Virginia Bus Accident Attorney

A Virginia bus accident lawyer can help victims of bus crashes try to recover compensation for damages suffered as a result of the negligence of another.  Both bus passengers and other motorists involved in a collision may be entitled to monetary remuneration for losses resulting from a bus accident that causes injury. In a fatal bus crash, surviving family members may also be able to pursue a claim for wrongful death.  Call a bus accident lawyer in Virginia today to learn about your legal rights and the options available to you for recovery after a auto accident.

Virginia Bus Accidents Laws

You may be able to demonstrate negligence after a bus crash caused by:

  • A distracted driver
  • A speeding driver
  • A poorly maintained bus
  • A bus driver who is aggressive behind the wheel

According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, a commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required to operate any vehicle that accommodates at least 16 passengers, including the driver. Drivers who plan to drive a school bus will need to pass a school bus test and obtain a school bus endorsement on their license, even if the bus carries fewer than 16 total people.

Bus drivers are obligated to follow all rules of the road, including Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules that apply only to buses and trucks. If any safety rules are violated and a bus crash results, victims may pursue a claim for compensation.

A bus crash victim- including a passenger, or someone struck by a bus including a motorist, motorcyclist, pedestrian, or bicyclist- may also pursue a claim for compensation if they can demonstrate a bus driver behaved in an unreasonably negligent or careless way.

In these and other situations, your Virginia bus accident attorney will help review police reports and other evidence to build a case showing negligence or wrongdoing.

Who is Liable for a Virginia Bus Accident

A bus driver can be personally responsible for negligent behaviors or regulations violations that cause a collision to occur.  In most cases, however, bus companies are sued instead of, or in addition to, the driver.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires $1.5 million in liability coverage for commercial buses with a seating capacity of 15 or fewer passengers, and $5 million in coverage for other types of passenger vehicles.

It is also common for the bus driver to be employed by a local municipality or other government entity. A school bus driver, or a public transportation driver are both examples of public servants and government workers.

There are special challenges when trying to pursue a claim against a public employee and/or against a government entity. This is because of sovereign immunity.

Sovereign immunity establishes the principle that the king (or in this case the government entity & public worker) can do no wrong.  In 2002, the Virginia Supreme Court made clear in a case called Niese v. City of Alexandria that the “doctrine of sovereign immunity is alive and well” in Virginia.

There are, however, exceptions to sovereign immunity and times when you can sue if hurt in a school bus crash, a crash with a Virginia Metrobus, or another bus operated by the government.  You’ll need to talk to a Virginia bus accident lawyer with experience in government negligence cases to make your claim.

How a Virginia Bus Accident Attorney Can Help

A Virginia bus accident lawyer can help determine who to hold accountable for bus crash injuries; and can help you to pursue compensation through a court trial or a negotiated settlement with an insurer. You may be entitled to compensation for medical costs, wage loss, pain and suffering, emotional distress, or wrongful death damages. Talk to a bus accident lawyer in Virginia today if you or a loved one have been injured in a bus accident.  We are here to help with a free initial case evaluation and helpful information about what to do after an accident.

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