Many people in Seattle utilize public and private buses to commute throughout the city. As essential as these vehicles are, their large size and weight places others on the road at risk of serious harm in the event of a wreck.
If you or a loved one were hurt in a collision with a common carrier vehicle, speak with a Seattle bus accident lawyer to get started on your claim. A dedicated local attorney could review your case and help you put together a strong claim for damages against the responsible party.
Examples of Bus Driver Negligence
If bus drivers fail to operate these large vehicles safely, the results can be catastrophic for passengers and others involved in the accident. Others hurt in an accident can include occupants of other motor vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, and more.
Many accidents are caused by the negligence of a bus driver. They may have failed to follow traffic regulations such as speeding, abiding by traffic control signals, and properly changing lanes. Any of these simple violations could lead to extreme injury or even death for a plaintiff. A driver’s negligence may be properly held against them in a personal injury claim.
The legal doctrine of respondeat superior operates to hold an employer responsible for the negligent driving of a bus driver when all the elements of the doctrine are met. If a bus driver is operating a bus negligently while in the scope and course of the driver’s employment, the employer is likely responsible for the driver’s actions.
This means that the plaintiff can sue the bus company as if they were directly negligent in the case. This could help the plaintiff fully recover for their personal and financial losses. A skilled lawyer in Seattle could help someone injured in a bus crash determine if they could hold the bus company responsible for the accident.
Claims Against Public Busing Entities
Under Revised Code of Washington § 4.96.010, governmental entities are subject to the same liabilities as private entities. This is unlike many other states, which have qualified immunity statutes which protect them from many lawsuits. This permits a claim against the government for the negligence of their bus drivers or their own negligence.
Although public entities in Washington are not granted immunity, there are special requirements for filing against governmental entities. Lawsuits against a state entity must be filed with the State Office of Risk Management. This requires the utilization of a special tort claim form. Claims against local governments, such as the City of Seattle or King County, are done through a similar process, but with a different office.
Filing Deadline of State and Local Claims
State law requires that plaintiffs with a potential claim against a governmental entity wait 60 days before filing a personal injury claim. This permits the government to investigate the claim. Before the 60 days expires, it is common for the government to offer a settlement. This settlement is often much lower in value than what the plaintiff may be owed, so it is important to work with a skilled bus accident attorney in Seattle early in the case.
Learn More from a Seattle Bus Accident Attorney
Whether you were a bus passenger, another driver, or other party somehow injured in a common carrier accident, you may be entitled to significant monetary damages. However, effectively recovering this compensation could be difficult without seasoned legal guidance. Contact an experienced Seattle bus accident lawyer today to learn more.