Can I Sue the City If I Was Hurt on the Bus?
Buses play a prominent role in Texas’s public transportation system. Riding a bus offers an affordable and more convenient means of transportation for millions of people in Texas. However, buses are also prone to road accidents.
When a bus accident occurs, can you sue the city, state, or municipality if you were hurt on the bus? The short answer is, “Yes, you can.” However, suing the government for any motor vehicle accident is not the same as suing an individual or business.
If you were hurt on the bus and considering filing a lawsuit against the city, I can help. As a personal injury attorney with law offices in Houston and Webster, I assist bus accident victims with the claims process and help them pursue the compensation to which they are entitled.
I proudly serve clients in Houston and other parts of Texas, including Santa Fe, Dickinson, Clear Lake, Seabrook, Alvin, Kemah, Friendswood, Bacliff, and League City.
Bus Accidents in Texas
Bus accidents are not an uncommon occurrence in Texas. While not all bus crashes in the state cause injuries or deaths, many do. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were at least 66 bus accidents involving serious injury or death across the state in 2020. Of those, 11 accidents were fatal.
Some of the most common causes of bus accidents in Texas are:
Improper bus or equipment maintenance
Poor weather or road conditions
Often, the negligence of bus companies contributes to accidents involving buses. Common forms of bus company negligence include negligent hiring, failure to provide adequate training, failure to check drivers’ qualifications or backgrounds, and failure to perform necessary repairs or maintenance.
When a bus accident occurs, bus passengers are likely to suffer severe injuries due to contributing factors such as the lack of seatbelts, the design of the bus, and the fact the bus may be carrying many passengers.
Legal Options After a Bus Accident
Determining liability is often the most complex issue in bus accidents. Typically, injured bus passengers or drivers of other vehicles involved in bus accidents may be able to pursue an injury claim against:
The negligent driver. Injured parties may be able to file a claim against the driver of the bus or the other vehicle involved in the crash if negligence is proven.
The bus company. Often, bus companies can be held liable for accidents that occur due to their own negligence or negligence of their drivers through the theory of vicarious liability.
The city. Many buses that operate in Texas are owned by government entities. If you were hurt on the bus, chances are you may be able to sue the city to recover damages.
Speak with a knowledgeable attorney to explore your legal options and determine if you can file a personal injury claim against the city.
Complications When Attempting to Sue the City
Although Texas follows the doctrine of sovereign immunity, the state’s law allows for waiving government immunity in some cases. The Texas Tort Claims Act provides that individuals who wish to file a claim against the city or another local government must first notify the entity of their intent to sue. The time limit for filing a notice varies dramatically from one city or municipality to another. According to the City of Houston’s website, Houston allows 90 days from the date of injury to file a notice.
Complications may arise, however, when trying to prove that the city was negligent. You need to demonstrate sufficient evidence proving the city’s negligence and establishing that its negligence caused or contributed to your bus accident injury.
Filing an injury claim against the city or another government entity can be complicated, which is why you’ll need to seek legal guidance from an experienced attorney.
Legal Guidance When You Need It Most
At Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law, I provide legal guidance to bus accident victims in Houston, Webster, and throughout the state of Texas. If you were hurt on a bus, I can help you explore your legal options and determine if you can sue the city or another government entity for your injuries and damages. Reach out today to schedule a consultation.