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While being involved in any type of accident could be devastating, bus accidents are often made even more intense than other motor vehicle crashes attributable to the size, weight, and passenger capacity of most buses. Cases involving bus accidents could also be further complicated by the fact that some buses are privately owned and operated while others are run by local or state governments.
If you are injured in a collision with any kind of bus, the first step you should take after seeking medical care is to contact a Washington Township bus accident lawyer. Our skilled personal injury attorneys may be able to help you quantify your damages, prepare necessary legal paperwork, and build a case for the compensation you deserve.
Common Carrier Standards
Buses fall under the category of “common carriers,” and are subject to serious federal regulations. Consequently, there are four main expectations that buses must meet under the law:
- All buses must provide safe entrances and exits for passengers
- All buses must be operated by a trained, licensed driver
- Any design flaws must be corrected, and all systems must be properly monitored
- Maintenance must be performed on all buses regularly
If a bus company fails to adhere to these expectations, they could be considered in breach of the standard duty of care for common carriers. This may also hold true when the government is responsible for the bus through mass transit systems, school buses, prison buses, and similar situations. With a Washington Township bus accident lawyer on your side, you may be able to prove a breach of a duty of care and strengthen your case for compensation.
Deadlines for Filing Claims
There are statutes of limitations for filing personal injury claims for bus accidents in New Jersey. Since failing to file a claim within the proper time-frame could mean that you may lose the right to receive compensation, it may be critically important to contact a bus accident attorney in Washington Township to determine which deadline applies to your individual situation.
What is the Statue of Limitations for Claims Involving Privately Owned Buses?
When the bus involved in an accident is privately owned, the general statute of limitations for most other personal injury claims applies. In New Jersey, this deadline is set at two years after the date of the accident.
There is one caveat to this statute of limitations: it could be extended for far longer if the injured person is a minor. In that case, the minor has two years from the date of their 18th birthday to file their personal injury claim. Plaintiffs are recommended to contact a diligent attorney if he or she seeks to file his or her injury claim within the allotted time.
What is the Filing Deadline for Cases against Government-Owned Buses?
If the bus is owned and operated by a municipal government or public entity, the statute of limitations is much shorter. You must notify the proper government agency of your intent to file a personal injury claim within 90 days of the accident. Since this deadline is significantly less than two years, you may want to seek assistance from an experienced attorney immediately.
There is one caveat to this shorter statute of limitations: it could be extended for far longer if the injured person is a minor. In that case, the minor has 90 days from the date of their 18th birthday to file their personal injury claim.
Types of Damages Available Following a Bus Collision
Injuries caused by bus accidents may have a snowball effect. In conjunction with the medical bills, the injury could also affect your ability to work, your relationships, and the activities you may perform for the rest of your life.
In New Jersey, there are three kinds of damages for which an injured person could seek compensation:
- Economic damages for medical bills, lost wages, the cost of repairing or replacing damaged property, and other objective expenses
- Non-economic damages for more subjective damages like pain and suffering, loss of consortium with a spouse, and the toll of disfigurement or loss of limb
- Punitive damages, as per New Jersey Legislative Statute §2A:15-5.14, can only be awarded when there is evidence of total disregard of human safety and are capped at either five times the sum of the other damages or $350,000, whichever is greater
Talk to a Washington Township Bus Accident Attorney
If you have suffered injuries from a bus accident, you may be entitled to significant compensation. With help from a Washington Township bus accident lawyer, you may be able to receive appropriate compensation for your damages and set your life back on track.
You and your family should not have to pay for injuries that due to another person’s negligence. Contact us today to learn about your legal options and begin building a strong case.