Whether it happens while aboard a private commercial bus, a public transit bus, or even a school bus, any traffic collision involving a “common carrier” has the potential to cause serious injury to multiple people at once. Pursuing compensation for injuries caused by this kind of incident can be uniquely complicated in ways that other personal injury claims often are not.
Seeking representation from a skilled Bartlett bus accident lawyer should be a top priority for anyone injured due to negligence by a bus driver, operating company, or municipal authority. Without help from a capable personal injury attorney at the Reaves Law Firm, PLLC, you may have trouble obtaining any payment for your damages at all, let alone the amount you deserve.
As per Tennessee Code §28-3-104, the legal filing deadline for personal injury claims—including those naming private bus company employees or employers as defendants—is generally one year from the date the accident occurred. Failing to begin litigation within this period will almost always lead to a court throwing out the case.
Notably, Tennessee differs from many other states in not establishing different filing deadlines for civil claims against state or local government entities. The effective deadline for public bus accident claims is still one year after the wreck, although there may be additional procedural requirements that a Bartlett bus accident attorney could explain in further detail as needed.
In many situations, negligence giving rise to a bus accident lawsuit looks the same as negligence that might justify any other claim based on a motor vehicle accident. A bus driver who disobeys traffic laws, drives while substance-impaired, or otherwise causes injury to a passenger—or anyone else nearby—through an ensuing collision could be held at fault for the wreck’s short-term and long-term consequences.
Importantly, though, bus accident claims do not always need to be based on traffic collisions. For instance, if a bus driver leaves a stop too quickly before boarding passengers can take their seats, they could be considered responsible for a passenger falling and getting hurt. In addition, it is often possible to hold a negligent bus driver’s employer vicariously liable for their employee’s misconduct.
In some cases, fault may even lie with an indirectly involved third party, such as a mechanic who did not perform proper maintenance on a bus or a municipal agency which failed to keep roads in safe condition for all drivers. A knowledgeable bus accident lawyer in Bartlett could help identify who might be to blame for a particular incident and help file suit accordingly.
No two personal injury claims are completely alike, and that is particularly true for claims based on accidents involving or aboard buses. Between how challenging it can be to even establish who bears fault for a specific incident and the various legal roadblocks that might impede recovery efforts, unrepresented plaintiffs often have very low odds of achieving successful case results.