Bus Accident Lawyers in Rhode Island
Without seatbelts, bus accidents can be some of the most tragic accident types, causing injury or death to a multitude of victims in a single crash. Whether you have been injured in a bus accident as a bus passenger, a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or as the driver or passenger in another car, a personal injury attorney can help you to seek damages for harm suffered.
Bus Accident Law in Rhode Island
Bus accidents can be caused by a number of things. While sometimes, uncontrollable factors—like poor weather—may contribute to the occurrence of a bus accident, most often, bus accidents occur because of human error. Common causes of bus accidents include:
- Driver inattention;
- Driver impairment;
- Reckless driving;
- Failure to follow traffic laws;
- Another vehicle’s illegal/dangerous maneuver; and
- Defective vehicle parts (tires, brakes, etc.).
Who is liable for a bus accident?
Liability for a bus accident depends on two major factors: the type of bus accident, and who was at fault for the bus accident.
There are three main types of bus accidents:
- School bus accidents;
- Private/charter bus accidents; and
- City bus accidents.
In all of the three types listed above, if the driver of the bus was the party who acted negligently, causing the accident, then the company or entity for which the driver is employed may be held liable under the theory of vicarious liability. If the driver is an independent contractor, and not an employee, then the driver may be held independently liable. Accidents involving school buses can be especially complicated, as claims are often filed against a school district.
Sometimes, a bus accident occurs through no fault of the bus driver. When a defective auto part, such as a defective tire or brake, causes an accident, then the defective part’s manufacturer or distributor may be held liable. And when the driver of another motor vehicle causes the accident, then the at-fault driver may be held liable.
Filing a bus accident claim and recovering damages in Rhode Island
After determining liability, it is essential that you file your claim no later than three years after the date of the occurrence of an accident. If you file your claim later than this, you may not be able to recover damages per Rhode Island General Laws Section 9-1-14. Assuming that you file your claim in time and have enough evidence to prove negligence and causation, types of damages that you may be able to recover include damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses and future medical expenses related to the accident, lost wages, and more.
When a bus accidents results in death, the executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate may bring forth a wrongful death action to recover the damages types listed above, as well as specific death benefits (funeral and burial expenses, punitive damages, loss of companionship, etc.).
How Dana and Dana’s attorneys can help with your bus accident case?
One of the most complicated aspects of a bus accident claim is figuring out against whom a suit should be filed. Additionally, gathering evidence, proving negligence, and demonstrating evidence of causation and damages is also complex. To ensure that the claims process goes as smoothly as possible and that your chances of recovering your full damages amount are improved, contact the experienced Providence-area bus accident lawyers at the office of Dana & Dana Attorneys at Law. You can reach us now for a consultation by calling 401-490-0220.