Both commercial and public buses are a common sight in the city of Kent, given its proximity to both Tacoma and Seattle. Usually, these types of vehicles complete their assigned routes on time and without putting any of their passengers in harm’s way. Unfortunately, if a bus driver or other party fails to meet the duty of reasonable care they owe their customers and everyone else on the road, a crash has the potential to cause serious harm to many people.
If you were recently hurt in any kind of crash involving a common carrier, scheduling a conversation with a personal injury attorney should be a priority. A knowledgeable Kent bus accident lawyer could provide custom-tailored guidance throughout every stage of your case, whether it is built around a private settlement or escalates to a lawsuit in civil court.
How Negligence Can Lead to Bus-Related Injuries
Under state law, common carrier drivers in Kent must be specially trained in the safe operation of these massive vehicles before they can begin driving routes and transporting passengers. These extra qualifying conditions impose an even greater duty of care on them than that which applies to most other drivers. Any public transit operator who violates this duty could bear civil liability for any injury their actions cause to another person, whether they were a passenger, in another vehicle, or even just walking nearby.
In many situations, the companies responsible for operating buses and hiring drivers can be held vicariously liable for some of a plaintiff’s injuries. In other situations, partial or primary fault may lie with a third party, such as an irresponsible car driver or a mechanic that did not perform proper maintenance on the bus. A common carrier wreck attorney in Kent could provide specific advice about potential defendants and recovery options during a private initial consultation.
Procedural Rules in Kent Public Transit Crash Litigation
All the same rules that apply to other forms of personal injury litigation generally also apply to claims based around bus collisions. For instance, under Revised Code of Washington §4.22.005, an injured individual who bears partial fault for causing or worsening their own wreck-related damages would be subject to a proportional reduction in the value of whatever final damage award they received.
In addition, lawsuits against privately owned and operated bus companies are subject to a three-year filing period set by RCW §4.16.080, generally beginning on the date the incident in question occurred.
Perhaps most importantly, there are several additional rules applicable to cases naming municipal or local government entities as defendants. Some of these are laid out in RCW §4.96.020 and others are addressed in relevant municipal codes for the area in which a particular incident occurred. Support from a skilled bus crash lawyer in Kent could be especially crucial in cases like this for anyone who wants a fair chance at an optimal final result.
Speak with a Kent Bus Accident Attorney about Legal Options
Public transit collisions that result in personal injuries make for uniquely complex civil claims for numerous procedural and practical reasons. Overcoming these obstacles for comprehensive recovery can be challenging for anyone to manage without professional legal representation. This is especially true for someone still dealing with extensive financial expenses and personal losses stemming from a serious injury.
In this kind of situation, contacting an attorney sooner rather than later is almost always the best move. To learn more about your rights and options, contact a Kent bus accident lawyer today.