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Wisconsin Bus Accident Lawyer

Injury Lawyer Team > Bus Accident Lawyer > Wisconsin Bus Accident Lawyer
Wisconsin School Bus Accident

Wisconsin Bus Accident Lawyer

Buses have been considered a secure mode of transport for accommodating large groups. According to Statista, there are currently 13,849 registered buses in the state of Wisconsin. However, due to their large size, limited maneuverability, and ability to carry a high number of passengers, bus accidents can cause more severe injuries compared to passenger vehicle accidents.

Wisconsin bus accidents can result in various injuries, ranging from minor cuts and bruises to more severe injuries such as fractures, concussions, and internal organ damage. If you got injured or lost a loved one in an accident, contact our knowledgeable Milwaukee bus accident lawyer in Wisconsin and schedule a free consultation. 

We accept all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning our clients don’t pay fees for legal services until our bus accident attorney wins their case through negotiations or a jury award.

Contact our Wisconsin bus accident lawyers to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information shared with your Wisconsin bus accident lawyer remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

Wisconsin Bus Accident

How Prevalent are Bus Accidents in Wisconsin? 

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), large trucks and buses caused nearly 119,000 injury crashes in a single year, leading to 180,000 injuries and 4,464 fatalities. 

Pedestrians, and sometimes bicyclists, account for the highest percentage of individuals injured in a school vehicle crash next to bus drivers, comprising 30% of such incidents.

In 2021, there were 393 accidents involving passenger/transit buses and 370 school bus accidents in Wisconsin, as reported by the Wisconsin Traffic Crash Facts.

Wisconsin’s Department of Transportation recorded 633 school bus accidents in 2022, marking an increase from the 463 incidents reported in the previous year.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, students are eight times safer when traveling in a school bus compared to riding in a car.

Between 2009 and 2018, out of the 249 school-age children who tragically lost their lives, 41% (102) of the fatalities occurred from 6 a.m. to 8:59 a.m., while 40.2% (100) occurred between 2 p.m. and 4:59 p.m.

Steps to Take After a Bus Accident in Wisconsin 

Dealing with a bus accident in Wisconsin can be frustrating and overwhelming. It’s important to remain calm and follow the right steps to ensure your safety and protect your rights. Here’s what to do after the accident to help you navigate this challenging situation. 

  • Immediately dial 911 to report the incident.
  • Seek emergency medical attention for any injuries sustained.
  • Document the scene, injuries, and property damage with photographs.
  • Collect contact details from witnesses for collecting witness statements for the case. 
  • Obtain the bus driver’s and company’s information.
  • Record detailed memories of the accident.
  • Refrain from providing statements to the bus company’s insurer.
  • Avoid discussing the accident on social media platforms.

The most critical step to take after a crash is to consult with a Wisconsin bus accident attorney and proceed with legal options immediately.

Most Common Causes of Wisconsin Bus Accidents

In Wisconsin, a school bus is a motor vehicle accommodating 10 or more passengers apart from the operator. For many school buses, drivers must acquire an “S” endorsement on their commercial driver’s license. For passenger buses and school buses in Wisconsin that transport 16 or more people, a commercial driver’s license is required. 

School and passenger bus drivers require proper training and qualifications before they can operate the vehicle. Despite these measures, there remains a higher risk of school or passenger bus accidents, due to various factors:

  • Excessive speed or surpassing speed limits
  • Distractions like phone, conversations with passengers, checking GPS while driving
  • Failure to yield to right-of-way rules
  • Ignoring traffic signals or signs
  • Following vehicles too closely
  • Mechanical issues due to lack of bus maintenance 
  • Hazardous road conditions or severe weather
  • Aggressive or reckless driving behaviors
  • Driver impairment from alcohol, drugs, or medications 
  • Insufficient driver training or license or certification 

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If you or a loved one suffers injuries in a bus accident, seeking legal guidance from a skilled Wisconsin bus accident lawyer is crucial. They can investigate the incident thoroughly, determine fault, and recover compensation for your injuries. 

Who’s At Fault for a Bus Accident in Wisconsin? 

A report from the Wisconsin Policy Forum indicates the number of licensed bus drivers around Wisconsin has dropped 17.7% over the last 15 years. This decline highlights the challenges Wisconsin faces in maintaining safe transportation services for passengers. 

