Buses are a convenient way to travel. You could take a Greyhound, and children routinely get to school by bus. You may not think about bus wrecks. After all, the sheer size should protect you.
However, a bus collision could severely injure passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, or occupants of another vehicle. The driver, bus company, county, or city may be responsible for your injuries. A Walterboro bus accident lawyer could discuss your options for holding at-fault parties accountable for your losses. A skilled personal injury attorney is ready to protect your rights.
The Difference Between Public and Private Buses
Children ride school buses owned by the county government. Companies in business to make a profit for shareholders own private charter buses and intercity buses, such as Greyhound. Government-owned vehicles operate as a convenience for tax-paying citizens. People injured in bus wrecks should contact a lawyer in Walterboro to determine whether an insurance settlement or damages award from a lawsuit is suitable compensation, depending on who owns the bus.
Federal Insurance Requirements
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proscribes minimum liability insurance for bus companies. If they transport more than 15 passengers, they must carry at least $5,000,000 in liability insurance, and for fewer than 15 passengers, $1,500,000. School districts are generally exempt from FMCSA rules, with rare exceptions.
Lawsuits for Negligence if Insurance Negotiations Fail
A negligent bus driver could be held responsible for others’ injuries, but the private bus carrier employing the driver also could be vicariously liable for losses. If a bus system or parts malfunction, causing an accident, the manufacturer or parts maker may also be responsible. A seasoned attorney in Walterboro could identify defendants who should compensate an injured party in a bus crash.
How Long Does a Plaintiff Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Pursuant to South Carolina Code Section 15-3-530 (5), a person generally has three years to file an injury lawsuit against a negligent at-fault party. If the at-fault party is a government entity, the individual must file a lawsuit within two years. Other restrictions could apply. Consult a legal representative familiar with court procedures and government regulations for help filing a claim.
Insurance Coverage for Government-Owned School Buses
Pursuant to South Carolina Code of Laws Unannotated Section 59-67-710, the state Director of the Division of General Services is authorized to secure insurance on school buses, through commercial carriers or from the state’s general reserves. The following benefits are in place for those lawfully riding a school bus who suffer injury or death regardless of fault or negligence on anyone’s part:
- A death benefit of not less than $50,000
- Up to $3,000 for bodily injuries to cover medical expenses, including hospitalization, surgery, physicians, dentists, and medicine, but more as regulated by the Department of Education
- $50,000 for suffering total blindness or the loss of both feet or hands
- $30,000 for the loss of one hand or foot or sight in one eye
The process for recovering compensation differs if the at-fault party is a private business or a government entity. A knowledgeable bus wreck lawyer in Walterboro should handle negotiations, paperwork, and a lawsuit if necessary. They understand how the variations will affect a suit.
A Walterboro Bus Accident Attorney Could Work for You
Although bus transportation is economical and generally safe, collisions can be catastrophic because of the bus’s size and ability to encompass many victims. If you were hit in a private carrier or your child was injured in a school bus crash, you will need guidance because seeking compensation is different depending on whether the responsible party is public or private.
Whetstone Perkins & Fulda are well-versed in injury negotiations and lawsuits. You have the right to hold the party who caused your injuries responsible. Call today to learn how a Walterboro bus accident lawyer can assist you.