If you or a family member sustained injuries in a bus accident in St. Petersburg, Florida, you may be entitled to significant compensation. However, claims against bus companies and common carriers can be complicated. An experienced St. Petersburg bus accident lawyer at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers can help you fight to recover money for medical bills, lost wages, and more.
We’re one of the most experienced personal injury law firms in the Tampa Bay area. With more than 300 years of experience between us, you can count on us to do everything possible to maximize your settlement or verdict.
Take legal action today if you were injured. Call our law offices in St. Petersburg, Florida to schedule a free consultation at (727) 349-1728.
How Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Bus Accident in St. Petersburg
Many accident victims have trouble making ends meet in the wake of an accident. Between your medical bills and living expenses, the financial strain only adds to the stress of the painful injuries you’ve sustained.
Unfortunately, bus accident cases can take time to resolve. When it seems like the bus company and insurance adjusters have all of the power, an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer can step in to help.
Our lawyers at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers have helped clients recover over $675 million in compensation over the years. We were the first law firm in the Tampa area to practice exclusively personal injury law. Our board-certified attorneys have also been recognized by Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.
When you hire our experienced legal team to protect you, we will:
- Investigate and gather evidence to prove your case
- Provide legal advice at every stage of the personal injury process
- Work with your doctors and other experts to assess your case value
- Defend you if you’re blamed for causing the accident or failing to mitigate damages
- File a claim and negotiate with the insurance companies to recover the fair compensation you deserve
If you were injured in a St. Petersburg bus accident, contact our St. Petersburg personal injury attorneys right away. We’re always available to discuss your case.
How Common Are Bus Accidents in St. Petersburg?
The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) operates the public bus system in St. Petersburg and across Pinellas County. The PSTA provides both bus and trolley services to about 10.2 million St. Petersburg area residents each year.
Unfortunately, accidents involving PSTA buses and trolleys do happen in St. Pete. Some of those accidents have the potential to cause critical and life-threatening injuries. As of January 2020, the PSTA itself reports 3.88 accidents per every 100,000 miles their buses travel.
Public buses aren’t the only types of buses that operate in the Tampa Bay area. According to National Safety Council research, 111 people were killed in school bus accidents in the U.S. during 2019. About 13,000 people sustained injuries in accidents involving school buses.
At Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers, we handle all types of bus accident cases, including those involving:
- PSTA buses
- School buses
- Charter buses
- Greyhound buses
- Shuttle buses
If you have questions about your legal options after a bus accident, we’re here to help. Call our St. Petersburg bus accident attorneys to schedule your free case review today.
What is My St. Petersburg Bus Accident Case Worth?
Every personal injury case is different. The unique facts of your case will determine your case value.
The factors that tend to be most important to judges and insurance companies include:
- The type of injuries you sustained
- The duration of your recovery and whether you’re expected to make a full recovery
- The cost of your medical care
- The value of your lost wages
- Your future medical needs and prognosis
- The impact of the injury on your quality of life
- The circumstances of the crash
Before taking any settlement deal, you deserve to know how much your case is really worth. If necessary, our attorneys in St. Petersburg will hire experts who can help us put a dollar value on the more complex damages you’ve sustained. To learn more about how we can help, give us a quick call today.
What Types of Damages Are Available to Bus Accident Victims in St. Petersburg?
Victims are always entitled to seek compensation for their economic damages and non-economic damages under Florida personal injury laws.
Economic damages cover your financial costs. Examples often include:
- Past and future medical expenses, including ER visits, hospital stays, and follow-up visits
- Lost wages during recovery
- Reduced earning potential
- Nursing care
- Property damage
Non-economic damages are meant to compensate victims for their more subjective and personal losses.
You may be entitled to pursue compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Chronic pain
- Diminished quality of life
- Anxiety, depression, and PTSD
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of consortium
In rare cases, you may also be entitled to recover punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish the at-fault party for intentional wrongdoing or gross negligence. For example, if your injuries were caused by a drunk driver, the courts may award punitive damages as punishment.
Can I Recover Damages If I’m Being Blamed for a Bus Accident in Florida?
Unless you were a bus passenger, you should probably expect the insurance company to try blaming you for your own injuries. Under Florida’s modified comparative fault laws, fault is divided between all parties in a crash. Each party is responsible for their own “percentage of fault.” In addition, there is a 51% bar to recovery rule in place.
So, if the insurance company can prove that you were 40% responsible for the accident, you’re only entitled to take home 60% of your settlement or verdict. And if it can prove that you were mostly responsible, you wouldn’t be able to receive any compensation.
We’ll Fight to Recover Compensation for All of Your Bus Accident Injuries
Buses are large, heavy, and difficult to maneuver. Often, the most serious injuries in car accidents involving buses are sustained by passengers in much smaller motor vehicles.
At Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers, we often represent injured clients who have suffered:
- Broken bones
- Facial injuries
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Knee injuries
- Sprains, strains, and other soft tissue damage
- Spinal cord damage
- Internal organ damage
- Paralysis, including quadriplegia and paraplegia
- Catastrophic injuries
- Wrongful death of a loved one
Your injuries may impact your life in shocking ways. Our lawyers are here to aggressively pursue the full compensation you deserve. Call our law firm in St. Petersburg to learn more about your legal rights today.
What Causes Most Bus Accidents in St. Petersburg, Florida?
Bus drivers in Florida are required to obtain a special commercial driver’s license. That’s supposed to keep bus passengers and others on the roads safe. Unfortunately, bus drivers can and do cause auto accidents just like anyone else.
Some of the most common causes of bus accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Failure to check the vehicle’s blind spots
- Failure to account for the bus’s longer stopping times
- Unqualified bus drivers
- Dangerous turns
- Aggressive driving
- Unsafe passing
- Illegal lane changes
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Drunk driving
- Operating the bus under the influence of drugs
- Defective bus safety equipment
Worn tires and faulty brakes can make the bus a dangerous vehicle. Bus companies are required to keep their vehicles safe. They can be held liable if they fail to properly inspect and maintain their vehicles.
How Do I Prove Negligence After a Bus Accident in Florida?
The victim in a personal injury case is required to prove that someone else was responsible for their injuries to recover damages.
Most bus accidents are caused by negligence. It’s very likely that your bus crash occurred because someone failed to exercise reasonable caution under the circumstances.
To prove negligence, you must establish:
- The at-fault party’s legal duty of care
- A breach of duty occurred
- The breach of duty caused your accident
- You suffered damages
Our lawyers can handle the investigation and search for evidence to prove your case. We’ll interview witnesses, review accident reports, and even search for video surveillance footage to determine what caused your accident.
To learn more about how our attorneys can help, give us a call for a free case evaluation today.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Bus Accident in Florida?
The statute of limitations in most Florida personal injury cases was recently changed. A two-year deadline applies to accidents occurring on or after 3/24/2023, and a four-year deadline applies to those occurring before that date. If you don’t file a personal injury lawsuit within the appropriate deadline, you will forfeit your right to seek any compensation at all. To learn more about the deadline, call our law firm to schedule a free case evaluation today.
Contact a St. Petersburg Bus Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Public transportation is typically a safe way to get around town. When an unexpected accident occurs, you could be left struggling with painful injuries for months.
An experienced St. Petersburg bus accident lawyer at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers can help you recover the maximum compensation you deserve. Just contact our lawyers today to schedule your free consultation.