One of the most cost-effective forms of public transportation is traveling by bus. Bus operators and office have the responsibility to ensure the safety of the passenger. Bus accidents are not that common, but there is a possibility of it happening. When such accidents occur, it can leave severe injuries. If you have been injured when using a public transportation system, then contact a Macon bus accident lawyer as soon as possible. We are going to help you get the compensation you deserve. At Calvin Smith Law, we have a team of personal injury lawyers experienced in handling such cases. You can get a free review of your claim, give us a call on XXX-XXX-XXXX.
What Should I do After Getting Injured In a Bus Accident?
The first thing you need to do after getting injured in a bus accident is letting the driver know. The driver will then contact the police and file a report about the incident. After the accident, start collecting evidence. This will involve getting contact information from the other passengers and anyone else who witnessed the accident. This information will be very important, especially if the case ends up in court.
The police will start putting together a report with details on the accident, including the people involved. You should ensure your name has been included in the report. This is important because such accidents tend to involve more than one person, and the police can easily leave out some names. Lawsuits to do with buses to be complicated, which is why you need to work with an experienced bus accident attorney in Georgia.
What Factors Contribute to Bus Accidents?
There are many factors that can cause bus accidents. Some of them are:
There is an increased likelihood of an accident happening if the bus driver is not paying enough attention to the road. Bus drivers can easily get distracted because passengers usually cause unwanted disruptions. They can also get distracted by cell phones, GPS devices, or other mobile devices.
Alcohol and Drugs
When a driver is under the influence of alcohol and drugs, their ability to drive is affected because they cannot react quickly or see what is happening. These substances affect the central nervous system, and they also have a negative effect on vision. Drivers driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are more likely to be involved in an accident compared to those who don’t. It can also cause the driver to do things like inappropriate lane changes, swerving, collision with objects near the road, or collisions with other vehicles. Such accidents can result in serious injuries to passengers.
Driving too Fast
There is a speed limit that is appropriate for the current road conditions that bus drivers have to follow. Buses are large compared to other vehicles, and this is why they are prone to hydroplane when the road is wet. It is challenging to control the bus in such conditions, which can easily end up leading to an accident.
Collisions While Turning
Buses are larger compared to other vehicles, and this makes a little more challenging for them to sharply turn. The driver can end up swinging too wide, leading to a collision with another car or interference of traffic at an intersection.
What Kind of Injuries do Bus Accidents Cause?
Many buses have no seatbelts for their passengers. This is what increases the risk of injuries because passengers can be thrown around if the bus is in a collision. Whiplash and similar injuries are common in such incidents. Other common injuries that passengers can sustain include head injuries when heads hit the headrest of the seat in front of them and their own seat, elbows, knees, and other extremities. The legs or arms of passengers can easily collide with the seat resulting in injuries.
Trains and buses are used by a lot of people every day. When accidents happen, the injuries sustained by passengers can be very serious. When buses and trains are involved in an accident, it not only injures the people riding, but also people on the street like pedestrians and other drivers. Some common injuries sustained in these types of accidents include;
- Injuries to the head or brain
- Sprains or strains
- Fractured or broken bones
- Injuries to the internal organs
- Injuries to the neck, spine, or back, including paralysis
Here at Calvin Smith Law, our bus accident lawyers have been able to handle many cases involving public transportation accidents that resulted in injuries. Regardless of the severity of your injury or how it happened, our team of lawyers is ready to help you get the legal representation that will ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
How are Bus Accident Lawsuits Handled?
It can be hard to deal with the aftermath of the accident because you will be confused and overwhelmed. These accidents usually involve a lot of witnesses, and it is common for the accounts of what happened to differ. These cases will involve more than two parties, including city governments and insurers. This makes things even more confusing. The parties involved will be looking out for their own interest and the last thing on their minds is making sure you have been fairly treated. This makes it important to hire an attorney who has specialized in such cases. Do not talk to the insurance provider before hiring an attorney. We will help you in fine-tuning the statements you are going to make to the insurer. This will prevent providing the insurer with any information about your medical history that they should not have or say something that can be used against you.
