Buses are a great form of public transportation in Charleston. Buses are also very large vehicles. This means that their drivers may not see small cars, pedestrians, and bike riders on the road. They also pull over often, making them unpredictable for drivers. These behaviors can be an accident risk.
Bus accidents are more complicated than other types of accidents. After all, anyone riding on the bus can get injured and sue. The question is, who’s liable for damages in a bus accident? The city? The bus driver? Another driver?
Trey Harrell Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney has plenty of experience handling complex cases like Charleston bus accidents. Our team can review your case and tell you who is likely liable for a bus accident, so you know who to pursue fair compensation from. Call 843-701-8029 to find out how we can help.
Determining Liability in a Charleston Bus Accident
There are some complex laws that make it difficult to determine who is responsible for a bus accident in Charleston. These include:
This is a legal doctrine that states that if an employee causes an accident when on the job, their employer may be to blame. So, if the bus driver is responsible for an accident that involves a city owned bus, victims may be able to go after the city. They may seek damages from private companies if the bus is privately owned.
The South Carolina Tort Claims Act
This Act outlines how to handle a claim against a government worker or agency. Special circumstances come into play. For instance, there is a cap of $300,000 on what you can claim from the government in most personal injury cases.
The Statute of Limitations for Bus Accidents in South Carolina
Also, the statute of limitations is 3 years for most accidents but it’s 2 years when you are going after a government agency.
The statute of limitations could be extended to three years if you file a verified claim for damages and wait 180 days or until the court denies the claim.
Your Charleston bus accident lawyer will explain these laws to you and advise you regarding the best actions to take.
Who Is Responsible for a Charleston Bus Accident?
The way the case proceeds will vary depending on whether the bus involved was a Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority Bus (CARTA) or a privately owned bus. Here is what you must consider:
- CARTA bus: CARTA is funded by the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) and the Federal Transport Association (FTA).
- Privately owned bus: If a driver hit you while driving in a privately owned bus, you can recoup damages directly from the company that owned it.
What Are Common Causes of Bus Accidents?
Bus accidents can happen for any of the following reasons:
- Distracted or negligent driving: We expect bus drivers to be held to higher standards than other drivers. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t prone to making errors and sometimes even recklessly breaking the rules. Bus drivers may do anything from speeding, to disobeying traffic signs and driving intoxicated.
- Limited space for maneuvering: Buses are often needed in heavily populated areas where there’s a lot of traffic and not a lot of space for a large bus to get around. This makes them more likely to collide with other vehicles.
- Poor road conditions: If the road is torn up or has debris in it, that could be a city problem should the bus be involved in a crash. Or it could be the fault of a construction company that’s doing work nearby.
- Equipment defects: An accident can be caused by defective equipment such as the brake or steering going out. These types of accidents can be the fault of the bus’s owner or its maintenance company.
What Are the Types of Bus Accidents That Can Happen?
There are various types of bus accidents that can occur on the road. For example:
- You may be injured while riding in a bus
- A bus may hit your vehicle in a road accident
- A bus may hit you when you were walking or riding your bicycle
Accidents can be further broken down based on the vehicles involved and the circumstances of the incidents as follows:
- Bus-car crashes
- Bus-pedestrian accidents
- Bus-motorcycle crashes
- Bus-bicycle crashes
- School crossing injuries
- Bus malfunction accidents
- Illegal passing accidents
Accidents can occur with any type of bus including city buses, freight buses, school buses, privately owned buses and more.
What Types of Damages Can I Claim in a Charleston Bus Accident?
There are many types of damages you may be eligible to claim in a Charleston bus accident. These include:
- Medical expenses (present and future)
- Lost wages
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of future earnings
- Punitive damages
- Property damage
- Wrongful death
The amount you are eligible to claim will vary depending on your personal situation and the extent of your damages. Your Charleston bus accident lawyer will let you know just how much you can be compensated for.
How Your Charleston Bus Accident Lawyer Can Help You Cover Your Damages
Bus accidents are complex. If you were injured in a bus accident, you need a Charleston bus accident lawyer who understands all facets of the accident. Trey Harrell Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorney will help you determine who to target for damages and gather evidence to ensure you are compensated for your losses.
If you are looking for a lawyer you can trust, choose one who is highly skilled with years of experience in personal injury law. Trey Harrell knows the right approach to your bus accident case. We will fight relentlessly to see to it that justice is done.
Don’t delay, call Trey today.