Fort Lauderdale Bus Accident Attorney

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Fort Lauderdale bus accident lawyerFort Lauderdale’s bustling streets and lively neighborhoods make it an exciting city to explore, but driving through its traffic can be challenging. Public transportation is a viable choice for many residents and visitors alike. Whether it’s for commuting, sightseeing, or simply getting around, buses offer a convenient and relatively safer alternative to driving.

If you find yourself involved in a bus accident in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, knowing your rights and the steps to take next is crucial. At Schilling & Silvers Property and Accident Attorneys, we dedicate ourselves to helping you in these situations.

As experienced Fort Lauderdale bus accident lawyers, we understand the complexities of these cases and commit ourselves to helping you win the compensation you deserve. This compensation can cover your medical expenses and lost wages and compensate for the pain and suffering from the accident.

In Fort Lauderdale, several bus companies share the streets, offering vital services to the community. These include Broward County Transit (BCT), Megabus, LauderGO! Community Shuttle, and Sun Trolley. Each plays a significant role in the city’s transportation network, but accidents involving these buses can happen.

Imagine, for instance, you’re crossing Cordova Road after having breakfast at Joe’s Café, and suddenly, a LauderGO! Community Shuttle, running a red light, collides with you. Or picture another scenario: you’re heading home from the Mail Center, merging onto Route 1, when suddenly a BCT bus sideswipes your vehicle. These hypothetical situations highlight the potential risks even in routine activities involving buses.

Having a knowledgeable bus accident attorney in Fort Lauderdale is invaluable when you’re involved in an accident. At Schilling & Silvers Property and Accident Attorneys, we are here to give you the legal guidance and support needed to tackle your case. Our expertise in dealing with the different public transportation systems in Fort Lauderdale, including BCT, Megabus, LauderGO! Community Shuttle, and Sun Trolley, gives the experience needed to handle your case with the highest level of expertise and care. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us help you take the first step towards recovery and justice.

How Often Do Bus Accidents Occur in Fort Lauderdale, Florida?

Accidents involving public transit buses and school buses are a critical issue in Fort Lauderdale and across the United States. In 2021, there was a notable uptick in accidents involving these large vehicles. Specifically, fatal accidents buses rose by 18%, reaching 5,904 compared to the previous year. This increase is part of a longer-term trend, as the period from 2010 to 2021 saw a 52% surge in fatal crashes involving these vehicles, following a 34% decrease observed from 2005 to 2009.

As the National Safety Council’s data indicates, school bus safety is paramount. In 2021, there were 108 fatalities in school bus-related crashes, a staggering 50% increase from the previous year. This is alarming considering the extensive use of school buses, with approximately 489,748 yellow school buses in service daily across the United States in the 2021-22 school year. Alongside the fatalities, there were also 9,700 injuries related to school bus accidents.

If you have been injured in an accident involving a bus and need legal assistance contact a Fort Lauderdale bus accident lawyer at our law firm today.

What Are Some of the Types of Accidents and the Factors Contributing to Them?

Bus accidents in Fort Lauderdale and other areas can happen in various forms, each with its own contributing factors. The types of accidents involving buses are diverse and include:

  • Scenarios where a vehicle rear-ends a bus
  • Instances of vehicles broadsiding a bus
  • Situations where the bus rear-ends another car

Additionally, sideswipe accidents, where a bus and another vehicle graze each other while traveling in the same or opposite directions, and cases where a bus broadsides a car, are also common.

As experienced Fort Lauderdale bus accident attorneys, we commonly see several factors which commonly contribute to these accidents including:

Bus company negligence, such as inadequate maintenance of vehicles or improper training of drivers, is a primary cause. The bus driver’s negligence, including non-compliance with traffic laws or inattention to driving, is another significant factor.

Driver fatigue, often due to long hours behind the wheel without sufficient breaks, can lead to reduced alertness and slower reaction times. Adverse weather conditions also play a role, impairing visibility and road traction — leading to accidents.

Blind spots in buses can make it difficult for drivers to see other vehicles, especially while making turns or changing lanes. Left turns are particularly hazardous due to the wide turning radius of buses and potential blind spots.

Other drivers’ mistakes or reckless behavior can also cause accidents, and lastly, bus fires, though less common, are a serious concern due to their potential for severe damage and injuries.

Have You Been Injured in a Public Transportation Crash in Fort Lauderdale?

If you’ve been involved in a crash with a Broward County Transit bus, a LauderGO! Community Shuttle, or any other public transportation service in Fort Lauderdale, it’s crucial to consult with a bus accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale immediately. When the liability for the crash lies with the driver of a public bus or shuttle, your legal claim isn’t against a private individual or company. Instead, it’s directed at the government entity responsible for operating the public transportation system, which includes services like Sun Trolley and school buses.

Dealing with claims against a government agency is a complex process, and having a knowledgeable attorney by your side is essential. In Florida, Sovereign Immunity laws may limit your claim, and you will also face stricter time constraints than standard personal injury claims.

A skilled bus accident attorney in Fort Lauderdale will help you file a notice of claim against the relevant government agency. A mandatory waiting period is involved — you need to allow the government six months to review your claim and respond. Only after this period can you escalate your claim, including filing a lawsuit, if necessary.

It’s also important to note that when your claim is against a public transportation entity, there are caps on the compensation you can receive. In Florida, the maximum compensation provided by government agencies is $200,000 per person. In cases where the accident results in multiple injury claims, this limit can increase to $300,000.

Who Is Responsible in a Fort Lauderdale Bus Accident?

