Bus Accident Liability: Holding Public Transit Companies Responsible

bus accident liability is often very complex

Public transportation is a vital part of the infrastructure of our state, with thousands upon thousands of people using the system every day. But what happens if you are injured in a public transit accident, who can be held responsible for the damages and injuries you’ve sustained? Let’s take a look at how bus accident liability is determined and how a Lawrenceville bus crash attorney can build your case.

Understanding Bus Accident Liability

Determining who is responsible for the damages you suffered while involved in a bus accident can be complex. Bus accidents involve various parties each owning a certain duty of care towards the passengers. This can include the bus driver, the bus owner or operator and even the bus manufacturer. In certain instances, bus accident liability can also extend to the city.

The Role of the Bus Driver

Bus drivers will be personally responsible for the damages their passengers suffered if it can be proved that the accident was a result of their negligence. Negligence can take on many forms, and most commonly includes speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or distracted driving, such as failing to follow the rules of the road.

The Role of the Transit Company

The transit company will also be responsible for damages if the injured party can prove that they acted in a negligent manner. Negligence on part of the transit company can include inadequate training for drivers, hiring drivers which are not licensed to operate a public transit vehicle or failing to follow safety regulations.

The Role of Manufacturers

The bus manufacturer will be liable for injury or death if it is proven that a specific part of the bus failed to meet safety standards or functioned in the manner in which it was intended for, thus playing an instrumental role in causing the accident.

The Role of Government Entities

Government entities such as the city of Lawrenceville will be responsible for the injuries road users suffered if it can be proved that the city failed to maintain the roads or any road infrastructure. The bus accident should however have been the direct result of the city’s negligence to maintain the road.

a lawyer will determine the liable parties after a bus crash

The Role of Other Drivers

In multi-vehicle accidents, the actions of other drivers involved may also play a role in the crash, and they may be held liable if their negligence contributed to the collision.

Filing Your Personal Injury Claim

Victims of bus accidents have the right to seek compensation for their injuries and damages. This is done by filing a personal injury claim with the responsible party’s insurance company. Contact a skilled Lawrenceville car accident attorney to help you build your case, gather relevant evidence and conduct settlement negotiations on your behalf.

Filing a Lawsuit Against a Public Entity

If the insurance claim is dismissed injured parties may file a claim with their local court. Claims against public entities in Georgia, including public transit companies, are subject to specific rules and deadlines under the Georgia Tort Claims Act.

The GTCA also requires an injured individual to comply with specific administrative procedures before filing a lawsuit. These procedures include:

  • Filling an Ante litem notice – a pre-suit notice informing the government entity of your claim and giving them the opportunity to solve the claim before litigation
  • Filing the claim within six months of the injury
  • Getting the claim approved by the city council and mayor before the city will consider payment

Subsection 50-21-26(a) acts essentially as a time bar to a tort action against the state if more than twelve months have expired since the loss was “discovered or should have been discovered”.

Contact a Lawrenceville Bus Accident Lawyer for Guidance

Given the complexity of bus accident cases and the potential for multiple liable parties, it would be ideal to seek legal representation. At the Weinstein Law Firm we have experience in such cases and can help you navigate the legal process, gather necessary evidence to determine bus accident liability, negotiate with insurance companies and even go to trial if necessary.

Contact us at 770-HELP-NOW to schedule a consultation with a Lawrenceville bus accident lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected and that you get the compensation you deserve.

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