School bus, city bus and commercial bus accidents can cause devastating injuries and even death to innocent victims. At first glance, these tragedies appear to have a lot in common but the laws are different depending on the type of bus that caused the accident. As a result, most people need a lawyer to help them handle potential personal injury claims arising out of bus accidents.
The personal injury lawyers at Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen have represented hundreds of bus accident victims over the years. We understand the complex laws and regulations affecting the operation of public and private buses and know how they may affect you and your case. Contact the bus accident lawyers at Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen for a free consultation at 866-388-1307.
Types of Bus Accidents:
Virginia's tangled web of statutes and case law concerning bus accident liability can make it hard to determine what laws apply in a bus accident case. Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen attorneys know the steps you must take to preserve your claim. We can advise you regarding critical notice requirements and deadlines, statutes of limitations, sovereign immunity defenses, and laws applicable to common carriers. Upon acceptance of your case, we will work on a contingent fee basis, which means you pay us for our legal services only if you make a monetary recovery.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a bus accident through no fault of your own, call our bus accident attorneys today for a free consultation at 866-388-1307 or contact us through email to find out if you have a case.
Each year, bus passengers, private motor vehicle passengers, and pedestrians are seriously injured or killed in accidents involving buses owned or operated by municipalities and other governmental entities.
When a person is injured through the negligent acts of a bus driver or through the bus owner's failure to properly maintain and repair a public bus, the victim may claim damages against the city, governmental entity and/or its driver. However, special laws and regulations may apply.
To some degree, the doctrine of sovereign immunity will protect governmental entities and their employee bus drivers from personal injury claims. Virginia law restricts the amount of damages an injured person may recover from governmental entities and their bus drivers. Notice requirements and notice filing deadlines require that a claimant act quickly and appropriately to preserve his rights. If you have been seriously injured in an accident involving a public bus, contact the city bus accident attorneys at Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen. Learn your legal rights, your notice responsibilities, and the deadlines you must meet before you can pursue your claim. Click here to view our case results.
Greyhound, Trailways, and other private local or national commercial bus companies carry passengers across our state. These companies, which generally include cab companies but not private charter buses, provide services open to the public upon payment of a designated fare. They are considered common carriers. Specific state and federal statutes and regulations control them.
Unfortunately, commercial buses are frequently involved in accidents in which members of the public are severely injured through a commercial bus driver's negligence or through failure of the bus owner to properly maintain and/or repair its bus and equipment. Under the law, a common carrier and its drivers must exercise the highest degree of care for the safety of its passengers. This care must be reasonably compatible with the conduct of its business in a convenient and satisfactory manner. Common carriers and their drivers are held to a higher standard of care than vehicle operators who do not carry paying passengers. Nevertheless, common carriers are not insurers of their passengers' safety.
The bus accident lawyers at Allen and Allen are familiar with the complicated laws and regulations governing common carriers. They have investigated and handled many commercial bus cases to a successful conclusion. Let us help you. Call our commercial bus accident lawyers today at 866-388-1307.
On average, 17,000 children are injured each year in school bus related accidents.
These injuries happen most frequently when a school bus is involved in an accident with another vehicle or while children are boarding or getting off a bus. Most school buses are not equipped with safety belts. Consequently, children are especially vulnerable to injury when they fall out of their seats during crashes or when bus drivers brake suddenly or make sharp turns.
Of course, a negligent school bus driver can also cause an accident which injures passengers in other motor vehicles or pedestrians on the street. In Virginia, when a child is injured or killed in a school bus accident through the bus driver's negligence, the child and his parents have a limited claim against the bus driver and the driver's employer, usually a local school board. The same limitations apply to the occupants of other vehicles and pedestrians who are injured through the negligence of a school bus driver. Because the driver is a government employee, under the doctrine of sovereign immunity, he enjoys immunity from lawsuits for his acts of simple negligence. He can be held liable only for acts of gross negligence.
What is gross negligence? Gross negligence is a degree of negligence which shows such indifference to others that it constitutes an utter disregard of caution amounting to a complete neglect of the safety of another person. Gross negligence can be difficult to prove. Allen, Allen, Allen and Allen attorneys and their trained investigators will gather and examine the facts surrounding a school bus accident and determine whether there may be a case of gross negligence against the driver.
In contrast, the school board itself is not entitled to the same blanket defense of sovereign immunity as its drivers. It may be held vicariously liable for acts of simple negligence committed by its driver. As a result, it can sometimes be easier to pursue a claim against a school board than it is to prosecute a claim against the negligent bus driver.
There are strict limits regarding the dollar amount a claimant can recover from a school board. When a locality or school board carries liability insurance on its school buses, a claimant may collect up to, but not beyond, the limits of the valid and collectible insurance in force at the time of the injury. Minimum limits for such policies, including uninsured motorist coverage, are $50,000 for injury, including death, to one person, and $200,000 for injury, including death, to all persons injured in any one accident. If a locality or school board has obtained a valid certificate of self-insurance, a claimant can recover no more than the minimum limits of $50,000/$200,000. These insurance coverage issues are complex and confusing. Allen, Allen, Allen and Allen attorneys can guide you through this maze and help you maximize the recovery you are entitled to receive.
In school bus cases against a school board or other governmental entity, all claimants must comply with statutory notice requirements and notice deadlines. Where a city or county is a defendant, for example, plaintiffs must file written notice of their claims. This written statement must be received by the town attorney or other specially designated official within six months after the accident. Tolling provisions may extend this deadline for persons who are incapacitated or under age 18. However, you should never rely on tolling provisions without first consulting an attorney.
If you fail to give timely notice in a case involving a school bus, you may lose the right to pursue your claim. You can also lose your claim if your written notice does not contain all the information required by law. The school bus accident attorneys at the Allen Law Firm can help you sort through the statutes and case law applicable to your specific case. We can advise you regarding written notice requirements and the critical filing deadlines you face.