Who is Liable for My Bus Accident Injury?
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Who is Liable for My Bus Accident Injury in St. Louis or Missouri?
Depending on the circumstances of your case, the liable party may be the bus driver, the driver of another vehicle, a school district, the bus company, or a government entity. Read more about each below:
The St. Louis or Missouri Bus Driver
Human error is the leading cause of auto accidents and is the "critical reason" in 94 percent of crashes. Bus accidents are no different. Common causes of St. Louis and Missouri bus accidents related to human error are:
As buses are legally considered common carriers, bus drivers owe their passengers the highest duty of care, which goes beyond the standard duty of care that other drivers have. When they are negligent in that duty and injure you, you can file a claim against the driver with the help of a talented and accomplished bus accident attorney.
Another St. Louis or Missouri Driver
Similarly, if your bus accident injury was caused by another driver, such as in a car accident, truck accident, or motorcycle accident, you can file a claim against the driver and their insurance company as you normally would. Bus accidents are complicated and often involve many parties and many moving parts. Your talented and accomplished Missouri bus accident attorney in St. Louis will determine who exactly is liable for your accident and hold them responsible for your injuries.
A St. Louis or Missouri School District
If you or your child were injured in a school bus accident, the school district may be at fault. If the school district utilizes negligent hiring practices such as hiring a driver improperly licensed or with a criminal record. Additionally, if inclement weather was a factor in the crash and school should have been canceled, they may be liable.
A St. Louis or Missouri Bus Company
Bus companies have a responsibility to hire safe and appropriately licensed drivers and to ensure that all of their drivers are adequately trained. Additionally, they need to perform routine inspections and maintenance and repair any defective parts or components.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also has special rules for how long a bus driver can drive a passenger-carrying bus. No bus driver can drive:
- More than 10 hours following eight consecutive hours off duty
- For any period after having driven 15 hours after eight straight hours off duty
- Sixty hours in seven consecutive days
- Seventy hours in 8 consecutive days
The National Transportation Safety Board found that driver fatigue is a contributing factor in 36 percent of bus accidents. If you were injured because a bus driver was fatigued, you may be able to make a claim against the driver and the bus company that overworked them. Burger Law's bus accident attorney team in St. Louis and Missouri will acquire driving records to determine if your bus driver was driving too long.
A St. Louis or Missouri Governmental Entity
If the bus was operated by a public entity, like the Metro Transit of St. Louis, you may be able to make a claim against them. Missouri has a sovereign immunity law, which generally protects the government and public employees from lawsuits for personal injury. However, under Missouri Revised Statute §537.600, there are two exceptions to this rule:
- Your injury results from a public employee operating a motor vehicle "within the course of their employment"; and
- If your injury results from a "dangerous condition" on public property, such as the "defective and dangerous design of a highway or road"
Meaning, if your bus accident was caused by a negligent public bus driver or a hazardous road condition like a pothole or a poorly designed road, you may be able to bring a claim against the government or municipality. You can report a road concern to the Missouri Department of Transportation if you see one, but the state still has the responsibility to be on the lookout for hazards itself. The knowledgeable and experienced bus accident attorney at Burger Law in St. Louis knows the ins and outs of Missouri Law and how to hold the state accountable for your injuries.
It is important to know that the rules are different when making a claim against the government in St. Louis and Missouri. You typically have 5 years to file a personal injury claim in Missouri. However, when making a claim against the government you must file the claim within 90 days of the accident with the Missouri Office of Administration Risk Management Division. If you have been injured in a public bus accident, there is no time to wait to start your claim. Call Burger Law's Missouri and St. Louis bus accident attorney now at (314) 500-HURT.
What to Do if You Have Been in a Bus Accident
What to Do if You Have Been in a Bus Accident in St. Louis, Missouri
Being in a bus accident can be incredibly unnerving and confusing. However, it is important to try and keep a cool head as much as possible as there are certain steps you should immediately take - if you are physically able to - that will help your case:
- Call 911: Bus drivers are required to call 911 after a bus accident, but do not leave this up to them. Call 911 as soon as possible from the scene of the accident.
- Render aid: Help anyone who needs aid, if you are able. If you are seriously injured, you need to seek urgent medical care.
- Gather evidence: If you do not need immediate hospitalization, it is important to take pictures of damaged vehicles and the crash site. You should also obtain an identification number for the bus and bus driver, and gather contact information from witnesses. In bus accidents it is usually easy to find witnesses to corroborate your story as there were likely many people on the bus.
- Seek medical attention: Even if you do not believe your injury to be severe, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some injuries only show up after a few days or a week, and it is hard to know the true severity of your injuries without the proper examination which could include MRIs or X-Rays. Do not make any statements about your injuries to an insurance company until you talk to a lawyer.
- Call Burger Law: Our bus accident attorney serving St. Louis and Missouri has the knowledge, experience, dedication and tenacity to get you a full recovery for your injuries. We will fight on your behalf for the entire duration of your case, from initial consultation to final settlement and verdict.
If you are injured because someone else was negligent, Burger Law's accomplished and talented bus accident attorney team in St. Louis will be able to connect you to you qualified health professionals to help you heal. Then we start working on your case immediately to recover maximum compensation for you. However, taking the aforementioned steps will make your case easier and go a long way in encouraging an insurance company to offer a fair settlement.
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Cases We Win
Burger Law's Missouri bus accident injury law firm based in St. Louis has a team of gifted litigators and trial lawyers with more than 70 years of combined experience practicing law and protecting the vulnerable and injured. We will fight to get you maximum compensation in any injury claim in Missouri, including the case types listed here. Click for more information.