Bus Accident Lawyers Serving Miami
Have you recently been involved in a bus accident in Miami, Florida? These accidents can be very detrimental, especially because buses are much larger and heavier than standard vehicles. Due to their weight and size, an innocent victim might have to pay in a literal, physical, and/or mental way.
You can take steps to try and recover damages from a bus accident. The best way to do this is to have the help of a trusted bus accident lawyer on your side.
Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers is a firm of legal professionals that helps victims of bus accidents recover damages and seek justice against these preventable wrongdoings. We have the skills and background needed to help you reach a potential resolution.
If you are looking for answers regarding your recent bus accident, use this guide to find out more about how our attorneys can help.What Is a Bus Accident?
When you share the road with other drivers each time you leave your house, you put your trust and faith in that other drivers will do what they are supposed to do: drive as safely as possible.
Bus accidents do occur, but are significantly less common than standard accidents. That is because bus drivers have additional obligations for their job including more driver safety training than standard, everyday drivers.
A bus accident happens when a collision involves a bus and another vehicle or object. They can happen whether you are in your car, walking, or a passenger in another vehicle. They can cause severe damage and be very scary.Causes of Bus Accidents
There is no one true cause for bus accidents. There are many factors that can lead to accidents of any kind. Here are the most common causes of bus accidents:
- Lack of driver training
- Inclement weather
- Road obstructions
- Distracted driving
- Driver fatigue
- Blind spots
- Left turns
- Lack of preventative maintenance
- Another driver causes the accident
Every bus driver must undergo training before they can drive the vehicle off the business premises. That is because drivers of buses need to be acquainted with the larger vehicle, its functions, and how to operate it safely while traveling.
Bus drivers must hold a unique license that makes them qualified to operate the vehicle, and the only way they can obtain this license is through rigorous training from the state and business. Once they’ve gone through state testing for a CDL, their work company will need to train them further on bus safety.
It is possible for companies to be in a rush and neglect the important training, meaning an employee can potentially illegally operate the vehicle and be undertrained. Not knowing how to operate a bus and trying to turn or drive it during dangerous conditions can be a major leading factor in bus accidents.
Inclement weather is a rare factor since most buses tend to not run during extreme conditions such as heavy snow or ice. However, if you share the road with a bus during a heavy downpour or days after a snow and ice storm, take precautions and be cautious of the bus as the driver can lose control of the bus if it hits a slick spot.Types of Bus Accidents
A bus accident can involve several people and/or objects. Some types of bus accidents you may see or experience can include a bus with another:
- Bus (including school or charter buses)
- Road obstruction
If you are on a bike or walking, you are even more vulnerable than those in vehicles when it comes to accident risks. Regardless, always be aware of your surroundings to stay clear of erratic drivers so you can remain out of harm’s way.Possible Injuries From Bus Accidents
The type of injuries a person can sustain from being involved in a bus accident will vary. Injuries can be minor to life-altering or life-threatening.
Depending on the nature of the wreck, bus accident victims may face injuries including:
- Brain injuries/TBIs
- Shoulder injuries
- Chest and neck injuries
- Broken limbs
- Fractures and sprains
- Wrongful death
- Herniated discs
- PTSD and anxiety
- Other mental and physical anguish
Almost every car accident will have EMS arrive at the scene, and a bus accident is certainly no exception. If you are involved in a bus accident, it is highly recommended that you do not skip on being observed by medical professionals. You may not have any visible cuts or scrapes, but you could have internal injuries that can pose harmful threats in the future.
If you begin to notice fear and other mental suffering following a bus accident, this is another sign that you should seek medical help. It is quite common for bus accident victims to experience trauma and anxiety that can interfere with their daily lives.
Help is available for all kinds of injuries, mental and physical, and victims should be proactive in seeking the help they need. If you have a loved one who was recently involved in a bus accident and you begin noticing signs of mental or physical anguish, take them to a treatment facility immediately.What to Do After a Bus Accident
It is also common to experience shock and adrenaline that feels paralyzing after being in an accident with a bus. No one knows when these accidents are going to happen, which is why it’s important to always be prepared by knowing what to do next.
Here are the necessary steps to take after a bus accident to ensure you’ve done everything you need to do and have covered your grounds.Stay Calm and Move to Safety
If you are on a highway or backroad and are not badly injured, the first thing you should do is try to remain calm and move to safety. It may be difficult to stay calm in the first minutes following a collision with a bus, but do your best to breathe deeply and slowly to keep your adrenaline under control.
Once you move off to the side of the road and out of oncoming traffic’s way, check to make sure other passengers you may have in the vehicle are safe.Call 9-1-1
Every car accident in Florida warrants a call to law enforcement. Other people who have witnessed the wreck may call 9-1-1, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do the same.
