What Types of Compensation Are Available to You?
You’ve been hurt while riding on a bus. Whether it’s a city bus or a private charter bus, you have the right to seek compensation for all your losses, including lost wages and income, any unreimbursed medical expenses, physical or mental pain and suffering result from the crash, the loss of the ability to have close or intimate relationships with family members, and your loss of the ability to engage in the ordinary activities of daily life, or to do those things which gave you joy and fulfillment before the accident.
In Texas, as in many states, though, the process for pursuing damages (monetary compensation) for your losses will be significantly different, based on whether or not you were riding on a publicly owned and operated vehicle or a commercial bus.
What Types of Buses Are Considered to Be Commercial Vehicles?
Any type of transportation that is privately operated for profit or benefit will customarily be considered a commercial vehicle. That includes charter bus services, commercial bus lines (such as Greyhound), airport shuttles, hotel shuttle buses, church buses and casino buses.
If the bus you were riding at the time of the crash was a commercial vehicle, it will likely be considered a “common carrier” under Texas law. As a common carrier, the bus company and its employees will be held to a higher standard of care than private individuals. A common carrier must employ the level or standard of care of “a very cautious, competent and prudent business or person.”
If you have been hurt in a commercial bus accident, your remedy will be to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. The amount you can expect to recover will depend on the nature and extent of your losses. Some damages will be easily calculated, such as lost wages or unreimbursed medical expenses. Other losses can be somewhat subjective, including pain and suffering, loss of companionship or consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life.
What Types of Buses Will Be Deemed Public Transportation?
City buses, most school buses (for public, but not private schools) and any vehicles used to provide public transportation for handicapped or disabled persons will fall in the category of public buses. The process for recovering compensation when your accident involved one of these types of vehicles if more complicated.
First, you must provide notice of your accident much earlier than if you were injured on a commercial vehicle. The statute of limitations for commercial bus injury claims is two years, but Texas state law requires public bus accident victims to file a Notice of Claim within six months. Some cities have laws imposing an even shorter time to provide notice.
The Damage Caps on Public Transportation Claims in Texas
Another factor that affects your ability to recover compensation for a public transit accident in Texas is the statutorily imposed limit on damages. The law allows a maximum recovery of $250,000 per individual and $500,000 per claim for accidents sustained on government-owned vehicles, including buses and commuter trains.
Contact the Experienced Bus Accident Injury Lawyers at Bailey & Galyen
At the law offices of Bailey & Galyen, we have extensive experience helping people who have suffered any type of injury in a commercial or governmental bus accident. We will be your advocate throughout the legal process, from the filing of a personal injury lawsuit through the gathering of evidence to trial or settlement. Contact us by e-mail or 844-402-2992 call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.