Any time you are in an auto accident, you run the risk of serious injury and legal trouble. But when that accident involves public transportation, you need a bus accident attorney who knows how to handle this special legal situation.
If You Are Injured While Riding a Bus
Your no-fault auto insurance covers any injuries suffered from using a motor vehicle. According to the statute, that includes buses. Your policy is personal, so even if you aren’t in your car, you will still be covered for injuries suffered while riding a bus.
But if you use the bus because you don’t have a car, your no-fault case could become more difficult. You may be able to seek compensation through the policy of a relative that lives with you. But if you don’t have one, you may have to file a claim with the bus’s insurance policy. Bus companies’ insurance providers are only required to pay if there are no other benefits available, so expect a fight.
Third Party Bus Accident Claims
If you are seriously injured in a bus accident, you may qualify to file a Third Party lawsuit against the bus driver or the company or agency he or she works for. This can get complicated.
First, your bus accident attorney will have to find out who owns the bus you were on – the government or a private contractor. If it was a private bus company, you can file your Third Party case just like in any other auto accident case.
But if a city, a municipality, or the state owned the vehicle, and it is operated by a government employee, you are in for another hurdle. The government is generally protected from having to pay people who get injured in the course of its business.
There is an exception for bodily injury and property damage caused by government driver’s negligent behavior. That includes police vehicles, inspectors’ cars, and municipal bus accidents. Even though there is an exception to government immunity, you can expect the city’s attorneys to fight your bus accident attorneys on this issue, or claim that the government shouldn’t be responsible for the behavior of its driver.
The Court of Claims
Michigan law now requires any lawsuit asking the state government to pay money be filed in a special court called the “Court of Claims” located in Lansing. So if you are suing a government agency, you may have to take a special trip to file your case. Sometimes, your case will even get split up. The Court of Claims will hear the part about the government agency, while your local circuit court hears the Third Party lawsuit against the driver.
Contact an Experienced Bus Accident Attorney
With all these complications, it is important to hire an experienced bus accident attorney. The hire an experienced bus accident attorney have been representing the victims of bus accidents for years. They will help you clear the hurdles and get the recovery you deserve.