Kootenai County Bus Accident Lawyer

The average commuter probably encounters multiple buses on the roads every time they venture out. School buses, Citylink vehicles, and various private companies provide an essential transportation service to locals.

However, a collision or other accident with a bus could be deadly or cause severe injuries. If you suffered injuries in an incident involving a bus, consider having your case reviewed by a well-practiced personal injury attorney. A Kootenai County bus accident lawyer could help you determine how to best move forward with your claim.

Filing a Claim Against a Government-Owned Bus

Many buses are owned, operated, or managed by a government agency. As such, if a government agency is a potentially responsible party in a personal injury lawsuit, special rules apply.

An injured person (plaintiff) must file a notice of claim with the appropriate government agency within six months of the incident that caused the injury. Since bus wrecks often result in severe injuries, the plaintiff might still be in the hospital or a rehabilitation center when the time to file the notice expires.

To prevent missed deadlines that might defeat an injured person’s right to compensation after a common carrier accident, engaging a Kootenai County attorney as soon as possible is essential. A legal professional could ensure that paperwork is complete and file it on time with the appropriate office.

Proving a Bus Driver’s Negligence

Plaintiffs in personal injury cases must show that another party’s negligence contributed to the accident that injured them. Legal negligence occurs when a party does not exercise reasonable caution and that lack of due care causes an injury to another person.

Buses are common carriers, and bus operators and drivers must meet a heightened standard of care. Buses and other commercial vehicles that transport passengers must use the utmost diligence and follow the rules of the road.

The enhanced duty of care that applies to common carriers could make it easier for a Kootenai County attorney to demonstrate a bus operator’s failure to meet the negligence standard.  In turn, it increases the chance that the bus company will be liable for the plaintiff’s damages.

Recoverable Damages in Kootenai County

If the bus company or driver was negligent, the plaintiff could receive payment for all their injury-related losses, past and future, including:

  • Costs of medical treatment and rehabilitation
  • Mental health care to cope with the accident’s emotional toll
  • Pharmaceuticals, lab tests, emergency transportation, and other expenses related to medical treatment
  • Home renovations necessary to accommodate the injury
  • Cost of help with household tasks the plaintiff cannot perform due to the injury
  • Wages lost and value of fringe benefits used
  • Diminished potential to earn income if the injury will permanently impact the plaintiff’s ability to work
  • Future costs associated with treating, rehabilitating, and living with the injury

Plaintiffs are entitled to collect damages for their intangible losses, as well. A defendant must compensate the injured person’s inconvenience, emotional anguish, disability, lost enjoyment of life, and physical pain. However, the state sets a $250,000 limit on these non-economic damages in most cases.

Plaintiffs should be aware that if the defendant is Kootenai County, a school district, or the Citylink agency, state law might limit the damages they could collect from these defendants. Idaho Code §6-196 limits the amount a plaintiff could receive from a unit of government or public agency to $500,000, unless the government or agency has insurance coverage with a higher limit. If insurance is available, the plaintiff could collect an award within the policy limit.

Speak with a Kootenai County Bus Accident Attorney Today

If you were involved in any kind of mishap involving a bus and were injured, you need an aggressive advocate to fight for you. The laws governing bus wrecks are complex and these cases require legal knowledge and experience to get the best result.

You can rely on a Kootenai County bus accident lawyer to provide you with capable and effective representation. Reach out as soon as possible to discuss your case.