Due to their size, buses are highly prone to accidents. These collisions can leave drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and even fare-payers with significant injuries. A claim for damages against a driver and their employer could help to collect payment to cover medical bills, lost wages, and emotional trauma.
A Tacoma bus accident lawyer could take the lead in pursuing these claims. A detail-oriented injury attorney to fully investigate the incident, to help individuals to measure the impact of the incident on their lives, and to demand proper payments from all at-fault defendants.
In most respects, bus drivers have the same duty to keep other people safe as any other operator of a vehicle. Getting behind the wheel forces these drivers to assume a duty of protection to all other people that they encounter. As a result, a driver’s negligence may affect:
The main portion of the case involves proving that a bus driver was at-fault for the incident. This can be the result of failing to obey a traffic law or simple inattentiveness. A Tacoma bus accident attorney could help to investigate the cause of a crash and to place blame for the incident on the shoulders of negligent bus drivers.
Most personal injury cases follow the same basic pattern when choosing a defendant. Car crash cases name the driver of the at-fault vehicle as the sole defendant with an insurance company indemnifying them against liability. However, when a crash involves the driver of a commercial vehicle such as a bus, the list of defendants is likely to grow, and the procedure of the claim may change.
If the driver is operating a private charter owned by a busing company, that company will share liability. The concept of vicarious liability means that a company is responsible for the actions of their employees. In these claims, the driver is still negligent, but the company may also be responsible for paying. These cases follow the standard statute of limitations under the Revised Code of Washington §4.16.080. This law says that an injured party has three years following a crash to demand payment in court.
The formula changes if the defendant is driving a school bus or city vehicle. Here, the city or school district may also be a defendant. However, the time limits to pursue government entities are significantly shorter, and the process for demanding payments will change. A Tacoma bus accident lawyer could help to select the proper defendants and to follow the correct legal procedures.
People who suffer injuries in bus accidents may be confused as to their rights. They may suspect that the bus driver was at-fault for the crash, but they may not know how to file a claim or what other entities may share liability.
The fact is that a bus driver’s employer is also liable for a crash. If this is a private company, the claim will run through their insurance provider. However, if the bus is a school bus or a city vehicle, the claims process will become much more complex.
A Tacoma bus accident lawyer may be able to help. They can work with you to organize your claim, to measure your losses, and to pursue the proper defendants for appropriate compensation packages. To learn more about the process for bringing a claim forward, or for questions regarding a specific case, be sure to schedule a consultation today.