Maryland Metro Bus Accident Injures Passengers

Earlier this summer, WJLA out of Washington D.C. reported that a metro bus crashed into a tree. The driver of the bus was listed in critical condition at first, but then was later upgraded to stable condition. None of the passengers had life threatening injuries, though 12 were transported to the hospital for treatment and examination. The bus was going down a highway in Chevy Chase, Maryland, when it was sideswiped by a pickup truck. The sideswiping forced the bus up on the curb and into a tree, knocking it over. It took first responders 15 minutes to get the driver out of the bus to be transported to Suburban Hospital’s Bethesda trauma center location. Though metro officials have not given a specific cause of the crash, they did say that the bus driver was not at fault. However, the driver of the pickup truck was cited for reckless driving.

If you happen to be a passenger injured in a bus accident, there are some things that you need to know. This article gives a brief overview of some of the legal issues related to bus accidents.

Public Bus Accidents

The accident described above was a public bus. If you are a passenger in an accident in a public bus, there are special considerations that make the accident different than a typical auto accident. One of the biggest issues has to do with who is responsible for the accident and therefore who should pay, whether through an insurance settlement or a lawsuit.

If the cause of the accident was another driver, which so far appears to be the case above, then passengers will likely be going through the third party for compensation for their injuries. However, if the bus driver is at fault, getting compensated for your injuries can be much more difficult. Most public buses are operated by public departments of transportation of other. Therefore, plaintiffs will be bound by laws related to governments and municipalities for recovery.

Suing a government or municipality is procedurally different that suing an individual or corporation. If the agency that provides the buses is not willing to settle your claim, then you may have to file a civil suit against them. In order to sue a government body, you must first file a notice of claim. The particulars of the requirements for the lawsuit will vary based on location, but a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help you navigate this process.

School Bus Accidents

In many ways school bus accidents are similar to other public bus accidents, but there are some important differences. Some school districts are responsible for their own buses, while others hire bus companies to provide transportation for them. Therefore. it is important to investigate who should be held liable. If the school district does use a transportation company, there will likely be a contract governing the provision of transportation. The contract can be extremely helpful in a personal injury case involving a school bus accident because it can help provide evidence as to what the standard of care should be. In other words, the contract will probably lay out safety, maintenance, and other protocols that should be followed and failure to follow these protocols may help to show that the bus company did not do something it should have.

Statutes of Limitations for Bus Accidents

One very important note about bus accidents is that since municipalities or school districts are often involved, the statute of limitations may be shorter than for other personal injury actions. That is why it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to make sure you don’t miss any important deadlines.