Law enforcement will arrive on scene to inspect all of the parties and speak to the victims before filing an official report. You can, and should, obtain a copy of the report later on for insurance purposes. Be thorough in your responses to the police, and do your best to speak slowly and comb back through your memory for an accurate depiction of how the accident unfolded.Speak to the Other Driver
As you wait for law enforcement and EMS to arrive, step out of your vehicle and speak to the other driver. Do not disclose any information about how you’re feeling or apologize for the incident since they can use your words against you later. Simply ask for their name, contact information, who they work for, and insurance information if they have it. Write down their contact information, so you don’t forget it and can give it to your lawyer.Wait for EMS
As stated earlier, EMS will arrive on scene shortly after the police. You should not skip this step as it can be vitally important for your health as well as your claim. Just as the police report, you should obtain a copy of your health records later that show the extent of your injuries that were caused by the accident.Call a Trusted Attorney
When you are capable, you should then contact a trusted attorney. This is another crucial step that should not be put off until later because your lawyer will need to begin working right away.
There are many things to do after a bus accident since you will need to get the ball rolling on seeking compensation. Your bus accident attorney should be present to give you the best legal advice for your next steps and to speak to insurance on your behalf, so you do not settle for less than you may rightfully deserve.Speak to Insurance
The last step after hiring an attorney is to call your insurance. This is where the first round of financial assistance comes from since you can use your PIP coverage to help pay for medical bills and make up for time off work and lost wages, but you will want an attorney to help you so nothing you say can be misconstrued.Do Standard Florida Car Accident Laws Apply to Bus Accidents?
Florida is one state that has a modified comparative fault system in place for car accidents of any kind, including those with a bus. What that means is that every driver involved in an accident should seek help with insurance first before seeking other legal action. This also means that the drivers are both to blame for the accident, although the blame is not always dispersed equally.
This rule also requires drivers to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection and property damage liability. Personal injury protection is what you will use to seek compensation for your medical bills and lost wages after a bus accident. However, just because you’re required to carry $10,000 does not mean you will necessarily earn the full amount.
Your hired attorney can help increase your chances of an optimal outcome rather than trying to seek compensation on your own. This is because lawyers possess the necessary negotiation skills and experience with insurance adjusters.When to Hire an Attorney
You should hire an attorney as soon as possible after your accident and before you contact insurance. If you do not have an attorney already in mind, here are the steps to finding the right one.
- Research law firms in your area that specialize in bus and car accidents
- Check reviews and ratings of their past work
- Look at their experience and years in practice
- Schedule a free consultation with at least 3 to 4 firms
- Ask about their experience, success rate, and budget at consultations
- Select the one that feels right for you
Communication is another important factor to consider in an attorney since you will need to be kept in the loop and updated on everything that is going on in your case. As you consult with these different attorneys, look at who will take your case seriously and is compassionate enough to deliver the truth and work with you and not against you.
After consulting with some attorneys, you will find out which one is the best for you. Do not allow factors such as price and fees steer you away from the best lawyer that will give your case the fighting chance it needs to succeed.How to Recover Damages From Bus Accidents
Other than going through your insurance, you might be able to recover damages if your accident meets the requirements to step out of the no-fault system. When you step out of the no-fault system, this means there is enough evidence to support a lawsuit against the bus driver.
In order for your case to qualify, you will need to show one of the following:
- Abundant medical bills
- Sustaining a severe injury
The severe injury must be one or more of the following:
- Wrongful death
- On-going medical care
- Severe trauma
To believe you meet the requirements to file a lawsuit, consult with your attorney.Damages You Can Recover From
Lost wages and medical bills are not the only damages you can try to recover from bus accidents. Here are other damages you may be able to seek with insurance or a lawsuit and the help of a Miami Bus Accident Lawyer:
- Mental suffering
- Physical anguish
- Loss of a dependant
- Loss of enjoyment of life
These damages may be more attainable in court as a jury will be responsible in determining whether your case is meritorious, and if so, how much. They will look at all your losses, including both economic and non-economic, to determine what is fair.
The jury will also take into consideration pre-existing conditions before the wreck since this plays a part in determining the merits of your case.What to Expect With Your Claim
There is no specific timeline or amount you can expect when it comes to your claim. Some bus accidents take longer than other cases, especially if you’re going up against a large business or corporation.
Larger businesses have their own attorneys and procedures in place to try and avoid any bad press or losing more money. Because of this, your case might not make it to court even if you qualify for a lawsuit.
You might undergo a private settlement with the business that will be between you and your attorney as well as the defendant and their attorney. The goal of a settlement is to reach a solution everyone can agree on without having to drag the case out further and go to court.
Your attorney will be responsible for speaking on your behalf in settlement negotiations for a fair outcome. These settlements can take place through mediation or arbitration before resulting in litigation.Discuss Your Negligence Claim with an Attorney
If you have been harmed because of someone else’s carelessness, there is no substitute for having dedicated legal representation on your side. At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, we are committed to helping injured victims. Our firm has over 40 years of combined experience handling accident and injury cases, and we know what it takes to try and prove a negligence claim. You can expect the utmost respect and professionalism from our licensed attorneys and legal staff.