Many West Palm Beach residents rely on buses for rides to run errands, get to work, attend school, and as an eco-friendly form of transportation. When a bus causes an accident, it is often the other road users like pedestrians who suffer the most serious injuries.
You have the right to seek compensation for your injuries in a bus accident lawsuit when your severe injuries are caused by the negligence of another party. It is critical to have a trustworthy and experienced personal injury attorney on your side to help navigate the process of proving liability and negotiating a fair bus accident settlement. Contact a West Palm Beach bus accident lawyer to start your claim.
KMW LEGAL CAN HELP WITH YOUR WEST PALM BEACH BUS ACCIDENT LAWSUIT
After a bus accident, there is a good chance your injuries have caused medical debt, missed career opportunities, development of mental health issues, or other losses. At KMW Legal, we strive to recover the full value of your injuries so that you can begin rebuilding your life.
Bus accident lawsuits are often complicated by the fact that most buses are owned and operated by the state of Florida. In an effort to protect the government from unfounded and extraneous lawsuits, a high bar was set for those that bring lawsuits against the government and caps for settlement recoveries were instituted.
Having a bus accident lawyer with experience handling these types of claims in West Palm Beach can make the difference between a fair settlement and walking away empty-handed. Our past clients will testify to our negotiating skills and respectful treatment that put us a cut above other bus accident lawyers. Join our team for a no-cost, no-commitment strategy session when you are ready to begin recovering your losses.
COMMON CAUSES OF BUS Crashes
Attentive, sober drivers are the best safeguard against devastating bus accidents. Unfortunately, when negligent bus drivers fall short of this ideal, they can jeopardize the lives of anyone in their proximity when they cause a serious accident.
Drunk Bus Drivers
Bus accidents resulting from drunk driving can be devastating. Alcohol’s effect on the brain can affect vision, reduce coordination, and impair judgment. Bus drivers who have consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel may struggle to keep the bus in the lane, observe road rules like speed limits and stop signs, or avoid injuring passengers as they enter and exit the bus. They may lack the awareness to know they need to pull over or yield to traffic, which endangers not only their life but that of their passengers and other road users.
Drowsy Bus Drivers
Bus drivers work on a tight schedule and have to be prepared to adjust routes or intervene with passengers at a moment’s notice. With the stress of these responsibilities, bus drivers may become fatigued prior to or during the course of their shift.
Drowsy driving is incredibly dangerous, as physical reaction times are slowed, and judgment is impaired. Bus drivers already have a more limited time to react to a car slowing down in front of them or a pedestrian stepping into a crosswalk, so any reduction in response time can present a serious threat to public safety.
Distracted Bus Drivers
Bus drivers’ jobs require them to be constantly on the lookout for obstacles as they approach stops and merge back into traffic. They also have to contend with noisy or violent passengers, impatient drivers, and operating a machine that can weigh up to 40,000 pounds, about 10 times the weight of the average passenger vehicle.
That is why it is particularly risky for a bus driver to take their eyes or mind off the road by checking their texts, adjusting navigational equipment, or becoming distracted by a conversation with a passenger. By the time they see a child chasing a ball into the street, and yellow light turning red, or a drop in the speed limit, it may be too late to avoid a catastrophic bus accident.
Not All Bus Wrecks Are Caused by Negligent Drivers
Not all bus accidents are attributable to driver error. Like any other motor vehicle, buses are prone to wear and tear. While it is the responsibility of the bus owner to regularly inspect their fleet to ensure that all buses are in good repair, a faulty brake system or poorly designed steering system may be the actual culprit behind a bus accident.
In the case of a bus crash involving a mechanical failure caused by a defective bus part, your attorney in West Palm Beach may need to consider a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer. Other common causes of bus accidents include:
- Poorly maintained roads
- Adverse weather conditions
- Inadequate lighting or opaque lane lines
- Neglected maintenance
- Road debris
BUS ACCIDENTS CAN RESULT IN LIFE-THREATENING INJURIES
Based on data collected by the NHTSA, there were 20 fatal bus accidents in Florida in 2020. Even when the outcome isn’t fatal, buses can produce catastrophic damage and inflict severe injuries on anyone in their path. The impact of a 30,000-pound bus on the average passenger car can forcefully jerk occupants, crush or slam them up against hard surfaces, and even throw them from their vehicles.
Pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists are even more vulnerable without the protections afforded by airbags and a car frame. Treatment of bus accident injuries may entail anything from stitches to surgery. Bus accident victims may still be left with a permanent loss of function, chronic pain, as well as physical and emotional scars.
Common Bus Accident Injuries
- Deep lacerations
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Crush injuries
- Whiplash and other neck injuries
- Severe burns
- Dental and facial injuries
- Disfigurement and paralysis
After you are out of harm’s way, make sure that you go to see a healthcare provider for medical treatment of your injuries. They will be able to detect any overlooked injuries and administer appropriate treatment to prevent further injury.
