San Antonio Bus Accident Lawyer
Municipal and intercity bus crashes usually cause very serious injuries. These vehicles are very large, and the passengers are unrestrained. The serious injuries these victims sustain, like head injuries and broken bones, are normally permanent or fatal. Additionally, these claims are quite complex from a legal standpoint. For example, the victims are usually from different counties or even different states, and the bus company is often an out-of-state conglomerate.
Some lawyers shy away from such cases. But the dedicated San Antonio bus accident lawyer at the Law Office of Israel Garcia don’t back down from complex cases. Instead, our professional team hits the ground running, takes on the big insurance companies, and doesn’t stop fighting until we obtain maximum compensation for your serious injuries. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Commercial Operator Duty of Care
Most noncommercial operators have a duty of reasonable care in Texas. They must obey the rules of the road and avoid accidents when possible. In other words, for the most part, the duty of reasonable care is reactive.
Bus drivers, Uber drivers, and other commercial operators have a proactive duty in Texas. The duty of utmost care requires these operators to take affirmative steps that avoid accidents.
Before noncommercial drivers get behind the wheel, they should walk around their cars or trucks and address any obvious issues, like a bald tire. Before commercial drivers get behind the wheel, they should conduct much more detailed inspections that are almost like state inspections.
The difference between these two levels of legal responsibility is also apparent during a trip. For example, if it rains heavily, noncommercial drivers have a duty to slow down. Arguably, bus drivers and other commercial drivers have a duty to pull over until the rain stops, or at least until it slacks off.
Largely because of the higher duty of care, a San Antonio bus accident lawyer can usually establish fault for an accident. Establishing liability for damages is another matter.
If the city, school district, or another government agency owned the bus, Texas’ sovereign immunity law often comes into play. This law is a bit like the controversial official immunity doctrine that shields police officers from liability in shooting cases. The good news for victims is that Texas has legally waived its sovereign immunity in most cases.
Nevertheless, some procedural hurdles remain. For example, before these victims can file legal cases, they must normally file a notice of claim.
Private bus crashes are equally complex. The respondeat superior rule usually applies in such wrecks. In most cases, employers are legally responsible for damages when their employees are negligent during the course and scope of employment.
This rule is usually good news for victims. As mentioned, bus wrecks usually cause catastrophic injuries, and large companies have the financial resources to compensate these victims. The bad news is that most bus companies are out-of-state corporations with gangs of lawyers who fight these claims tooth and nail. So, if a lawyer takes on such a company, the lawyer is in for a fight.
Insurance company defenses, like comparative fault, make the fight even more difficult to win. Contributory negligence could apply in public or private bus crashes.
Essentially, this legal loophole shifts blame for an accident from the tortfeasor (negligent driver) to the victim. For example, an insurance company lawyer might admit that the bus driver wasn’t maintaining a proper lookout and argue that the victim pulled in front of the bus.
Texas is a modified comparative fault state with a 51 percent bar. So, even if the victim was 49 percent responsible for the accident, the bus company must pay a proportionate share of damages.
Reach Out to a Dedicated San Antonio Bus Accident Lawyer
Accident victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced bus accident lawyer in San Antonio, contact the Law Office of Israel Garcia. We routinely handle matters in San Antonio and nearby jurisdictions.