Dallas Bus Accident Lawyer
Thousands of Dallas residents rely on Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) to get them where they are going each day, and thousands more share the roads with DART buses, school buses, and other buses. These vehicles are useful for transporting groups of people, but they are unwieldy, have large blind spots, are prone to roll-overs, and in a collision, they can be deadly. Those involved in bus collisions often sustain severe injuries.
If an accident involving a bus has injured you or a loved one, you could seek money damages to compensate for your losses. You should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible because there is a limited time to file a claim, and the clock begins ticking on the day of the accident.
Failure to Meet Standard of Care
If the occupant of another vehicle, a cyclist, motorcyclist, or a pedestrian suffers an injury in a collision or mishap with a bus, the injured person and their attorney must prove that someone was negligent. Showing negligence requires a plaintiff to establish:
- Someone had a duty to the plaintiff
- They breached that duty
- The breach contributed to an accident or incident
- The plaintiff was injured in the accident or incident
Bus accident claims are complicated because there are often multiple, potentially negligent responsible parties. These could include the bus driver and their employer, the bus owner, the bus maintenance company, the manufacturer of any defective vehicle parts, the government unit responsible for maintaining the road, other vehicle operators, and even disruptive bus passengers. A lawyer could investigate the circumstances surrounding a bus accident to identify all the parties who might have contributed to the accident and could be liable to the plaintiff.
Injured bus passengers have an easier time getting damages from bus companies. The Court of Appeals of Texas has affirmed that buses are common carriers and must meet enhanced standards of care to protect their passengers. The bus company and its driver must be very cautious, prudent, and competent. If someone is injured while a passenger on a bus, the passenger will be entitled to damages if they can show a failure to meet this high standard. This is easier than showing that the bus company or its driver was negligent.
Dealing With Governmental Entities
There are complications for a plaintiff seeking damages when the state of Texas, the city of Dallas, or another local government, is a potentially liable party. This might happen if the accident involved a bus owned or operated by a government or if road conditions or signage are potential contributors to the accident.
Although a plaintiff usually has two years from the date of the accident to bring a lawsuit, the Texas Code of Civil Procedure and Remedies §101.101 requires plaintiffs to notify government units—like cities, counties, or the state—within six months of the accident if they intend to claim damages from the governmental entity. Seeking help from a bus accident lawyer soon after a bus accident could help ensure that all potentially liable governments receive the appropriate notice in a timely manner.
The law limits the amount of damages a unit of government must pay. It caps the liability of the state and the city of Dallas at $250,000 per person and $500,000 per incident. For other local governments, the limit of liability is $100,000 per person and $300,000 per incident.
Get Help From an Experienced Dallas Bus Accident Attorney
Identifying potential defendants in a bus accident and asserting a plaintiff’s right to compensation is a difficult job that requires experience and expertise. A victim should never attempt to negotiate on their own—that is an invitation for savvy defense lawyers to evade their clients’ responsibilities toward the plaintiff.
Working with a skilled Dallas bus accident lawyer helps ensure that the defendants take your claim seriously and are held accountable. Call today.