Bus Accident Attorney in Miami
Miami Bus Accident Attorney Explains Causes, Liability, and Damages
While buses may be a safer and more convenient option for commuters in Miami, government statistics show that there are over 15,000 injury-causing bus accidents each year resulting in 229 fatalities . Bus accidents are one of the most damaging types of auto wrecks. This is because of the sheer size and weight of buses which generate considerable momentum even at low speeds. This momentum is dispersed into whatever this massive vehicle collides with, frequently causing catastrophic personal injuries or wrongful death. Any other motorist or pedestrian struck by a bus may suffer serious pain and suffering and accumulate significant medical bills, lost wages, lost future earnings, and loss of consortium with loved ones or dependents.
Our bus injury attorney knows just how devastating this type of crash could be to a victim and his or her family. The emotional, physical, and financial burdens due to the negligent actions or inactions of a driver, company, or other reckless individual are overwhelming. The careless and negligent conduct by a reckless driver could forever change a family dynamic, especially if a victim suffers a traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury (SCI), amputation, or is wrongfully killed in an accident.
Common Causes of Accidents
There are many possible causes of Miami bus accidents that victims should consult with an attorney over. Most of the common causes are preventable when drivers exercise reasonable care under the circumstances in the use or operation of their motor vehicle. This means that most vehicle wrecks are preventable with ordinary care. However, any bus attorney knows that municipal, state, and private companies and drivers frequently cut corners and cause unnecessary collisions.
Some of the most common causes of these crashes include the following:
- Distracted driving
- Improper left turns
- Following too closely
- Fatigued bus drivers (a violation of the FMCSA Regulations )
- Driver inexperience
- Jumping the curb
- Drunk driving or drugged driving
- Mechanical errors
- Negligent hiring or negligent supervision
- Failure to check blind spots
- Many other common causes
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle collision, ask our bus accident lawyers what rights to compensation you may have under Florida law. Asking an attorney for help with your personal injury case is an important step to proving liability against a negligent driver.
Common Accident Injuries: Three Catastrophic and the Most Common Damages
A bus accident could result in devastating, disabling, and permanent damages. There are many possible types of injuries from a crash which could be caused by the negligence of a driver or company. Due to the large size of this type of commercial vehicle, victims who are hit by a bus could sustain catastrophic personal injuries which prevent their ability to function normally without assistance, maintain a job, or live independently.
Some of the most catastrophic personal injuries after a Miami bus accident include the following these top three:
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
Our bus accident attorney knows that a traumatic brain injury or TBI is one of the worst types of injuries a victim could suffer from a bus accident. The CDC defines a traumatic brain injury “as a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury” . Some of the most common TBIs from crashes include the following:
- Diffuse axonal TBIs which are tearing, shearing, or physical damage to the brain
- Coup-contrecoup TBIs are a type of life-threatening swelling which occurs on the side of the head which suffered the impact and on the opposite side of the head where the brain slid forward and hit the inside of the skull
- Concussions which is the shock, damage, and swelling from a violent impact to the brain
- Contusions, or bruises on the brain which can cause a brain bleed or dangerous swelling. This could be fatal due to a rapid and significant increase in intracranial pressure
- Penetrating damages that break through the hardened skull and physically damage the brain
All victims suffering a TBI need to ask a Miami attorney how to protect his or her rights to future medical care and treatment, including at-home nursing assistance and therapy.
Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)
The second most debilitating type of personal injury from an automobile crash is a spinal cord injury or SCI. The spinal cord is the second part of the central nervous system which acts as the messenger superhighway between the rest of the nerves in the body (peripheral nervous system) and the brain (processing center). Severe injuries to the spinal cord can dispute or fully prevent messages between the rest of the body and the brain. Incomplete SCIs only affect some function and sensitivity in the part of the body below the injury location. Complete SCIs totally prevent any messages from the body to the brain below the injury.
The most common types of SCIs  include the following:
- Quadriplegia or tetraplegia – high damage to the spinal cord in the neck area affecting all four limbs and torso
- Paraplegia – damage in the middle or lower back affecting only the lower limbs and sometimes the lower torso
- Monoplegia – damages localized to one limb, such as a brachial plexus injury in the shoulder shutting off functioning and sensation to one entire arm but not affecting any other part of the body
- Disc Injuries – damages to the disc material. These are called disc herniations or bulges. Some other terms are slipped disc and disc extrusion
An attorney can help individuals with paralyzing SCIs recover compensation for physical or occupational therapy, mobility assistance, home or vehicle modifications, or for future surgeries.
Amputations after a motor vehicle wreck in Miami should automatically be brought to a bus accident attorney for review. This is because amputations always result in 1) permanent injury, 2) disability, and 3) extreme medical expenses. Victims of vehicle wrecks who required an amputation may have significant emotional and physical injuries due to the loss of a limb. This includes “Phantom Pain Syndrome” which may cause a person to feel extreme pain and the lost limb.
Further, the inability to return to the same job or career could result in significant lost future earnings for the victim and the victim’s family. Lost future earnings are the measure of damages from a victim having to take a lower-paying job after the bus accident because he or she could not return to the same line of work due to the amputation.
