2016, KMW’s own Chris Keller represented the family of Tito Hamilton, a college athlete that lost his life on a bus ride with his football team. The accident happened when the bus Hamilton was on blew a front tire, causing the vehicle to crash into a guard rail and continue scraping along a concrete bridge. While at first glance, the description may not seem so intense, but the impact actually claimed four lives that day and two of those lives were ejected from the bus. This accident required the involvement of the National Transportation Safety Board to investigate who was at fault. During a moment like this, you need a sound lawyer on your side to make sure justice is truly served instead of mistakes simply being covered up.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I’M IN A BUS ACCIDENT?
1. Seek medical attention. Your health is the first priority in any accident. Now is not the time to turn away medical services. You may have injuries that cannot be detected by the naked eye. Have a medical professional thoroughly examine you so that you are fully aware of your injuries.
2. Document as many details as possible. Use your phone to take pictures of all damage and injuries. Take photos of insurance cards, and write down contact information for those involved. Make a list of details for yourself to remember later. Consider things like the order of events, the time of day, the weather, and the sounds you heard leading up to the crash. All of this information will only strengthen your case, and your memory will be at its best immediately following the accident.
3. Call us today at Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh to set up a free strategy session to discuss your legal needs. Insurance companies will not waste time in trying to contact you to avoid going to court. Be weary of accepting any settlement offered to you outside of court. Instead, get a solid lawyer on your side immediately so that you have someone there to confirm or deny anything an insurance company tries to tell you. Keep in mind the statute of limitations is very small for government vehicles covered by sovereign immunity, so time really is of the essence. Make the most of the time you have by contacting us today.