At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we work hard to make negligent bus drivers and their employers pay for the damages they cause. We understand Florida's transportation statutes and complex legal issues.
Our Boca Raton bus accident lawyers have devoted our firm's time and resources to get fair compensation for our clients. We do whatever is necessary to hold bus companies and other liable parties accountable for the injuries they cause.
Bus Accidents Often Cause Severe Injuries and Damages
Just like in any thriving city, many Boca Raton residents, students, and commuters rely on public transportation to travel throughout the city. Each month, nearly 800,000 people ride Palm Tran buses. It's a relatively safe transportation mode, but accidents still happen.
When a bus is involved, its weight and mass enhance its capacity to cause fatalities. Buses also cause catastrophic injuries, often leaving the injured person with a lifetime of medical treatment, lost earning capacity, and permanent disability. The 2016 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts data shows that city, cross country, and local school buses contribute to the national vehicle accident mortality rate.
For example, a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 10-year study, School-Transportation-Related Crashes, documents an average of 128 fatalities annually. Eight- to 13-year-olds comprised 35 percent of child pedestrians killed. In bus/car accidents, twice as many children died in the private passenger vehicle than in the bus. As with vehicle accidents in general, driver error is usually a major factor in these tragic events.
Our Bus Accident Attorneys Can Represent You in Boca Raton
Accidents involving buses have many factors that can complicate the financial recovery process. Rather than navigating Florida's legal system by yourself while healing from your injuries, you can hire our team to represent you. Our comprehensive personal injury services will cover all aspects of your case.
For example, as your legal team, we will:
- Investigate the bus accident to identify its cause and contributing factors
- Explain your rights based on Florida law
- Compile evidence of negligence from the bus company, nearby traffic cameras, and the accident report
- Identify who to hold accountable for the bus collision and communicate about the case on your behalf
- Build a case requesting compensation based on your unique damages
- Negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement
- File a lawsuit before Florida's four-year statute of limitations expires (Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a))
- Provide guidance during each phase of the legal process
Our lawyers are prepared to guide your accident claim from beginning to end so that you never have to wonder about your case's status or taking the next step in the process. We'll take it for you - though you'll always have a say when it comes to major decisions.
How Much does It Cost to Hire a Bus Accident Lawyer?
As a personal injury law firm, we know our clients are often facing serious economic damages. Rather than increasing this financial burden with upfront or hourly fees, we operate on contingency.
Our contingency fee agreement means:
- You owe nothing out of pocket.
- We charge only when our team wins your case.
- Our attorney's fees are billed as a percentage of your recovered compensation.
Rest assured that we will review this policy before you hire us, so you always know what to expect.
Our Case Results
Our attorneys have recovered millions in settlements and judgments for our clients. When possible, we've resolved cases through informal negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution forums, such as mediation or arbitration.
From the moment we take on our clients' cases, we prepare as though trial is always an option. When necessary, we've had no problem presenting our clients' evidence before a judge and jury. While we can't guarantee an outcome as each case is unique, we can proudly share some of our firm's case results:
- $1.75 million: A semi-truck driver struck our client's vehicle on I-75. She sustained a rotator cuff tear and a traumatic brain injury. Evidence uncovered during discovery revealed that poor truck maintenance contributed to the accident. Before our $1.75 million case resolution, the insurance company had refused to increase their $265,000 offer.
- $1 million: Our client sustained a shoulder tear, a C4-C5 disc herniation, and a concussion. After 14 months of litigation, Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, resolved the case before trial.
- $750,000: Our client received a traumatic brain injury when a driver rear-ended her vehicle.
Clients Praise the Value and Quality of Our Services
Our previous clients speak highly of the representation we provided in their cases. You can read this praise in our Google reviews, such as these client testimonials:
- “I was rear ended on my way home from work and ended up suffering chronic back and neck problems. I decided to hire this law firm to represent me to deal with the matter and I couldn't have asked for a better attorney than Becky Dolman to help me out and make sure I was properly taken care of and fairly compensated.” - Sheila Calich
- “I was working with another law firm prior and it got to the point where I had to seek new representation. Talk about a 180 degree difference. I cannot be more thankful I met Becky Dolman.” - Peter Sankil
Part of the reason for this praise is our commitment to providing personal attention, aggressive advocacy, and extensive resources to every client we serve. You'll even receive the personal phone number of the lawyer handling your case so you can reach out with any questions or concerns - that's the Dolman Law Difference.
