If you were injured in an accident caused by a bus driver driving a DART bus or other city bus, your case against him is more complicated. That’s because these buses are owned by governmental units, not private companies. However, with the help of an experienced bus accident attorney, you may be able to hold the bus driver and the bus company responsible for compensating you for your injuries.
How You Can Hold a Bus Driver and Bus Company Accountable for Your Injuries
The Texas Tort Claim Act allows you to sue the negligent driver and the bus company that hired him but limits their liability and creates more hurdles you must jump through to sue. In addition, there are often additional parties other than the driver and bus company that may bear responsibility for your injuries. You could have the following claims:
Bus driver negligence.
Like all vehicle accidents, you would need to show that the bus driver was negligent in causing your accident, such as failing to follow traffic laws, talking on a cellphone or texting, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Scope of employment.
Under the Texas Tort Claim Act, the bus company can be held accountable if the bus driver was acting within the scope of his employment and injured or killed someone while operating the bus. What does scope of his employment mean? This simply means the driver was performing a duty that he was hired for and was acting within his job responsibilities.
If the bus company failed to perform an adequate background or criminal check on the bus driver before hiring him, you may have a claim for negligent hiring against the company. This can be especially compelling if the problem in the driver’s history—for example, a DUI—directly related to the cause of your accident.
Some accidents can be the result of defective parts on the bus, such as defective tires, brakes, or safety features designed to protect passengers. In this situation, you may be able to sue the manufacturer of the part.
Why You Need an Experienced Bus Accident Attorney
Lawsuits under the Texas Tort Claim Act are more complicated than traditional personal injury claims. You must first give written notice to the responsible governmental entity of your claim, and different entities—state, local, and municipal—have their own notice requirements. In addition, the cap on how much compensation you can receive is different depending on the entity you are suing.
Have You Been Injured In A Texas Bus Accident?
If you've been hurt in a Texas bus accident you need to speak with an experienced bus accident lawyer as soon as possible. We represent clients throughout Texas including Austin, Forth Worth and Dallas. Please contact us online or call our Colleyville office directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free consultation.