What to do if You’re in an Accident With the San Jose VTA*

If you have been injured by an out of control bus, whether you are a pedestrian, or on a bicycle or motorized vehicle, you have the right to sue the city bus company that hurt you. This isn’t a walk in the park!

The city bus company has what is called ‘sovereign immunity’ as it is a government entity. You can still sue them for damages, but it is worth using a personal injury attorney to help you prepare a well documented claim for compensation.

Accidents Possible

Most accidents involving the city bus involve a badly driven bus rather than one of the rail services. Bus drivers may not always as careful as they should be when in charge of a city bus. They may be speeding, take a corner too sharply or disregard road rules when approaching an intersection.

Not all accidents are the fault of the bus drivers themselves. Sometimes the situation is more complicated when a bus driver swerves to avoid a potential collision with another driver or a pedestrian running across the road. Some bus accidents are caused by poor vehicle maintenance, shoddy spare parts or defective brakes, steering, lights or other key components.

Damages You Could Claim

You can only claim damages if you can prove that the city bus employee was negligent and that the act of negligence caused your injuries. Most claims focus on easily quantified economic damages such as the cost of medical treatment, property damage and lost earnings.

It is important to make sure that all costs are accounted for, especially future estimated costs. If you have a serious injury and it could take several months or years to heal, this will take you beyond the time limit for making a claim.

Non-economic damages include a payment to compensate for the pain and suffering experienced and in some cases where negligence was pronounced, punitive damages.

Making a Claim

To make a claim, you must be aware of the time limit, or statute of limitations, imposed on making a claim against the city bus company, which is a government entity. In certain states, this is 6 months after the injury. This means that you must submit your initial ‘notice of claim’ to the city before the 6 month limit is up. It is common for this initial claim to be disregarded, but it then allows you to file a personal injury claim through the civil court.

All claims of this type must show proof that negligence was involved and that the payments you are requesting in your claim are directly related to the injury. A well prepared claim can make all the difference, while a claim that omits important information can mean that you end up with no compensation at all.

Why a PI Lawyer Would be Useful

Making a claim against the city bus company is not an easy proposition, not least because of the time limit in which you have to prepare and submit a claim. It is best to take advice from a personal injury lawyer with experience in accident claims.

The lawyer can advise you about your chances of success if you press ahead with a claim and help negotiate with them and their insurer over the amount you have claimed. Complete the Free Case Evaluation on this form to be connected with an attorney who can help!

*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against the VTA, or any other party, you may not be entitled to any compensation.

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