Phoenix Bus Accident Attorney
If you’ve suffered an injury after a bus accident, you need experienced attorneys. Cruz & Associates has more than 25 years of experience handling auto accident claims, and we understand the unique factors involved in bus accidents.
Buses are a part of everyday life for many Americans who rely on public transportation to get to and from work and around town. When bus accidents happen, the injured passengers typically wonder who is at fault and what legal options may be available to them. Review the following information about bus accidents and let us know how we can help you.
Understanding Common Carrier Laws
Any business that offers transportation to the public for a fee is a “common carrier” and has a higher duty of care on the road than other drivers in the eyes of the law. Common carrier laws can apply to airlines, trains, shuttle services, taxis, tour buses, and public transportation vehicles. Many common carriers operate as part of government agencies, which means there are very strict requirements for filing lawsuits against these agencies.
If you plan to sue a common carrier that operates as a private business, your lawsuit will follow the typical personal injury lawsuit framework. This means the plaintiff must prove the defendant was negligent, and the defendant’s negligence directly resulted in injuries and other damages to the plaintiff. It’s also up to the plaintiff to honestly and accurately report the extent of his or her losses in court. If the defendant in your impending lawsuit is a government agency, it’s vital to find an attorney and act quickly before your opportunity to file a claim passes. While the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is two years, it can be as short as six months when the defendant is a government agency.
Personal injury law hinges on the legal concept of negligence, and proving negligence requires meeting four criteria:
- Duty. The plaintiff must show the court the defendant in the case owed the plaintiff a duty to act with reasonable care in the given situation. A common carrier employee such as a bus driver is negligent when he or she drives distracted, is drunk or intoxicated behind the wheel, speeding, or otherwise fails to meet his or her duty of care.
- Breach. The plaintiff must show the court how the defendant breached or failed to meet his or her duty of care in the given situation. This may hinge on evidence from the scene of the accident or eyewitness testimony. The plaintiff must prove that another competent person in the same situation would have taken a different action.
- Damage. Next, the plaintiff must prove that he or she suffered actual harm or incurred some kind of tangible loss. Even if the defendant was negligent, if the plaintiff suffered no losses he or she has no claim.
- Causation. Finally, the plaintiff must prove his or her losses directly resulted from the defendant’s negligence and not some other cause. For example, after a bus accident, a plaintiff suing for a back injury must provide evidence the back injury was not a preexisting condition and only occurred due to the accident.
A plaintiff who can successfully prove these four elements of negligence has a very good chance of succeeding with his or her lawsuit. In a personal injury lawsuit against a common carrier, a plaintiff can recover compensation for his or her medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, and property damage resulting from the defendant’s negligence.
Cruz & Associates has built a reputation of successful cases in Arizona, and we want to help bus accident victims recover the compensation they need to get back to normal life. Reach out to our firm today to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our attorneys. A Cruz & Associates lawyer can meet with you at our office, your home, or even the hospital if that is most convenient for you.