Due to their maximum passenger capacity and their unwieldy size, bus drivers must undergo significant training and remain alert at all times in order to operate their vehicles safely. While most bus drivers meet these standards without a problem, there are those who act recklessly or carelessly behind the wheel, sometimes leading to accidents that have devastating consequences for the people riding along with them.
If you got hurt due to a motor vehicle accident involving a bus, you may have grounds to retain a personal injury attorney and file suit for civil compensation. However, bus crash litigation can vary significantly from other types of personal injury claims, so it may be wise to seek help from an experienced Bellevue bus accident lawyer who knows how to handle cases like yours.
Buses are considered as common carriers under both state and federal law, which essentially means that their operators have even higher standards of care they must adhere to than commuter drivers do. In addition to following traffic regulations and maintaining awareness of their surroundings, bus drivers must drive especially carefully to ensure their passengers do not suffer an injury while boarding, disembarking, or making their way to their seat.
If a bus driver causes a wreck by acting recklessly or carelessly in any way, anyone injured as a result could seek financial restitution from that bus driver’s employer based on the principle of respondeat superior. This includes not just passengers on the bus, but also other drivers and their passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians, and any other person involved in the accident the bus driver caused.
Alternatively, liability for a bus crash may lie with a mechanic or service company if the incident stems from a mechanical failure, or even with another driver if their own negligence caused a wreck that a bus driver acting responsibly had no way of avoiding. A Bellevue bus accident attorney could offer custom-tailored guidance about legal options based on an individual crash victim’s circumstances.
Bus accident litigation becomes even more complex when the prospective defendant is a local, city, or state municipal authority. While government employees and entities can be found civilly liable for “tortious conduct” like reckless or careless bus operation, municipal bus crash victims in Bellevue must follow the additional procedures listed in Revised Code of Washington §4.92.100 when filing a claim against the state government.
Once a prospective plaintiff files this initial notice of claim within three years of discovering their injuries, they must wait a minimum of 60 days before they can file the initial complaint that formally begins the civil litigation process. In light of these and other special conditions for these kinds of claims, guidance from a skilled lawyer is all but essentially to successfully filing suit over a municipal bus wreck in Bellevue.
Whether you suffered injury in a collision between a bus and another vehicle, in an accident at a bus stop, or under any circumstances involving a commercial or public common carrier, you may have a challenging fight ahead of you if you want to recover civil compensation. Fortunately, help is available from dedicated legal professionals who have helped individuals just like yours pursue similar cases successfully in the past.
Once retained, your Bellevue bus accident lawyer could stand by your side throughout every stage of your civil claim, ensuring you can pursue the restitution you deserve as effectively as possible. Call today to schedule a consultation.