Who is Liable When a City Bus Crashes?
When you buy a ticket to ride a public city bus, you are placing your wellbeing in the hands of that bus’s driver. It stands to reason that if you do get injured while riding a city bus, the resulting damages should not be placed on your shoulders. Who can be held liable for the bus accident, though?
As unusual as it might seem, the city or municipality that runs, owns, or manages the public bus can be the liable party. This means you could be bringing a lawsuit against your hometown, or, more specifically, the local department of transportation. The bus driver is technically an employee of the municipality, and that municipality is responsible for their wrongdoing or negligence to an extent.
What is Common Carrier Law?
A city bus with no markers on it other than the logo of your city might not actually be owned and run directly by the city, though. It is possible that a company called a “common carrier” is actually the owner and operator of your city’s bus lines. A common carrier is a company that accepts the responsibility of public transportation on behalf of the municipality that hires or contracts them.
If the public city bus that you were riding when it crashed was run by a common carrier, then the party responsible for your damages will be that common carrier, not the municipality. A complication can occur, though, depending on how common carrier law is interpreted in your local court or in your county. Some places and states only make a common carrier accountable for passenger injuries if the vehicle was in motion at the time of the accident, whereas others will hold the carrier liable as long as the passenger was in the vehicle.
Simplify Your Bus Accident Claim with Attorney Pittman
After a city bus accident, you should be allowed to rest comfortably and try to recuperate. To do that, though, you may need to rely on the services of an experienced bus accident attorney who knows how to figure out liability and build strong personal injury claims. For the legal guidance you need and deserve during this difficult time, come to Attorney Wes Pittman of The Pittman Firm, P.A. in Florida. By dialing (850) 764-0383, you can request a free, no-obligation case evaluation with the firm today!