Liability in Fort Worth Bus Accident Cases
In a city like Fort Worth, buses are crucial for people to commute safely to work and get their children to school. Although buses are generally safe, accidents involving these massive vehicles still occur. Sadly, the risk of injury associated with these collisions is higher as buses do not have safety precautions like seatbelts. If you or a family member were involved in a bus accident in Fort Worth, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Bus accident victims can recover their medical expenses, lost income, and compensation for pain and suffering through civil lawsuits. Liability in Fort Worth bus accident cases depends on if the bus is publicly or privately owned or operated by an independent contractor.
While most bus accidents result from a driver’s negligence, occasionally, the liable party is a third-party driver or the company that owns the vehicle. Therefore, after a bus crash, it is crucial to discuss your case with an experienced bus crash attorney, who can help you determine the appropriate party to sue.
Commercial Bus Drivers Owe Riders a Higher Standard of Care
The main goal of bus drivers is to ensure that passengers get where they are going safely. In Texas, commercially owned buses include privately owned buses such as charter buses, nursing home vehicles, and airport or hotel shuttles.
Commercially owned buses are “common carriers” in Texas, meaning drivers are obligated to exercise a higher duty of care to their passengers and other drivers than an average driver. Likewise, bus drivers of privately owned buses must obey traffic laws, drive safely, perform routine maintenance, and be physically and mentally fit for the job. A driver or bus company is liable if they fail to uphold this duty and cause a collision in Fort Worth.
Government Owned Buses
Government buses include city buses, school buses, and other public transportation. Unfortunately, due to strict notice requirements, it is harder to sue a bus owned by the government in Texas. Luckily an experienced attorney in Fort Worth understands the complex issues surrounding liability in a bus crash.
When a government entity is involved in a bus accident, injured passengers must notify of their intent to sue within six months of the collision. Texas law also imposes a damage cap of $250,000 per individual and $500,000 per accident involving a government-owned bus. After a bus crash with a government-owned vehicle, victims can receive compensatory damages like medical expenses or lost income but are not entitled to punitive damages.
Liability Insurance Required
Federal law requires buses to carry minimum insurance policies whether the government or a private entity owns the bus. For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) requires buses carrying more than fifteen passengers to have a minimum of $5 million in liability insurance. On the other hand, companies must obtain $1.5 million in liability insurance coverage for buses with less than fifteen passengers.
Discuss Liability in Bus Accident Cases with a Fort Worth Bus Accident Attorney
Liability in Fort Worth bus accident cases is complicated and often requires knowledge of relevant laws and procedures. Therefore, discussing your claim after a bus accident with a legal representative is crucial.
Bus accident victims seeking legal advice are more likely to obtain a fair settlement than those dealing directly with insurance companies. Contact a Fort Worth bus accident lawyer today to discuss the potential liability of involved parties if you were in a crash.