If you’ve been in an accident with a bus, a Houston bus accident attorney can help you through the process of seeking compensation. Bus accidents are notoriously complex cases, whether they involve public buses, school buses, or private buses. Having an experienced legal team on your side can help make things easier for your claim or lawsuit.
Crash Involving a Bus? Hire a Houston Bus Accident Attorney
Accidents involving buses can be serious, especially considering buses are, on average, more than 11 times heavier than the average sedan. The average bus weighs in at about 38,000 pounds while a mid-size sedan is typically about 3,300 pounds. Since buses are carrying around so much extra weight and size, impact from a bus crash can cause significant injuries and damages.
Any case with severe injuries or expensive property damage can quickly become complex. However, bus accidents can be even worse in this respect. For instance, there may be multiple different root causes to look at to determine who’s responsible for your injuries and damages.
For instance, bus crashes can be the result of negligence from any one or a combination of:
- Bus drivers
- Other drivers
- Bus companies
- Bus manufacturers
- Companies contracted for bus services
In many cases, it can be hard to find the root cause of the accident and therefore who is responsible for your damages. For instance, if the crash was caused by mechanical failure, it might be the bus company who’s at fault, or even a different company they hired for maintenance services.
Even after determining the cause of the accident, you’ll also need to prove fault. Most transportation companies and drivers are considered common carriers, which means they have a higher duty of care than the average driver. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need evidence of negligence for your case. Your attorney can help you gather this evidence to help prove your claim.
Also, depending on the type of bus involved in the accident, there may be different rules that apply for the claims or lawsuit process. Your Houston bus accident attorney can help you navigate the process to help you get compensation for your accident.
Accidents with Public Transportation Buses
Public transportation buses, like METRO buses, are some of the most common on the road. These vehicles are owned and operated by the local transit authority, which is a branch of the local government. For instance, METRO buses in Houston are generally run by the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County.
Many people are concerned that they can’t ask for compensation from a government entity. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. When it comes to bus accidents in Houston, you can file a claim to cover damages. Just keep in mind that there are usually special rules that apply.
Filing a Claim with Government Agencies In Charge of Public Transportation
After a bus accident, it’s often best to hire a Houston accident injury attorney for help with your case. This is because when it comes to public transportation buses, special rules might apply for the claims process.
For instance, the amount of time you have to file a claim may be shorter. The state of Texas has a limit of 6 months, but the city of Houston further shortens this to 90 days for most claims. That means you have only about three months from the date of the accident to file a notice of claim.
There are also certain limits to how much compensation you can receive. For instance, the state of Texas has the following limits:
- $250,000 per person for injuries
- $500,000 per occurrence for injuries
- $100,000 per occurrence for property damages
However, keep in mind that there may be different limits based on where the accident occurs.
Also, keep in mind that an accident with a public bus doesn’t automatically mean that the transit authority is responsible. Once again, it could be gross negligence of the bus driver, another driver on the road, or even another company. Your attorney can help you determine a course of action for your case.
Ask Your Houston Bus Accident Attorney about School Bus Accidents
Another thing to keep in mind is that school buses are different from METRO buses. In most cases, the buses are owned and operated by the school district. Therefore, you may need to file a claim with the school district or their insurance company for a school bus accident.
Public School District Buses
If the school district is public, then it’s likely the same rules apply as with a public bus accident, such as shortened timeframes for filing a claim and compensation caps. The main difference between these two types of claims is who owns the bus. With a school bus, you’ll probably contact the independent school district to file a claim for your injuries and damages. Once again, these cases can be complex, so it can help to have an attorney on your side to help with the process.
Private School Buses
There are also a number of private schools in Houston who may own and operate buses. With these types of bus accidents, the school often doesn’t have the same protections as public, government-funded schools. Therefore, you may have longer to file a claim and caps for compensation may not apply. You’ll still need to file a claim with the school or their insurance provider, as well as establish fault and provide evidence for your damages.
Houston Bus Accident Attorney for Private Bus Companies
In addition, you can also be in an accident with a bus owned by a private company. These can be nationwide companies or small local businesses offering buses for charter. These aren’t owned by the government, so you can normally file a claim against them just like any other private company. Nevertheless, your damages may be substantial and the case may be complex, so consulting with a Houston auto accidents attorney may help you with your claim.
Houston Accident Injury Attorney at DeSimone Law Office
If you’ve been in a car accident, contact our team at DeSimone Law Office for help! We can help you file your claim and advocate on your behalf to help you receive the compensation you need. Whether you want to negotiate with the insurance adjuster or need to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver, our team has experience to help with your case. Call us now at (713) 526-0900 to get a free case evaluation with one of our attorneys!