Buses are an important part of public transportation, whether a school bus or a municipal line. Millions of Americans rely on buses and other forms of public transit for their commutes, errands, and more. In fact, Ohio alone has over 60 public transit systems. But what happens if you’re hit by a bus in Ohio or if you suffer injuries when riding a bus?
Suing after a bus accident can be complicated. In many cases, you’ll need to sue the state government, which involves a whole different set of rules. Here’s an overview of who’s liable when you’re in a bus accident in Ohio.
Who is Liable?
There are three main parties who could be liable.
- The bus driver or bus company. Bus drivers of any stripe operate under “common carrier” laws, which hold them to much higher standards than your average driver. This is because they’re responsible for safely transporting many more people, and they’re operating much heavier, potentially dangerous vehicles. If the bus driver is responsible, his or her employer can be responsible under a theory of vicarious liability.
- The bus manufacturer. A manufacturer may be liable under a theory of products liability. That is, the bus (or a component of the bus) was defective when it left the manufacturer and that defect was responsible for causing the accident.
- Other drivers. If another driver caused the accident by failing to exercise reasonable care in their driving duties, they may be found responsible for the accident, in whole or in part.
Statute of Limitations
In most cases, the state of Ohio gives plaintiffs a two-year window from the date of the accident to file a claim. If, however, you’re naming a government entity as a defendant, there may be exceptions to the two-year rule. This is governed by the Political Subdivision Tort Liability Act. While many government defendants have immunity, there are exceptions for those “liable for injury, death, or loss to person or property caused by the negligent operation of any motor vehicle by their employees when the employees are engaged within the scope of their employment and authority.”
Make sure you contact an attorney as soon as possible to ensure you preserve your right to sue. Your attorney will help you determine who to sue and when—as long as you don’t put it off until the last minute, you likely will be able to recover some compensation.
Discuss Your Case with an Ohio Accident Attorney
You don’t have to bear the costs of your injuries alone, especially if you were hurt due to someone else’s negligence. I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at 877.944.4373 today to learn whether you have a cause of action.