Determining responsibility in a Fort Lauderdale bus accident can be more complex than it initially appears. While it might seem straightforward to attribute the blame to the bus driver, a thorough investigation often reveals that other parties, such as the bus company, might be equally or more liable. This is because it’s common to trace the responsibility for a bus accident back to the company’s negligence.

You can hold a bus company liable for an accident if your Fort Lauderdale bus accident lawyer finds the company has committed certain oversights or errors. These can include hiring a driver without the proper license, failing to provide adequate training for new drivers, imposing unreasonable work schedules leading to driver exhaustion, or neglecting the maintenance of their bus fleet, thereby increasing the risk of mechanical failures.

Regarding accidents involving public transportation, there are specialized legal considerations. Public transit systems, including city buses and trains, are operated by common carriers, which can be private or public entities. In South Florida, for example, Miami-Dade Transit stands out as one of the largest transit systems in the state and the country. These common carriers are subject to state regulations, and their vehicles can range from buses and trains to school buses, shuttles, and even regular-sized cars.

The liability in these cases is influenced by the fact that common carriers owe their passengers a higher duty of care than other motorists. This increased responsibility is due to their role in transporting many people simultaneously. Under Florida law, negligence in managing these services can lead to misdemeanor charges against common carriers.

Claims against common carriers, such as those arising from bus or train accidents, follow different procedures than ordinary traffic accident claims. Specific statutory permissions are required when filing a lawsuit against a government entity responsible for operating public transport. The Florida Tort Claims Act allows victims of public transportation accidents to sue the responsible government agency. However, this statute also outlines specific steps and procedures plaintiffs and their attorneys must follow, including initiating claims within four years of the injury.

Given these complexities, anyone involved in a public transportation accident needs to seek the expertise of an experienced injury attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer specializing in public transportation accidents can ensure that they effectively represent your rights and meticulously follow all procedural requirements, from in-depth investigations to wading through the legal landscape of public transit accidents.

What Are Florida's Laws and Regulations for Buses and Public Transportation?

Florida has established specific laws and regulations to ensure the safety and security of buses and public transportation systems. These measures are designed to protect passengers, drivers, and pedestrians and to maintain a high standard of operation for transit services.

One key piece of legislation governing this area is Florida Statute 341.061(2). This statute outlines the responsibilities and requirements for public transit systems in the state. It has rules for taking care of and running buildings and machines to make sure they meet safety standards and work well for running quick and dependable transit services.

Additionally, the Florida Administrative Code 14-90 plays a crucial role in regulating public transportation in Florida. This code encompasses various rules and guidelines for transit system operations, including safety, maintenance, and accessibility. It is a comprehensive framework that works to guide transit operators in helping meet high safety standards and ensuring consistent service delivery across the state.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) also actively works to enhance transit bus safety and security. Their efforts include:

  • Implementing advanced safety technologies
  • Conducting regular safety audits and inspections
  • Offering training programs for transit personnel

While these initiatives aim to reduce the likelihood of accidents and improve the overall security of public transportation, it may still be in your best interest to contact a Fort Lauderdale bus accident attorney to learn more about your rights.

Pure Comparative Negligence in Fort Lauderdale Bus Accident Claims

Pure comparative negligence is an essential concept in Florida’s legal system, particularly in the context of bus accident claims in Fort Lauderdale. This principle allows for the allocation of fault among all parties involved in an accident, including the plaintiff.

Under Florida Statute 768.81(2), the court assigns compensation percentages in an accident according to each party’s degree of fault. If you are partially responsible for an accident, the court will reduce your compensation by the percentage of your responsibility. For instance, if they find you to be 20% at fault for an accident, they will reduce your payment by 20%.

The recent introduction of HB 837 is also relevant in understanding how negligence and liability are approached in Florida. This bill reflects ongoing efforts to refine and clarify legal processes in the state.

A practical example of pure comparative negligence could involve a situation with a school bus. Florida’s school bus laws require motorists to stop for school buses when children are boarding or getting off at their stop. If a driver fails to stop and this contributes to an accident, they could be held partially liable. However, under the pure comparative negligence rule, other factors and parties’ actions are also considered in determining liability.

For this reason, it is always a good idea to have the contact information of a bus accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who you can consult with to ensure that your rights are protected.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is renowned for its picturesque beaches, vibrant arts scene, and bustling urban life. An integral part of the city’s infrastructure is its efficient public transportation system, which is vital in connecting residents and visitors with various parts of the city and beyond.

  • Broward County Transit – BCT is the primary local public bus service, offering extensive routes throughout the county, including convenient 95 and 75 express services for faster travel.
  • Megabus – For those looking to travel further afield, Megabus provides intercity connections, including routes from Fort Lauderdale to Orlando.
  • LauderGO! Community Shuttle – This service offers another local transportation option, focusing on accessibility and community-oriented services.
  • Greyhound – This well-known company connects Fort Lauderdale with numerous destinations nationwide, offering another reliable option for long-distance travel.

Each service is crucial in making Fort Lauderdale a connected and accessible city.

Fort Lauderdale Injury and Accident Law Firm

At Schilling & Silvers Property and Accident Attorneys, we pride ourselves on our extensive experience as Fort Lauderdale bus accident lawyers. Our dedicated team of attorneys, each bringing a wealth of knowledge and expertise, is committed to fighting for the rights of those injured in bus accidents. We understand the complexities of these cases and strive to provide compassionate, effective legal representation to ensure our clients receive the justice and compensation they deserve.