Who Might Be Liable for a Bus Accident?

March 25, 2021
inside a bus

When a bus collides with a passenger vehicle in traffic, the resulting damage is almost always catastrophic. Because of their sheer size, buses have the potential to leave considerable devastation in their wake when they crash.

Thankfully, bus accident victims are sometimes entitled to take legal action. If you were seriously hurt in a wreck with a school bus, city bus, or charter bus, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim.

Of course, before you can pursue the compensation you deserve, you must determine who was to blame for the collision. While every bus accident is unique, there’s a good chance at least one of the following parties will be deemed liable:

1. The Municipality

If you were struck by a city bus or school bus, you may have grounds for a claim against the government agency that manages it. Keep in mind, however, that taking action against the government is particularly challenging, and the proceedings differ from those for claims against non-government entities.

For example, whereas South Carolina’s standard statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is three years, the deadline is reduced to two years for actions against the government. Additionally, claimants must notify the appropriate agency of their case within just one year in order to directly submit a verified claim for damages. 

2. The Transportation Company

If the bus driver who hit you was employed by a charter company, the charter company can likely be held responsible. Generally speaking, employers are liable for any damages their employees cause while on the clock. As long as the bus driver was acting within the scope and course of their employment at the time of the wreck, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to file a claim with the charter company’s insurer.

3. The Maintenance Contractor

If the accident was caused by some kind of malfunction that could have been prevented had the mechanic performed their duties correctly, the auto shop may be to blame. In order to prove this is the case, you may need to retain a proper mechanical expert.

4. The Parts or Vehicle Manufacturer

If the accident occurred because the bus or one of its parts was defective, the manufacturer may ultimately be responsible. Should this be the case, you’ll want guidance from a personal injury lawyer who’s well-versed in South Carolina product liability law.

5. Another Motorist

If the crash is not attributed to the bus driver, a mechanical malfunction, or a defective part, another motorist may be responsible. If this turns out to be true, you’ll probably end up seeking compensation from the at-fault motorist’s auto insurance carrier. 

Speak with a Spartanburg Bus Accident Attorney

At Hodge & Langley Law Firm, we’ve seen firsthand the kind of toll a serious bus accident can take on the whole family. If you were hurt in a collision with a bus through no fault of your own, we will help you determine who was liable and then work to find a way to prove it. Call 864-585-3873 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a bus accident lawyer in Spartanburg.

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