Have you been injured in a bus accident in Tampa, FL? You may be entitled to compensation for the losses you’ve suffered. An experienced Tampa bus accident lawyer at Catania & Catania, P.A. can help you fight to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Our legal team has helped accident victims in the Tampa Bay area recover fair compensation for their injuries since 1992. Our aggressive approach has helped us recover hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for our clients.
How Catania & Catania, P.A. Can Help After a Bus Accident in Tampa
Bus accidents are usually more complex than other personal injury claims. As the victim, you may be burdened with proving that a government agency or large corporation was responsible for your injuries. You might also have a limited amount of time to take legal action.
That can be a heavy burden when you’re already struggling with a painful injury. Our experienced Tampa personal injury lawyers at Catania & Catania, P.A. can help you fight for every dollar you deserve.
When you retain our services, you’ll have an experienced personal injury attorney who will:
- Answer all of your questions and guide you through the legal process
- Launch a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the accident
- Identify all responsible parties and insurance policies
- Consult experts who can help assess the fair value of your claim
- Negotiate to recover the maximum compensation possible for you and your family
Our Tampa personal injury attorneys have more than 28 years of experience helping injured clients get back on their feet. We know what you’re going through and are here to help in any way we can.
Call our law firm in Tampa Bay for a free consultation when you’re ready to take action.
How Common Are Bus Accidents in Tampa?
Public transportation offers many Tampa residents a vital way to get around town. Most buses are safe, but traffic congestion, aggressive driving, and poorly maintained buses can create dangerous conditions for bus drivers.
In 2018, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) estimates that there were 234 fatal accidents involving buses in the U.S.
According to the FMCSA, the following types of buses are the most likely to be involved in a deadly motor vehicle accident:
- School buses (which accounted for 40% of all fatal bus accidents between 2008-2018)
- Transit buses (35% of bus fatalities)
- Intercity buses (12% bus deaths)
At least 386 people were injured in Florida bus accidents in 2018, according to data collected by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. More than 300 were bus passengers.
What is My Tampa Bus Accident Case Worth?
Putting a price tag on a painful injury is always a difficult task. It’s impossible to say what your personal injury case is worth without knowing all the facts. A Tampa bus accident attorney can help assess the fair value of your case in a free case evaluation.
Overall, there are a number of factors that play a role in the amount of your settlement or verdict. The severity of your injuries is typically the most important factor.
Other factors include:
- The cost of your medical treatment
- Your lost wages and income
- Whether you’ll suffer a permanent disability or disfigurement
- How the injury will impact your daily life
There are also a few different factors that insurance companies might focus on in an attempt to drive down the value of your case, such as:
- Whether you shared fault for the accident
- Whether you had any pre-existing injuries
- Whether a third party’s actions contributed to the accident
Our lawyers can help you understand the level of compensation you deserve after a crash. Give us a quick call today to arrange a free case review to learn more.
What Types of Damages Are Available to Bus Accident Victims?
Damages sustained by bus accident victims in Tampa can be significant. Our lawyers will aggressively pursue damages to cover both your economic and non-economic losses.
Economic damages available to bus accident victims include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future medical bills
- Reduced future earning capacity
- Property damage
Your settlement award may also include non-economic damages to compensate for your intangible losses, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of consortium
In especially shocking cases, you might even be entitled to punitive damages–such as in a case where the bus driver was driving under the influence of alcohol.
Can I Recover Damages If I’m Being Blamed for a Bus Accident in Florida?
When most people think of bus accident victims, they focus on the bus passengers. However, pedestrians, bicyclists, and occupants in other vehicles can also be injured in bus accidents. It’s generally easier for insurance companies to try to shift the blame to these third parties–even if the bus driver’s negligence played a role in the crash.
Under Florida’s comparative fault rule, you can recover damages even if you were partly to blame. However, a court or insurance company can reduce your settlement in proportion to your percentage of liability.
As an example, if your vehicle was hit by a bus and you were found 20% responsible, you can take home 80% of your compensation award.
We’ll Fight to Recover Compensation for All of Your Bus Accident Injuries
Buses are large, unwieldy vehicles. School children are supposed to wear seat belts, but passengers in transit buses, city buses, and even charter buses aren’t always given the option.
That means bus accident victims often sustain more serious injuries than they would in an everyday car accident.
At Catania & Catania, P.A., we’ll fight to recover fair compensation for all of your bus accident injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Whiplash injuries
- Chest injuries
- Crushing injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Organ damage
- Broken bones
- Catastrophic injuries
We can also help you fight for justice if you’re suffering after the wrongful death of a loved one.
What Causes Most Bus Accidents in Tampa, Florida?
Despite the fact that buses are often carrying dozens of people, bus drivers are only human. Bus accidents are often caused by the same things that cause auto accidents in Tampa.
Some common causes of bus accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Inexperienced bus drivers
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Stopping in an unsafe location
- Aggressive driving
- Unsafe passing or lane changes
- Illegal or unsafe turns
- Running a red or yellow light
- Drunk driving
- Failure to properly inspect and maintain the bus
- Defective bus parts, such as brakes or tires
Our lawyers can investigate to find out what caused your bus crash. While the bus driver’s negligence is often a contributing factor, other people might share the blame. Our legal team will help you identify every responsible party and demand fair compensation from everyone involved.
How Do I Prove Negligence After a Bus Accident in Florida?
To establish negligence after a bus accident, your lawyers will have to prove:
- Someone else owed you a duty of care
- The at-fault party breached that duty of care
- The breach caused the bus accident
- You suffered damages
Of course, to prove negligence, we’ll also have to find out who was ultimately responsible for the crash.
You may have a claim for negligence against multiple parties under Florida law, including:
- Bus drivers
- Government transit authorities
- The bus owner
- A manufacturer of a defective bus part
- Third-party drivers
Bus companies are common carriers under Florida law. That means they owe passengers and others on the road a heightened duty of care. However, these cases are often more complex than car accident claims–usually because a government entity or multiple parties may be liable.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Bus Accident in Florida?
The statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit against a private party is four years in Florida. If the at-fault party in your case is a private bus owner, driver, or manufacturer, you’ll have four years from the date of the crash to take legal action.
However, if the defendant is a government authority, you’ll only have three years to file a notice of claim. The Florida Department of Transportation and Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) each have different claims procedures that must be followed closely to preserve your right to compensation.
If you wait too long to take action, you’ll lose your right to compensation.
Contact a Tampa Bus Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you’ve been hurt in a bus accident, don’t wait to get the legal advice you deserve. Call an experienced Tampa bus accident lawyer at Catania & Catania, P.A. for a free consultation today.