A recent near-miss bus accident in Kitsap County ended with two boys’ electric bikes damaged, but fortunately no one seriously injured. The incident helps illustrate some of the legal issues involved in bus accidents.
According to news reports, a Kitsap Transit bus took a left turn a little too sharply, and collided with the bikes that were stopped at an intersection. The 12-year-old boys who own the bikes had to leap out of the way of the bus to escape being hit. One sustained some scrapes as he landed. Otherwise, no one was injured, including a passenger who was on the bus at the time. The driver, who told authorities she didn’t see the boys, was cited for failure to drive in the right lane.
It all could have been much worse. Simple physics mean that a large, heavy vehicle such as a bus carries a large amount of force even when colliding with something at relatively low speeds. Pedestrians and bicyclists have few if any protections against collisions, and any small accident can lead to serious injury or death.
A citation can hold a careless driver accountable for causing injury to others, but it does little to help the injured with their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages.
A personal injury lawsuit can help the injured or their families recover compensation after an accident caused by a negligent driver. In many cases involving a commercial vehicle such as a truck, a negligent driver and the driver’s employer may be held liable. These cases can be more legally complicated.
In cases involving trucks or buses owned by local governments or other government agencies, yet another complication comes up. There are special procedures and requirements for plaintiffs who are filing suit against government agencies.
For these and other reasons, people who have been injured in accidents involving commercial vehicles, city buses and other large vehicles should speak with a lawyer who has experience in bus accidents, truck accidents and other complex personal injury and wrongful death cases.