If you were hurt in a bus accident or other crash involving a Disney vehicle, you may have a case.
Unless I say otherwise, this article assumes that the Disney bus driver is at fault for the accident.
Insurance Isn’t An Issue
If a Disney vehicle hits you or causes your injury, Disney has the money to pay even the largest claim. This is because Disney is worth about $172 Billion dollars.
This is good for bus accident victims because so many other vehicles in Florida aren’t required to have any bodily injury (“BI”) liability insurance.
If a Disney vehicle hits you, Florida residents should still make a claim through the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage on their personal car insurance policy to get up to $10,000 of their bills paid.
Do You Have a Good Case if You’re Rear-Ended By a Disney Bus?
If you’re stopped at a red light, or stopped in traffic, and a Disney bus driver hits you, you shouldn’t have a tough time proving liability. This assumes that the Disney driver, or any witnesses, aren’t saying that you slammed on the brakes.
Will you get money if you’re hurt in Disney bus accident in Florida?
The law that applies to Disney bus accidents in Florida is similar to personal injury claims involving private bus accidents in Florida.
There is one potentially big difference though. Given its size, I assume that Disney is self-insured.
If Disney self-insures its buses, then you should also immediately make an uninsured motorist (“UM”) insurance claim if you’re insured on a UM policy. This assumes the Disney driver’s negligence caused the accident.
You would need to be an insured under a policy providing UM coverage to make a claim. In your personal injury claim against Disney, it will not be entitled to a setoff (credit) for any settlement that you have with your UM insurer.
You May Need a Permanent Injury to Get Paid for Pain and Suffering From a Disney Bus Accident
For example, if you’re in a car that is insured in a state where PIP is required, then you’ll likely need a threshold injury in order to get money for pain and suffering.
Disney Bus Causes A Passenger’s Injury
A Florida Disney bus driver’s carelessness may cause injury to a passenger. Disney’s PIP coverage may pay for the bus passenger’s medical bills.
Need Permanent Injury to Get Pain and Suffering Compensation
If Disney’s bus has PIP, the passenger would need to meet the tort threshold in order to get non-economic damages against Disney. Noneconomic damages are for pain, suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience.
Disney Isn’t Pressured To Settle
Disney isn’t an insurance company. Thus, it does not have a fear of having to pay money above an amount that it is legally responsible for.
The settlement was before deduction for attorney’s fees and expenses. Most cases result in a lower recovery. It should not be assumed that your case will have as beneficial a result.
My client was hit by a drunk driver. The total bodily injury limits were $100,000.
The most that GEICO has to pay is $100,000 unless, in Florida, GEICO failed to protect its insured by settling the claim when it should have.
So if that claim was worth $105,000, then GEICO should settle it for $100,000 so that it prevents its insured from owing money about his or her policy limits. This puts an incentive on an insurance company to settle a personal injury claim.
If you have the same case with Disney that I described above, they do not have any additional risk by not settling the case for $100,000. Thus can delay settlement as long as possible.
Pre-Existing Injuries May Delay Settlement Since Limits Not at Issue
If the injured person has a pre-existing injury, it can delay settlement. The Disney adjuster may want to look through his or her past medical records.
Family of Boy Killed by Disney Bus Settles Lawsuit
This isn’t my case. On September 8, 2012, the Orlando Sentinel reported that the mother of a 9 year old boy killed by a Disney bus settled the lawsuit.
The mother of the boy filed an auto negligence lawsuit against lawsuit against Disney and the bus driver in October 2010.
The settlement is confidential. The boy died on April 2010. He was at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort with his family when the accident occurred.
The FHP said the boy and another kid were riding bikes when they went off the sidewalk and into the bus. The boy fell on his bike and was run over by the rear right tire. The boy’s family claimed that Disney was at fault. The settlement was for an undisclosed amount.
Race Car Crash Kills Driver at Walt Disney World Speedway
Per the Orlando Sentinel, on April 13, 2015 a sports car passenger was killed at the Exotic Driving Experience.
A driving instructor, Gary Terry, was in the passenger seat of a high-speed race car as a driving instructor. This happened at the Walt Disney World Speedway.
The driver failed to maneuver the race car through a curve on the race course. The driver lost control of the sports car.
The passenger side struck a guard rail. The driver was taken to Celebration Hospital with minor injuries. Terry died at the scene.
Both were wearing seat belts and safety helmets. In the last moments before the driver crashed into the guard rail, the passenger was reaching to grab the steering wheel as the car lost control.
Terry and his wife were just starting their family with their baby girl. This is a very sad story. My prayers go out to his family.
Lady Wins $62,000 After Vehicle Hit Her in Disney World
This isn’t my case. A woman was allegedly a guest of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. She claimed that a vehicle hit her while she was touring underground tunnels. It happened in 1997. She claimed that the accident caused her injuries.
She sued Walt Disney World Hospitality & Recreation Corp. and Walt Disney World Co. in Orange County, Florida. She claimed that person was operating the vehicle carelessly. She alleged that the vehicle was negligently maintained.
She claimed that the amusement park should not have been giving underground tours during peak activity. She sued for medical bills, pain, suffering, lost wages and loss of future earning capacity.
Walt Disney World admitted negligence. Disney said it should be responsible for any damages caused by the accident. A jury awarded the lady $31,000 for past medical expenses and wage loss. They gave $31,000 for pain and suffering.
Case: Lombardi v. Walt Disney World Hospitality & Recreation Corporation, f/k/a Lake Buena Vista Communities Inc., and Walt Disney World Co.
My thoughts: Sometimes Disney will admit liability. This is much more common in a vehicular accident case than a slip or trip and fall case.
Massachusetts man dead after Disney bus hits him at Port Orleans Resort
According to the Orlando Sentinel, on December 27, 2010 a tourist was killed after he walked in front of a bus at Walt Disney World’s Port Orleans Resort. They learned this from the Florida Highway Patrol.
Witnesses said the man was walking alone when he walked in front of the Disney bus. The bus was moving in the parking lot of the resort at 5:50 p.m. He died at the hospital.
The man was not in the crosswalk, so he was at least partially at fault.
Monorail at Disney in Florida
The NTSB stated that on July 5, 2009, two monorails crashed on the Epcot beam close to the concourse station. It happened inside Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
The wreck occurred when the Pink monorail reversed through an improperly aligned switch-beam. The Pink monorail struck the Purple monorail.
An operator and six passengers were on the Purple monorail at the time of the accident. The operator of the Purple monorail was killed.
The other passengers were not injured. The only person on board the Pink monorail was the operator. He was taken to the hospital and let go.
The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of the crash was the Disney shop panel operator’s failure to properly position a switch-beam and the failure of the monorail manager acting as the central coordinator to verify the position of switch-beam before authorizing the reverse movement of the Pink monorail.
The National Transportation Safety Board issued an Accident Brief.
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