Bus Accident Lawyers Serving Fort Lauderdale
Many Fort Lauderdale, Florida, residents rely on buses while commuting. Although many people take bus routes, several school buses take children to school and back. Unfortunately, despite their convenience, buses are not without their problems.
Frequently, bus-involved traffic accidents result in injuries to motorists, pedestrians, bus passengers, etc. Victims of such accidents deserve compensation for their damages and losses, and Fort Lauderdale bus accident lawyers can help them seek that.
Auto accidents involving buses can usually result in severe damage. At Frank Kominksy Injury Lawyers, we can help you fight to seek compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical bills (by appointment only).
We’ve worked hard for several years to recover settlements to help our clients move forward after their injuries. Call our law office at (561) 800-8000 to learn more about your legal rights after a bus accident.How Common Are Bus Accidents in Fort Lauderdale?
Unlike other auto accidents, bus accidents are not so common. However, when they happen, they can devastate their victims. According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV), thousands of bus drivers and passengers have suffered injuries in recent years. While some of the accidents are fatal, others result in minor injuries.
Cyclists and pedestrians can also suffer from many severe injuries in traffic accidents. Although FHSMV data does not provide specifics, we can deduce that some of them involved collisions with buses.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also estimates roughly 1400 bus accidents in Florida yearly. Out of this, an average of 160 happens yearly in Fort Lauderdale and its surrounding areas.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) records also show that over 220 bus drivers and passengers were injured in bus accidents in Florida in 2020. However, the records showed that there were over 800 injuries.
We can help third-party motorists, bus passengers, or even pedestrians injured in a Fort Lauderdale bus accident seek compensation for their injuries. Give us a call to schedule a free initial appointment.What Causes Fort Lauderdale Bus Accidents?
Buses can transport dozens of passengers at once. Based on Florida Law, every bus driver needs a special commercial driver’s license before they can operate a bus. As a result, most bus accidents in Fort Lauderdale are caused by driver error.
However, below are the most common causes of Fort Lauderdale bus accidents:
- Dangerous turns
- Fatigued driving
- Distracted driving
- Unsafe passing
- Aggressive driving
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Running stop signs or red lights
- Dangerous lane changes
- Drunk driving
- Inexperienced driving
- Road hazards
- Inexperienced drivers
- Vehicle malfunction
- Defective buses
Bus accidents happen when you least expect them. Sometimes, determining the cause of the accident can be tricky. We can investigate the cause of your car accident and determine who is likely at fault.What Are Common Bus Accident Injuries?
Although buses are typically safe, most do not possess primary safety devices such as harnesses and seat belts. As a result, buses could be overfilled with people and luggage, posing severe safety hazards when there’s an accident. Additionally, most buses are top-heavy and have a greater risk of rolling over after an accident.
Some common bus accident injuries are:
- Strains and sprains
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Muscle spasms
- Head injuries
- Reduced mobility
- Deep cuts and lacerations
Bus accidents usually result in severe injuries. Therefore, you should seek medical attention right after a bus accident. This ensures you receive proper treatment and also helps to establish evidence of your injury.
Besides bus passengers, pedestrians and motorists on the road can suffer injuries in bus accidents. All individuals injured in a bus accident must seek medical attention immediately. We can also help victims assess the validity of a personal injury claim.Who Can Be Liable in a Fort Lauderdale Bus Accident?
Anyone involved in a Fort Lauderdale bus accident has the potential to be liable for a crash. Most times, liability depends on the unique circumstances surrounding the bus accident. There are times when the bus driver just can’t avoid a collision. However, the bus driver’s negligence could have caused the accident at other times.
In most bus accident cases, the bus driver is held responsible for the accident. Bus drivers are common carriers in Fort Lauderdale and, therefore, owe a higher duty of care. However, they could be insured or supported by the bus company. There are also cases where the company is liable for the incident, especially when they carry out unsafe practices such as requiring the driver to overload the bus.
Determining liability after a bus accident can be complex. That’s why working with Fort Lauderdale bus accident lawyers is crucial. We can help you understand liability and take the proper steps to increase your chances of a potential settlement.How Do I Prove Negligence After a Fort Lauderdale Bus Accident?
As with most crashes, bus accidents usually occur due to negligence. A plaintiff needs to establish all the elements of negligence law to prove liability. These include:Duty of Care
Proving that a duty of care exists requires showing that the other party had an obligation to use caution that an average person would use in the same situation to avoid causing injuries or damage to other people or property. For example, buses are large vehicles that can cause severe injuries and property damage in the case of an accident. Therefore, common carrier laws specify that bus drivers need to show a heightened level of care when transporting members of the public than drivers of smaller vehicles.Breach of the Duty of Care
Any act that violates the duty of care is a breach. There is a breach when someone fails to act as a reasonable person would in similar situations by acknowledging their legal obligation to other parties. There’s a breach of duty of care when someone fails to follow appropriate safety measures to protect the other party.Cause in Fact
When proving the breach of the duty of care, it’s also essential to show how the breach caused the accident through evidence. This evidence must demonstrate that the actions of the person at fault were directly responsible for the accident.Proximate Cause
This proves that a particular and foreseeable result occurred. Examples are injuries sustained by people involved in bus accidents.Damages
This proves that an actual financial loss occurred due to the bus accident. This usually includes medical treatment, lost income, rehabilitation, travel expenses, personal care, etc.
A claimant can also seek compensation for non-financial losses, such as pain and suffering or severe scars resulting from injuries sustained in the bus accident. It’s essential to document these expenses and other evidence of the physical and emotional effects of the crash. It will be helpful when you need to prove your claim in court.
Our Fort Lauderdale bus accident lawyers can help you locate the proof you need to establish liability. We’ll identify footage, review police reports, interview eyewitnesses, and more.Types of Damages a Victim Can Recover
If you suffered injuries in a Fort Lauderdale bus accident, you could receive compensation from the bus company to cover your medical expenses. However, this usually depends on the specific circumstances surrounding the crash.
Some compensation available is economic and non-economic damages. Monetary damages are financial expenses, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Future medical expenses
- Reduced future earning potential
- Property damage
- Nursing care
On the other hand, non-economic damages are not financial expenses but can also be compensated with money. Some of them include:
- Pain and suffering
- Anxiety and depression
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Physical scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
There’s also a chance of receiving punitive damages, but they’re rare. These damages are only available in cases where the accident occurred because of gross negligence or malicious intent. For example, if the driver was drunk and caused a bus accident, the court may choose to award punitive damages as punishment.
Fort Lauderdale bus accident lawyers are the best source of information regarding what damages you’re eligible for based on the specifics of your injuries and accident. Once you provide us with all the information about your case, we will begin investigating.Can the Bus Driver Try to Deny Paying?
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding a bus accident, the bus company and driver could try to avoid liability. If the bus is government-owned, you could face even more problems establishing liability or securing recovery. The bus driver might try to blame you for the accident rather than for their negligent driving.
Additionally, the insurance companies involved could try to reduce the compensation by pushing the accident on you. For example, most insurance carriers try to convince victims to sign settlements that do not provide adequate compensation for the incurred damages. They could also try to make victims sign agreements not to seek additional money or provide recorded statements about the bus accident.
Consulting with your lawyer before speaking with insurance companies or accepting offers is well-advised. At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, we have vast experience handling negotiations with insurance carriers. While we deal with the insurers, you can focus on recovering.What Evidence Can Prove the Cause of the Accident?
The evidence provided can illustrate the story of the events resulting from the accident. Your Fort Lauderdale bus accident attorney can compile the needed proof. Some evidence that can help prove the cause of a bus accident includes:
- Official police report
- Bus operator driving records
- Eyewitnesses statement
- Bus maintenance records
- Bus passengers statements
In addition to proving the liability of the bus driver or company, we can collect evidence to prove the cost and cause of your injuries. This collection includes medical records, bills, and police reports. Other evidence that proves injury-related expenses includes income statements proving the value of current and future lost wages.
Bills from the mechanic and car value estimate will prove the cost of replacing or restoring damaged vehicles. We can collect and organize this evidence to prepare the case file.How Long Do I Have to Sue After a Fort Lauderdale Bus Accident?
Victims are usually consumed with receiving medical care for injuries after a bus accident. While you should stick to the recommended treatment plan to ensure maximum physical recovery, you must be conscious of the Statute of Limitations. We can help you file your case within the Statute of Limitations.
According to Florida Statutes, victims generally have four years to file a personal injury lawsuit or two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, suppose the bus involved in the accident is a city bus. In that case, some sections of the Florida Statutes will impose additional time restrictions on notifying the government entity of your goal to seek compensation.
We can help you interpret and ensure compliance with all necessary statutes and deadlines. Timely adherence is vital for your case to prevent losing your chance of compensation.What Can Fort Lauderdale Bus Accident Lawyers Do for Me?
Potential clients contact us at Frank Kominsky Injury Lawyers during traumatic periods of their lives. For example, after a bus accident, there are mounting medical expenses, financial strain from lost wages, emotional pain, etc.
When you hire our Fort Lauderdale bus accident lawyers, we’ll manage your personal injury case from the initial consultation for a solution to be reached (by appointment only). Below are some services we provide for a chance of a positive outcome.Determining Liability
Our first job after a Fort Lauderdale bus accident is to investigate the crash’s facts to determine who may owe compensation to an injured client. Every accident is unique, and we’ll use our legal knowledge, skill, and diligence to unravel the case.
There’s no way to determine where a case will lead. However, some common parties that owe damages for a bus accident can include:
- Bus companies
- Mechanics who don’t keep buses in safe conditions
- Municipal officials, and
- Agencies responsible for building, designing, and maintaining intersections and streets that buses, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists share.
Another crucial task in every bus accident case is evaluating the full scope of harm our clients have suffered. No two injuries are the same or affect clients in the same way.
Therefore, we work closely with our clients to understand the effects on their lives and families. The aim of evaluating damages is so that when the time comes to seek compensation, you don’t settle for less than what you deserve.Handle All Communications
We’ll also handle all the verbal, written, and electronic communications related to your bus accident case. Insurance companies try to make victims sign agreements that could result in lower compensation for their injuries and damages.
However, when we handle all communications, you can focus on healing. The communications we handle include witness interviews, demand letters, settlement negotiations, final resolutions, and depositions.Interpret Laws and Statutes
We understand how Florida laws and statutes apply to your case after years of experience. Therefore, we’ll ensure that your bus accident case complies with the Statutes of Limitation. For example, if your Fort Lauderdale bus accident case involved a municipal or city bus, the law varies significantly from a traditional bus accident case. The deadlines are also quite different from regular personal injury cases.
Our Fort Lauderdale bus accident lawyers cannot guarantee the result of bus accident cases. However, we’ll ensure that every opportunity is explored.Can I Receive Compensation If I’m Being Blamed for a Fort Lauderdale Bus Accident?
When people imagine a bus accident, they assume only bus passengers suffered injuries. However, other motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians tend to suffer injuries in bus crashes.
Most insurance companies try to blame victims for contributing to the accident. However, even if you share a percentage of the fault, you won’t lose your right to seek compensation unless you’re entirely responsible for the accident.
Under the Florida comparative fault laws, each responsible party is assigned a percentage of the fault. Although your share of the responsibility will reduce your compensation, you’re still entitled to seek compensation for damages resulting from the accident. For example, suppose you were 20% at fault; you will only receive 80% of the settlement awarded.Contact a Fort Lauderdale Bus Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a Fort Lauderdale bus accident, reaching out to an experienced bus accident attorney should be one of your first steps. An attorney with vast experience in bus accident cases can help you determine liability and how much compensation you deserve for your injuries and resulting damages.
At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, we have knowledgeable, highly skilled, and experienced Fort Lauderdale bus accident attorneys. We will handle communication with insurance companies, investigate the accident scene, and collect the evidence needed to prove your claim (by appointment only).
In addition, we have experience negotiating complex settlement offers for injured victims and pursuing litigation when necessary. We work on a contingency fee basis and offer free initial consultations. Contact us at (561) 800-8000 today.