A recent accident in Phoenix served as a somber reminder of just how serious bus accidents can be. Two men were killed after colliding with a bus around 7AM on a Sunday morning. Both men were trapped inside of the vehicle, which eventually burst into flames. While rescue workers were able to get the men out of the vehicle, one was pronounced dead at the hospital, and the other man passed away later.
While this was a very sad situation for everyone who was affected, the reality is that serious bus accidents happen much more frequently than many people realize. Even when the outcome of this type of accident isn’t fatal, it can still lead to very serious injuries. Since this type of accident is something that Phoenix car accident lawyers receive a lot of questions about, we want to use this article to help provide some insights into this topic.
What Happens If You’re Injured on Public Transportation?
In the recent accident referenced above, the two men who passed away were in a car. According to the story, two passengers on the bus were taken to the hospital for minor injuries. What would happen if those injuries were more severe? It’s easy to assume that the size of a bus would prevent serious injuries. But as demonstrated by a very serious bus accident earlier in 2015 involving the band The Ghost Inside, bus passengers are still at risk of significant injuries or even death.
Before we look at what happens if someone is injured on public transportation, it’s helpful to understand the type of law that’s used in most personal injury cases. When someone is injured, they have to prove that the defendant was negligent. With public transportation law, negligence rules are still relevant. However, Arizona has common carrier laws in place that specifically apply to public transportation.
In many states with common carrier laws, carriers like public buses owe their passengers the highest degree of care. That means buses are held to a higher standard for their passengers than average drivers. This issue gets somewhat murky in the state of Arizona due to a 2012 ruling by the State Supreme Court.
With that being said, this type of case still comes down to proving negligence. And when public transportation is involved, both the claim procedure and statute of limitations are generally different than a standard personal injury case. While any personal injury case can have numerous confusing nuances to navigate, those issues are amplified with public transportation.
If you or a loved one is involved in an accident with a bus, you should contact a car accident attorney in Phoenix as soon as possible. Promptly having a consultation with a knowledgeable legal professional will ensure that your best interests are protected. Making contact with an attorney as soon as possible is also the best way to not miss the statute of limitations for this kind of case or to make a mistake in regards to the required procedures.