Slip and Fall
According to the Utah Transportation Authority, more than 100,000 riders travel by UTA bus on an average weekday. Most rides are incident-free, but the accidents that do occur pose a serious risk to riders and motorists involved.
Those injured in commercial bus accidents face many challenges, from physical recovery to the hassle of a claims process with the bus owner or operator. If you were hurt in an accident, contact Valiente Mott to discuss your options for free with one of our Utah bus accident lawyers. You may be entitled to damages to pay for your losses, and we can determine who is to blame and how to hold them accountable.
Bus Accidents Are Dangerous
Buses across the United States – including school buses, private charter buses, and buses for public transportation – travel a combined more than 28 billion miles annually, and this is a lot of opportunity for accidents. According to the 2018 data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, bus crashes led to more than 27,000 injuries and 274 deaths, but most deaths were among people other than bus passengers; occupants of passenger cars, pedestrians, and motorcyclists were far more likely to be fatally injured.
Most bus accidents are avoidable. Human error – in legal terms, negligence – is often at the root of a bus crash. Common causes include:
- Driving under the influence
- Distracted driving
- Running a red light
- Driver drowsiness
- Failure to yield
These types of errors can lead to injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue damage
- Lacerations and bruises
A successful claim or lawsuit may provide compensation for medical treatment, emotional distress, lost wages, disability, loss of consortium, and in the most serious cases, funeral expenses and wrongful death damages. To prove liability, a claimant must meet legal and technical requirements. A Utah personal injury lawyer can make sure you check all of the boxes to pursue compensation.
Who Is Liable for a Bus Accident in Utah?
A driver whose negligence caused an accident may be liable for the resulting injuries. An injured party will need to be able to show that the driver breached a legal duty by acting carelessly or failing to follow a safety-related law and that the breach caused the injuries.
Bus accident lawyers in Utah consider who owned and/or operated the bus when determining who to sue. If the bus driver was at fault, the owner of the bus is likely vicariously liable. If the bus was public transportation, then special rules and deadlines likely apply for anyone filing a personal injury claim.
How to Pursue a Bus Accident Injury Claim
Generally, in the case of a minor injury, a Utah accident victim must present a no-fault claim to their own insurance company. If the injuries are serious, they can present a formal claim to an at-fault party’s insurance company or file a lawsuit against the party directly. However, the process can vary based on who the responsible party is. If the bus driver’s negligence caused the accident, the responsible party may be:
- A public entity like UTA or a school district, which can require filing specific documentation on a shortened deadline before filing any lawsuit
- The operator of a private tour bus
- An airport (or a company that it contracts with) that provides shuttle buses
Determining who to sue or present a claim to and the proper deadline is a critical first step, but it can be complicated. Once the claim or lawsuit is filed, the injured party will need to provide documentation like medical bills and reports, verification of lost wages, and evidence of other claimed losses. They must also be prepared to address liability and negotiate a settlement. It is a good idea to consult with a Utah bus accident lawyer as early in the process as possible.
Contact a Utah Bus Accident Law Firm Today
Valiente Mott is committed to representing the rights of bus accident victims in Utah and Nevada from offices located in Lehi, Las Vegas, and Reno. Experiencing a bus accident can be jarring, which is why our Utah car accident attorneys are here to help you through the next steps. Consultations are free and confidential.
Valiente Mott is a law firm dedicated to helping personal injury victims. We handle all personal injury matters, including, but not limited to, car crashes, defective products, and catastrophic injury. We are compassionate, yet aggressive when protecting personal injury victims and families who lost loved ones in fatal accidents. Learn more about who we are.
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