Every day commuters in Florida take the bus to and from work. They may read the newspaper or enjoy a cup of coffee during the normally uneventful ride. However, several commuters received a rude shock, and in some cases serious injuries, when the bus they were riding was involved in an accident.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, nine people were injured in a crash involving a commuter bus and a car. Both drivers of the vehicles were hospitalized, as were seven passengers on the bus.
The accident occurred when the bus attempted to make a left hand turn into an office complex. As it was crossing the opposite lane of traffic, it drove into the path of a Volvo. The driver of the Volvo attempted to avoid the collision by swerving to the right, but ended up striking the bus. The force of the collision caused the bus to hit a sign. Police cited the driver of the bus for improperly making a left hand turn.
Like trains and planes, buses are considered common carriers. This means that they transport people from one location to a second location in exchange for a fee. Common carriers are tasked with upholding the highest possible duty of care to passengers. A common carrier can be liable for injuries caused by their failure to exercise reasonable care for the safety of the passengers on board or if they violated a regulation.
In addition to a negligent bus driver, a bus company can also be found liable in a personal injury lawsuit. This is because the bus company is tasked with ensuring that their buses are in safe working condition, that their drivers hold a proper license and that their drivers are qualified to operate a bus.
Commuters deserve to feel safe when riding a bus. Unfortunately, bus accidents can occur that severely injure the riders on board. When this happens, a personal injury lawsuit can give these victims the compensation they need to recover from the crash.
Source: Miami Herald, "9 injured in Tampa bus crash," July 15, 2013