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What if I’m injured by a public bus?

Recently, very sad news broke throughout New York that an MTA bus and a private tour bus collided in Queens, killing three people and injuring another 16. The driver of the private bus was among those killed. Unfortunately, this type of accident is more common than you might think. If you suffer an injury due to a public bus, do you know how to proceed with a personal injury lawsuit, or even if such a thing is allowed?

This particular accident illustrates how complex personal injury suits can become, depending on which party is ultimately deemed responsible for the accident. Not only are both of the vehicles involved passenger vehicles, they are operated by completely different entities, one public, one private. Should victims learn that both drivers share fault, the matter only gains complexity.

If you suffer an injury involving a public bus, do not wait to seek out proper legal representation. If the matter is anywhere near as complex as the wreck described above, it could take a long time to resolve fairly, and you want to make sure that you know exactly what to expect from the process and how to keep your rights protected.

Suing a municipal entity

Under government immunity laws, private individuals who wish to sue a municipal entity must address a key issue before the case proceeds similarly as it would against a private entity. Government entities enjoy immunity from lawsuits, but individuals can usually obtain a waiver that allows them the right to sue an entity.

While this waiver is usually obtainable, it is not automatic. A person who wishes to sue a municipal entity must first obtain permission.

Furthermore, the individual must also notify the entity of his or her intent to sue. A person who does not send notification within the proper timeframe may forfeit his or her right to sue. While one can serve the intent to sue any time within the statute of limitations for the injury claim, he or she must bring the lawsuit within a relatively short amount of time afterward, usually only a matter of months.

Build a strong case, but do so efficiently

As soon as you can, you want to begin building your claim. You don't want to spend so long building your case that you miss the statute of limitations to file the claim.

If you choose to enlist the help of an attorney, be sure to seek out a team that understands how to both conduct suits against a municipal entity and build a comprehensive personal injury suit that addresses the full scope of your loss.

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