Clearwater Bus Accident Lawyer
Dramatization, not an actual client
Let Board Certified Bus Accident Lawyer Jim Magazine Guide You to Financial Recovery
If you were hurt in a bus accident in Florida, common carrier laws and the intricate web of liability that may apply can make recovering compensation challenging. If a government entity is involved, your case will likely be even more complicated. Make one small mistake in the claims process, and you could lose your right to recover compensation for your losses. You need Clearwater bus accident lawyer Jim Magazine to help you navigate the legal system. Jim will identify all responsible parties that should be held accountable for your injuries, make sure your claim complies with all applicable regulations, and help you make the most of your bus injury claim.
For a bus lawyer who is dedicated to your recovery, call Jim Magazine. Initial consultations are free.
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Types of Bus Accidents Our Law Firm Handles
With nearly 59,000 buses registered in Florida and thousands more traveling here from out of state, it’s no wonder injury claims against bus and tour companies are common. Your legal options after a bus accident in Clearwater, Tampa, or one of the surrounding communities will depend on how you were injured, who was at-fault for the crash, and the type of bus involved. At the Magazine & Light Law Group, we handle all types of bus accident cases. The most common claims we see involve:
Public Transportation Buses:
Regional and intercity public transportation buses are often operated by city and state agencies. If the bus company is a government entity, special rules apply when filing an injury claim. For instance, you must file a notice of claim to the appropriate office, your recoverable damages may be limited to $200,000, accrued interest and punitive damages cannot be awarded, and you must file your injury lawsuit within three years of the date the injury occurred. Additionally, you cannot file a lawsuit until the 180-day investigation period is up, unless the government formally denies your claim.
Private companies, like Greyhound, own and operate most long-distance buses that travel to Florida. The law considers these companies “common carriers”. They are held to a higher standard of care than other drivers. They are required to execute the “utmost” care to ensure their passengers arrive safely at their destinations. This duty does not just pertain to the operation of the bus. Bus drivers must also instruct passengers on when and where it’s safe to stand, and they must warn passengers about unsafe conditions. These companies may be found strictly liable for injuries in some cases, even if no negligence occurred.
Tour buses are also considered common carriers, but tour bus accident cases are generally more complicated because they often involve a tangled web of liability issues. It’s not uncommon for multiple parties to be liable when these types of accidents happen. Possible defendants in a tour bus accident lawsuit include the tour bus company, the driver, the company that contracted with the tour bus, the tour company, and even business owners at destinations included in the tour.
What to Do After a Florida Bus Accident
The steps you take after a bus accident in Florida may play a significant role in your wellbeing and your ability to recover compensation from the responsible parties. Whether you are a pedestrian, another motorist, or a bus passenger, bus accident lawyers recommend that you take the following steps.
Get law enforcement and paramedics on the way immediately after the crash. This is important even if you don’t think anyone was seriously injured. Internal injuries may be masked by adrenaline, and symptoms might not show up right away. Reporting the accident to police also ensures that am accident report is filed.
If you don’t need immediate medical attention, you should try to document the accident scene. Use your cellphone to take pictures or record videos of any visible injuries you sustained, the vehicles involved, and anything at the scene that might have contributed to the crash or could be used as evidence to demonstrate how it occurred.
Seek Medical Attention:
Be sure to get checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible after the bus accident, even if you feel fine. Some internal injuries may not show up for days, and early medical intervention can prevent them from worsening. Your medical records will also be necessary if you decide to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party.
Call a bus accident Lawyer:
Call a bus accident lawyer as soon as possible after your crash to make sure your right to recover full compensation is protected. Beware of fast-talking insurance representatives, fast settlement offers, and bus companies in the days following the accident. It’s best to let your personal injury lawyer handle all communication about the accident on your behalf.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in Bus Accident Cases in Florida?
Depending on the type of bus accident that caused your injuries, various types of compensation may be available, and you may be able to file claims or personal injury lawsuits against multiple parties. Chances are good that the bus company will offer you a settlement shortly after your crash. Do not accept this offer without talking to bus accident lawyer Jim Magazine. If you sign anything or accept a settlement check, you could be throwing away your right to recover full compensation for your losses. Damages that are generally available in bus accidents in Florida include:
Economic damages include your medical bills, including the cost of the ambulance, emergency room care, surgeries, your hospital stay, follow-up visits with doctors, x-rays, medications, and special medical equipment. Your lost wages and other financial losses are included in this category as well. These damages can be calculated using receipts, bills, and wage statements.
Your non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering, mental anguish, your loss of enjoyment of life, permanent impairments, disfigurement, etc. These damages are meant to compensate you for coping with the non-monetary losses your accident caused. Since it can be difficult to assign a dollar amount to such losses, these are a little trickier to calculate.
In rare cases, the jury may award punitive damages as well. These damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer for especially egregious acts and prevent the same or similar acts from happening in the future. Punitive damages are not generally available in personal injury lawsuits against government agencies.
FAQs About Florida Bus Accident Cases
If your loved one was killed in a bus accident in Florida, you generally have just two years from the date he or she died to file a lawsuit against the bus company or other liable party. If you wait too long to take legal action, you could be barred from recovering compensation.
If the bus accident that injured you happened while you were working, you may be able to sue the bus company. If the bus company is your employer, or the driver is a coworker, however, you cannot sue them directly. You might file a workers’ compensation claim to recover money for your losses.
While the law doesn’t require you to hire a bus accident lawyer to handle your claim, doing so is strongly suggested. Bus accident claims and lawsuits can be extremely complicated because of common carrier regulations and multi-party liability. If a government agency is liable for your losses, special rules will apply.