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Florida Personal Injury Lawyers / West Palm Beach Palm Tran Accident Lawyer

West Palm Beach Palm Tran Accident Lawyer

Every day roughly 25,000 people use Palm Tran, the public bus system of Palm Beach County, to commute to work and get around town. These buses offer a cost-effective means of transport for people who do not own cars or simply wish to avoid the hassle of driving on West Palm Beach’s increasingly congested roads.

Unfortunately, buses are not always a safer alternative. Palm Tran buses are just as likely to be involved in a serious accident as any other motor vehicle. And when accidents do occur, it can injure dozens of innocent passengers as well as other motorists and even pedestrians.

If you have been injured in an accident involving a county bus, a West Palm Beach Palm Tran accident lawyer can review your case and advise you of your options for seeking compensation. Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather is a team of experienced Palm Beach County personal injury lawyers. We know how to fully investigate the circumstances surrounding a mass transit accident, and we understand the special challenges involved in pursuing a claim against a public agency.

How Do You Sue Palm Tran for a Bus Accident?

Palm Tran is operated by Palm Beach County. This means it is considered a political subdivision of the State of Florida. This creates special considerations when an accident involves a Palm Tran bus.

In a normal traffic accident case, you can sue a negligent driver for damages. If the driver was acting on behalf of an employer at the time, you can also sue the employer under a legal rule known as vicarious liability. But when the employer and the driver are both part of the government, a different set of rules apply.

In general, you cannot sue the state or one of its subdivisions unless the Florida legislature expressly permits it. Fortunately, the legislature has waived this “sovereign immunity” to cover accidents involving government-owned vehicles like Palm Tran buses. But before an accident victim may file a lawsuit, they must first present a special administrative claim to Palm Tan within three years of the accident. Palm Beach County then has 180 days to review the claim and offer a potential settlement. If the county denies an accident claim or replies with an unacceptable counter-offer, the victim can then go ahead and file a personal injury lawsuit in court.

It is important to note these rules only apply to claims against the government. If a private party was at-fault for a Palm Tran accident–say a drunk driver hit the bus–they can be sued without the need for any special administrative procedures.

Contact Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather Today

Damages in mass transit accidents are often substantial. Victims may receive substantial compensation for their medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering, among other losses. But it is important to take prompt legal action to secure your legal right to compensation. A skilled West Palm Beach Palm Tran accident lawyer can make sure you are on the right path. Contact Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather today to schedule a case evaluation.