Public transportation is a growing sector of Florida’s economy. According to the Florida Public Transportation Association, transit ridership in Florida has increased by 46% over the last ten years. The Association is compromised by over 40 urban and rural transit systems, two commuter railroads, a heavy-rail commuter system, and two people mover systems.
Injured by Bus in Florida
In short, the Florida transit system is a means of commuting for over 277 million Floridians and visitors. However, although busses account for some of the larger vehicles on Florida’s roads, they too are subject to being involved in a collision and are susceptible to incurring multiple fatalities and injuries in one crash.
What Causes Bus Accidents?
Drivers of public transportation vehicles have to train for and take a driving exam that would allow the operation of a bus. Unfortunately, many of the bus drivers are hired without the proper and adequate training of new drivers. Additionally, operating a bus for long hours with multiple stops can be very draining and tiring for the driver; in turn, this is a common cause of fatigue in drivers. Fatigue, coupled with the difficulty of operating a large vehicle such as a public bus, is one of the most common causes of bus-related collisions.
Tampa Bus Accident Attorneys
Elements of a Bus Injury Lawsuit
Bus drivers can be employees of the state or employees of private companies. Whichever the case may be, operators of transportation vehicles, or common carriers, are held to a heightened duty of care for its passengers. In other words, bus drivers might be liable for a passenger’s injuries when the bus company was only slightly at fault for the injuries. Proving a negligence claim against a bus driver would require sufficient evidence of the following elements:
- The bus driver had a duty to act with reasonable care;
- The bus driver breached that duty;
- That breach is the cause of the injury incurred by the party asserting negligence; and
Injured Bus Passenger Example
Broken Arm based on Driver Negligence
This is best illustrated through an example: Imagine a passenger on a bus ride to work. The bus driver had an early morning and is showing signs of fatigue. Due to his fatigue, the driver misses a stop sign and collides with another bus.
Because of the force of impact, the passenger is forcefully thrown to the other side of the bus and suffers a broken arm. To properly assert a cause of action of negligence against the driver, the passenger would have to show that the driver owed him a duty to act with reasonable care of a common carrier, that the driver breached that duty by not driving while fatigued which caused the collision, that this collision caused the force of impact that resulted in the passenger’s broken arm.
Find Bus Accident Lawyers Near Me
Contact us now, or call (813) 291-3717. Claiming damages would be the trickiest of the four elements. Due to the complexity of pleading damages, hiring an attorney with exceptional experience in bus accidents is key in obtaining the best possible outcome for the passenger. Additionally, most buses operated in Florida are state or federally owned. Due to the nature of the buses’ ownership, a unique set of rules and laws will govern asserting a claim. Even some of the most experienced personal injury attorneys are not aware of these rules; this should be taken into consideration when searching for the right attorney.