Typical Bus Accident Injuries
Because buses are heavier and larger than most passenger vehicles, they usually protect passengers from serious injury. Unfortunately, when a bus collides with pedestrians, bicyclists, or occupied private passenger vehicles, those individuals don't have those same protections.
Bus accidents don't occur that often, but when they do, they can cause catastrophic injuries with life-altering consequences, such as:
- Disc injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Severe muscle tears and strains
- Shattered and fractured bones
- Traumatic amputations
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Diminished internal organ function
- Severe burns
- Wrongful death
Who Can Be at Fault in a Bus Accident?
When a bus accident occurs, the driver is often a chief negligent party. A bus driver's negligent actions involve distracted driving, reckless operation, driving under the influence, and others. Because a bus is a commercial vehicle, however, the person behind the wheel is just one of the potentially responsible parties:
- Employer: A bus transportation company is often responsible as they control the driver's actions. If an employer knows an employee has a bad driving record, they may also have negligent hiring and negligent entrustment liability exposure.
- Bus Owner: The owner of a leased bus has liability exposure when improper maintenance or defects cause an accident.
- Maintenance Contractor: In a recent Palm Tran bus accident, a tire contractor failed to tighten the lug nut. When the tire later came off, it caused an accident. Fortunately, the accident caused only minor injuries, but it's an example of how maintenance contractors contribute to an accident.
- Bus Manufacturer: When a bus defect contributes to an accident, the manufacturer may be held liable.
What Are Recoverable Damages for Bus Accident Injuries?
Injury settlements or judgments have several components, though economic damages and general damages are the most common. Florida Statutes § 768.72 also allows a punitive damage award if a plaintiff shows clear and convincing evidence of intentional misconduct or gross negligence.
Economic damages include the costs of current and future medical and other expenses:
- Current and future income losses
- Current and future medical expenses
- Mobility devices and prosthesis
- Physical and emotional therapy
- Medical transportation expenses
- Replacement services
General damages are difficult to calculate, as they rely on an injured person's non-economic losses from the injury. It considers how injury complications affect an injured person's life, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Changes in spousal and family relationships
- Loss of functions
- Scars and disfigurement
- Permanent limitations and disabilities
How do Liable Parties Avoid Paying?
Responsible parties in bus and auto accidents must show compliance with state auto insurance laws, so they usually report claims to their insurance company. Other involved parties are often reluctant to get involved unless a lawsuit forces them to.
Insurance claim departments often try to settle for a low figure. If their negotiation strategies don't work, defense attorneys rely on liability and damage defenses:
- No negligence: The defendants refuse to accept liability for an accident.
- Comparative negligence: Florida is a pure comparative fault state under Florida Statutes § 768.81. If a defendant proves a plaintiff's negligence, the court reduces the award by their negligence percentage. A plaintiff still recovers 1 percent of their damages even if they are 99 percent responsible.
- No defect: When a manufacturing defect contributes to an accident, the manufacturer defends their company by denying the defect. Plaintiffs must prove a defect existed and that it caused the accident.
- Damage dispute: Negligent parties who have no viable liability defense often deny causing a plaintiff's injuries or dispute the injury extent.
Call Our Accident Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation
If you were seriously injured in a Boca Raton bus accident, we want to help you. We understand that a settlement won't change what happened to you or your family, but it will help cover your financial losses and aid the road to a successful recovery.
Call our Boca Raton office at 561-220-4963, or contact Dolman Law online to schedule a free appointment. We've recovered millions in damages for our clients and helped give them a better future. The team at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, hopes to do the same for you.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
301 Yamato Road, Suite 1240
Boca Raton, Florida 33431