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Recently, a bus accident on I-75 north of Tampa resulted in the death of a bus passenger and serious injuries to several more. All were residents of a senior living community being transported by a bus operated by their active senior living community.
Bus travel is often a safe method of highway transportation for senior citizens whose physical limitations, such as vision and hearing loss, may make driving themselves more dangerous. But when bus accidents happen, unique legal issues arise. Issues such as whether state law required the use of passenger seatbelts, whether the bus owner owed a higher duty of care (as a “common carrier”) to its passengers, whether the bus driver was properly trained and experienced before being placed behind the wheel, and whether the bus was properly maintained. In addition, in cases involving buses operated by nursing homes, assisted living facilities, active living communities, whether proper policies and procedures for the safe operation of passenger transportation services were developed and followed can involve complex legal analysis by attorneys with experience with such issues.
Concern about bus safety, particularly school bus safety, has raised the interest of the public and state legislators in recent years, leading to the enactment of new laws governing the operation of buses on public roads. Up to date knowledge of the laws applicable to bus transportation and bus safety is critical to the proper analysis of any injury claims or claims of wrongful death arising from any accidents involving buses.