Edmonds Bus Accident Lawyer
If you’re injured while riding a bus in Washington, contact an experienced Edmonds bus accident lawyer today to ensure your rights are protected.
Buses are one of the safest forms of transportation on the road today. They are far less likely to be involved in a crash compared to the average passenger vehicle. However, when they are in a collision, they often affect significantly more people.
Buses are hard to maneuver, making them more likely to tip and get stuck. The lack of safety features makes some injuries more severe as well. If you have been involved in a bus accident, you need to speak with an Edmonds bus accident lawyer to discuss your options to recover damages.
Types of Bus Accidents
When most people hear the term “bus accident,” they think of a collision with another vehicle. While those types of crashes certainly occur, there are far more ways that you can potentially be harmed on a bus. Consider the following examples:
Getting on or off the bus. A bus driver or busing company starts being responsible for your safety as soon as you attempt to get on the bus. It continues until you are safely away from the bus. That means that if you slip and fall while you are getting on or off the vehicle, the bus driver, busing company, or another party could be responsible for that fall. The most common example of this type of situation is if the driver parks the bus in an unsafe location, making it especially dangerous for you to enter or exit, such as over a pothole, large puddle, or an uneven surface.
Harmed while on the bus. You don’t have to be involved in a collision to suffer an injury as a passenger on a bus. For example, imagine that the bus driver was texting and looked up just in time to slam on the brakes and avoid an accident. While you did not crash into another vehicle, the impact could have pushed you into the chair in front of you, it could have caused debris to fly out and hit you, or it could have resulted in whiplash. The bus driver would clearly be at fault in that type of situation and would likely still have to pay for any injuries you experienced.
Injured by another person or debris. There may be circumstances where you are harmed by a third party and the bus driver or bus company is responsible for that harm. Those situations are rare, however. A more likely circumstance is that there is a bus malfunction that causes you harm. For example, if the flooring is raised slightly and you trip over the raised portion while you are walking through the bus, the busing company may be responsible for damages related to their failure to maintain the vehicle properly.
Single vehicle accidents. Because buses are difficult to maneuver, they are far more likely to roll or tip. When an inexperienced driver makes a tight turn, the bus may tip, causing severe injuries. Keep in mind that even one-vehicle crashes can lead to legal liability.
Potential Defendants in a Bus Accident Case
There are quite a few parties that might be involved in your bus accident case. These people or entities might include:
- The bus driver
- The company that owns the bus
- The local government that runs the busing system
- Anyone that did maintenance on the bus
- Other, third-party drivers
- Other passengers
- The bus manufacturer
The unique facts of your situation will indicate who caused your damages and who should be involved in your lawsuit. Getting the right party named is vital to recovering money for your injuries or other damages. An Edmonds bus accident lawyer will be able to examine your case and determine who should be involved.
Legal Responsibility in Bus Accidents
Public buses are known as “common carriers.” They are called this because they carry more than just one or two people. They are available to the public at large. Anyone on the bus puts a lot of faith and trust into the bus driver and the people that maintain and service the bus.
Because of this level of trust, the bus driver is held to a higher legal standard compared to the average passenger vehicle. Washington jury instructions refer to this as the “highest degree of care consistent with the practical operation of its type of transportation and its business as a common carrier.” While a common carrier does not have to ensure your safety, it means that common causes of passenger vehicle accidents, like speeding or failure to follow traffic signals are going to be far less tolerated in a bus accident case.
How Long Do I Have to Start a Bus Accident Lawsuit?
If you think you have a legal claim, it is always a good idea to talk with an Edmonds bus accident lawyer as soon as you can after an accident. It is much easier to talk about the crash while your memory is fresh. It is also easier for your lawyer to gather evidence and talk to others about the incident as well.
Getting the right medical care is also very important, and we can help you get in touch with medical specialists that will give you the attention you need. These medical professionals will also help you document your treatment well for your legal case, too.
Under Washington law, you have three years to start your bus accident case. In cases that involve a bus system that is run by the state, city, or other local government, the time frame that you have to start your case is significantly shorter—sometimes only a few months. It is always better to act quickly to ensure that you are protecting your rights as an accident victim.
Getting Help with Your Bus Accident Claim in Edmonds
If you are ready to meet with an experienced Edmonds bus accident lawyer, contact us by calling the Certa Law Group. We can help you examine your options to determine what your next steps should be. Do not wait to get this process started. This initial consultation is free, so you have nothing to lose—and you can learn more about your rights as a victim from our Edmonds bus accident lawyers. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.