Bus Accidents in Denver and Colorado
As traffic congestion increases, more people are turning to mass transportation. In Colorado, especially in the Denver metropolitan area, and in large cities across the country, buses are a convenient form of transportation for thousands of people each day. Additionally, many people use tour buses, airport shuttles, ski area shuttle buses, casino buses and school buses on a regular basis. Unfortunately, each year bus accidents cause needless suffering, serious injury, or death. At Bachus & Schanker, LLC in Denver, Colorado , a bus accident lawyer can review your case. An attorney at our firm can assist injury victims from across the country.
Bus Driver’s Duty of Care
When it comes to the legal responsibility owed by bus drivers and bus companies to their passengers and others, a bus is considered a “common carrier.” A common carrier is an individual, company or a public utility (like city buses), which is in the regular business of transporting people and/or freight. This designation as a “common carrier” is important because under Colorado law, “common carriers” owe their passengers a greater duty of safety and protection than an ordinary car. Common carriers have a higher level of responsibility to drive with the utmost care and protect the passengers and other vehicles sharing the road. In some cases, this means that establishing liability against a “common carrier” may be easier than proving a case against a private care. However, despite this higher level of responsibility, bus drivers do not always drive safely, and in some cases are not trained properly. As a result, in some cases innocent people are injured. Given the size and weight of most buses, a bus accident can cause severe injury to anyone involved. You should strongly consider contacting a lawyer at our Colorado firm if you have been in an accident involving a bus. An accident attorney at Bachus & Schanker, LLC can assist passengers, pedestrians, drivers and passengers in other vehicles, or anyone injured as a result of a bus accident.
Bus Accident Claims and Governmental Entities
If you have been involved in a bus accident, it is very important to contact an attorney and begin an investigation right away. In Colorado, many buses are owned or operated by local governments, such as the Regional Transportation District (RTD) buses. Because of this, the bus company may be a governmental entity and the bus driver may be a government employee. Colorado law, C.R.S. 24-10-109, requires prompt notification to all governmental entities regarding any potential claim against them. In fact, under Colorado law, an injured party must provide written notice that complies with the notice requirements in the statute within 180 days of the incident. The notice requirement must include:
- The name and address of the claimant and the name and address of his attorney
- A concise statement of the facts of the incident, including the date, time, place, and circumstances of the incident
- The name and address of any public employee involved, if known
- A brief statement of the nature and the extent of the injury claimed to have been suffered
- A statement of the amount of monetary damages that is being requested
The law requires strict compliance with each element of the notice requirement. Failure to comply with the notice requirements described in C.R.S. 24-10-109 can result in losing your claim automatically. Additionally, if the bus company is a governmental entity, you may be limited to recovering a maximum of $150,000.00 for your injuries. A bus accident lawyer at our Colorado firm can make sure you file a claim before the deadline and help you understand your rights. Each bus accident lawyer at Bachus & Schanker, LLC works with a knowledgeable legal team to prepare your case. Our firm has extensive experience in pursuing claims against bus companies and governmental entities and provides skilled, aggressive representation to injury victims.
Bus companies and local governments vigorously defend bus accidents. Therefore, it is important to immediately investigate while the physical evidence is still fresh on the scene. It is also important to immediately inspect the bus driver’s training history and driving record. Dealing with a bus company, the local government, or the insurance company after a collision with a bus is very different than dealing with an insurance company that insures a private passenger car. It is very important that you have someone to act quickly on your behalf to file the required notices and preserve your claim against the bus company or governmental entity. A bus accident lawyer at Bachus & Schanker, LLC will work on your behalf to make sure you are treated fairly by the bus company, the local government and their insurance company.