In a bus accident, like any personal injury case, the plaintiff has to prove the negligent driving or actions to seek financial compensation. In Wisconsin, the statute of limitations law offers a strict deadline to file bus accident claims, hence victims must determine liability wasting no time. 

The following parties can be at fault for a vehicle crash in Wisconsin: 

  • The bus driver often is responsible for exercising a high degree of care for their passengers and ensuring passenger safety during boarding and leaving.
  • School districts may be liable for maintenance issues or lack of repair. 
  • Bus manufacturer can be a responsible party if any bus component malfunctions and causes a crash. 
  • Other drivers violating traffic laws like running red lights or stop signs can also be at fault. 
  • The bus owner, whether it’s a government transit agency, a school district, or a private company, can be held responsible for hiring unqualified drivers. 
  • Bus company or the servicing company can be held liable if they installed a part improperly.
  • Government entities could be at fault if dangerous road conditions caused the collision.

Once the fault has been determined, your Wisconsin bus accident attorney will establish a strong case against them and negotiate fair compensation for your serious injuries. 

Statute of Limitations for a Wisconsin Bus Accident Claim 

The Wisconsin statute of limitations for a personal injury claim, including a personal injury claim is three years. You have three years to file a bus accident lawsuit or claim from the date of the injury or damage. Failing to pursue a claim within these three years will dismiss your right to seek compensation. 

However, there is a unique requirement when it comes to filing a personal injury claim against a school district. Since a school district is viewed as a political subdivision, you must submit a notice of claim within 120 days of the accident. This notice details the accident’s specifics like time, date, location, and your intent to seek compensation. 

Talk to your bus accident attorney who can guide you through the process of filing the personal injury lawsuit within the statute of limitations. 

Wisconsin Bus Accident Laws and Insurance Requirements

Bus insurance requirements vary based on the type of bus. Federal law mandates tour buses on highways to carry $5,000,000 insurance, while smaller buses (up to 15 passengers) need $1,500,000 coverage. 

Public school buses in Wisconsin must have liability insurance of $75,000 per injured person, with different coverage limits based on seating capacity. Buses with 37 or more seats require $1,000,000 per accident coverage. 

Wisconsin law (Wis. Stat. § 345.05) caps recovery for injuries caused by city or county-operated buses at $250,000 per person. 

Strict notice and claim procedures, with time limits, apply to such injury claims. Hence, hiring an experienced Milwaukee bus accident lawyer is crucial for ensuring the client receives entitled benefits, advocating for fair treatment, and handling negotiations with the insurance company. 

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Understanding Wisconsin’s Modified Comparative Fault Law

The state of Wisconsin follows a modified comparative fault (51% rule) system. Under this law, plaintiffs cannot recover damages if they are 51% or more liable for the collision. If partially at fault, their damage award is reduced by their percentage of fault, applicable to pedestrians, cyclists, or anyone else involved. Damages can still be claimed for the personal injury case if the plaintiff is at fault for less than 51% of the accident, with deductions for their portion of fault, if any.

What Compensation is Available in Wisconsin Bus Accident Claims? 

After a Wisconsin bus accident, holding the liable parties accountable and recovering damages for your losses is crucial. Once the Milwaukee bus accident lawyer completes the investigation and identifies liability, you can initiate the process of seeking compensation. 

This typically involves navigating the insurance claim procedure. Damages in such cases can be categorized into economic and non-economic categories. 

Economic damages may include medical expenses, wage loss, property damage (if applicable), and loss of earning capacity. 

Non-economic damages may cover aspects such as pain and suffering, emotional distress and mental anguish, disability, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of society and companionship.

Hire a Wisconsin Bus Accident Lawyer to Resolve Your Personal Injury Case 

Have you or someone close experienced a catastrophic injury such as whiplash, broken bones, or concussions due to a bus accident? Regardless of whether you were involved as a passenger or in another vehicle, our team of accident lawyers is here to support you in taking the right legal action. 

Injury Lawyers Team, sponsored by Rosenfeld Law Offices, specializes in vehicle crashes and will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the full compensation you are entitled to, whether through litigation or an out-of-court settlement.

Schedule a free consultation at (888) 424-5757 with our experienced bus accident attorneys today. Rest assured, any confidential information you disclose will remain protected under attorney-client privilege.