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Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer > Sumter Bus Accident Lawyer

Sumter Bus Accident Lawyer

Legal and medical issues make these matters some of the most complex cases the Sumter bus accident lawyers at the Stanley Law Group handle.

People from all different walks of life, and locations, climb onto municipal and private buses. Victims from multiple counties usually create procedural issues as to which judge has the power to hear the case. A Sumter County judge usually cannot hear disputes that involve Richland County. Additional procedural hurdles apply if a city or other government entity owns the bus. More on these things below.

Furthermore, these victims usually sustain catastrophic injuries, even in low-speed wrecks. Bus passengers usually don’t have seat belts. So, during collisions, they’re tossed around and usually ejected from the vehicle.

So, the bottom line is that these victims badly need financial compensation, and this compensation is difficult to obtain in court.

Sumter Bus Accident Lawyers and First Party Liability

Driver error causes 98 percent of the bus crashes in South Carolina. Since bus drivers are commercial drivers, they have a higher duty of care. Therefore, any mistake they make is usually negligence, or a lack of care.

For example, if Tim is driving his Nissan 5mph over the speed limit, most jurors would say he was somewhat careless, but certainly not legally negligent. If Tim the bus driver was speeding 5mph over the limit, given the higher duty of care and the risk to a busload of passengers, he was almost certainly negligent.

Speed is one of the most common breaches of care. It increases the risk of a wreck and the force in any collision between two objects. These drivers cannot react quickly to sudden hazards. The increased force is based on Newton’s Second Law of Motion.

Other bus driver errors include fatigue and distraction. Many bus drivers are behind the wheel early in the morning and late at night, when most people are naturally drowsy. Driving while fatigued is as bad as driving while drunk. As for distraction, many companies expect bus drivers to multitask and serve as tour guides and chaperones while driving. People cannot multitask and drive safely.

Third Party Liability

The respondeat superior rule of employer liability typically applies in bus crash cases. This rule has two basic elements:

  • Employee: If the employer controlled the tortfeasor (negligent driver) in any meaningful way, the tortfeasor is an employee for negligence purposes, even if s/he was an independent contractor, owner-operators, or even an unpaid church volunteer for most other purposes.
  • Scope of Employment: Once upon a time, South Carolina law denied this phrase very narrowly. Now, the law defines it broadly. An act which benefits the employer in any way is usually within the course and scope of employment.

Third party liability theories, especially respondeat superior, add another layer to an already complex case. Usually, an out-of-state holding company owned the bus.

Work With a Hard-Hitting Sumter County Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Sumter bus accident lawyer, contact the Stanley Law Group. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.

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