Phoenix Bus Accident Attorney
Bus accidents are inherently more dangerous than passenger vehicle accidents. Bus accidents involve dozens of passengers, larger and heavier vehicles, lack of seatbelts, and other elements that add to more serious personal injuries. In 2016, Arizona recorded 1,118 bus accidents (228 school buses and 890 commercial/noncommercial buses). Nine buses were involved in fatal accidents and 245 in injury crashes. Contact the bus accident lawyers at Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A. if you or a loved one has been in a Phoenix, Arizona bus accident. You may qualify for compensation as an injured passenger, driver, motorcyclist, cyclist, or pedestrian.
Who Is Liable in a Bus Accident?
Buses are common carriers that transport passengers as a service. As common carries, buses and their owners/companies must abide by stricter safety rules and regulations than standard passenger vehicles. Common carrier laws exist to regulate the industry and protect everyone on the roadway. Breaking a federal or state bus-related law, resulting in a preventable car accident, is negligence on the part of the bus company. Defendants that could be liable for a Phoenix bus crash include:
- The bus company. A privately-owned bus company or school could face liability if it or one of its drivers is at fault for a bus accident. Bus companies and private schools are vicariously responsible for crashes their drivers or other employees cause, as long as the employee was on duty at the time.
- The government. State or local government agencies could be liable for accidents involving public school or city buses. It is possible to file a claim regarding a city-owned bus that injures others from driver negligence, poor bus maintenance, or dangerous practices. These lawsuits have stricter deadlines for filing, however.
- Third parties. A third party such as another vehicle driver or product manufacturer could be liable for your accident depending on the circumstances of the case. Talk to a lawyer to find out if your claim involves product liability or more than one defendant. Multiple defendants can mean a higher likelihood of receiving compensation.
The party or parties that will be liable for your damages as a bus accident victim depend upon who caused or greatly contributed to your injuries. Federal and state laws may play a role in who is legally responsible for the crash, as well as your options for pursuing recovery. A discussion with a bus accident attorney can help you get a clearer picture of your legal future.
What Damages Can You Recover?
Arizona civil justice laws make it possible for injured accident victims to seek financial recovery for economic and non-economic damages after a harmful bus crash. Economic damages describe those with quantifiable, financial values, such as the cost of medical care, missed wages, and property damages. Non-economic losses are more difficult to value as they refer to intangible harms such as emotional distress, mental anguish, and psychological trauma.
Most courts will multiply the price of economic damages by a number from one to five (representing the severity of the injuries) to come up with non-economic damage amounts. You might also qualify for additional punitive damages if the bus driver or company intended to cause harm or was particularly wanton in its disregard for the safety of others. The court might award punitive damages as a way to punish the defendant.
Why Do You Need a Lawyer?
A good lawyer has the information, resources, and skill to go up against the government or a bus company in pursuit of maximum compensation for victims’ damages. A lawyer can skillfully take over settlement arbitration with a defendant’s insurance company, as well as take your case to court if that’s what’s necessary for fair recovery. Find out if you have a civil claim by contacting Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A. Schedule your free discussion over the phone at (602) 254-6071.