Generally, buses are a safe means of transportation, whether a school bus or public transit. However, accidents happen and can be terrifying for those involved. If you have been injured in a bus accident, you should hire an experienced Fort Lauderdale Bus Accident Lawyer to help protect your rights and fight for adequate compensation for your injuries. Contact Dolman Law today to learn how we can help.
At Dolman Law, our attorneys have significant experience handling cases that involve bus accidents and related injuries. As a result, we often can help our clients recover compensation for their injuries, including for lost wages and pain and suffering.
Whether your accident involved a bus driver acting negligently, unsafe road conditions, or a defective bus, our Fort Lauderdale attorneys understand personal injury law and how to maximize compensation. While we cannot guarantee a favorable result in all cases, we will do our best to achieve a positive outcome in your case.
What Are Bus Accident Injuries?
While buses are generally safe, many are not equipped with basic safety devices, like seat belts or harnesses. Buses also may be overfilled with people and their possessions, which can pose serious safety hazards in the event of an accident. Furthermore, many buses are top-heavy and thus pose a greater risk of rolling over after a collision. The most common bus accident injuries include:
- Strains and sprains
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Muscle spasms
- Reduced mobility
- Deep cuts and lacerations
Bus accidents often involve serious injuries. Therefore, if you have been injured in a bus accident, you should seek medical care immediately to ensure proper treatment and establish evidence of your injury.
Bus passengers are not the only individuals who may be injured in a bus accident. Some accidents also involve injuries to pedestrians or other drivers on the road. All individuals injured due to a bus accident should seek medical care immediately and then contact an attorney to assess the validity of a personal injury claim.
Who Can Contribute to a Bus Accident Injury in Fort Lauderdale?
Anyone involved in a bus accident could potentially be found liable for the crash; liability depends on the specific circumstances surrounding the incident. In some cases, a collision may have been impossible for the bus driver to avoid. On the other hand, a bus driver's negligence may have caused the accident in other cases.
Negligent driving may result from excessive time behind the wheel (some cities impose 16-hour shifts on bus drivers), intoxication (whether alcohol or drugs), or excessive speed (to make up time on a scheduled route). Bus drivers may also fail to receive proper training prior to beginning their job. Finally, poor maintenance of the bus or roadway may contribute to an accident.
In most bus accident cases, the bus driver is held responsible for the accident. The driver, however, may be insured or supported by the bus company. In some cases, unsafe practices by the bus company - such as requiring a bus driver to overload a bus even if there is not adequate room for all of the passengers - can cause a bus company to be found liable for an accident.
The complex question of liability makes it critical to work with an experienced attorney following your accident to ensure that you understand liability and that you are taking the proper steps to maximize potential compensation.
What Kinds of Damages Can a Victim Recover?
If you have been injured in a bus accident, your medical expenses may be covered by the bus company, depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the crash. It is important to note that if you carry personal injury protection insurance, this will likely serve as your first line of payment at the hospital. However, you may eventually be able to recover damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Expected future medical expenses
- Lost time at work
- Pain and suffering, especially as related to a permanent disability
Your attorney will be the best source of information regarding what damages you may be eligible for based on the specifics of your accident and injuries. Therefore, make sure to provide your attorney with all of the available information regarding your case to ensure the best possible result.
How Will the Bus Driver or Company Try to Get out of Paying?
Regardless of the bus accident circumstances, the bus driver and bus company will both likely attempt to avoid liability. If the bus is government-owned and operated, you may have even more trouble establishing liability and securing recovery. The bus driver may attempt to argue that you caused the accident rather than their negligent driving.
Furthermore, the insurance companies involved will attempt to limit their costs, and thus your recovery amount. Insurance companies frequently try to convince victims to sign settlements that do not fully compensate them for their injuries, sign agreements not to seek additional money, or provide recorded statements regarding the accident.
You should consult a lawyer before contacting any insurance company or accepting any settlement offer. At Dolman Law, we have significant experience handling negotiations with insurance companies. So let us deal with the insurance companies while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
What Evidence Will Help Prove the Cause of the Accident?
The evidence will tell the story of the events that led to the accident. Your bus accident attorney will compile evidence for you and may be able to access some evidence more quickly than you could do on your own. Evidence that will bolster and support your case includes:
- Official police report
- Bus maintenance records
- Bus operator driving records
- Statements from bus passengers
- Statements from accident witnesses
In addition to evidence that proves the liability of the bus driver or company, your lawyer will collect evidence that proves the cause and costs of your injuries. This evidence collection will include your medical records and bills along with the police report.
Additional evidence that proves injury-related costs includes income statements to prove the value of current and future lost wages. Mechanic's bills and value estimates will prove the cost of restoring or replacing your damaged or destroyed car. Your lawyer will collect and organize your evidence for you to prepare your case file.
How Long do I Have to Sue the Bus Driver or Company?
The time immediately after an accident will be consumed by getting the medical care your injuries require. Stick to your health care team's recommended treatment plan to ensure maximum physical recovery. In the meantime, a personal injury lawyer can ensure your case is filed within the statute of limitations. According to Florida Statutes § 95.11, you generally have:
- Four years to file a personal injury lawsuit
- Two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit
If the bus that caused the accident was a city or municipal bus, additional sections of the Florida Statutes impose additional time restrictions on notifying a government entity of your intent to seek compensation. A personal injury lawyer can help you interpret and comply with all applicable statutes and filing deadlines. Timely compliance is a crucial part of building your case because it prevents you from losing the ability to seek any compensation at all.
What Will a Fort Lauderdale Bus Accident Lawyer Do for Me?
When you enlist the assistance of our personal injury lawyer, we manage your case from the initial consultation until it is finally resolved. To strengthen your case and fight for your recovery, we will:
- Collect and organize your evidence into three categories - proof of liability, proof of financial damages, and proof of property damages.
- Interpret and comply with the statute of limitations. For example, if your bus accident involved a city or municipal bus, the statute might vary from a traditional personal injury case or involve additional deadlines.
- Handle all written, verbal, and electronic communication related to your case. This will include demand letters, witness interviews, depositions, settlement negotiations, and final resolutions.
- Review your case to identify all potentially liable parties, including the bus driver, the bus manufacturer, or a part or component manufacturer.
If your case can be settled out of court, our team will fight for the best settlement outcome for you. We take time to review every offer you receive and weigh its feasibility.
What Will a Fort Lauderdale Bus Crash Lawyer Cost Me?
If you've been injured in a bus accident, you likely have enough expenses to deal with beyond paying for an attorney. Fortunately, our fee structure at Dolman Law provides injured victims with the peace of mind that they will generally only have to pay attorney's fees if their claim is successful. We also offer free consultations to assess the validity of your claim, with no obligation to hire us following the consultation.
Contact a Bus Accident Attorney in Fort Lauderdale Today
If you have sustained injuries from a bus accident, you do not need to handle your personal injury claim alone. Instead, contact Dolman Law at (754) 208-1130 or online to speak to an attorney today. We have experience helping injured victims negotiate complex settlement offers, deal with insurance companies, and pursue litigation when necessary.
What Our Clients Have to Say:
“This firm is amazing! Very professional, they helped me with my case until the end. They were available and very flexible. Dolman Law Group would answer all my calls/emails and would not hesitate on explaining all of my concerns. They represented me on my case, in which it turned out to have a successful result. Super recommend them!”
Fort Lauderdale Office
150 E Davie Blvd Suite 201-2
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Phone: (754) 208-1130