Buses are a convenient and eco-friendly form of transportation. However, if a bus driver or operating company is negligent, serious traffic collisions can occur and cause harm to many passengers. Filing suit for compensation can be uniquely challenging for crashes involving these types of vehicles, known as “common carriers.”
If you want to boost your odds of a positive case result, you should strongly consider hiring a Wilmington bus accident lawyer. At Doroshow, Pasquale, Krawitz, and Bhaya, a skilled attorney can investigate your case and help build a strong case for compensation from the at-fault parties.
Establishing Fault for Bus Crash Injuries
Just like any other driver on public roads, bus operators are obligated to obey traffic laws, remain attentive behind the wheel, and generally act reasonably and in accordance with their training. If a bus operator behaves recklessly or carelessly while driving, they could bear civil liability for any injuries sustained in an ensuing collision.
However, there may be other parties at fault besides the bus operator in a wreck involving a common carrier. For example, bus companies that employ negligent drivers may bear vicarious liability for the consequences of their employees’ actions. This is especially true if they maintained poor hiring practices that led to them employing a driver with a history of traffic violations or other problematic behaviors.
Third Party Liability for Bus Wrecks
Alternatively, many bus wrecks occur because of negligence by a third party rather than misconduct by a bus driver or their employer. This could entail anything from faulty parts provided by a negligent manufacturer, improper maintenance by a negligent mechanic, or even irresponsible driving by another person on the road. A seasoned bus crash attorney at our Wilmington office can advise on who might be to blame for a particular incident.
Filing Suit Against a Municipal Bus Operator in Wilmington
In many situations, agencies of Delaware and other local governments have sovereign immunity from civil liability in the event that one of their employees is involved in a crash. However, Delaware Code Title 10 §4012 outlines exceptions for collisions stemming from negligent use, maintenance, or operation of motor vehicles. This means that those injured in traffic crashes involving public buses can file suit over their ensuing damages.
Limits on Public Transportation Collision Damages
That being said, there are additional rules for these types of claims. For example, DE Code Tit. 10 §4013(a) limits total recovery in claims against political subdivisions or their employers. The limit is $300,000 or whatever amount of liability insurance the subdivision voluntarily purchased that provides more than $300,000 of coverage.
Filing Deadlines for Wilmington Bus Crash Claims
Additionally, as per DE Code Tit. 10 §8124, any claim against the City of Wilmington or any of its agencies has a notice date of one year after the incident. This means that the City must be put on notice of a claim or that claim is waived. Our local bus wreck attorneys can further explain these rules and help injured victims file their claims on time.
Get in Touch with a Wilmington Bus Accident Attorney
Accidents involving commercial or public buses tend to be rare, but they can have catastrophic repercussions for passengers and other parties involved. However, with legal assistance, you could recover damages for every form of harm caused by the collision. It is important to work with a knowledgeable attorney when pursuing a civil claim, as there are legal nuances for cases involving public transportation.
During an initial consultation, a Wilmington bus accident lawyer can discuss possible approaches for pursuing the compensation you deserve. Call the law offices of Doroshow, Pasquale, Krawitz, and Bhaya today to get started.