Posted By Eugene Bruno & Associates Posted in: Bus Accident.
As you may or may not know, in certain circumstances, you – as an injured bus passenger – may be entitled to seek compensation for your damages not only from the negligent bus driver and/or bus company, but also a public entity.
As opposed to suing a private entity that operates the bus on which you were injured as a passenger, filing a personal injury claim against a government entity after a bus accident has its own limitations and immunities you must be aware of.
We thought it would be a good idea to invite our Chula Vista bus accident attorney from the Eugene Bruno & Associates, P.C., to talk about the unique aspects of filing a lawsuit against a public entity in California.
Also, bus accidents that were caused by a dangerous condition on public properties are not uncommon in Chula Vista and elsewhere in California, which means the list of parties you can sue as an injured bus passenger can expand depending on the circumstances in your particular case.
If the bus company that owns and operates the bus on which you sustained injuries is owned by a public entity, there are certain limitations that will apply if you choose to bring a claim against that public entity.
In fact, filing a claim against a publicly-owned bus company or any other public entity that you believe to be responsible for the bus accident involves the same limitations and pleading requirements that apply to any government liability case.
First and foremost, if you wish to recover damages by suing a public entity, you must be warned that you will have to file a formal, written Notice of Claim that shortens the ordinary one-year statute of limitations. When filing a personal injury claim against a private entity, the statute of limitations is one year.
If you choose to sue a government entity in California, on the other hand, you have only six months from the date of the bus accident (or the accrual of the cause of action) to file the claim with special requirements. As always, there are exceptions to the general rule, which is why it is recommended to seek legal advice from an experienced bus accident attorney in Chula Vista or San Diego.
If you actually win a lawsuit against a public entity in California and your verdict exceeds $500,000, the public entity has the power to choose to pay this amount in installments. A public entity that loses a personal injury lawsuit, on the other hand, does not have that power to choose installment payments.
Also, when your Chula Vista bus accident attorney helps you prevail in your legal case against a public entity, you will not be able to recover punitive damages. That is because there can be no award for punitive damages against a government entity in California.
The most annoying part is that there are many immunities that may apply in cases against public entities in California. Here at the Eugene Bruno & Associates, P.C., we hear many of our clients complain about these immunities, but if you have an experienced lawyer by your side, these immunities should not necessarily be a deal breaker.
Under certain circumstances, if you are using a public entity over something other than the negligent operation and maintenance of the bus, that public entity may have immunities which a private entity does not have. For example, public entities are generally immune from liability for the negligent design of bus routes in California.
Have you been injured in a bus accident and a public entity caused or contributed to the crash to one degree or another? Do not hesitate to schedule a free consultation with our lawyers at the Eugene Bruno & Associates, P.C. Call at 888-278-6688 today.