Michigan Bus Accident Lawyer
Were You Injured in a Michigan Bus Accident?
Many Michigan commuters depend on buses and local transit systems every day. Unfortunately, buses are involved in roughly 60,000 accidents around the country each year, putting many people at risk in just one of those accidents. If you are hurt in a bus accident, we strongly recommend speaking with an experienced Michigan bus accident lawyer.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a bus accident, you deserve compensation. The attorneys at Lipton Law have over a century of combined legal experience, so they can help you obtain the financial resources you need. We are dedicated to providing passionate support while we strive to receive a favorable outcome. Our Michigan personal injury lawyers will fight tooth and nail for the financial compensation you deserve while you focus on healing. To schedule your free consultation with us, please call our office at 248-557-1688 today.
Bus Accident Statistics in Michigan
It’s important to understand the scope of the problem when it comes to bus accident cases. Bus companies and bus drivers are held to a much higher standard when it comes to their conduct on the road. The same goes for commercial vehicles and truck drivers. However, bus crashes still happen for one reason or another.
According to the Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, there were a total of 15,798 truck and bus accidents in 2019. Of these crashes, 105 were fatal, and 2,805 involved at least one injury. Additionally, Michigan saw 1,197 school bus accidents in Michigan in 2019. From these crashes, there were only six deaths.
What Is a Common Carrier?
Bus accident claims are unique in that they involve the term “common carrier.” A common carrier is a business or entity that exists to move or transport passengers. Those who carry passengers are expected to adhere to a higher duty of care than the average driver. Examples of common carriers include the following.
- Interstate bus carriers (such as Greyhound bus lines)
- CTA buses (mass transit buses in cities)
- Passenger cruise ships
- Taxi services
Common carriers are governed by rules that come from common law. These rules required common carriers to use the “utmost care, vigilance, and diligence” when safely transporting passengers. This common carrier rule makes juries more likely to find a carrier is at fault for an accident, as they were expected to go beyond “reasonable care.” A simpler way of putting it is that negligence for a bus driver may not be negligence for a regular driver.
Types of Bus Accidents
Several different types of bus accidents happen in Michigan. Our bus accident attorneys have seen a wide variety of crashes, including the following types of bus accidents.
- School buses: A school bus driver has a very high duty of care when it comes to protecting their bus passengers. This is largely because most of their passengers are children. Unfortunately, school bus crashes can still happen because of driving under the influence, fatigued driving, and distracted driving.
- Public transit bus crash: Sometimes, public transit accidents can occur due to the actions of an impatient driver. They may have made a rash decision to pass the slower public bus, only to cause an accident. However, bus drivers can also be held liable for an accident.
- Shuttle bus accident: Hotels, universities, and airports often have shuttle buses that can take passengers to and from their destinations. Because of how top-heavy shuttles are, it is very easy for a rollover accident to occur if the driver becomes too hasty.
- Freight bus crash: Freight buses transport cargo rather than people. They have specific weight limits, much like commercial trucks. If someone overloads a freight bus, this makes it more difficult for the driver to be in control of the bus.
- Private and charter bus accidents: In most cases, these vehicles are owned by a company that rents the buses out for parties or tours. If the bus company fails to properly maintain their vehicles, or if they hire a driver who is not qualified, they could be held liable for an accident.
What Should I Do After a Bus Accident?
Auto accidents involving large buses have the potential to cause serious injury or even wrongful death. After a bus accident occurs, we recommend taking the following steps to help your bus accident case.
- Stay on the scene and help others if you can. Call the police as soon as possible to report the accident so that emergency responders can arrive quickly. This is even more important if the crash has impeded traffic or if someone has sustained injuries that are very serious.
- Gather all the evidence that you can. This includes pictures and videos of the accident scene, police reports, eyewitness statements and contact information, and the contact information of other passengers.
- As soon as you leave the scene of the accident, seek medical attention. This is incredibly important, as you may not realize you sustained an injury at first. Adrenaline often makes it difficult to notice your pain right away, so we recommend speaking with a doctor. They will properly evaluate your condition and let you know of any injuries you sustained.
- Keep records and receipts of your losses related to the bus accident claim. This includes lost wages, medical bills, receipts, vehicle repair costs, and other losses related to the accident.
- Contact an experienced bus accident lawyer. Working with a law firm that has considerable experience with bus accidents is crucial. Their knowledge of these personal injury cases could mean the difference between crushing medical debt and a fair settlement.
What if My Child Was Injured on a School Bus?
As a parent, you never want to receive a phone call about your child being injured in a bus accident. Although you may not want to imagine the scenario, it’s important to know how to proceed in case it ever occurs.
- Prioritize your child’s health and safety above all else. Even if it doesn’t look like your child suffered injuries, you should still take them to the doctor. They may have suffered internal injuries that are not visible.
- Gather evidence. Your evidence should include photos and videos from the crash, statements and contact information for others involved, documentation of your child’s injuries and recovery, and other relevant information.
- Contact our Michigan bus accident lawyers. It’s important to work with a seasoned personal injury attorney who has experience with bus accident claims. That way, you can rest assured that your case will be handled properly.
- Do not sign any forms from an insurance company or school district without first speaking with an experienced attorney. The insurance company may try to get you to settle for an amount that won’t cover the cost of your medical bills. An attorney, however, will fight for your right to fair compensation.
Who Can Be Held Responsible Following a Bus Wreck?
