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Riding the bus is a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly mode of transportation. More than 35 million Americans take mass transportation every weekday because it is a safe and reliable way to get around. Only 24,000 people report injuries from bus accidents each year in the United States, but the injuries can be serious and lead to expensive medical bills. If you frequently take the bus or have sustained an injury from public transportation, one of our bus accident attorneys in Minneapolis can help you understand the legal details related to a bus accident and recover any losses.
If you’ve recently been in an bus accident in Minneapolis, contact our office today to receive a free case evaluation with one of our experienced bus accident lawyers.
Buses are very large vehicles that can be extremely heavy. Their size can make it hard for bus drivers to adequately maneuver through streets and roads. A bus accident could leave a victim with either a soft or hard injury. Soft injuries include damages to your soft tissue, such as cuts, bruises, sprains, or whiplash. In most cases, these injuries are not as severe as hard injuries, which include broken bones, internal bleeding, or brain damage.
Different causes of bus accidents can occur, and each cause comes with unique liabilities. Bus accidents can occur when the bus collides with another object, such as a guardrail or an oncoming vehicle. The abrupt change in speed may throw passengers around and cause injuries to the neck and head.
Collisions can happen when the bus driver gets drowsy or distracted, or they could be the fault of another driver on the road. Some bus accidents occur inside the bus itself. If the aisle is slippery or filled with obstacles, passengers could slip or trip. Accidents occurring on buses can also come from other passengers that perform criminal acts. Bus carriers cannot completely prevent this, but they can take security measures to make it less likely.
The law considers public transportation companies as common carriers. These common carriers operate under the assumption that they will provide a high level of care to their passengers. Some responsibilities of common carriers include hiring qualified vehicle operators and giving them sufficient training, properly maintaining the vehicle, providing safe conditions for passengers and securing the bus from outside threats. A failure to perform any of these duties could result in negligence.
Some bus accidents are not the fault of the bus or the bus driver. For example, if a car on the road swerved into the bus or ran a stoplight in front of the bus, the common carrier would not necessarily have breached the duty of care. You would have to take the case up against the third-party driver whose actions directly caused the accident.
There are a few government entities that operate buses, such as school districts and transportation bureaus. To file a claim against the government, you must follow specific procedural guidelines. There may be specific forms and timelines to follow depending on the city and county where the accident occurred. Consult with your personal injury attorney for assistance with filing a claim against the government.
There must be proof of the common carrier’s negligence showing it was the proximate cause of the injuries to determine liability in bus accident cases. If possible, collect evidence from the scene of the accident. Take pictures and video with your phone of the driver’s behavior or any other factors that caused the accident. Record or write down statements from witnesses about what they saw. All this could prove your case and help you to get compensation for your injury.
If you find yourself with an injury or other losses from riding a bus or other form of public transportation, call a professional attorney to help you form your case and recover funds. The firm of Knutson+Casey has been recovering damages from personal injury cases in the Minneapolis area for 25 years. Give us a call to discuss the specifics of your case with a free consultation.