Public and private transport companies are held to a higher standard of care to ensure the safety of their passengers, so they must abide by specific rules and regulations. Yet, despite strict operational policies and practices, bus accidents still account for over 4500 injuries annually in Florida, according to FLHSMV’s latest statistics.
If you were injured in a bus accident in Florida and it was not your fault, you may wonder if you can recover compensation. The short answer is: most likely, but the process can be complex. The longer answer? Read on to see how our Panama City bus accident lawyers answer that question in more detail.
Who Do I Claim From After A Bus Accident in Panama City?
It can be difficult to determine who is responsible for a bus accident and how to pursue the compensation you need afterward, especially while coping with your injuries.
Florida follows a no-fault system, so injured passengers can submit claims with their auto insurance PIP up to policy limits. If you do not have this coverage, you may be covered under a family member’s PIP if they live with you. Otherwise, you could claim from the bus company’s PIP if they operate as a private company or a public school bus.
If you are injured by a bus as another motorist, you would not be covered by the bus company’s PIP and would use your own auto coverage. As a cyclist or pedestrian, you are covered if you are injured in a bus accident as a Florida resident. However, the bus’s PIP coverage does not extend to non-residents.
While PIP Is Convenient, It Does Have Several Drawbacks
While PIP can alleviate some of the frustration of settling straightforward claims, it does have several limitations, such as:
- Injuries and damages from bus accidents can easily exceed your policy limits
- Some treatments and procedures are not covered under PIP
- Pain and suffering damages (such as emotional trauma) are not included in this type of coverage
- PIP will only pay 80% of your medical costs and 60% of your lost wages up to policy limits
- There may be deductibles, depending on your policy plan
If Your Case Is Complex, Filing A Personal Injury Lawsuit May Be Necessary
Unfortunately, most bus accident claims are not straightforward. In cases involving serious injuries, or the bus driver, operator, or another party was negligent, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit to pursue financial damages.
Using this recovery method, you will need to prove the other party’s negligence, which can be challenging due to the amount of evidence necessary to support your case. Further, the other side will likely fight hard to avoid settling in your favor, but you should not have to suffer for someone else’s mistake.
Our bus accident attorneys serving Panama City have the dedication, commitment, focus, and resources to pursue complex injury cases. Our job is to cut through the legal jargon and make claiming compensation as stress-free as possible for our clients. Because we focus on personal injury and PIP law, we have plenty of experience to draw from, which can help bring peace of mind that your case is in capable hands.
What Is The Average Compensation for a Bus Accident Lawsuit?
Putting a fixed dollar amount on a bus accident injury claim is difficult without carefully analyzing the facts. Many considerations influence the value of a claim; however, compensation in personal injury lawsuits typically includes a mix of economic and non-economic damages such as:
- Pain and suffering, which includes damages for your physical pain and also any emotional trauma caused, such as insomnia, anxiety, or PTSD.
- The cost of your medical bills, treatment, and rehabilitation.
- Loss of earnings, present and future, due to the injuries caused in the accident.
- Other financial losses such as damaged property or travel costs for medical appointments as a direct consequence of the accident.
Who Can Make A Claim?
The following parties can claim injuries sustained in an accident involving a bus where the driver or another third party was negligent:
- Passengers on the bus
- Parents on behalf of children hurt in a bus accident
- Other motorists injured by a negligent bus driver
What Injuries Can I Claim For?
The risk of serious injuries is greater in buses as many do not have or enforce the use of seatbelts. You can claim for any physical or emotional harm caused in the accident; however, some of the most common types of injuries we encounter are:
- Whiplash injuries
- Concussion and other head injuries
- Broken or fractured bones
- Deep cuts and lacerations
- Soft tissue injuries
- Neck and spinal injuries
These are just a handful of the many potential injuries that can result from a bus accident. If you have questions about your injuries or are unsure if you have a case, it can be beneficial to learn about your legal options by scheduling a free case review. There is no obligation in doing this, and it certainly pays to know your rights before talking with an insurer.
Your time is limited, however. If you are an uninsured motorist, than the statute of limitations for you to pursue legal action is five years. For personal injury, it is four years per Florida Statutes§ 95.11.
Can I Make A No-Win, No-Fee Claim?
You can with us! As well as providing a free initial consultation, our no-win, no-fee pay structure means we fund the cost of building and pursuing your injury case. This means we only recover our fees when we receive a favorable settlement or trial verdict on your behalf.
Our Bus Accident Lawyers Fight Tirelessly For the Compensation You Deserve
At GED Lawyers, our bus accident attorneys understand how frustrating it is to have your life suddenly upturned in an accident caused by someone else. We know the challenges you face and the worries you have. We also know how to help you get your life back on track and fight for the compensation you deserve. You do not have to face this difficult time alone. We are here to help and will be at your side every step of the way.
Call and schedule a free consultation with our team today if you have questions or want to know more about your legal options.