What types of buses operate in and around the Tampa area?
Whether you realize it or not, there are plenty of large buses that operate in and around the Tampa area. These buses serve both residents and visitors alike. Thousands of school buses cross our roadways every day during the school year and even during the summer months. Additionally, there are more than 200 buses provide public transportation, including those operated by various transportation authorities. In addition to these buses, many long-distance transportation buses come in and out of the Tampa area each day.
Common causes of Tampa bus accidents
When we turn to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, we can see that bus accidents do occur in this state, and they injured well over 1,000 people during the latest reporting year of data we have available. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the agency that regulates much of the bus activity in the country, during a recent ten year period:
- 13% of bus crashes involved intercity buses (local transit)
- 40% of bus crashes involved school buses
- 35% of bus crashes involved long-distance transit buses
Unfortunately, some of the main causes of bus crashes revolve around bus driver error or negligence of bus agency operators.
All bus drivers should have their commercial driver’s license and be properly trained to operate each vehicle. Bus drivers should never operate their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or while they are distracted by their cell phones or other devices. Long-distance transportation bus drivers must abide by FMCSA hours of service requirements that are in place to prevent fatigued driving.
Bus companies and agencies must ensure that all buses are regularly inspected and maintained in order to prevent the vehicle or various parts from failing on the roadway and causing an accident. Companies and agencies must also ensure that their drivers are properly certified and trained for each vehicle they are asked to operate.
Most common Tampa bus accident injuries
Accidents involving buses have a higher risk of causing severe injuries to everybody involved. These vehicles weigh much more than traditional passenger cars. In general, the average bus on the roadway in and around the Tampa area will weigh between 25,000 and 40,000. This weight disparity between passenger vehicles and large buses is tremendous.
First, we want to look at the various groups of people that can sustain injuries in a bus accident:
- Drivers and passengers in other vehicles involved in the crash
- Passengers inside of the bus, including the bus driver
- Any pedestrians or bystanders near a bus crash
When a bus accident occurs, it is not uncommon for the following injuries to arise:
- Broken and dislocated bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Other neck and back injuries, including whiplash
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Open head wounds
- Internal bleeding or internal organ damage
- Crush injuries or amputations
How long do you have to file a bus accident claim in Tampa?
All bus accidents need to be reported to insurance carriers as soon as possible. In most cases, any bus accident injury claim will be resolved through a settlement with insurance carriers. However, if an insurance carrier refuses to offer a fair settlement or denies a claim, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit against the bus company/agency or their insurance carrier.
In Florida, the personal injury statute of limitations is four years from the date the injury occurs. This means that Tampa bus crash victims have a four-year window with which to file a lawsuit against an alleged negligent bus driver or bus company. Failing to file a claim within this time frame would likely result in the case being dismissed and the victim receiving no compensation.
What kind of compensation Is available for a bus accident case?
If you or somebody you love has been injured in a bus crash caused by the negligence of somebody else, there may be various types of compensation available for your claim. Attorney Paul Rebein understands that no two Tampa bus crashes are exactly alike, but will work diligently to secure the following for victims:
- Coverage of all bus crash-related medical bills
- Lost income if a victim is unable to work
- Coverage of any physical therapy or rehabilitation needed
- Loss of personal enjoyment damages
- Pain and suffering damages
- Possible punitive damages against a bus driver or bus company in cases of gross negligence
The total amount of compensation awarded in these cases will vary depending on the facts related to each particular situation. Some of the elements that could affect the compensation amount could include the severity of the injuries, any shared fault involved, whether a victim is disabled, the level of a victim’s pain and suffering, and more.
Contact our office for a free consultation of your case
If you or somebody you love has sustained an injury in a bus crash that was caused by the negligence of another person, seek legal assistance immediately. Attorney Paul Rebein has extensive experience handling injury cases just like this and will work to conduct an investigation into the incident. It is important that you secure the compensation you need so you can get on the road to recovery and move past what happened. Contact our Tampa bus accident lawyers for a free consultation of your case today.