The Florida Bus Accident Guide was created by McKenzie Law Firm to help residents obtain the financial compensation they deserve after suffering from another’s negligence.
Buses are a great way to get around when you do not have a car. When you ride the bus regularly, you might not even think about what could go wrong until it happens. If you are visiting this page, you have probably been seriously injured in a bus accident. Our Florida bus accident lawyer works tirelessly to get victims of bus accidents the compensation that they deserve. You can seek compensation for your injuries and damages from the liable party. Review the details of a typical bus accident case below and do not hesitate to call our office to set up a free, initial consultation.
Common Florida Bus Accident Injuries
Bus accidents are unique. You can get injured when you are getting on and off the bus, when you are thrown from your seat, or if the operator of the bus brakes too hard while you are standing. Buses can also have collisions with other vehicles, resulting in serious injuries. Whether you have been involved in a bus accident as a passenger of that bus or were in another vehicle, it is important to understand that your injuries need to be treated.
We commonly see injuries such as:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Head, neck, or back injury
- Spinal cord injury
When you experience an injury in a bus accident, you have to seek immediate medical attention. It is important that you get your injuries treated and take them seriously. You will worsen your condition (and weaken your claim with the insurance company) if you do not address your injuries. An insurance company might claim that you lied about how you got your injuries or about how severe your injuries are. That will give them the opportunity to try to reduce the compensation that they owe you.
How Florida Bus Compensation Works
When you have been seriously hurt in a bus accident, you have a right to go after compensation. Compensation can involve reimbursement for a number of things that are related to your injuries and damages, including your past and future medical bills for treatment, any continued care you require, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering (which is harder to put a dollar amount on compared to the other damages.) All of this will factor into how much compensation you can get.
As with any personal injury case, you are going to have obstacles to overcome with the insurance company. If they try to pin blame on you for causing the accident, they can reduce the amount of money that they owe you. We strongly encourage you to avoid talking to them. For example, if they try to pin you for a percentage of the blame during negotiations, you could end up with a reduced compensation award. Florida allows you to receive compensation even if you are 99% at fault for the accident. We would like to avoid this from happening to you.
Tips for a Successful Bus Accident Claim
In order to have a successful bus accident claim, a few things need to happen. These steps are hugely important and can make a significant difference in the success of your bus accident claim. Here are the things you need to do if you want full compensation:
- Report your injuries
- Gather evidence from the scene
- Seek medical attention
- Contact a Florida bus accident lawyer
First and foremost, if you are injured on a bus, you need to report your injuries. There needs to be some record that you were hurt. That way, you can go back and have solid proof that you were harmed on the date that you said you were in the place where you claimed to have been. There will be no disputing that you were injured in a bus accident, if you report it.
You can gather evidence from the scene by taking photos and videos, asking witnesses for their contact information, and having the authorities come to the scene to take a report. After that, you have to seek immediate medical attention to get those injuries addressed. That medical report will be helpful for your lawyer. Your lawyer will be able to use that to show the insurance company that their insured party harmed you.
Frequently Asked Bus Accident Questions
How Do I Chose an Attorney?
There are three essential things that I would keep in mind if I were selecting a bus accident attorney. One is that that attorney has had experience in handling bus accidents. That’s important because there are certain specific injuries that can occur usually only in bus accident cases. There are also specific rules and regulations that govern local entities that are often the ones who are operating the buses and ways in which you can and cannot make recoveries against those entities.
For instance, in Florida, if it’s a county, you have to be very careful about sovereign immunity and the sovereign immunity caps that exist in Florida. Unless your attorney takes very specific measures at the outset of the case, you may never be able to bring a claim against a county or a government entity unless certain steps have been followed. That’s why it’s essential to have an attorney who’s experienced in it. That’s also why it’s essential to have an attorney who focuses on that area, because they will know under which circumstances, for instance, sovereign immunity will apply and which circumstances that it will not apply. They’ll know certain circumstances in which counties carry certain insurance for things like buses and circumstances in which they don’t. That’s why it’s important to choose an attorney who has a particular focus on that area.
Third and most importantly, you need an attorney who’s a trial attorney. You need an attorney who is willing to go the distance. The reason that matters is because a person who is willing to take the case to trial on behalf of their client is a person who will go the distance for their client, and that means they will go the distance to achieve the maximum result possible for their client under the circumstances of that particular case. The insurance companies know this, the defendants know this, and that is why they take more seriously and usually give better offers to the attorneys that they know are trial attorneys. The ones who are not trial attorneys are not usually treated with the same degree of seriousness. That’s why we believe it is fundamentally important that when choosing an attorney, you choose an attorney who is a trial attorney; you should ask them if they are.
