What Happens If a SMART Bus Damages My Property in Southfield, MI?

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What Happens If a SMART Bus Damages My Property in Southfield, MI?

Local bus systems play an essential role in public transportation for many cities. Due to the number of buses operating each day, accidents are bound to happen. If you are hit by a SMART bus in Southfield, MI, the damage to your vehicle will likely be significant. If fault is apparent, getting reimbursed might be a straightforward process. It all depends on the circumstances of the incident.

Most often, drivers hit by buses suffer injuries. If you are injured in a public transit crash, talk with a lawyer about the accident. When a city government manages the bus system, you typically have limited time to file a claim. Moreover, city governments have broad protections when it comes to liability. Where injuries are concerned, if there are questions surrounding fault, you need an attorney to protect your rights and help you recover fair compensation for your losses. Mike Morse Law Firm has years of experience representing clients in all types of accident cases, and we know what it takes to win.

What Causes SMART Bus Accidents?


In many urban areas throughout the country and Michigan, original city infrastructures weren’t designed to handle large influxes of traffic. Large buses must make tight turns and move about in narrow lanes, sometimes bringing them close to other vehicles. Bus drivers are not infallible. They get careless behind the wheel for the same reasons as other drivers:

Bus drivers are responsible for following traffic safety laws and controlling their vehicles at all times. They are trained to uphold the public safety standards required of their profession. They can be held accountable when their negligent actions or inactions harm others.

In some cities, private companies are contracted to manage transit operations. You may have a third-party claim with a contractor’s insurer. There are various ways to pursue damages, so talking with an attorney to learn about your options is a wise decision.

Other Causes of Bus Accidents

There are other situations where drivers are being responsible, but crash causes may be beyond their control:

  • Poor weather conditions (visibility issues or slippery conditions)
  • Equipment problems or defects
  • Weight issues (tipping hazard)
  • Maneuverability problems

A driver can reduce risks, especially those with years of experience. If a driver with inadequate training is allowed to drive and your property is damaged, or you are hurt, you need to pursue a claim with the government or company in charge of transit.

Who Pays for Property Damage in a SMART Bus Accident?


City governments and private companies have available funds or insurance to cover accidents. It is imperative to file a claim immediately if you are injured by a Southfield, MI, SMART bus. This does not mean settling a claim for property damage will go smoothly. If a bus has visible damage, it is an obvious indicator of an accident, but not how it unfolded. Like any other accident, gather as much information as you can.

Damage to your vehicle may also provide information, especially if there is paint residue or other identifying marks. Witnesses can help verify your claim. Of course, in most cases, police will arrive and make a report. However, a police report is not a firsthand account and serves as a summary of the accident details. In many cities, you can file a claim with the City Clerk. Call the office and inquire about filing time and who would be responsible for payment. Stick to the facts, submit what’s requested on the form, and return promptly.

Motorcycles, bicycles, scooters and mopeds can be damaged by buses, and claimants would follow the same filing procedures. Accidents between buses and two-wheelers often result in damages that total your property. Your chance of serious injury is significant. Always follow through with medical treatment, even if you don’t realize you are injured until days or weeks later. Talk with a Michigan attorney right away if you are hurt in a bus accident. You need an advocate to guide you through the legal complexities of a personal injury claim.

What Does Michigan No-Fault Insurance Cover?


Michigan No-Fault Insurance will cover your injuries when your car is hit by a bus. As part of your policy, you have Personal Injury Protection that covers medical expenses, lost wages, attendant care, household-related services, and other critical benefits. Car repairs or replacements are not covered under PIP when you are hit while driving. You must carry separate Collision and Comprehensive Insurance.

Can You Sue a Bus Driver or Bus Company?


If you are hurt in an accident involving a negligent bus driver, you may be able to sue the bus driver and the bus company. In a personal injury lawsuit, you would seek non-economic damages due to pain and suffering. Michigan law allows individuals to sue when the threshold for damages is met due because a person has suffered:

Non-economic damages cover emotional issues that affect quality of life. This inclusion is important for persons who suffer debilitating psychological effects from an accident.

What Type of Damages Can You Recover?


You can sue for different types of compensation after a bus accident. In settlement negotiations, payouts cover past, current and future damages for these types of losses:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental and emotional anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Disabling injuries
  • Lost wages
  • Economic losses (including property damages)

Post-traumatic stress is a concerning problem after a crash. Being hit by a bus can produce recurring nightmares, anxiety, sleep disorders, and other stress-related conditions for victims. Your well-being can be profoundly affected, and you need treatment to heal.

What Is Michigan’s Statute of Limitations?


In Michigan, the statute of limitations to bring a personal injury case against a negligent bus driver is three years from the date of the accident. Exceptions to the rule are only allowed under specified conditions. Waiting too long to file is not a good plan for two key reasons:

  1. Losing your chance to file a claim
  2. Losing valuable time collecting evidence

A bus company’s insurance carrier will have their investigators on the scene soon after an accident because they know gathering evidence is critical to proving a case. Establishing a solid case that challenges attempts to repudiate your claim is crucial. The sooner you get started, the greater the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

Get Your Case Started Today!


The Mike Morse Law Firm team understands the fear and worry of having property damaged or being injured in a bus accident. An accident throws life off its usual course, and expenses quickly become a primary concern. If you are hit by a SMART bus in Southfield, MI, take the steps necessary to get your property repaired or replaced. If the facts are clear, you should be able to settle your claim without issue.

If your accident results in injuries, talk with us right away. Injury accidents have complexities that typically require legal representation. We offer a free evaluation to determine if you have a case. Understanding the extent of your injuries can take time, and having legal protection while working through these matters is important. Help is available 24/7, so let’s get started.

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