If you have been injured or a loved one killed in an accident involving a bus owned or operated by a governmental agency—whether it is a city, county, state, or federal agency—the extent of your rights to hold the government responsible depends on one thing: whether or not you were a passenger. If you were a passenger already on or getting on or off the bus, the bus is considered to be a “common carrier.” As a common carrier, the bus driver owes you the highest degree of safe passage and is liable to you (or your survivors) for even the slightest carelessness (“negligence”).
On the other hand, if you were not already a passenger nor intending to board the bus—for instance, you were in another vehicle on the road that the bus crashed into or you were a pedestrian crossing the street or walking on the adjacent sidewalk, and were hit by a bus—you can still sue but you are required to prove a higher standard of care than an injured passenger. You have to prove that the driver of the bus was ordinarily negligent, that he or she failed to use the appropriate amount of care to prevent the accident. This is the regular “standard of care” that you have to prove in most personal injury cases to recover monetary damages from the party at fault for your injuries or loss.
If you have been injured in bus accident, it is important to determine who the liable party is, in order to file a lawsuit. To learn more about who to sue in a bus accident, vistit our page on the topic here.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a bus accident, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately so he or she can start working right away to obtain all the monetary compensation you are entitled to. You need to be aware that it is particularly necessary to act quickly when you have been injured by a government owned or operated bus, as you must file a “claim for damages” with the appropriate governmental agency within six months of the accident or your claim may lost forever.