Other Common Injuries After Accidents
Anyone injured due to the negligence of a driver, company, or other individual or entity should ask our bus injury attorneys for help. It does not matter if a victim does not have a catastrophic injury like above—all damages are important and may be compensated under Florida law. Some of the most common injuries after an accident include the following:
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Significant disfigurement
- Need for joint replacement
- Organ damage
- Soft tissue injuries, especially neck and back injuries
- Disc Herniations
- Post Concussive Syndrome
- Wrongful death
- Any other injury caused by the accident
How Long to File a Lawsuit in Florida?
Under Florida law, the time period to file a claim for personal injuries arising from any type of auto accident is four years from the date of the crash. This is known as the statute of limitations period. All injured individuals must file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations period otherwise a court may automatically dismiss a perfectly meritorious case. Retaining a personal injury attorney is a good way to ensure compliance with this strict statute of limitations period.
However, there are some exceptions to the statute of limitations period. One common exception for bus accidents is when a victim wants to bring a claim against a state, municipal, or other government agency. This is a common claim because many buses are run by public transport agencies or municipalities, or by school districts. In this situation, a victim must serve a “notice of claim” against the state agency and the Florida Department of Financial Services within three years of the subject collision. The failure to meet this shortened statute of limitations period could result in the dismissal of the case. This is why it is crucial to contact a Miami bus accident attorney immediately after a vehicle wreck to protect your rights.
What if I Was Partially At Fault? Can an Attorney Still Help Me?
Any victim of any vehicle crash may be entitled to compensation for personal injuries. This includes if a victim was partially at fault for the accident. Florida is a “comparative fault” state, meaning that a victim’s recovery for personal injuries will be reduced by the proportional amount of his or her own negligence. For example, if an individual recovers $100,000 for a bus accident but was 20% at fault, the individual may only recover $80,000 for his or her injuries.
Whether you believe you were or were not at fault for the collision should not matter when retaining an attorney. It is always best to have an attorney evaluate your claim and your damages to determine whether you may be entitled to compensation. Do not evaluate this for yourself, allow a trained legal professional with motor vehicle wreck experience to do this.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Attorney Cost?
A bus accident attorney in Miami does not cost any money upfront. Rather, personal injury lawyers typically use a contingency fee agreement wherein a client may pay up to 40% of the total award or settlement. However, it is common for most contingency fee agreements to be for one-third or 33.33% of the total award or settlement, if the case resolved before litigation commences. If a bus accident lawyer does not recover any compensation for a client, the client does not pay for the lawyer’s services under a contingency fee agreement. This is why many clients favor a contingency fee agreement.
Injured in a Miami Bus Accident? Ask Our Bus Accident Attorney For Help
If you or a loved one were injured due to the negligent, careless, or reckless conduct of a driver, company, municipal or state entity, or any other person or business, please ask our Miami bus accident attorney for a FREE consultation. If we accept your case, we will fully investigate your claim and we may use experts to help prove your liability, damages, and future costs for medical bills or lost wages. There is no risk to ask us to help you today.
- https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/safety/data-and-statistics/461861/ltcbf-2017-final-5-6-2019.pdf ↩
- https://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/safetyplanner/MyFiles/SubSections.aspx?ch=23&sec=68&sub=163 ↩
- https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/index.html ↩
- https://www.nscisc.uab.edu/Public/Facts%20and%20Figures%20-%202018.pdf ↩
How We Handle Cases
- Your attorney will aggressively investigate your case. Schlacter Law will compile all necessary evidence needed to maximize the value of your case. Which includes but is not limited to photographs, police reports, security camera footage, witness statements, medical bills and medical records.
- You will remain in constant contact with Schlacter Law about the progression of your case.
- Your attorney will present your case to the insurance company and will attempt to resolve your case before the case goes to court for maximum compensation.
- Your attorney will make every effort possible to resolve the case as quickly as possible for the most amount of money you may be entitled to. You will be actively involved in the negotiation process with your attorney. Schlacter Law understands that this is your one opportunity to get justice for your loss.
- If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, Schlacter Law will be fully prepared to bring your case to court to fight for the justice you deserve.
- At no cost to you, Schlacter Law will hire any experts and professionals needed to maximize your recovery and present your case in the strongest form possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long after filing a notice of claim does a claimant have to wait to proceed?
Under Florida law, the claimant must wait for 180 days after service of the notice of claim for the state agency to review, investigate, and potentially negotiate the claim. A victim of any auto collision who wants to commence an action against a state agency must serve a notice of claim within three years of the date of the occurrence. After serving the notice of claim, a claimant may only commence personal injury action after the state agency either denies the claim or the 180-day period elapses.
Is there a limit to the amount of compensation that a claimant may obtain against a state agency?
Yes, under Florida law a victim of a municipal vehicle collision may only obtain a maximum of $200,000 for a personal injury claim. The damages are capped due to sovereign immunity of the municipal or state entity.
Can I serve a notice of claim against a state agency by myself and without an attorney?
Yes, you may serve a notice of claim against a state agency by yourself and without having an attorney. However, it is always better to have a Miami bus accident attorney represent you. Having an attorney to review your claim and present your arguments in the most pervasive way is critical to obtaining the compensation you may be entitled to. This is particularly true if you believe you may be at fault for the collision. It is always better to have a bus accident lawyer to represent you at all stages of a personal injury claim, even the notice of claim period. Further, the notice of claim is only valid when it meets all of the statutory provisions.