By nature, buses are oversized. They may hang over dividing lines and lane markers. They have difficulty slowing down appropriately. When you drive alongside buses, you likely keep these potential problems in mind. Even the safest driving, however, cannot always prevent accidents caused by the negligence of a bus operator.
If you were involved in a bus accident, you and your property may have suffered tremendous harm. If you were cycling or walking at the time of the accident, your injuries might be even greater. Fortunately, a personal injury action may allow you to recover compensation for all of your losses. Speak with a Richmond bus accident lawyer immediately for help determining the cause of your accident and pursuing compensation under Virginia law.
In some cases, the operator of a bus may have made a critical error while driving, and this person may be legally responsible for the accident. Many times, however, the driver of the bus may not be the only liable party.
The bus manufacturer or maintenance staff may have failed to provide a safe vehicle to the driver and the occupants of the bus. For example, if brake lights were improperly installed or poorly maintained, responsibility for the crash may lie with the bus company.
Drivers cannot be held responsible for skills or knowledge for which they did not receive training. School districts, companies, and county transportation departments all offer training to drivers to mitigate risk and keep all motorists safe. When drivers were improperly trained, fault may lie with the bus management.
The details of a bus crash determine the responsible party or parties, as well as possible recoverable damages. A bus wreck attorney in Richmond can be able to help plaintiffs develop proper claims.
Several Virginia statutes protect individuals who may have been hurt or suffered property damage due to a bus accident.
Virginia Code § 8.01-63 allows for car accident injury victims to seek damages against the at-fault driver. The law requires that negligence occur on the part of the defendant.
However, fault is more complicated in many bus accidents. If the injury victim shares some of the blame for causing the crash, they may be ineligible for compensation; due to Virginia’s contributory negligence law, if a jury believes the plaintiff is in any way responsible for the crash, it cannot award damages.
According to the Virginia Code, all possible plaintiffs must meet a “statute of limitations” when filing a claim in civil court. The statute of limitations refers to the amount of time a complainant is given to file a lawsuit after an accident.
Under Virginia Code § 8.01-243, personal injury actions generally must be filed within two years of the event. This two-year period applies to property claims, as well as bodily injury. There are numerous exceptions to this rule, however, and claims against a government entity may have a much stricter deadline. Consulting with a Richmond bus accident attorney as soon as possible after a crash can help victims meet any applicable time limits.
If you were a passenger on a public or private bus, you likely had no seatbelt. You may have incurred damages to yourself or to the property you entrusted the bus line to transport. If you were a driver impacted by the decisions of a bus operator, you may have sustained bodily injuries as well as damages to your car.
Under Virginia law, you may be entitled to recover damages in a civil action. To discuss your case, contact a Richmond bus accident lawyer immediately.