Fortunately, bus crashes in Florida are few and far between; still, they do happen, and their numbers are on the rise. According to FMCSA data, bus crashes in our country increased by one-third in the seven-year period ending in 2016. During this time, roughly 15,000 reported crashes occurred, leaving 35,000 injured and many dead. When a bus crashes, the aftermath can be quite serious, leading to devastating injuries for bus operators and their passengers as well as occupants in any other involved vehicles. If you have been injured in a bus accident, speak with our Weston bus accident attorney right away following your accident, since Florida law limits the amount of time injured parties have to file a claim.
Although not by intent, the very design of buses makes them a serious force on the roadway capable of causing massive destruction with any object with which they collide. They are massive by size and weight, so whatever they hit receives maximum damage. Their boxy shape makes them prone to blindspots among bus operators and makes them notoriously difficult to maneuver, both of which can be contributing factors in serious bus accidents. For passengers, most buses are not designed for safety, especially older buses that are typically required to have safety belts in place. Couple that with the large interior cabin of the bus that allows bodies to be flung about during a crash or thrown from the bus’ numerous windows and you can see how being involved in a bus accident can lead to some major injuries for all involved.
This holds true for occupants of other vehicles in the bus crash. Because a bus sits so high up in the air, passenger cars that are hit by the bus take the brunt of the impact and the damage. In fact, 65 percent of fatalities in bus accidents are among those not riding on the bus but riding instead in other vehicles involved in the crash.
Most buses are “common carriers,” including city buses, metro buses, school buses, tour buses and even shuttle buses. When you get on a bus, you trust your safety to the bus’ operator, and you have full faith that you’ll reach your destination unharmed. However, if the negligence or reckless regard of the bus’ operator or others on the road lead to injury, you have a right to file a bus accident claim to recoup your losses. Some of the potential litigants in a bus accident claim include:
- The operator of the bus
- The owner of the bus
- Other drivers on the road
- The entity providing maintenance for the bus
- The bus’ manufacturer
- The manufacturer of parts or tires for the bus
- The entity tasked with providing safe upkeep for the road or street where the accident occurred
Your Weston bus accident lawyer can help you figure out who is liable in your bus accident claim. Florida law gives you two years from the date of your accident to file a claim for damages against the at-fault party. Contact the Law Office of Bradley S. Hartman to speak with our Weston bus accident attorney now. We have experience dealing with personal injury claims and have won thousands in compensation for our clients.