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.