Bus Accidents

Phoenix Bus Accident Lawyer

Bus crashes in Arizona can lead to debilitating injuries. This is due to various factors contributing to the danger posed by these accidents, such as the buses' size and robust construction, which differs significantly from lighter vehicles made of materials like fiberglass. While the durable build of buses provides greater safety for passengers, it also presents difficulties during rescue efforts in the event of a major collision. Conversely, the sheer size of these vehicles presents a significant threat to smaller, less sturdy cars.

If you or someone close to you has been involved in a bus accident, it is crucial to seek the guidance of a seasoned attorney as soon as possible. At Wyatt Injury Law, you'll work with an attorney determined to fight to protect your legal rights. Call our firm and schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your best options.

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Types of Bus Accidents in Arizona

The type of bus and its intended use can play a significant role in determining your ability to recover damages from a bus accident.

Here are the common types of bus accidents that occur in Arizona:

  • Private and charter buses: Private and charter buses are not designed for public use but more for a luxury experience. Typically, the private bus company and the driver are considered potential defendants. While the bus company may require you to sign a waiver of liability before using their service, this does not always exempt them from responsibility in the event of an accident.
  • Tour buses: Tour buses, hired for exclusive trips, function much like private or charter buses. If your group made the tour bus reservation directly, the bus company and driver might be liable. However, if a travel agent or third party arranged the bus for your group, that individual may also be considered a defendant. Determining the responsible party in such cases can be challenging, as it largely depends on the reservation method.
  • Public Buses: Public or city buses, commonly utilized by local commuters, are usually operated by a municipality or a bus company contracted by the municipality. In cases involving public buses, liable parties may include the city of Phoenix, the company operating or owning the bus on the city's behalf, and the bus driver (depending on the cause of the accident).
  • School Buses: School buses transport students to and from school and various school-related events. Ownership can vary from a government entity such as a school district or board to a private bus company contracted by the government or even a private school. A Phoenix bus accident attorney can assist in identifying liable parties for a specific bus accident.
  • 15+ Passenger Large Van: A 15-passenger van is a common alternative to hiring a private bus, often rented from a rental company. Accidents involving these large vans are often considered similar to bus accidents. They can result in the rental company and driver being held accountable, depending on the specific circumstances of the accident. The presence or absence of a private driver can vary.

Common Carriers vs. Public Transportation

Arizona has different types of buses, including public transportation controlled by government entities and private bus companies providing services to residents and visitors.

  • Common Carrier: "Common carrier" refers to private companies providing bus services, which have a legal obligation to prevent passenger injuries. In an accident involving a common carrier, injury victims have many legal options to recover compensation.
  • Public Transportation: "Public transportation" buses controlled by government entities, like Valley Metro in Phoenix, present a different scenario. Government agencies present more challenges and restrictions on the options for injury victims to recover compensation. Additionally, there is usually a shorter statute of limitations when filing a lawsuit against a government agency.

Bus Accident Liability in Arizona

Liability in bus accidents depends on the party responsible for operating and maintaining the bus. If a government entity owns or manages the bus, it can only be sued if its immunity has been waived for the specific situation. A city bus accident requires holding the municipality responsible, while a school bus accident may require holding the school board accountable. Some strict timelines and procedures must be followed when suing a government entity.

If a private entity operates the bus, a lawsuit for negligence can be brought against the driver or company without notice. However, these cases can be complex, and other parties, such as a tour company, may also be held accountable. To prove the driver's negligence, you must show that they owed a duty of care, there was a breach, and it resulted in the accident and your damages. The driver's employer may also be liable if the driver was on the job at the time of the accident.

In some cases, a third party, such as another vehicle driver or product manufacturer, may be liable for the accident. When multiple parties are at fault, it may be easier to obtain total compensation. A Phoenix bus accident attorney can help determine the responsible parties and navigate the legal process.

I hired Justin to represent my daughter after we were in a car accident. Justin explained the whole process to me and made the process simple to understand. I highly recommend Justin to anyone who needs a personal injury lawyer.

Erica G.

Justin is a fantastic attorney. I have a few clients that used him and were thrilled with their results! If you need a personal injury attorney he is your man.

Sharmen R.

Justin is the real deal.  He is skilled, caring and very knowledgeable.  One of a kind in the business ...

Randy C.

Justin is the best! His staff is amazing too! He's your go-to guy for all accident cases. My only complaint is that my wife thinks he's cute and it makes me uncomfortable. Lol. Thanks for the money Justin!

James O.

Justin was amazing dealing with a non-injury accident we experienced. He was able to get the at fault's insurance to pay despite the driver denying any wrong doing initially. He was quick to get a resolution for us so we could get repairs taken care of. Thanks, Justin!

Megan W.
Why Clients Choose Us

Contact A Bus Accident Lawyer in Phoenix

Bus accidents can cause serious, permanent injuries or death, requiring lifelong medical care, loss of work, and mental health issues. Families can also face unexpected medical bills and loss of income, companionship, and pain and suffering. It is essential to have a Phoenix bus accident lawyer to handle the legal situation and protect your rights, as most claims are settled before going to court.

Settlement offers are often unfair, and a lawyer can ensure fair treatment and represent you in court if necessary. Starting a lawsuit can be complicated, primarily if the city owns the bus, so having a lawyer take over can be beneficial and allow the victim to focus on healing. Our firm primarily serves Phoenix, Glendale, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, and other areas around Maricopa County. Call to schedule your free consultation today and speak with an experienced attorney about how to handle your situation best.

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