Largo Bus Accident Attorney
Tampa Bay is one of the top tourist destinations in the country. Tour bus drivers have difficult jobs. In addition to driving large vehicles safely, they often serve as tour guides and safety officers. Municipal and school bus drivers have similar job descriptions. On top of everything else, bus drivers often drive at odd hours and must deal with unruly passengers. That’s especially true of party bus drivers.
Bus crash victims normally sustain serious injuries, like head injuries and broken bones. Even a relatively mild brain injury is permanent. Once brain cells die, they never regenerate. Additionally, collision-related broken bones are much more severe than accidental fall-related broken bones. Normally, doctors must use metal screws, pins, or other implements to surgically reconstruct these shattered bones. This additional medical intervention significantly drives up the medical bills in these cases.
At The Reep Law Firm, our Largo bus accident attorneys always put first things first. So, our immediate priority is connecting victims with the medical and other help they need. Usually, these professional services come at no upfront cost. Next, we get down to business. We collect evidence that supports your claims and refutes insurance company defenses. With this strong foundation in place, we are well-positioned to obtain maximum compensation for your serious injuries.
First Party Liability
Bus drivers are common carriers in Florida. Since they transport people and/or cargo for profit, they have a duty of utmost care. Driving defensively isn’t enough. They must take affirmative steps to avoid accidents.
Driving in bad weather is a good example. Noncommercial drivers have a duty to slow down and be more careful when it rains. Arguably, commercial operators have a duty to pull over and stop until the rain stops, or at least until it slacks off.
Because of this high duty of care, almost any driving mistake constitutes negligence, or a lack of care. Some examples include:
- Aggressive Driving: A bus may be the largest vehicle on the road, but bus drivers cannot act accordingly. Unfortunately, speeding, tailgating, failing to maintain a proper lookout, and other aggressive driving habits are all too common among Tampa Bay bus drivers who are determined to keep to tight schedules.
- Impaired Driving: Fatigue is one of the most serious problems among bus drivers. Most people are naturally fatigued late at night or early in the morning, and most bus drivers are behind the wheel at these times. Other forms of driver impairment include driving with a medical condition or driving under the influence of amphetamines or other drugs.
Bus drivers also have a legal duty to ensure onboard passenger safety. Aisles and other walkways must be free of fall hazards and drivers must break up passenger arguments before they become violent. Furthermore, bus drivers must pick up and drop off passengers at safe and secure locations.
Third Party Liability
Many bus drivers are owner-operators, independent contractors, or even unpaid volunteers for tax and other purposes. Nevertheless, all these drivers are employees for negligence purposes.
That designation is important because of the respondeat superior doctrine. This legal rule holds employers financially responsible for the negligence of their employees, if they were negligent during the course and scope of employment.
Vicarious liability holds companies responsible in these situations and prevents them from blaming their employees for injuries they, in effect, caused.
Work With a Diligent Pinellas County Attorney
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced bus accident attorney in Largo, contact Reep, Coleman & Stubbendorff. We routinely handle matters throughout the Tampa Bay area.