Most bus services operate on a timetable, which means they spend as little time as possible at one stop and get to the next stop as quickly as possible. Typically, the passenger has the opportunity to find a seat and sit down on the bus before the bus begins to move. however, if you take the bus regularly, you know this is not always the case.
Sometimes the bus starts to move as soon as the last passenger has both feet on the bus, which can cause the passenger to lose their balance and try to catch themselves to avoid falling. Unfortunately, there are situations where the passenger may not act quickly enough, especially if the driver accelerates suddenly, resulting in a fall.
But who is responsible in such a case?
You may be entitled to compensation if you have sustained injuries from sudden acceleration after boarding a bus. However, eligibility depends on the circumstances in which the accident occurred.
Under normal circumstances, the bus company (and its driver) will be liable for accidents caused by the error of the bus driver. A good example is if the driver accelerates before a passenger finds an empty seat and causes the passenger to fall. This approach is based on the legal doctrine of senior manager which holds the employer liable for the negligent acts of the employee, so long as those acts are within the scope and scope of the employee’s work.
But the driver can’t always control what the passenger does or what happens outside. A typical example is a situation occurring outside the bus that forces the driver to accelerate suddenly. If the situation coincides with a passenger having fun causing them to fall, the driver or the bus company may not be liable for any damages incurred.
Determination of responsibility
The injured passenger bears the burden of proof and must prove negligence and damages in order to proceed with any financial recovery. A driver or a bus company may not easily accept responsibility for an accident. In most cases of bus accidents, there are other passengers who witness the accident or other people standing near the bus when the incident occurred. Often they can provide eyewitness accounts of what happened.
However, testimonials aren’t the only thing you can use as evidence in your bus accident lawsuit. Commuter buses usually have a surveillance system that can help you establish responsibility. These surveillance systems can provide photographic or video evidence that can be crucial in establishing accountability.
A medical examination is important
The most common accident resulting from sudden acceleration is a fall. Like any other accident, falling on a bus can lead to traumatic brain damage, broken bones, scratches, bruises and cuts.
Emergency physicians recommend that you get checked out by an emergency physician after an accident, even if you don’t show obvious signs of injury.
In addition to ensuring that your health is taken care of, seeing a doctor helps to ensure that your injuries are documented and provide all the documentation required when determining economic and non-economic damages.
Get a lawyer
If your accidents result in minor scratches and bruises, you may not need to hire an attorney to help you get compensation. However, never attempt to pursue serious injury claims without having an attorney on your side. Statistics show that people who hire a lawyer are far more likely to get a favorable and fair outcome to their claims than those who try to handle them on their own.
“The defendant will likely have a lawyer, so not having one for you will mean starting at a disadvantage.“says a personal injury lawyer André Busald of the firm Busald Funk Zevely.
The purpose of a lawsuit is to make the offending party take responsibility for its actions by paying damages to the injured party. A fair settlement in a bus accident claim must adequately cover all economic, non-economic and punitive damages. This includes medical expenses and lost wages incurred as a result of the injury.[Image via Pexels]
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