Boston Bus Accident Lawyer
There has been an explosion in bus travel in the United States over the past few years. The recessionary economy, costly plane tickets, and limited rail connectivity have all contributed to an increase in the population of people choosing to buy a cheap bus ticket to get to their destination. Unfortunately, this spike in bus passenger traffic has not exactly corresponded with an increase in bus operator oversight, stronger driver recruitment practices and other aspects that impact the safety of passengers. In fact, over the last few years, there have been a series of fatal and severe injurious bus accidents reported around the country.
A Boston bus accident lawyer could help you pursue compensation for your pain and suffering, lost wages, future lost income, and medical bills after a bus accident. Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan for a free consultation at (617) 925-6407.
Filing a Lawsuit for a Bus Accident in Boston
Bus accidents are frequently caused by one or more factors. These factors may include the reckless driving of the bus driver or another party, poor weather conditions, decreased visibility, defective bus equipment, or improper maintenance of roadways or the bus. Due to the immense weight and size of buses, auto accidents that involve these vehicles can cause people severe bodily injury and property damage. If you were injured in an accident caused by the negligence of a bus driver or bus company, you could claim compensation for your damages.
Bus accident claims can be complicated to file, because they involve not only the driver of the bus, but also the bus operator, maintenance and repair companies, government agencies and a number of other entities that may be liable in the accident.
Who Is Liable for My Boston Bus Accident?
In legal terms, liability is the state of being responsible for something. In a bus accident case, it may be a legal obligation to pay those who were injured. Determining who is liable may be difficult in these cases because more than one party may be liable.
A bus accident may be the fault of the bus driver, the bus manufacturer, the company who owns the bus, government entities, or other drivers on the road. In fact, several parties may be found liable by a jury for causing the accident.
A Boston bus accident lawyer could examine the evidence from the accident based on police reports, eyewitness testimony, pictures, and videos to help determine which parties are liable for the accident.
Most Common Reasons for Bus Accidents in Boston
Depending on the circumstances, each liable party may be named as a defendant in the plaintiff’s claim. Settlement negotiations and, if necessary, jury deliberations will consider the circumstances of the case to determine how much liability each defendant will assume for the accident.
Bus Driver Error
Driver error is one of the major causes of bus accidents in Massachusetts. These errors are usually caused by drivers who are simply not confident enough to handle a massive, heavy vehicle that can weigh thousands of pounds. Bus operators have a responsibility to hire experienced, skilled and trained drivers, and failure to comply with hiring requirements can place passengers at risk. All drivers must be trained according to the regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
A number of recent bus accidents across the country have been traced to driver fatigue. This is a serious problem plaguing the bus industry, because drivers are under severe pressure to make multiple trips in order to pad the company’s coffers. A tired driver is much more likely to doze off the wheel. Even if the driver does not fall asleep while driving, he may make serious errors that increase the risk of an accident.
Failure to Maintain
Bus operators are under a responsibility to maintain their fleet. Companies that outsource the maintenance of their fleets to other firms must make sure that these companies don’t skimp on maintenance and repair activities. Defective brakes, wheels, tires and other components are responsible for many bus accidents occur every year.
Statute of Limitations for a Boston Bus Accident Claim
Under Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 260 §4, victims of a bus accident must file their injury claim within a set time limit. This time limit is often referred to as the statute of limitations and is three years from the date of the bus accident. In addition to the statute of limitations, a claimant may be required to file a special notification called a Presentment Letter if the bus that caused your accident was owned and operated by a governmental agency such as the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority or MBTA.
Under Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 258, §4, a claimant must file a Presentment Letter to the executive officer of the governmental agency. The legal requirements for filing a Presentment Letter are very technical and full of traps for the unwary. A claimant should contact an attorney as soon as possible after an accident so their legal counsel has enough time to research the accident prior to filing the claim. Delays in consulting with and hiring a skilled bus accident attorney may hurt your case.
If a bus accident case is not filed within three years from the date of the accident, an injured person will likely lose their right to seek compensation for their accident-related damages.
Our Boston Bus Accident Attorneys Can Help If You Were Injured
Our compassionate Boston bus accident lawyers understand that after a bus accident, you may need time to heal, both physically and emotionally. Attorneys could handle the insurance companies and legal paperwork while you focus on recovering.
Our skilled Boston personal injury lawyers can make the entire litigation process simple and easy. If you were injured by the negligence of other parties, attorneys can use their knowledge of the law to strengthen your claim and present it in negotiations or in court. Call today at (617) 925-6407 to discuss your legal rights and options.