Baltimore Bus Accident Attorney
The bus is a main mode of transportation in Baltimore. Thousands of riders rely on the BaltimoreLink, LocalLink, and other Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) vehicles every day. While public and private bus systems are safe for passengers for the most part, accidents happen. When bus drivers make mistakes, other drivers drive carelessly, or the roadway has a defect that causes a bus accident, victims might qualify for financial compensation.
Who Is at Fault for Your Bus Accident in Baltimore?
After being involved in a bus accident, you might not know who is responsible for paying for your medical bills and other damages. Maryland is a “fault” insurance state, meaning you must prove another party’s fault to seek recovery though that person’s insurer. Proving fault can be as simple as video footage that shows the bus driver texting and driving at the time of the accident, or it can be a more complex matter requiring a full investigation. Each bus accident case is unique and requires a personalized legal strategy. Potential parties that could be legally responsible for your bus accident could be:
- Bus company. Accidents involving private buses, such as party buses, taxi buses, or school buses will often come down to company liability. It is the bus company’s duty to make sure all passengers are reasonably safe. This includes maintaining fleet vehicles, repairing broken parts, and adequately training drivers. A breach of duty in any capacity, contributing to a crash, could result in a lawsuit against the private company.
- City of Baltimore. The city could be liable if your bus accident happened on a public bus, city bus, or school bus. The city is in charge of the MTA and other public bus systems, and the courts could hold them accountable for an accident. Victims would have to prove the city was negligent in some way that caused the accident, such as failing to perform background checks on drivers. The city could also be responsible for defects in the roadway that caused the crash.
- Third-party driver. If another driver crashed into your bus or otherwise caused your accident, file a claim with the driver’s insurance company. There could be other parties that also share fault for the collision, such as the bus driver for failing to react in time to avoid a crash.
- Product manufacturer. There is a chance that your bus accident happened because of a defective or dangerous part in the bus, such as bad brakes. If this is the case, consider a product liability lawsuit against the product manufacturer. Vehicle manufacturers owe strict duties of care to consumers and might have to pay a judgment award to those injured in a related bus crash.
What Is a Common Carrier?
When a business transports goods, services, or people in exchange for money, it’s called a common carrier. Passengers of buses are guests on common carriers, which gives them an advantage when filing a personal injury or bus accident claim.
Common carriers like buses, jets, and taxis have a higher duty of care than the general public. In order to collect compensation in a bus accident claim, you must show compelling evidence that:
- The bus company owed you (the person seeking compensation for injuries) a duty of care. The law provides that common carriers must provide the “utmost care and diligence” to the transport of its passengers.
- The bus company breached its duty of care, committing negligence. Examples of negligence may include failing to properly maintain a bus, negligent hiring of a driver, or breaking local traffic laws.
- The negligence the party committed led directly to your injuries.
- You suffered harm as a result, such as physical injuries or intangible losses such as emotional distress.
Types of Evidence in a Bus Accident Claim
Several types of evidence may prove advantageous when pursuing a bus accident claim. Your attorney will investigate the source of the crash and help establish negligence through one of the following methods:
- Expert testimony – your attorney may call upon an expert witness to describe how your injuries resulted from the common carrier’s negligence.
- Eyewitness testimony – accounts from other people on the scene, such as passengers on the bus, may also have valuable information – for example, that a driver smelled like alcohol.
- Photographic evidence – pictures of the damage, skid marks, or your injuries could also provide valuable evidence in your bus accident case.
- Inspection records – buses and other commercial vehicles often keep logs that detail routine maintenance or repair records. If a subpoena of these records shows a common carrier did not adequately take care of a bus on a fleet, it could be evidence of negligence.
- Negligence per se – lastly, your attorney could try to show that a common carrier committed negligence “per se” by knowingly flouting regulations that put passengers like yourself in danger.
Unique Considerations in a Bus Accident Claim
Bus accidents can lead to unique circumstances that might ultimately affect how you pursue a claim. Some of these considerations include:
- Claims against government entities. In many cases, such as accidents on public city buses, a bus accident will involve a claim against the city or another government entity. The process for filing these claims is different and follows special procedures. For example, your attorney will have to file a “notice of claim” to the plaintiff within a very short time frame, often as short as 30 days. If you’re involved in any bus accident with a public entity, it’s essential to contact an attorney as soon as possible to protect your right to compensation.
- Claims against multiple parties. An accident involving a vehicle as large as a bus may involve multiple defendants, from the bus company and its driver to other motorists on the road who may have contributed to the crash. Your attorney will complete a thorough investigation into the crash, determine the parties responsible, and pursue multiple claims on your behalf, if necessary.
Contact Baltimore Bus Accident Attorney Today
To find out who might be liable for your recent Baltimore bus crash, talk to the Baltimore accident attorneys at Murphy, Falcon & Murphy. We can investigate your crash, talk to other victims (if applicable), and get to the bottom of what caused the accident. From there, we might be able to help you seek damages from the at-fault party or parties. It all starts with a free consultation with one of our lawyers at our Baltimore office, where we’ll discuss your injuries and your financial future.
Retain Murphy, Falcon & Murphy for assistance with your bus accident claim for a chance at securing maximum compensation. We have an impressive history of six- and seven-figure settlements and judgments for our Baltimore clients that extends back to 1948. We might be able to help you secure compensation from a driver, bus company, the city, and/or another party after a crash. If you’ve recently been involved in a motor vehicle accident involving a bus in Baltimore, contact the law office of Murphy, Falcon & Murphy today.
Request yours online or call us directly at (410) 951-8744 . We take cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won’t pay unless we win.