A collision with a city bus can cause tremendous damage to your vehicle and severe injuries. After this type of accident, the need to be compensated for your losses is high. However, claims against the organization that operates the public transportation are often complex, as there are special guidelines that often apply to these situations. To ensure you are protected, you need to ensure you are informed.
1. State or Local Government
Depending on the city, the buses in your area might be plastered with what appears to be a company name. Yet, these public transportation systems are ultimately an entity of either the state or local government in the area. As such, filing a claim after a car accident ultimately means that you are filing a claim against the government. These government organizations are protected under what is known as State Tort laws, which can have an impact on your case.
2. Statute of Limitations
Each state sets a time limit known as the statute of limitations. This time limit outlines how long an accident victim has to file a claim for their damages. Generally, when State Tort laws apply, the standard statute of limitations time limit does not apply; it is typically shortened. For instance, for cases involving private citizens, the victim might have 2 years, but for cases against the government, 1 year is the limit. You need to be informed of local laws to stay on track.
3. Damage Limits
These special law provisions can also cap the number of damages an individual can receive from their accident claim. Unfortunately, in some instances, the limit is lower than what the victim needs. State and local governments' claims also can only include losses for medical expenses, missed wages, and vehicle damage. Claims cannot be filed for punitive damages, such as pain and suffering.
4. Attorney Representation
You can be guaranteed that the government organization representing the bus company will have attorney representation. The attorney will review the details of the case and work to apply that law in a matter that reduces the value of your claim as much as possible. You should not walk into this situation without protection in the form of an attorney if you want to be successful. It is especially important to speak with a local car accident attorney so you can navigate the specifics of your case and get adequate compensation.