Vehicle accidents are a common occurrence on American roads and they are common enough that most people have some idea of what to do if they get involved in one. They know that they need to exchange insurance information with the other driver if they want to get compensation for their losses. Many people also know that they need to file a personal injury claim if the other driver was at fault for the accident. However, most people are unaware of the procedures that happen if they are involved in an accident involving a bus.
The reason is that since buses are not private vehicles the average person might not know-how, or with whom, they should file an injury claim. There is also the fact that the legal procedures involving buses are more complicated than those involving private vehicles. Fortunately, you do not need to have any of that legal knowledge if you hire a personal injury attorney to handle your case. They will be familiar with all of the legal details and will know what to do to get you compensated for any expenses caused by the accident. If you live in California and were in a bus accident, then contact the King Law Firm to get the help you need.
Why Bus Accidents Are Different
In regular vehicle accidents where another driver was at fault, the accident victim can make a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company in order to get the compensation they need. However, if the accident involved a bus and the bus driver was at fault, then the situation can get more complicated. That is because the accident victim will have to file a claim with the entity responsible for the bus and its driver. If it is a school bus, then the local school district will have to be held accountable. If it is a regular bus, then the public transportation bureau has to be held responsible.
That means the accident victim will have to file a claim with the government, and like anything involving the government, it can get complicated. That is why one of the first things anyone who has been in a bus accident that was caused by the bus driver should do is to contact an attorney. They will know what to do and they will make sure that it is done on time because the victim may have a relatively short time in which to file a claim.
How To File a Claim for a Bus Accident
The procedure varies depending on the state in which the accident occurred, but in general, the accident victim must file a claim against the agency responsible for the bus and its driver. In California, the California Tort Claims Act (CTCA) requires that the accident victim file a notice of claim with the responsible party within six months of the accident. The notice of claim must have the following elements:
- The name and mailing address of the accident victim.
- The address where the claim is to be sent.
- The date, location, and circumstances of the accident.
- A general description of the damage, injuries, and losses that occurred as a result of the accident.
- The name of the public employee responsible for the accident but only if it is known.
- The amount claimed if it is less than $10,000. This amount should also include the estimated amount for any future losses due to the accident in addition to the losses already sustained by the victim. If the amount is more than $10,000, then no dollar amount should be included in the claim.
- If the accident victim is seeking more than $10,000, then they should indicate whether they want the claim to be a limited civil case. This is when the claimant asks for more than $10,000 but less than $25,000 and meets other conditions.
Once the claim is filed the government agency has 45 days to respond. They can choose to accept the claim or reject it; if they do not respond within the 45 day time period, then the claim has been rejected. If the claim was explicitly rejected, then the accident victim can petition the court to file a lawsuit within six months of the rejection. However, if the rejection was because the government agency did not respond to the victim, then they have two years to file a petition.
Contact an Attorney If You Were in a Bus Accident
As you can see, a bus accident case can get very complicated, which is why it is necessary that you hire a lawyer to handle it for you. They will take care of all the legal issues and will negotiate with the agency responsible for the bus on your behalf. A bus accident is already bad enough, which is why you do not want to handle the legal ramifications of it by yourself, so do the right thing and hire an attorney to help you with your case.