By seeking prompt treatment, you are also protecting your ability to file a viable bus accident lawsuit in the future. Insurance companies will use a refusal or delay of medical treatment to make the case that you are not as injured as you claim, which can lead to a lower settlement payout for your damages. Your medical records after a bus crash could be crucial for your West Palm Beach attorney to use in a claim.
WHAT DAMAGES CAN I RECOVER IN A BUS ACCIDENT LAWSUIT?
As experienced bus accident lawyers in West Palm Beach, we can tell you that the types of severe injuries that are common in bus accidents often take an emotional and mental toll. You may endure invasive procedures, miss important family events, lose relationships, and ultimately contend with having to change your entire lifestyle to accommodate lasting impairments.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a bus accident, you may assume that you can only recuperate costs like prescription medications or paychecks lost while you were seeking treatment. In an injury lawsuit, you can also recover these non-economic losses like pain and suffering.
Examples of Bus Accident Damages
- Medical bills
- Lab tests
- Ambulance rides
- Transportation to appointments
- Hospital stays
- Mobility aids
- Home healthcare services
- Home modifications
- Physical or occupational therapy
- Job-related losses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Costs of job retraining
- Missed promotions
- Inability to continue career
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
- Funeral costs
- Loss of consortium or parental guidance
- Lost income contribution
HOW MUCH IS MY BUS ACCIDENT CASE WORTH?
The amount you are able to recover for your injuries can vary based on the impact that they have had on your life. For example, consider a competitive cyclist who works construction for a living. A speeding bus runs a red light and hits the bicyclist, causing them to suffer a partially paralyzing spinal cord injury.
The injured cyclist would likely receive a different settlement to compensate for the loss of their career and hobby as compared to the average office worker. You need a meticulous and dedicated bus collision lawyer in West Palm Beach to contextualize your injuries to demonstrate the true extent of your damages in a bus accident lawsuit.
HOW CAN A BUS Crash LAWYER HELP ME?
In many cases, you will be able to draw on your Personal Injury Protection insurance to go towards medical bills and lost wages. However, in case of serious injuries that require more extensive treatment and force you to stay out of work longer, PIP benefits may prove insufficient. You may decide to file a bus accident lawsuit to reclaim the value of your lost earning capacity, mental health, and pain.
To give your bus accident lawsuit the best chance of recovering the maximum settlement value available, you will need a seasoned bus accident lawyer who is prepared to investigate the accident, leverage medical records and expert testimony, provide evidence of negligence, document the impact of your injuries, and take on powerful defendants at trial if negotiations stall.
Do your due diligence and find a bus accident lawyer in West Palm Beach with the expertise, resources, and strategic mindset required to successfully recover your damages. Most importantly, you should pick someone you can trust to devote the amount of time, effort, and attention that your bus accident lawsuit deserves.
KMW LEGAL CAN HELP WITH YOUR BUS ACCIDENT LAWSUIT
At KMW Legal, we take pride in our outstanding record of success in reaching fair settlements and a multitude of satisfied clients. To us, you are a priority, not an opportunity for profit. We have walked clients through some of the most difficult times of their lives as they dealt with financial insecurity, painful recoveries, and emotional distress.
Our bus crash lawyers in West Palm Beach will listen to your story so that we can accurately assess the value of your damages. Our team will take over handling your other issues, like dealing with bill collectors, preparing statements for the insurance company, and tracking expenses.
We also know that when you are pursuing a case against a government entity, there is typically a mountain of paperwork and strict deadlines involved in the process. While you focus on your recovery, we will keep abreast of all relevant requirements and prepare a compelling bus accident claim for damages.
KMW LEGAL IS PROUD TO SERVE INJURED BUS Wreck VICTIMS
West Palm Beach is a coastal city with a population of 117,415 residents. It is located north of Boca Raton in Palm Beach County. West Palm Beach is known for its established arts scene, close ties to historical Florida developers, and breathtaking beaches. KMW Legal has been honored to serve this community for the last decade.
By providing diligent, results-driven service, we have been able to build a word-of-mouth reputation among our former clients. In conjunction with our well-honed negotiating skills and experience handling bus accident lawsuits, the lawyers of KMW Legal are an unstoppable force in settlement negotiations. We will go above and beyond to ensure that you are satisfied with the outcome of your bus accident lawsuit.
CONTACT A WEST PALM BEACH BUS ACCIDENT Attorney TODAY
The lawyers of Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh have over 30 years of combined experience negotiating complex claims to recover maximum compensation for our injured clients. Our founding partners have been repeatedly recognized on a national scale for their achievements in negotiations and in court.
Our trial experience is an invaluable asset when filing a bus accident claim. State governments and insurance companies are aware that escalating your claim to trial means the potential for negative publicity for them and an additional expense beyond the damages stipulated in the claim. Our West Palm Beach bus accident lawyers understand that bringing a lawsuit against the government or a large corporation is intimidating, which is why it is important to have a team you can depend on by your side.
KMW Legal has advocated on behalf of many injured bus accident clients in order to recover damages for medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, and other expenses. Reach out to our West office today to join our team for a free strategy session. We look forward to discussing how our team can best support you through a bus crash lawsuit.