Minnesota Bus Accident Lawyers
Everyday millions of people ride buses. Children ride them to and from school, school related activities, camp, religious activities, athletic events, and other youth events. Commuters ride them to and from work. Travelers take them on vacations and tours. Many others ride them every day just to get around. Like any other motor vehicle, buses can be, and often are, involved in a variety of accidents, from collisions with other vehicles to hitting pedestrians.
Sadly most bus accidents are preventable. Many bus accidents are a result of driver error, driver fatigue, faulty emergency exits, inadequate security, negligence, dangerous roadways, defective products or improper maintenance. Often bus accidents cause serious injuries including deaths, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, burns, broken bones and a variety of other injuries.
The personal injury attorneys at Hall Law have extensive experience handling virtually all types of motor vehicle accident cases, including bus accidents. As a result we understand the profound effect such accidents can have both on the injured person and their family. We realize that many times people are unable to work, unable to pay their bills and have trouble dealing with insurance companies because of their injuries. We know how to deal with and resolve these issues. Firm attorneys have an excellent track record of obtaining positive results for our clients who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents, both via settlement negotiations and via jury trial verdicts. If you, or a loved one, have been injured in a bus accident, the compassionate attorneys at Hall Law can help. Our law firm has more than 35 years of experience representing people who have been injured in all types of accidents.
There are two primary sources of recovery for injuries suffered in bus accidents, no-fault insurance and liability insurance covering the bus company employee who caused the collision.
No Fault Insurance
Minnesota law requires insurance companies to provide no-fault auto insurance as a part of every automobile insurance policy insuring a motor vehicle registered or principally garaged in Minnesota. No-fault insurance provides certain basic insurance benefits to all people who are injured in automobile accidents irrespective of whose fault caused the accident.
Benefits recoverable under the No Fault Act include:
1. Medical Expenses
Most insurance policies provide $20,000.00 in medical expense coverage. Covered items may include:
(a) All reasonable expenses for necessary medical, surgical, x-ray, hospital, extended care, nursing services, optical, dental, chiropractic, rehabilitative services, prosthetic devices and prescription drugs.
(b) Ambulance expenses and mileage reimbursement for transportation to and from necessary treatment.
2. Income Loss and Replacement Services
Most insurance policies provide $20,000.00 for such coverage. Covered items include:
(a) Lost Income. Where an individual’s inability to work is proximately caused by the subject injury, such individual may recover 85 percent of his or her loss of gross income, up to a maximum of $250 per week.
Loss of income includes the costs incurred by a self-employed person to hire substitute employees to perform tasks which are necessary to maintain the income of the injured person, which are normally performed by the injured person, and which cannot be performed because of the injury.
(b) Replacement Services. If an individual is unable to perform housecleaning, snow shoveling, lawn mowing, and other household services, he or she may be able to recover the value of such services, or be reimbursed for hiring others to do those things, up to a maximum of $200.00 per week.
3. Benefits for the family of someone who is killed in a motor vehicle accident.
(a) Funeral and burial expenses up to $2,000.00.
(b) Survivors economic loss benefits in the event of death occurring within one year of the date of the accident, caused by and arising out of injuries received in the accident, are subject to a maximum of $200 per week and shall cover loss accruing after decedent’s death of contributions of money or tangible things of economic value, not including services, that surviving dependents would have received from the decedent for their support during their dependency had the decedent not suffered the injury causing death.
Survivors replacement services loss benefits shall reimburse expenses reasonably incurred by surviving dependents after the date of the decedent’s death in obtaining ordinary and necessary services in lieu of those the deceased would have performed for their benefit had the decedent not suffered the injury causing death, minus expenses of the survivors avoided by reason of the decedent’s death. These benefits shall be subject to a maximum of $200 per week.
If you have been injured in a bus accident, in addition to recovering no-fault benefits, you may have a claim against any person whose negligence caused the accident. Bus and other motor vehicle accident claims are usually based on negligence law. “Negligence is the failure to exercise such care as persons of ordinary prudence usually exercise under similar circumstances.” Mingo v Extrand, 230 N.W 895, 896 (1930). In plain language, negligence is the failure to use reasonable care.
Courts look to a number of factors in determining whether a driver was negligent. Some examples of these factors include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Driving when fatigued
- Driving too fast or too slow
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failing to signal while turning
- Disregarding weather or traffic conditions
- Disobeying traffic signs or signals
- Failing to drive on the right side of the road
Generally, where a driver operates his or her vehicle in a negligent manner, he or she may be required to pay for any harm caused by their negligence. The claims against the person who negligently caused the accident are normally covered by liability insurance, either the driver’s or the vehicle owner’s liability insurance. If neither the driver nor the owner has liability insurance, the injured person’s uninsured motorist insurance is obligated to pay any damages owed by the uninsured driver. Thus any claim a person has for injuries sustained in a bus accident will in all likelihood be covered by insurance.
An injured person’s right to make a liability claim for injuries received in a motor vehicle accident may be limited. Notably, a typical plaintiff in an auto accident case may recover for non-economic damages (non-economic damages include damages for items such as disability, scarring, disfigurement, pain and suffering) only if he or she meets one of the four tort thresholds enumerated in Minn. Stat §65B.51, subd.3. Specifically, no such plaintiff shall recover for non-economic losses unless the auto accident caused (1) $4,000 in medical expenses, or (2) a permanent injury, or (3) a permanent disfigurement, or (4) 60 days of disability.
Preserve Your Rights
Where you or a loved one has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, it is important to act swiftly in order to preserve evidence and to ensure other key aspects of your case are not neglected. If you or one of your loved ones has a potential claim, please call us today for a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.