A SCAT bus making a very sharp turn in Bradenton Monday morning ended up hitting two cars that were stopped at a traffic light. The Bradenton Herald reports that the bus driver, Michael Finch, "though he was going to hit another oncoming car, made a harder left turn and ended up in the northbound lane of 14th Street West." That's when the bus ran over a concrete median and crashed into a Honda and a Lincoln. The Sarasota Herald Tribune reported that state troopers cited the SCAT bus driver for violation of the right of way.
Unfortunately, there have been a number of recent bus accidents in the Sarasota Bradenton area, including a school bus crash earlier this month and a earlier SCAT bus accident on Fruitville Road this past November. Despite these incidents, bus crashes are much less common than car accidents or motorcycle accidents, but often the injuries from a bus accident can be devastating.
In Florida, buses are considered "common carriers," which means they are in the business of transporting people from place to place with the highest degree of care. In that role the bus company can be held liable for the negligence of its' drivers. This includes public transportation buses run by cities and counties. In our area that includes the Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) and the Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT). Because these bus services are run by government municipalities, there is a limit to the amount of damages a person can recover for their injuries in an accident because of something called sovereign immunity.
If you've been involved in a bus accident and would like to talk about the specifics of your case, contact the attorneys at Buckman and Buckman, P.A. at (941) 934-7700 or fill out the case evaluation form on our website.