Bus Accident Attorneys in Pensacola, Florida
Thousands of Floridians take public transportation each day, and many of them travel by bus. We trust bus drivers to bring our kids safely to and from school, and when we need a bus to take us somewhere, we have the right to expect that the person driving it is trained to operate it in a safe manner. Unfortunately, bus accidents happen far more often than most people believe. And when they do occur, they can result in serious and sometimes fatal injuries.
Bus accident cases are more complicated than an average car accident. There are governing laws and regulations that may be at play, and there are multiple parties who could be injured, as well as multiple parties who could be held responsible for the accident. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in an accident involving a bus, it is important to speak with an attorney who has specific experience with this area of the law, so you will receive competent representation and be in the best possible position to recover maximum compensation.
At the Law Offices of Whibbs, Stone & Barnett, P.A., we have in-depth experience representing clients injured in bus accidents and those who have suffered all other types of personal injuries in Pensacola and surrounding Florida and Alabama Communities. Our attorneys have over six decades of combined experience handling these types of cases, and we have a successful track record both inside and outside the courtroom.
We know that in bus accident cases, there are numerous potential contributing factors, and an extensive investigation is required to determine the root cause of the accident and ensure that all parties responsible are held fully accountable. We also know that there is a lot at stake with cases like these, and the other side will do everything possible to minimize the amount of damages they have to pay out. We routinely handle highly complex cases, and we are not intimidated by well-funded adversaries and their vast resources. If we take your case, we will fight hard for every dollar of compensation you deserve, regardless of how complicated your case is.
What are the Common Causes of Bus Accidents?
Each year, hundreds of individuals are killed and tens of thousands are injured in bus accidents throughout the country. The types of buses that may be involved in an accident with injuries include:
- School Buses: These are the buses that bring the kids to and from school and to and from extracurricular activities.
- City Buses: These are public transportation buses that allow commuters to travel a short distance within the same city or metro area.
- Intracity Buses: These are buses that travel from one city to another, such as Greyhound and Trailways.
- Charter Buses: These are buses that are chartered for private use, such as for a tour, sporting event, or long-distance travel.
In the majority of cases, bus accidents are due to some type of driver negligence. Here are some examples:
- Excessive Speeding/Reckless Driving: Driving significantly over the speed limit or faster than it is safe to drive under current conditions, and other reckless actions; such as tailgating, dangerous passing maneuvers, failure to yield the right-of-way, and many others.
- Distracted Driving: Many bus drivers have a hard time staying off of their cell phones when they are behind the wheel. Texting while driving and similar activities are especially dangerous, because they take the driver’s entire attention away from the road.
- Drowsy Driving: Bus drivers who put in long hours are particularly susceptible to drowsiness or fatigue. In the worst cases, this can cause a driver to fall asleep behind the wheel. But even if they stay awake, drowsy drivers are less attentive to what is happening on the road, have slower reaction times, and generally make poorer driving decisions.
- Driving while Intoxicated: Despite decades of campaigns against drunk driving, far too many motorists still make the poor and sometimes fateful decision to get behind the wheel after having too much to drink. It is bad enough to do this while driving a private vehicle without any passengers, but when a bus driver who is responsible for the lives of several other people drives while intoxicated, this is a particularly egregious act.
There are other factors that may also contribute to a bus accident, such as:
- Inexperience and/or inadequate training;
- Bus companies over scheduling drivers;
- Buses that are overloaded and have too much weight in them;
- Buses that are not properly maintained;
- Faulty vehicle or vehicle parts.
Filing a Bus Accident Injury Claim in Florida
As mentioned earlier, busing accident cases can be very complicated, because you are dealing with several potential parties that could be at fault, some of which may be government entities. There will be several complex steps involved to file the claim against the negligent parties. If one of the responsible parties is a government entity, there is a completely different claims process, which typically involves notifying the agency of the claim in writing and an investigation period before a lawsuit can move forward.
Assuming all the steps are followed properly, those who are injured in a busing accident may be eligible for damages not only for actual monetary losses such as medical bills, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity (in the case of a long term or permanent disability), but also for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering, psychological distress, and diminished quality of life.
In some limited cases, punitive damages may also be available if it can be shown that the injuries resulted from intentional or grossly negligent actions by the party responsible. In Florida, punitive damages are capped (in most cases) at $500,000 or three times the amount of compensatory damages, whichever is greater.
Speak with a Skilled and Compassionate Florida Bus Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident involving a bus, the attorneys at Whibbs, Stone & Barnett, P.A. are here to fight for you. We understand that the accident has taken a major physical, emotional, and financial toll on you and your household, and our goal is to make the legal process smooth and seamless. We work closely with you throughout the process, providing strong legal guidance and moral support during this difficult time. We take care of all the complex legal tasks and we deal directly with the other side, so you can focus on your recovery.
To schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team, call our office today at 850-500-1111 or send us a message through our online contact form. You may also stop by our Pensacola office in person at your convenience.
We take all our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, so you never have to pay upfront legal fees to receive the experienced representation you deserve