Because of their sheer size, buses have the potential to cause considerable damage when they crash. This is especially true when much smaller passenger vehicles—or pedestrians—are involved.
Thankfully, if you were struck by a school bus, city bus, or charter bus through no fault of your own, you may pursue compensation for the losses you incur. Before you can proceed with a claim, however, you’ll have to determine who was ultimately liable for the collision. When it comes to bus accidents, there are a number of parties that could be responsible.
In order for your legal team to determine liability, they will have to conduct a thorough investigation. Generally speaking, though, you’ll likely end up taking action against at least one of the following parties:
1. The Transportation Company
If the bus driver was at fault for the wreck, his or her employer will likely be responsible for the resulting damages. Companies are almost always liable for their workers’ behavior as long as they’re on the clock and acting within the scope of their employment.
2. The Municipality
If you were struck by a school bus or city bus, you may be able to seek compensation from the municipality. Unless the government relies on a private contractor for their transportation services, they can be held liable for any damages that occur.
Keep in mind that if this turns out to be the case, you’ll have to meet much shorter deadlines. In Michigan, for example, injured parties who want to take action against government entities have just 120 days to notify the appropriate agency. If the government denies their claim, they have two years from the date on which they were hurt to file a lawsuit.
3. A Maintenance Contractor
If the mechanic responsible for maintaining the fleet failed to do so adequately, they may be liable for any accidents attributed to malfunctions. It’s worth noting, however, that if the transportation company was aware of the issue prior to the collision, they could shoulder at least some of the blame.
4. A Manufacturer
If the bus crashed because of a defective component, the manufacturer could be found at fault for the wreck. Since holding a major corporation financially accountable is inherently challenging, though, it’s wise to consult a personal injury attorney who’s well-versed in product liability law before proceeding.
5. Another Motorist
Sometimes, bus accidents occur because other motorists aren’t paying attention. If another driver caused the collision, you may file a third-party claim with his or her insurance carrier—as long as you sustained a “serious impairment of body function.”
Call (248) 385-5704 to Discuss Your Case with a Detroit Bus Accident Attorney
At Seva Law Firm, we’re acutely aware of the physical, emotional, and financial toll that a bus accident can take on the whole family. If you or someone you love was struck by a bus, we’ll help you compile the proof needed to prove liability against all at-fault parties. Call (248) 385-5704 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a bus accident lawyer in Detroit.