Many South Floridians rely on buses and public transportation on a daily basis. But how safe is it for you and your family? What happens if you get injured because of the negligence of a bus driver?
Broward County paid over $6.5 million dollars to settle claims caused by bus drivers from 2008 to 2013. There have been a number of news articles on the safety records of bus drivers in Miami and Broward County. The Sun Sentinel published an expose called “Bad bus drivers stay behind wheel despite many accidents – LENIENT POLICIES AND SLOPPY ENFORCEMENT AT BROWARD COUNTY TRANSIT TO BLAME”. With more than 4,500 bus stops and 125,000 daily passengers, Broward County Transit drivers deal with everything from crime to accidents. There is even a database with the incident and accident reports filed with Broward County Transit. The Miami Herald regularly reports on bus accidents causing injuries and sometimes fatalities.
If you or a loved one are injured on a bus it is important to seek the advice of a personal injury attorney. The attorney can first investigate whether the bus was privately or publically owned. This will make a big difference on how your claim moves forward. If it is a public bus, like Broward Transit or Miami-Dade Transit, then your personal injury attorney will send a formal notice as required by law. This notice will begin a six month waiting period while the public agency investigates your claim. If your claim is not resolved in those six months, then you can file a lawsuit. If you do not send the notice, your case can be dismissed until you comply with the statutory notice requirement.
If the bus is privately owned, then there will most likely be an insurance policy in place. There is no six month notice requirement for privately owned buses. Your lawyer would place the private company on notice of your claim and ultimately deal with the insurance company to resolve your claim.
Bus accidents can be especially harmful because buses are not required to have safety equipment such as seatbelts or airbags. The size and capacity of a bus can also lead to tragic results. Some bus accidents are caused by mechanical failure while most involve negligence. Other crashes involve inexperience, poor training, or simply failing to pay attention. It will be up to your lawyer to investigate the cause of the accident.
Many buses are equipped with surveillance cameras. Bus companies will generally refuse to produce the videos unless there is a court order compelling them to produce it. The video can be very helpful in determining the cause of the accident and even how you were injured.
Wolfson & Leon is a Miami personal injury law firm located in Miami, Florida that practices entirely in the field of all types of accident, injury, and wrongful death cases. The firm routinely accepts trial referrals. It is a boutique law firm that represents clients, giving them the utmost personal attention. Wolfson lawyers help clients in all parts of injury and wrongful death claims, handling cases from initial investigation, through trial, and even appeals.