Did you or a family member suffer injuries in a bus accident in Florida? You may be able to recover compensation from the negligent person. An experienced Clearwater bus accident lawyer at Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers can help you fight to recover compensation. Call (727) 493-4418 to get started today.
Since 2001, our lawyers have worked hard to protect the rights of accident victims in Florida. Between us, we have over 119 years of experience helping clients with situations similar to yours, like commercial vehicle accidents, Clearwater train accidents, truck accidents, car accident cases, and Lyft accidents in Clearwater.
At Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers, we believe accident victims deserve more than a lengthy insurance battle. We’ve dedicated our entire practice to helping injured clients recover the money they need and deserve after an accident.
Bus accidents can have serious consequences. Even if you’re expected to recover, your injuries can impact your life in unexpected ways. An experienced Clearwater personal injury attorney can help you prove how the injury has changed your life and anticipate your future losses and needs.
When you hire us to protect you, we will:
- Provide sound legal advice, guidance, and support
- Investigate and gather evidence to support your case
- Determine who was responsible for your injuries
- Calculate the fair value of your personal injury claim
- Hire expert witnesses to strengthen your claim
- Handle all insurance negotiations on your behalf
- Represent you in court if the insurance company doesn’t offer a fair deal
You deserve time to focus on your health and well-being after an accident. Our Clearwater personal injury attorneys can handle the legal issues. Just call our law firm to schedule a free consultation to learn more.
How Common Are Bus Accidents in Clearwater?
The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority operates the bus system in Clearwater and across the Tampa Bay area. Most of the time, these buses offer a convenient and safe way to get around town. However, when accidents do happen, they have the potential to cause serious injuries.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), at least 156 people were killed in bus accidents across the United States in 2020. School buses, transit buses, and intercity buses are most likely to be involved in fatal bus accidents. Unfortunately, 46 school buses were involved in fatal crashes in 2020.
At Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers, we handle all types of bus accident cases, including those involving:
- PSTA buses
- Jolley Trolley buses
- School buses
- Greyhound buses
- Hillsborough Area Regional Transit buses
- Charter buses
- Shuttle buses
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles also keeps track of bus accidents. In 2020, at least 223 bus drivers and bus passengers were injured in accidents across the state of Florida. That number doesn’t even begin to account for occupants in passenger vehicles, who are at high risk of sustaining injuries in a bus accident.
What Is My Clearwater Bus Accident Case Worth?
There is no exact formula that can be used to calculate the value of a personal injury case. Insurance companies, judges, and juries weigh a number of different factors when determining how much money to award a victim.
Some of the most important factors in determining your case value include:
- The nature of your injuries
- The cost of your medical treatment
- Your lost wages and other out-of-pocket expenses
- How the injury will impact your quality of life and lifestyle
- Your pain, suffering, and inconvenience
- The circumstances of the accident and the strength of your negligence case
There is no guarantee that the insurance company’s settlement offer will be fair. You deserve to have an experienced attorney in your corner to help you understand your case value. At Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers, we have decades of experience helping clients seek fair compensation for their injuries. To learn more about your case value, call our law firm for a free case review today.
What Types of Damages Are Available To Clearwater Bus Accident Victims?
Depending on the facts, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages, income, and employment benefits
- Lost future earning capacity
- Physical therapy
- Nursing care
- Property damage
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Diminished quality of life
- Physical disfigurement and scarring
- Anxiety, depression, and PTSD
- Loss of consortium
If you lost a family member in a fatal bus accident, you may also be entitled to compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one.
Every personal injury claim is different. Our lawyers will take the time to evaluate the unique losses you have suffered. That way, we’ll have the information necessary to demand compensation for all of your past costs and anticipated future needs.
Can I Recover Damages If I’m Being Blamed for a Bus Accident in Florida?
Florida is a modified comparative negligence state. Under state law, an injured party can recover compensation from anyone who was even slightly responsible for the accident. Injured parties can also be held liable for damages suffered by others if they share fault for the accident.
Each party to an accident is assigned a percentage of fault. If your percentage of fault is 40%, you are responsible for 40% of your own damages. You can seek compensation for the remaining 60% of your losses.
However, under Florida law, if you are more than 50% responsible for the accident, you will not be able to recover compensation.
We’ll Fight To Recover Compensation for All of Your Bus Accident Injuries
Because buses are heavy and large vehicles, they can cause severe injuries in a car accident–especially to people in smaller passenger vehicles. Bus passengers are also at high risk of injury because they often don’t have seat belts.
At Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers, we handle all types of bus accident claims, including those where victims have sustained:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Strains, sprains, and soft tissue damage
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Back injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Head and neck injuries
- Catastrophic injuries
- Wrongful death of a loved one
If you’re injured, it’s important to seek medical care quickly. We also recommend speaking with an experienced lawyer soon after an accident. That way, your lawyer can begin investigating right away.
What Causes Most Bus Accidents in Clearwater, Florida?
Bus accidents can happen for many different reasons. Often, bus accidents occur when drivers are careless or reckless.
Some of the most common causes of bus accidents in Clearwater include:
- Distracted driving
- Underqualified drivers
- Dangerous left-hand turns
- Fatigued driving
- Failure to account for the bus’s longer stopping times
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Aggressive driving
- Defective bus safety equipment
- Dangerous lane changes
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Drunk driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- Failure to maintain the bus in a safe condition
If you were hurt in a bus accident, our Clearwater bus accident attorneys are here to help in any way we can. To learn more about your legal options, call our personal injury lawyers today.
How Do I Prove Negligence After a Bus Accident in Florida?
Negligence is the root cause of most accidents. Someone is negligent when they fail to exercise reasonable caution under the circumstances.
To prove negligence, the victim must establish:
- The at-fault party’s legal duty of care
- A breach of duty occurred
- Causation, meaning that the breach caused the accident
- The damages you sustained
In addition to establishing these elements, you must determine who is legally responsible for paying your damages. This issue is particularly complex in bus accident cases.
If the bus driver caused the accident, someone else may actually be liable for paying your damages. Bus drivers are almost always employees. The bus driver’s employer can be held liable for the bus driver’s negligence.
Examples of the parties who may be liable include:
- Bus companies
- Public transit authorities
- Third-party drivers
- Bus mechanics
- Maintenance companies
- Manufacturers of defective bus components
Our lawyers will locate the evidence to prove liability in your case. If you were injured in a bus accident, give us a call so that we can get started today.
How Long Do I Have To File a Lawsuit After a Bus Accident in Florida?
Accident victims in the state of Florida have only two years to take legal action after a negligence-related bus accident. The statute of limitations starts to run on the date of your accident. Once two years pass, you lose your right to recover compensation for your injuries.
One important caveat: The statute of limitations used to be four years. However, effective 3/23/24, a new law reduced it to two. If your bus accident occurred before 3/23/24, you will be subject to the four-year deadline.
However, you may have less time to act if a government agency is a defendant in your case.
Contact a Clearwater Bus Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Our lawyers at Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers have the resources to handle even the most complex accident and injury cases. To learn more about how a Clearwater bus accident lawyer can help you recover the maximum compensation you deserve, call for a free initial consultation today.