Seminole Bus Accident Attorney
These accidents are often quite complex, from both an injury and legal standpoint. Most buses have no seat belts, airbags, or other passenger restraint systems. Therefore, a crash usually causes serious injuries, especially if the bus is moving at highway speeds. Legally, most of the victims live in different parts of Florida or even different parts of the country. Furthermore, the company that owns the bus is often a large, out-of-state conglomerate.
These incidents usually aren’t “accidents” at all. Operator fatigue is a good example. Many bus drivers are behind the wheel early in the morning or late at night, when most people are naturally and dangerously drowsy. Additionally, many large vehicle operators admit they use amphetamines to counteract the effects of fatigue. These drugs make users edgy and suspicious. Moreover, when the drugs wear off, the users often crash fast and hard.
The compassionate Seminole bus accident attorneys at The Reep Law Firm understand the intense pain and suffering these victims must endure. Many of the people on our professional team are bus accident survivors themselves. This understanding propels us forward on an everyday basis. Because we know how much maximum compensation means, we don’t back down until we obtain it for you and your family.
First Party Liability
Driver error causes over 98 percent of the vehicle collisions in Florida. Occasionally, this error is a wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time mistake. Much more often than not, this error is negligence. The two kinds of negligence in a Florida car crash claim are:
- Ordinary Negligence: Basically, ordinary negligence is a lack of ordinary care. Most noncommercial drivers have a duty of reasonable care. They must obey the rules of the road and drive defensively. Most commercial operators have a higher duty of care. They must go above and beyond in an effort to avoid accidents.
- Negligence Per Se: Basically, negligence per se is a violation of a safety statute. In the Sunshine State, if drivers violate a non-penal safety law, like the speed limit law, and cause a wreck, they are presumptively liable for damages. Additional evidence turns this presumption into a conclusion.
Contributory negligence may be the most common car crash claim defense. This legal loophole essentially shifts blame for an accident from the tortfeasor (negligent party) to the victim (innocent party). For example, insurance company lawyers might admit their insured driver was speeding, and blame the wreck of the victim’s unsafe lane change.
Florida is a pure comparative fault state. So, even if the victim was 99 percent responsible for the collision, the tortfeasor is still responsible for a proportionate share of damages. Therefore, victims should always ask a Seminole bus accident attorney to evaluate their cases. You never know how much compensation you might be entitled to until a lawyer looks at your case.
Third Party Liability
Negligent drivers are legally and morally responsible for the wrecks they cause. A third party may be financially responsible for damages.
Respondeat superior, a common vicarious liability theory in bus crash claims, is a good example. Employers are financially responsible for damages if their employees are negligent during the course and scope of their employment.
Florida law defines these key phrases in board, victim-friendly ways. “Employee” is a good illustration. Most bus drivers are independent contractors or other non-employees for tax purposes. However, these individuals are employees for negligence purposes. Even a driver like an unpaid church volunteer is an employee, for respondeat superior purposes.
Other vicarious liability theories in the Sunshine State include dram shop commercial alcohol provider liability and negligent entrustment owner liability.
Work With a Thorough Pinellas County Attorney
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced bus Seminole bus accident attorney, contact Reep, Coleman & Stubbendorff. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.