Can I Sue Public Transportation if I Am Involved in a Bus Accident?
Public transportation, such as the Dallas Area Rapid Transit system, is a vital part of everyday life for hundreds of thousands of people. These buses take people to jobs, appointments, medical care facilities, grocery stores, and numerous other destinations that are completely necessary. But what happens when a public bus gets into a crash? In many cases, the answer may be that you can sue public transportation, as an offshoot of the local government, for the injuries you receive in a bus wreck. Doing so can be complicated and often involves additional requirements than a normal lawsuit. For this reason, it is crucial to have a skilled Dallas bus accident law firm on your side.
Pintas & Mullins has the capabilities to get you the compensation you deserve from the government. We have worked on similar cases in the past, as well as equally difficult claims like rideshare accidents, trucking company lawsuits, taxi car wrecks, and more. By collecting and preserving evidence, negotiating with opposing attorneys, arguing in court, handling mediation, and even coordinating healthcare, our attorneys can put you in the best position to get paid what you are owed.
Extra Requirements for Lawsuits Against the Government
In many legal arenas, the government maintains a form of sovereign immunity as a holdover from old English law. This concept shields the government from lawsuits, and it can be a good thing as it prevents courts from being overstuffed with frivolous claims and allows the government to focus on governing. However, due to this principle, it can be difficult to get compensation from the government when you deserve it. Below are some of the additional steps that must be taken in order to sue the municipality.
When you are in a wreck with a private citizen, usually you must file your personal injury claim within two years of the accident. That is known as the statute of limitations. While you still must abide by this requirement when suing the government, you also have to provide notice of your intent to pursue a bus accident claim within six months of your injury. Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §101.101 says that you must include the following details in your notice.
- A description of the accident
- The time and date of the accident
- The kind of injury or damage for which you are suing
Importantly, there may be local rules that govern how you must go about suing public transportation for your injury. In order to ensure that you meet all requirements, it is best to discuss your claim with knowledgeable bus accident attorneys.
Understanding Damage Caps
Unfortunately, there are stricter limitations on the amount of money you can get when you sue the government for compensation versus when you sue a private citizen. These damage caps, as they are called, are dictated by Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §101.023. The government is liable for damages up to $250,000 per person involved in the claim, with a cap on $500,000 per incident. If the claim is about property damage rather than injury, the limit drops even further to $100,000 per occurrence.
Also, exemplary damages are not authorized by this section, which is commonly known as the Texas Tort Claims Act. This means that, even if the driver or government worker responsible for the crash acted with especially negligent behavior, you may be unable to get additional compensation from the government.
Even though there are caps on the amount of money you can receive from the government if you sue public transportation, it is important to make sure that you and your attorney catalog all of the ways that your accident harmed you. Typically, these damages come in two categories.
The first category includes all the financial harm done to you as a result of the bus accident. For example, you can recover for expenses like your medical care, car rental or repair, lost wages due to missed work, property damage or destruction, and similar factors.
On the other hand, you also experience negative effects that do not have a dollar value attached to them. These non-economic harms can include things like your physical pain, changes to your personality, loss of enjoyment in life, loss of consortium with a spouse, and the like.
I Should Speak to an Attorney ASAP
The faster you get an attorney to handle your claim, the sooner you can focus on more important matters like recovering from your injury and adjusting your family to a new schedule that includes rehabilitation and other medical necessities. Pintas & Mullins is proud to offer all clients a FREE consultation to discuss the value and viability of a bus accident claim in Dallas. Since we work on a contingency basis, you don’t have to worry about the cost of legal representation. We only get paid if you get paid.
Schedule an appointment with our seasoned Dallas bus accident law firm today by filling out the form on our contact page or dialing 214-305-8277.