Depending on both the type of bus and the nature of the accident, many different parties can be held responsible for bus accidents. Potentially liable parties in a bus accident claim include the following.
- Owner of the bus involved
- Bus driver
- Bus manufacturer
- Third-party contractors
- Tour companies
- Government entities responsible for public buses
- Maintenance crews for buses
- Driver of a passenger vehicle who is engaging in negligent driving
Michigan Bus Accidents and Complex Claims
Although bus accidents usually result in injuries similar to other motor vehicle accidents, the claims process can be different. Below, we outline two situations in which a bus accident claim can become much more complicated.
No-Fault Insurance Benefits for Michigan Bus Accident Injuries
According to the no-fault statute, your no-fault insurance should cover any injuries that you’ve suffered as a result of an accident. This includes any injuries sustained during a bus accident, as well.
However, if you’re using a bus company because you don’t have a car, your no-fault injury case will become more difficult.
In some cases, you may need to file a claim with the bus company’s insurance provider. Bus companies are only required to pay in the state of Michigan if there are no other benefits available. So, in this case, you can expect a fight.
Third-Party Bus Accident Claims in Michigan
If you are severely injured in a Michigan bus accident, you may qualify for a third-party lawsuit against the bus driver, themselves, or the bus company that he or she was working for at the time of the bus accident.
Your Michigan bus accident lawyer will first need to determine who owned the bus on which you were riding when you sustained the injuries. This could be a government-owned bus or a privately-owned bus. If the bus is owned by a private bus company, you can file a third-party lawsuit just like you would in any other Michigan car accident claim.
But, if the government owns the bus or public transportation vehicle, and the bus was operated by a government employee at the time of the bus crash, you’re in for another legal fight.
In general, the government is typically protected from having to pay those who are injured on their property or during the course of their business.
However, an exception does exist for this – if the injury sustained in the bus accident was caused by the bus driver’s negligent behavior. This applies to bus drivers, police vehicles, inspector vehicles, and any municipal bus accidents in Michigan.
In any case, you’re going to need an experienced Michigan bus accident lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve, as this will be an uphill battle.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Michigan Bus Accidents?
Many factors involved in bus accidents can affect your claim including which party was responsible and the cause of the accident. These types of accidents are often caused by:
- Intoxicated or drugged drivers
- Poor training
- Fatigued drivers
- Buses operating over capacity
- Passenger disputes
- Improper equipment maintenance
When you or a loved one is injured in a bus accident, the last thing you want to do is deal with complicated details of a personal injury claim. That is where Lipton Law can help you. We will work with you to take care of your claim, so you can focus on a smooth recovery. Our attorneys represent both passengers and pedestrians injured in bus accidents, offering unyielding support when you need it most.
When Do I Need to Hire a Michigan Bus Accident Lawyer?
The bus company, as well as its insurance provider, will have their team of investigators at the scene of the bus crash to begin gathering evidence.
You’re going to need a qualified Michigan bus accident lawyer with the resources to fight back on your behalf, because both the bus company and its insurance agent will do everything in their power to deny liability. You can count on that.
At Lipton Law, you can expect to have a bus accident attorney that will stand by your side from the moment we’re hired. The sooner we can start on your case, the better the likelihood that you’ll have a favorable outcome.
It’s critical that our team of Michigan bus accident lawyers can perform an inspection of the bus damage before it is repaired, as this could help your personal injury case.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Michigan Bus Accident?
In the state of Michigan, the statute of limitations for a bus passenger injured to seek compensation is three years from the time of the accident. Experienced Michigan bus accident lawyers can extend this in certain cases, but it’s best to get your case started as soon as possible.
However, the claim for no-fault insurance benefits must be filed within one year of the accident. If your claim is denied for any reason, then your bus accident attorney will need to file a lawsuit for the PIP benefits at the courthouse.
What Is the Compensation for Bus Accident Injuries?
Bus accident victims can file a claim against the bus driver and the bus company for different types of monetary compensation in Michigan. The damages for these claims typically include payouts for past, present, and future:
- pain and suffering
- mental anguish
- loss of enjoyment of life
- wage loss and loss of earnings
- other economic damages
For fatal bus accidents, the surviving family members can file a Michigan wrongful death lawsuit. Your Michigan commercial vehicle accident lawyer can file for monetary compensation for the pain and suffering endured by the deceased before their passing, the loss of companionship by family members, the loss of income and support, as well as funeral and burial expenses incurred.
Why Choose Lipton Law as Your Bus Accident Lawyer?
Many law firms claim to have experienced attorneys waiting to help with your case, but in reality, you won’t be working with the attorneys you see on the billboards. The legal team at Lipton Law does things differently. We stand out from our peers by providing attentive, personal legal services for our clients. If you have suffered a personal injury due to someone else’s negligence, contact our Michigan law office as soon as possible.
Our law firm offers a free initial consultation so that we don’t contribute to the economic losses our clients are already facing after an accident. We will thoroughly evaluate your claim and give you sound advice on how to proceed with your claim.
Experienced Bus Accident Attorney in Michigan
Recovering from an injury after a bus accident can keep you out of work while you seek medical treatment. You deserve compensation to pay your medical expenses and cover any lost wages, so you can continue to support your family. You do not have to go through this alone. The experienced Michigan bus accident lawyers at Lipton Law will be by your side.
To learn more about obtaining compensation, contact us by email or call our office in Southfield at 248-557-1688. Our bus accident lawyers are always prepared to discuss your concerns and come up with a plan to help you start anew.