Winter Haven Bus Accident Lawyer
Thousands of Winter Haven residents, both adults and children, rely on buses on a regular basis to get to school, work, or for long-distance travel. When traveling by bus, you trust that the driver has sufficient training and skills to operate the bus safely and that the vehicle has been properly designed and maintained. While most trips by bus end with the passengers arriving safely at their destination, buses are involved in over 60,000 accidents, on average, each year in the United States. In 2021, 108 people lost their lives in school bus accidents alone. If you were injured in a Winter Haven bus accident, you may be facing serious physical injury and emotional trauma for which you may be entitled to compensation if another party caused or contributed to the collision.
Surviving family members and injured victims of bus accidents typically encounter financial hardship along with the need to navigate both the healthcare system and an unfamiliar legal system. At Kemp Personal Injury Law, we understand the challenges you are facing, and we are committed to helping. Having a Winter Haven bus accident lawyer on your side is the best way to ensure that your rights are protected, and the at-fault party (or parties) is held accountable.
The team at Kemp Personal Injury Law is dedicated to helping victims and surviving loved ones when a Winter Haven bus accident results in injuries or death. Our unrivaled experience and unwavering commitment to victims and their families is what allows us to secure full and fair compensation for those who suffered in a Winter Haven bus accident.
What Causes Winter Haven Bus Accidents?
Whether you put your child on a school bus each day, take the bus to work, or choose to travel by bus for vacation, you probably do not give too much thought to the vigilance needed to keep a bus operating properly or the skills and dedication the bus driver needs to safely navigate such a large vehicle. When a bus is involved in a collision, common contributing factors include:
- Insufficient or Inadequate Training. A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required to operate any bus. Having a CDL, however, does not guarantee that a driver has sufficient training to safely operate a bus under a variety of conditions.
- Drowsy Driving. Bus drivers, like truck drivers, are subject to various state and federal laws that limit the number of hours they can drive without a rest period. Nevertheless, a driver may be pushed to exceed the limit or may get drowsy at the end of a long shift, creating a crash risk problem equal to that of a drunk driver.
- Distracted Driving. Almost one in 10 fatal crashes in the United States involve a distracted driver. On average, someone dies in a distracted driving accident every three hours. By law, bus drivers are not allowed to use their cell phones while driving; however, a driver may not obey the law or may be distracted by other things that can contribute to a bus accident.
- Failing to Obey Traffic Laws. Buses must obey traffic laws just like other drivers. When a driver fails to obey a traffic law, the consequences can be deadly given the size and weight of a bus.
- Failing to Inspect or Maintain a Bus. There are laws in place that require bus owners and drivers to conduct pre-trip inspections and to adhere to a maintenance schedule intended to keep the bus running safely. When these requirements are ignored, failing to inspect or properly maintain a bus can lead to a serious accident.
- Impaired Driving. A bus driver who is driving under the influence of alcohol, illicit drugs, prescription medications, or even over-the-counter medications poses a threat to everyone on the bus as well as others sharing the roadway with the bus.
Steps to Take Following a Winter Haven Bus Accident
If you were injured in a Winter Haven bus accident, or you are the parent of a child who was injured in one, protecting your rights and legal options may depend on taking the right steps following the accident, including:
- Seek medical treatment immediately. If your injuries do not appear life-threatening, you may be inclined to forgo a trip to the hospital. Do not make this mistake. Having a thorough medical examination conducted following a bus accident is crucial to ensuring that hidden, but potentially serious, injuries are identified and treated. Seeking immediate medical treatment also serves as a link between your injuries and the bus accident, which may be important down the road.
- Document the accident and your injuries. When a bus is involved in an accident, the authorities are usually notified, providing some documentation of the accident. If possible, however, you should take photos with your cell phone of the accident, the involved vehicles, and anything else that might be relevant. In addition, get the names and contact information of other passengers or witnesses and start a file for doctor bills and other documentary evidence that supports your injuries.
- Consult with an experienced Winter Haven bus accident lawyer. Do not be surprised if an adjustor or other representative of the bus company tries to contact you shortly after the accident. They may even offer you a token amount of money in return for a total release from you. Politely decline to speak to them. Anything you say may be used against you in a future lawsuit. Moreover, there is a very good chance that your case is worth considerably more money than what they offer you. Consult with an experienced Winter Haven bus accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case.
Who Is Liable in a Winter Haven Bus Accident?
Determining liability in a bus accident can be a complex and complicated process, due in part to the fact that multiple parties may share in the liability. When a bus is involved in a collision, negligence on the part of any or all the following parties could be a contributing factor:
- Bus Company
- Maintenance Company
- Bus Designer
- Bus Manufacturer
- Local, State, or Federal Government
Am I Entitled to Compensation for My Winter Haven Bus Accident Injuries?
If you or your child were injured in a Winter Haven bus accident, both economic and non-economic damages may be available to you from the responsible party or parties. Economic damages represent the direct, easily quantifiable expenses related to an accident, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income and wages (both present and future)
- Rehabilitation and other care costs
Non-economic damages are intended to compensate a victim for the subjective, difficult-to-quantify costs associated with an accident and may include things such as:
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
- Disfigurement and scaring
If you are a surviving spouse, parent, or child of someone who was fatally injured in a bus accident, you may be entitled to pursue a Florida wrongful death lawsuit which may include compensation for things such as the loss of companionship, care, and support provided by the decedent prior to the accident.
How Can an Experienced Winter Haven Bus Accident Lawyer Help?
Attorney Adam Kemp is committed to helping injured victims and surviving family members who have suffered because of a Winter Haven bus accident. At Kemp Personal Injury Law, we aggressively fight to ensure that victims are fully and fairly compensated and that negligent parties are held accountable.
As a former prosecuting attorney and associate at one of the largest personal injury firms in America, attorney Adam Kemp brings his extensive experience and resources to every case he litigates. Furthermore, the team at Kemp Personal Injury Law believes in developing a personal relationship with each client to ensure that their story is told, and justice is served.
If you were injured in a Winter Haven bus accident, or you lost a family member in one, contact an experienced Winter Haven bus accident lawyer at Kemp Personal Injury Law to discuss your legal options. It is our mission to make sure that victims who were injured in a preventable bus accident are fully and fairly compensated by the responsible party or parties. Contact the team today for your free initial consultation by calling 863-225-0254 or by filling out our convenient online contact form.