Summer is upon us, and it’s peak swimming pool season in the sunshine state. Although swimming is a great way to cool off and get some exercise, it can also be dangerous. Statistics show three children die every day from swimming pool accidents, and many more people sustain serious injuries. In many cases, these tragic [..]
Boca Raton Florida Bus Accident Injuries Are Different Than Car Crashes
If you’re involved in a car crash in Florida with another driver, you know more or less what you need to do – stop and make sure everyone’s okay, inspect the damage, and exchange insurance information. Pretty straightforward. Some accidents are more complicated than others, but at least you have a decent idea about what needs to be done. Even injuries sustained from car crashes follow this same pattern, and you can decide whether you want to trust that the other driver’s insurance company will really offer you the compensation you deserve or get a personal injury lawyer to keep them from trying to buy you off with a lowball offer.
When an automobile accident involves a bus, though, the situation becomes far more complicated. If it’s a school bus, you’re involving unions, the school district, and many other factors; if it’s a metro bus, you’ll be in a legal battle with the city itself. No one should go into that kind of situation without someone who understands how this kind of accident and the injuries that result from it work in the legal system. You need to know what kind of legal arguments to make and how to make them effectively.
Unfortunately, bus accidents are a reality in Florida.
What Causes Bus Drivers to Get Into Accidents in Florida?
Both Metro and school bus drivers have to go through rigorous training courses to ensure that they know how to handle extremely large vehicles that can often be unwieldy and hard to control. But even in the most experienced hands, buses just aren’t designed for their safety – they were created to move large numbers of people from place to place, and when accidents do occur, they are often as big as the buses themselves. That means widespread damage and multiple injuries that are frequently serious. Why do buses get into accidents in Florida?
High center of gravity. There’s been a lot of coverage about how the design of SUVs causes them to roll over and injure people when they crash or even take a turn too hard. If this is true of SUVs (and it is), it’s doubly true for buses. Tall and comparatively thin, buses were designed to hold lots of people, and to pack more in by providing handholds to allow them to stand when the vehicles are moving. It doesn’t take much for a bus to tip over, and when there are lots of people inside, that means a high likelihood of numerous injuries.
Lack of familiarity. Because of the high level of skill needed to operate a bus correctly, relatively minor changes can pose a danger. If a driver is operating a new model that handles differently, this increases the risk of something bad happening. Likewise if he or she is driving in an area that isn’t as familiar, because they won’t know the road well enough to compensate for potential issues such as potholes or sharp turns by slowing or moving to avoid them.
Negligence or recklessness. Most bus drivers are incredibly conscientious people who take the responsibility of driving around so many people very seriously, but that doesn’t mean they all do this. Some speed. Some cut off other drivers or otherwise make reckless decisions. There are even bus drivers who have been involved in crashes because they were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Bad weather. Imagine braking in your car on a slippery Florida road. If you’re not careful, you might end up skidding or sliding a bit before the car gets back under your control. Now imagine the same thing happening with a bus. Just like with semi trucks, buses take much longer to stop because they are so much bigger and heavier. This also increases the chances of them going out of control and hitting other cars, objects, or even people, as well as overturning.
Equipment defects or improper maintenance. You have to take your car in for regular oil checks and other kinds of routine care – buses have to undergo the same kind of maintenance, just on a larger scale. But if these checkups are missed or done poorly, it can lead to breakdowns and equipment malfunctions that cause accidents. Likewise, it is also possible that a part or parts on the bus itself can simply be defective when it arrives from the manufacturer, and this, too, may cause problems.
Bad or inappropriate roads. If there’s one thing you should remember from this list, it’s that buses are big, and this brings with it a whole host of problems. One such problem is that they should only really be driven on roads that were designed to handle them. In larger urban areas this typically isn’t much of an issue, but buses that operate in more rural locales may experience problems if they are too heavy or wide for the roads they need to travel over.
Minimal safety precautions. One of the first things you do when you get in your car – something you’re required to do – is put on your seatbelt. But despite repeated calls from the National Transportation Safety Board and a number of recent deadly accidents, somehow buses still don’t have them. Moreover, it doesn’t look like an improvement that’s going to come anytime soon. This isn’t the only safety feature that buses are deemed to be lacking, and people who end up getting injured in a bus accident because of this may be able to file a lawsuit and collect damages.
Additionally, many bus accidents occur because the drop-off points were simply chosen poorly and another driver will hit the bus without realizing that it has stopped to let someone off. These kinds of cases can be complicated if you sustain an injury, because there will necessarily be a question of fault between the driver of the other vehicle and the bussing company.
Bus Injuries Are Serious – Get the Help You Need
If it’s something that can happen to you in another kind of car accident, it can happen in a bus accident as well. People have been known to suffer from:
- Tissue injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Head and brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Some of these are problems that can require months or even years of medical treatment and rehabilitation. If you don’t want to burn through your savings trying to pay for care, you need to talk to a personal injury attorney with a successful track record in these kinds of cases so that they can let you know what your options are.
And you had better not delay, because when dealing with large organizations and cities in these kinds of cases you often have to file your legal paperwork within a certain timeframe or you’ll lose your ability to receive compensation. What kind of timeframe? Sometimes as little as 45-90 days. Don’t wait – contact us today.
The Injury Law Firm of South Florida have experience handling all kinds of motor vehicle accident cases, including those involving busses. If you’ve been injured in a bus accident in Boca Raton, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Deerfield Beach or Fort Lauderdale, schedule a free consultation by calling 954-764-7377 (Fort Lauderdale), 561-209-2100 (Boca Raton & West Palm Beach), or 877-566-8759 (toll-free). You can also fill out this online form to set up your case evaluation. We’re a dedicated team of personal injury lawyers who work on a contingency basis and will take your calls at any time, on any day of the week.