What Mistakes Can I Avoid in a Bus Accident Case?
You are much better served as a person who’s been injured in a bus accident when you tell that bus driver immediately if you’ve been injured so that any potential evidence on that bus can be preserved. Oftentimes, what we see with most of the buses these days is that there is video technology on those buses, which records what occurs on that bus. The sooner you tell the bus company or driver that you’ve been injured on that bus, the sooner they can ensure that that video evidence is protected and that your interests, as a result, are protected because of that. Those videos record the actions of the bus driver, as well as what’s happened inside the bus, and those are crucial pieces of evidence that need to be preserved.
The second most common mistake that we see is people don’t contact an attorney soon enough. Oftentimes, people say they’ll tough it out or they’ll deal with the companies themselves, and they end up speaking with the insurance company or with the bus company themselves, and, as a result, they get recoveries that don’t match the injuries that they have or the damages that have been done to them. As a result, it’s imperative that those people speak to a lawyer as quickly as possible.
What If My Child is Hurt on a School Bus?
In Florida, there are specific statutory requirements that you must follow in order to bring a claim to waive sovereign immunity, and in some certain circumstances, certain counties carry insurance that may cover the bus due to accidents and things of that nature.
What you do need to do is hire a lawyer to make those determinations for you. Don’t think because you were hit by the county and you’ve heard of something called sovereign immunity that you may not have a claim. Please contact a lawyer and let them know, and they can help make that determination for you.
How Much is My Case Worth?
We can’t tell you what the value of your case is right away. We don’t know whether you’re going to require surgical procedures down the road for that and only once we wait a certain period of time, that your doctor determines is the reasonable period of time to wait, are we going to know exactly what your medical needs are going to be into the future. We don’t know whether your leg is going to heal up well enough, based on any treatment you may or may not receive, for you to go back to work in the way that you did before. If you can’t go back to work in the same way, you will be entitled to some damages for that loss that you’ve suffered. We also don’t know how your overall life is going to be affected in your daily routines.
Those all come into play in determining what your damages are. Are your loved ones treating you differently? Are you able to be with your loved ones in the same way and do the same activities with them that you’re used to doing as a result of your injuries? All of these are questions that we as your attorneys have to look into and answer for you in order to determine what the valuation of your claim may be. Only through the process of doing the steps that we need to do can we find out what that information is and talk to you and come up with what we believe to be the reasonable value of your claim.
Should I Give a Recorded Statement?
Your attorney is looking out for your interests, and what you should know is that the other side is not looking out for your interests. That’s why it’s imperative that you speak with your attorney first and get your attorney to determine if and under what circumstances you should speak with the bus company, or their insurance adjuster, or any local government entity that may be responsible for owning or operating a bus in your area that you may have been injured on.
How Long Will This Case Take?
You’re an individual with individual needs and individual things that you do in your life that are particular to you. All of those things come into play in your injury case. Have you had a hobby affected? Have you had a way in which you hung out with your kids affected that’s unique to you? We don’t know until we talk to you.
There are also individual injuries that you’ve received that are unique to you. How you respond to treatment, or surgeries is unique to you. I can’t tell you when exactly you’re going to recover or reach maximum medical improvement, which is what we have to have in order to make a claim from the insurance company.
When it comes to the process itself, there are other people involved who have a say in when things end, too. Those are people like defendants, insurance adjusters, judges, or juries. Any one of those people can determine when a case does or does not resolve, and we cannot tell you at the outset of any case when that’s going to resolve. What we do know is that here at McKenzie Law Firm, we will process your case and prosecute it as efficiently and as quickly as is reasonable, given the particular circumstances of your case, in order to reach the maximum recovery possible, given the particular circumstances of your injuries and the incident you’ve been involved in.
Call Our Florida Bus Accident Lawyer Today
We have handled bus accident cases for many years with successful outcomes. Our central focus is your best interest, and we work hard to keep the insurance company accountable for their insured’s actions. Our Florida bus accident lawyer is here to guide you every step of the way. You will have skilled guidance from start to finish and we will ensure that you are getting the best possible result. If you have been seriously injured in a bus accident in Florida, please call our office as soon as possible to set up a free initial case review today.