Can I Sue My City for a Bus Accident?
After being hit by another motorist in a car accident, you will know that they and their insurance company should be the parties who answer for your damages. But the situation might not be so clear after being hit by a city bus in your own hometown. Can you sue your city for a bus accident?
The defendant in your bus accident claim or lawsuit depends on what type of bus hit you and who owned it. If you were hit by a city bus, like one that is part of your city’s public transit system, then you can sue the city for your damages. If you were hit by a private charter bus, like one booked by tourists, then you would sue that bus company.
Claims brought against private bus companies are not too unlike any other auto accident claim. But there can be unique issues that come up when you try to sue your city or a municipal agency like the local transportation department.
Statutes of Limitations for City Bus Accident Claims
Every state has statutes of limitations for personal injury claims. However, it is common for there to be special exceptions to statutes of limitations when the defendant is a municipal or government entity. Typically, the statute of limitations in these situations is shortened, not extended. In some situations and states, you could have little has 30 days to file a claim after a city bus accident!
Gathering Evidence & Taking Legal Action
The first thing you should do after being in a city bus accident is to seek medical attention as needed. If you can, take pictures of the accident to use as evidence later. You should also speak with other passengers to get their accounts of what happened and contact information. The opposition in a city bus accident is sure to be steep, so you need tangible evidence to bolster your claim’s validity.
Once you have been treated, you should talk to a local bus accident or motor vehicle accident attorney as soon as possible. As mentioned, the statute of limitations for your bus accident claim could be unexpectedly brief, so you can’t wait around to talk to a lawyer like you might do after a typical car accident. Even if you aren’t ready to bring a completed lawsuit against the city for your bus accident, you need to still file a claim against them. Your attorney can file the claim before the statute of limitations ends, which creates a bookmark in the court system that shows you have taken appropriate legal action in the correct amount of time.
If a statute of limitations ends, then the court can throw out any claim you file afterward. The chances of a claim being accepted after the statute of limitations expires are slim to none, so don’t bet your case on it!
Limited Damages for a City Bus Accident Claim
In a city bus accident claim, you can seek damages to help pay for:
- Medical treatments
- Future rehabilitative care
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Ideally, you will be fully compensated for your damages and injuries. But you should be aware that some states place limitations on the damages you can receive for lawsuits filed against municipal entities like city bus systems and transportation departments. The limitations can be placed to protect the city budget from frivolous lawsuits, but this does not really consider how those limitations hurt the individual claimant.
To avoid being shorted an unreasonable or unjust amount of your recovery, you should work with a bus accident lawyer. They can apply their knowledge to calculate your claim’s value accurately and factor in how local damage limitations could affect it. All the while, you can focus on resting and recovering from your physical injuries, not just financial damage.
City bus accident claimants in Oklahoma can turn to Martin, Jean & Jackson for comprehensive and compassionate legal care. From our offices in Ponca City, Stillwater, and Tulsa, we assist clients throughout the state. Contact us now if you want to discuss a city bus accident case today.