Many Plantation and Broward County residents count on buses to get them where they are going, and most bus rides are pleasant enough. However, things can go awry in a heartbeat, turning a daily commute or jaunt across town into a nightmare. Bus accidents happen, and when they do, the injuries sustained by those involved can be quite significant.
Any type of motor vehicle accident is traumatic, but the trauma and devastation experienced during a bus accident can be amplified tenfold. Inside the bus’ cabin, unrestrained passengers are often flung around like rag dolls as the bus crashes, leading to serious injuries that may require months or even years of treatment for recovery. For the occupants of vehicles involved in the crash, things are often even worse. Buses are massive in size, delivering a lot of force to other vehicles on the road. Because of this, the brunt of their impact wreaks a great amount of damage and can lead to life-changing injuries, including crushing injuries, spinal damage, traumatic brain injuries, burns and open fractures. Around three-fourths of fatalities in bus accidents are among the occupants of other vehicles involved.
Causes of Bus Accidents
There are a variety of reasons that bus accidents occur. Among the most-often cited are driver error, poor weather or road conditions, drunk driving, and poor bus maintenance. Drivers who are distracted by text messaging or talking on the phone also sometimes cause a bus crash. Florida law requires that all drivers do their due diligence to avoid causing harm on the road; this same regard is expected of the operators of buses. Negligence on the part of the bus driver, even if the bus is a government-owned bus, opens the driver and the entity for which he drives up to liability.
Sovereign Immunity and Florida Bus Crashes
Although it is still possible to collect damages if you are involved in a Florida bus crash with a bus owned by the city, county or state, these entities are protected by a sovereign immunity cap. This is a maximum cap on the amount of compensation that you can collect for injuries in such an accident. The current cap for public bus accidents is $200K per person and $300K per accident. So if your total losses are greater, then you may need to look to your own auto’s uninsured or underinsured motorist policy for recourse. Your Plantation bus accident attorney can help you determine if your case falls under the sovereign immunity law.
When you ride on a bus, whether it’s public or private, you have the reasonable expectation that your safety is assured. When you are harmed due to the negligence of another party while riding a bus, whether it is a school bus, public bus, party bus, shuttle bus, or tour bus, you have a right to collect damages for your injuries.
Schedule a no-cost consultation with the experienced Plantation bus accident attorney at the Law Office of Bradley S. Hartman to determine the best course of action in your particular case.