People in Missouri often used public transit vehicles as a way to commute around the area. However, when the drivers of buses fail to operate these large vehicles safely, passengers and occupants of passenger cars can suffer serious harm.

If you or a loved one were harmed in a collision with a negligent bus driver, you may benefit from contacting a skilled injury attorney in the area. A Maryland Heights bus accident lawyer could help you identify the responsible parties and recover compensation that accurately reflects the harm you suffered.

Leading Causes of Bus Wrecks

Most collisions involving buses are due to negligence or mistakes on the part of the driver. Bus driver distraction, fatigue, error, or intoxication can all lead to severe wrecks. On the other hand, some wrecks stem from company decisions, such as poor training or inadequate maintenance. Other contributing factors include mechanical failure, road hazards (e.g., construction), and fellow motorists.

In these cases, the potentially liable parties extend beyond the driver and the bus company to maintenance contractors, parts suppliers, vehicle manufacturers, other drivers, and state and federal government bodies responsible for the roadways. Local attorneys who have successfully handled bus collisions before could help investigate the incident to identify all potential defendants and put in place a strong claim for recouping a fair settlement or court-ordered award.

Collecting Compensation After a Bus Crash

Missouri plaintiffs may recover for all their damages without limitation (except when the government is the defendant). The law recognizes both actual expenses and intangible suffering as valid bases for compensation. Lawyers in Maryland Heights could help people injured in a bus wreck seek damages for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Unearned income
  • Therapy costs (physical, occupational, and psychological)
  • Emotional distress
  • Disfigurement
  • Inconvenience
  • Interference with the enjoyment of life
  • Pain and suffering

In the event that the claimant dies, Missouri Revised Statutes § 537.090 allows the surviving family to recover for, among other things, funeral expenses and the loss of the person’s companionship, support, and guidance.

Statute of Limitations in Missouri

To prevail in court and receive damages awards, plaintiffs must file their cases within five years of the accident, as required by Mo. Rev. Stat. § 516.120(4). If a plaintiff does not submit their claim within this window, they risk having their case dismissed. However, lawsuits are not the only way injured passengers could recover for their losses.

Most cases settle through negotiations with the defendants’ insurance companies. Missing the filing deadline can adversely impact settlement talks as the threat of proceeding with a lawsuit can be a persuasive negotiation tool.

Does it Matter if the Defendant is a Public or Private Entity?

The process for seeking compensation from a government body differs from that followed when the defendant is a private company or individual. The Missouri Sovereign Immunity Statute, at Mo. Rev. Stat. § 537.600, allows injured passengers to file lawsuits stemming from driver negligence or if the government negligently failed to maintain safe roadways. However, under  Mo. Rev. Stat. § 82.210, injured parties must file their notice to sue within 90 days of the accident – a significantly shorter timeframe than the five years allowed when a private company is involved. An experienced bus collision attorney in the area could help guide plaintiffs through this unique process.

Contact a Maryland Heights Bus Accident Attorney Right Away

Being in a serious bus crash can be scary but recovering for your loss does not have to be. With a skilled Maryland Heights bus accident lawyer representing you, you could feel confident knowing you have a legal ally representing your best interests. Call our team today to set up your initial case consultation.