Most of the public transportation that commuter use is run by either state or municipal governments. For example, the local school district usually owns school buses and a city usually owns the public buses. So, who is liable when a commuter is injured in a bus accident?
In the United States, governments – whether federal, state, county, or municipal – have special protections against lawsuits. This is legally referred to as sovereign immunity. Sovereign immunity legally prevents the government from being sued without its consent.
There is some legal debate on whether it is just the federal government has sovereign immunity or if that immunity trickles down to other levels of government. The legal bottom line, however, is that when it comes to suing the government, there are different rules that must be adhered to compared to other types of personal injury lawsuits. Otherwise, the victim’s claim will be dismissed. This is why it is important for bus accident victims to consult with a seasoned bus accident attorney.
Tort Claims Act
Any injury claims against the government are filed under the Tort Claims Act. Each state has their own version of this law as the legal process to address any injury claims by a private citizen. Typically, these claims require documentation that needs to be filled out and submitted to the agency being sued by a certain deadline. If this deadline is missed, so too is the victim’s right to pursue an injury claim against the agency.
When a victim files a “notice of intent to file a claim” for a bus accident or any other type of accident, the correct form for that agency needs to be used. The form will likely require a description and details of the bus accident, including when it occurred, where it occurred, and details of how it occurred. The victim will also need to provide details about the damages they have suffered as a result of the crash, such as medical expenses, loss of income, and property damage. The victim must also include a statement as to their intent to seek financial compensation for the injuries and property damage they have suffered as a result of the bus accident.
In every personal injury case, each state has established a statute of limitations for how long the victim has to file their claim. Once the time has expired, the victim can no longer pursue their claim if they failed to file, regardless of the extent of their injuries. The statute of limitations for filing an injury claim against a government agency is different than state laws. In some cases, filing a claim for bus accident injuries can be as little as one to two months. A bus accident injury attorney will know what the time frame is for your case.
Contact a Bus Accident Lawyer Today
If you would like to discuss your bus accident case with a bus accident attorney, contact a personal injury lawyer in Salt Lake City, Utah today. Call a law office to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation and find out how a legal team can help ensure your rights are protected and you get the financial compensation you deserve.
Thanks to Rasmussen & Miner for their insight into personal injury claims and bus accidents.