Injured On a Bus? 5 Legal Points to Consider

iStock_000005980583_MediumIf you suffer injury on a bus, there are several legal issues to take into account. You may be eligible to collect a large sum of damages, like one California woman who collected $15.3 million after suffering injury on a bus. The woman fractured her spine after the AC Transit bus she was riding cruised over a speed bump and 30 mph, in a 15 mph zone. The bump caused the woman to fly up in the air and fall back down on the seat, causing her to suffer back injury. In her case, the moment which caused the woman’s injury was caught on the bus surveillance video.

This case is one of many bus injury cases resulting in a large sum of damages. If you are injured on a bus, you will want to know if the bus is public or private, if your lawsuit requires a notice of claim, and a few other legal points.If you are injured by a city bus, here are a few points you should know:

  1. Buses are considered “common carriers.” This fact could very well help you in your bus injury case. A common carrier is defined generally as any entity whose business transports people or goods from one place to another for a fee. Common carriers include buses, passenger jets, and other public services. These entities offer their services under the authority of a regulatory body, which sets certain safety standards and requires carriers to exercise the highest degree of cara and diligence in the safety of their passengers.
  2. Determine if the bus was public or private. Figuring out if the bus was public or private will partly involve determining who the bus was owned or operated by. This fact will help dictate what path the bus injury lawsuit takes. If it was a school bus, for example, the injury would most likely take the form of a lawsuit against the school district for which the bus was being driven.
  3. Lawsuits against public defendant’s require a “notice of claim.” When bringing a personal injury case against a public entity, you are required to file a “notice of claim” within as few as 60 days after your injury. The reason for this is that governments, and their subdivisions, are entitled to immunity to liability and lawsuits. This means they cannot be sued without permission. Usually, cases against the government have to follow Tort Claims Acts, which determine the notice of claim you are required to observe. The notice gives the government a chance to respond. If the claim is denied, you are allowed to file a lawsuit in civil court within a few months.
  4. There may be a cap on injury damages. Depending on the state’s damage cap statute, your potential injury damages could be subject to a limit. In such a scenario, you could be entitled to millions in damages, but the damage cap would only allow you to collect thousands.

The bus manufacturer could be held liable. In a bus injury lawsuit, you could have several possible defendants, including the bus driver, the owner of the bus company, or the public agency responsible for operating the bust. In addition, you could have a case against the bus manufacturer if your injury can be linked to a mechanical fault in the bus. If it is found that your injury was caused by a defective part in the bus, the bus manufacturer could be held liable for defective manufacturing.


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