Generally, taking a public bus or other modes of public transit is an incredibly safe way to travel. That said, accidents can still happen, and victims could suffer significant injuries and damages. This is particularly true for victims who are not on the bus at the time of the crash, such as other drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists.
If your injury was the result of another’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation for medical treatment and other damages. Greg Monforton and Partners has secured hundreds of millions in compensation for our clients, many of whom were injured in motor vehicle crashes.
We have extensive knowledge of the laws governing bus crash cases and we have the resources to build a strong case. Our services also come with no upfront costs.
Free initial legal consultation. No fees unless we win. Call (866) 320-4770.
How Public Bus Crashes Happen in Ontario
Bus crashes are often the result of driver negligence. For example, a public bus driver may follow another vehicle too closely and crash into the back of it. Despite carrying passengers and being responsible for their safety, bus drivers engage in some of the same negligent behaviours as other drivers. This includes:
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Veering into a bicycle lane
- Driving while distracted
- Not using a turn signal
- Failing to stay in a lane
There are also some types of crashes that are more likely to involve a bus. For example, if a bus is too close to the curb it could hit someone standing on the sidewalk as the bus passes by. Even at low speed, this type of crash could cause severe injuries to a pedestrian or bicycle rider. While turning too quickly can cause many types of vehicles to rollover, the risk of this happening is much higher for a bus.
Some crashes are the result of poor maintenance of the bus, such as neglected maintenance of the brakes. The driver may bear fault for damages if a crash is caused by poor maintenance or lack of maintenance. There may be others who bear fault as well.
Sometimes there are claims involving negligent hiring, such as if the driver did not have the proper qualifications to operate the bus. The driver may have had red flags in his or her record, such as past traffic infractions or even past accidents.
What Are My Rights and Legal Options After a Windsor Public Bus Crash?
While each case is different, if you were injured because of the negligence of the bus driver or another party, you may be able to seek compensation. Your Windsor vehicle accident lawyer would need to prove negligence occurred and that it caused your injuries. Your lawyer would also need to establish the value of your damages and determine who may be liable for your injuries.
You may have the right to file two separate claims:
- Statutory Accident Benefits claim – If you have auto insurance, your lawyer may be able to seek compensation under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS). These benefits are available no matter who is at fault for the crash. Your lawyer can seek compensation for things like medical bills, rehabilitation services, cost of hiring help for your home, cost of hiring a caregiver and more. The more severe your injuries, the more compensation you may be eligible to recover.
- Claim against a government entity – Your lawyer may also file a claim with the municipality or other government entity responsible for operating the public transit vehicle. Sometimes the civil case is brought against more than one party, such as a claim against the driver of the bus, the municipality and the entity operating the bus. You may also have a claim against an entity responsible for maintenance of the bus.
Ontario’s ‘No Crash, No Cash’ Law For Bus Accident Cases
The Ontario Insurance Act was changed in 2011 to include a provision that has been referred to as the “No Crash, No Cash” law. Under this law, passengers who get injured on public transit vehicles cannot seek SABS benefits unless the bus crashed into another vehicle or object. If there was no collision, you are barred from obtaining benefits for your injuries.
Types of Incidents That Are Not Eligible for Compensation
The No Crash, No Cash law means you cannot obtain SABS benefits if the bus almost crashed, and this caused you to get injured. Here are some specific examples of the types of incidents that may be affected by this law:
- Cutting yourself on exposed metal inside the bus
- Getting hit in the head by an item that fell from an overhead storage compartment
- Getting injured because the door closed on you
- Slipping and falling on the bus
- Being assaulted while aboard the bus
- An injury that occurred while the bus driver made a sharp turn or quickly stopped
Despite not being able to recover SABS benefits, you may still be able to obtain compensation from a claim against a government entity. Your lawyer would need to prove your injuries resulted from negligence, such as negligence on the part of the bus driver.
Proving a Bus Accident Case
You will need to prove certain things to establish that another party is liable for your bus accident injuries.
Your lawyer must prove negligence occurred to recover compensation from a claim against the public bus driver or a government entity that is responsible for the bus and its driver. Negligence is the failure to uphold a duty of care. For example, if the bus driver crashed into a car because he or she was speeding, that is a breach of a duty of care to operate the bus safely.
Bus Drivers Have a Higher Standard of Care
While all drivers owe a duty of care to others on the road, bus drivers have a higher standard of care. For example, even though bus drivers cannot control bad weather, they need to be extra cautious to prevent a crash. Bus drivers also have a higher standard of care because negligent operation of a bus can cause a much more dangerous collision than negligent operation of a much smaller passenger vehicle.
Linking Your Injuries to the Crash
Your lawyer must also prove your injuries occurred in the crash in question. In other words, your lawyer must establish that the crash was the direct cause of your injuries. For example, your claim may explain how your injuries occurred during the crash.
Filing Deadlines You Need to Know
There are different deadlines for claims against government entities. That is why victims of bus crashes should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. For example, claims against the Ontario Ministry of Transportation or a municipality in Ontario need to be sent in writing no later than 10 days from the date of the accident.
One of the benefits of hiring an experienced lawyer is that he or she can ensure deadlines are not missed and all the details of your claim are taken care of.
Injuries That Often Occur in Windsor Public Bus Accidents
Bus crash injuries are often serious, particularly when the victim is a bicycle rider or a pedestrian. However, anyone involved in a bus collision could be severely injured. Victims could suffer:
- Traumatic brain injuries (concussions, closed head injuries, brain hemorrhages, etc.)
- Spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis
- Amputation of an arm or leg
- Severe broken bone injuries
- Soft-tissue damage to the joints
- And much more
Call Greg Monforton and Partners After a Public Bus Crash
After a bus crash, you may need significant compensation, not only for your medical expenses but also for lost wages and other damages.
At Greg Monforton and Partners, we know how devastating a personal injury from a vehicle crash can be. We are committed to securing the compensation you need for your medical care and the other effects of your injury.
If we do not recover compensation through a settlement or courtroom decision, there are no fees for our services. There are also no fees while we work on your case.
Give us a call today to learn more: