Buses are an essential mode of transportation for many Boulder residents. The city is committed to offering a quality transit system by partnering with The Regional Transportation District and Via Mobility Services.
Because of their frequent use, these buses can sometimes be involved in accidents. The fault could lie with the bus driver, another motorist, or a mechanical failure. If you have been injured in a vehicle collision with a transportation vehicle, call a Boulder bus accident lawyer to discuss your situation. You could be entitled to financial compensation if your injuries were the result of negligence of another, and a Mac Hester Law personal injury attorney could help you pursue your case.
Negligence in Bus Wrecks
Bus drivers and carrier lines are expected to deliver passengers safely to their destinations as is reasonably expected. When a breach of duty occurs, causing an accident in which a passenger is hurt, a case for negligence could be made.
A bus driver who is drunk or high, texting, eating, or fatigued on duty is likely to be considered negligent. Companies can also be considered negligent if employers do not train drivers or maintain its buses properly. A Boulder transportation collision representative could comb through the facts of a plaintiff’s case to determine if a driver or the bus owner was negligent.
Private vs. Government-Owned Boulder Bus Accident Lawsuits
Sovereign immunity protects governments and their employees from being sued except in limited circumstances. Governments operate on taxpayers’ dollars to provide services, so they do not want to use tax money to pay costly damages for lawsuits. Similarly, private companies seek to preserve their profits instead of paying to settle lawsuits. However, motor vehicle accidents are one of the limited reasons the government can be sued, and plaintiffs usually have the option to bring a claim against any private company.
A plaintiff filing a personal injury lawsuit against a private bus company has three years to do so in Colorado. If the bus accident claim is against a government entity, then the plaintiff only has 182 days to file a notice of claim with the governmental entity and a statute of limitations of three years from the date of injury in which to file a lawsuit against the governmental entity.
Bringing Suit Against the Government
Before filing a bus accident lawsuit against a government entity, the plaintiff must file a notice with the government agency responsible for the bus service. This notice must include:
- The contact information of the plaintiff and their lawyer
- A detailed summary of the bus accident, including date, time, and place
- Contact information for the bus driver, if possible
- A statement detailing the plaintiff’s injuries
- The amount of financial compensation the plaintiff is demanding
Failing to file a notice or a lawsuit within the time limits under Colorado statutes can result in a plaintiff’s case being thrown out of court. To avoid missing a filing deadline, talk to one of our Boulder transportation crash legal advisors who could take charge of this complex process.
Punitive damages are available in personal injury lawsuits against private bus companies if the actions of the defendant are willful, wanton, intentional, or made with utter disregard for the threat to human life. However, punitive damages are not available if the defendant is a government entity or employee. The laws concerning government entities can be confusing, so a local bus injury representative should be consulted for advice about proceeding to court.
Damages Awarded in Carrier Accident Cases
Some damages are easy to calculate because they represent the actual value of an item or service. The economic compensatory damages the jury may award include, medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
Non-economic damages are more difficult to measure. They include a victim’s pain and suffering, emotional trauma from the accident, or after-effects such as loss of enjoyment of life. A legal professional in the area can work with a plaintiff by reviewing their medical files, police reports, witness statements, as well as help determine about what amount of money may be needed to sustain them.
A Boulder Bus Accident Attorney Could Advocate for You
Colorado treats bus accidents differently depending on whether they involved a private or public carrier. The amount of time you have before you file a lawsuit and whether a notice is required are just two of the issues you need to worry about.
Contact a Boulder bus accident lawyer to help determine if your situation merits a lawsuit. Our legal team at Mac Hester Law is ready to advocate for you in court.