Buses have a number of safety features; still, bus riders and those in other vehicles involved can be harmed and even killed under certain circumstances.
That is when the injured and the families of those who perished require the competent legal representation by a Boynton Beach bus accident lawyer. Experienced injury attorneys have a successful record of achieving full and fair damages in bus accident cases.
Florida Negligence Law
Florida’s comparative negligence doctrine is used for personal injury and wrongful death cases involving bus accidents. This law places a percentage of fault on the parties involved and reduces the amount of damages by the percentage of fault.
A party who is 80 percent at fault may only claim 20 percent of the damages. A jury or a judge weighs the amount of fault for each party based on the evidence presented.
The law defines negligence as failing to exercise proper care to prevent causing harm or property damage to another.
To prove negligence, the Boynton Beach bus accident lawyer must satisfy these elements of the law by a preponderance of the evidence:
- Duty of care: A person is legally obligated to behave in a careful, watchful, and cautious manner as a prudent person would use in the same situation
- Breach: Behavior or an omission that violates duty of care
- Causation in fact: The breach is the cause of the crash
- Proximate cause: A particular and foreseeable result happened
- Damages: An actual financial loss or physical injury
Bus Accident Negligence
Buses are unwieldy because of their size and weight and require full driver attention. Driver distraction, fatigue, aggressive driving, speeding, and impairment are typical negligent behaviors of drivers. The bus company is also negligent if it failed to perform proper maintenance to keep buses in proper working order, or if it provided inadequate driver training or none at all.
Also negligent is overcrowding buses, which can cause increased injuries. Injuries of those in the passenger cars involved are more serious because of the size and weight of the bus and can include brain injuries, spinal cord damage, neck injuries, and broken bones.
Florida is one of six states that require seat belts on school buses and for the rider to use them, but if the student fails to use the seatbelt, the student is negligent, not the school system. That is because the student disobeyed the law and assumed the risk of injury.
Federal law requires new school buses to have seatbelts or other restraint systems that meet federal law, but school districts are not required to retrofit old buses.
Taking Legal Action with a Boynton Beach Bus Accident Attorney
Your Boynton Beach bus accident lawyer will investigate the bus crash to develop evidence to prove negligence on behalf of the bus driver or bus owner and to prove damages. Among them are medical and therapeutic expenses, loss of present and future income, property damage, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, mental anguish, and punitive, if the negligence of the driver or bus operator was willful.