You have a limited time window to file a claim after a bus accident. If you fail to file during this window, then you might end up not getting compensated for your injuries. You have to file claims with the insurance providers. In accidents that involve buses, there are a couple of insurance companies, and all of them will be interested in concluding the case fast. The goal of these insurance companies is to pay you as little as they can. You have the right to having an attorney representing you when talking to the insurance provider. The insurance companies have their lawyers carefully watching the case. Having a lawyer as well will ensure your rights are protected.
How can Negligence be Proven in Bus Accidents?
You will have to prove that the accident was the result of negligence by the driver. To do this, you will have to show that the driver violated the standard of care. Some examples falling in this category include driving inappropriately for the condition, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and failing to pay attention to the road. You will be required to show that the actions of the driver resulted in the accident and your injuries. If the injuries you got are permanent, then you will need a doctor who is going to show the impact of the injury on your life. An experienced lawyer who has dealt with bus accidents before is in a good position to get a team of experts who are going to prove that the at-fault party caused the injuries and also the damages owed.
Some of the damages that bus accident victims can file a claim for include medical expenses, changes to mental capacity, ability to earn in the future, loss of spousal or family support, pain and suffering endured, and loss of ability to enjoy life. The bus accident attorney is going to work with you through the process, helping you as much as possible and making sure you get the maximum amount.
Can Third-Party Government Entities be Held Liable?
When a bus or train accidents happen, the city government or other government agencies can be indirectly liable. For example, they can hire drivers who are not experienced or have been involved in accidents in the past which increases the likelihood of getting involved in an accident in the future. This is where the government agency can be liable because they failed in training, hiring, or supervising their employees.
There are some bus accidents here another driver was the negligent one. In such cases, the person who was driving the vehicle that caused the accident or the owner will be the one liable for the damages that the passengers or the bus driver sustained. An experienced bus accident lawyer is going to help in identifying the parties liable so they can be held responsible for their actions.
Cases That Involve the Government Are Different Compared to Other Claims
The government agencies are responsible for the oversight of public transportation at the state and local level. Accidents that involve these types of vehicles are under common carrier laws. The laws are there to make sure that the vehicles carrying passengers adhere to a high level of caution. A government entity can be held liable if their negligence played a role.
After the accident or injury is discovered, you need to file the case against the Georgia government within a year. The notice you send to the party responsible for the accident must be in writing. When you send out this notice, the government agency will accept it and they can either offer to settle or deny the claim. If they deny the claim, you can go ahead and file a suit. It is important to hire a lawyer because they make sure your rights have been protected.
Claims that involve public transportation accidents against the city of Macon or the State of Georgia have to be handled carefully because they are complicated. If you want to increase the chance of succeeding, you need to hire an experienced lawyer who has handled similar cases.
What if My Child is Injured in A School Bus?
Accidents involving a school bus are handled the same way a bus accident is. Injuries to the child must be reported immediately to the chaperones or driver. The children need to tell their parents about the accident right away. You might have a stronger case if the actions of the driver caused the accident.
Cases that involve school buses can involve issues like sovereign immunity. What this means is that the government entity is going to agree to be sued before filing the suit against them. Communities usually have insurance that will handle these situations. For example, there is a $25,000 insurance policy in the city of Macon. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, the injuries of your child can be covered by your policy.
We will work towards ensuring you get compensation, regardless of the insurance company we are going to file a claim with.
What are the Damages That You Can Claim in a Bus Accident?
If the court finds that the operator was responsible for the injuries sustained, damages can be awarded. The most common damage claimed in such cases is medical expenses. This will include medical costs incurred so far and any that might be needed in the future. Expenses can include doctor’s appointments, hospital bills, physical therapy, prescription medication, and other medical fees.
If the injuries forced you to take time off your work, you can include lost wages in your lawsuit. If you cannot work or your capacity is diminished because of the injuries sustained during the accident, then you can also file claims for future wages.
A bus accident can have a big impact on the quality of life. These cases will usually include pain and suffering. The attorney is going to have people who will show how the injuries and accident changed your life.
How Much Do I Need for A Lawyer?
The way a bus accident case is handled is the same as other personal injury cases. What this means is there is no need of paying any money before or during the case.
We use the contingency basis when working on this type of case. The money we are going to get as payment for our services will come from the settlement or money recovered court. If we do not succeed in getting your compensation, we don’t get anything.
We are also not going to charge you even a cent when working on the case. If experts need to be hired, evidence gathered or taking depositions, you don’t pay for it, we are going to add these costs later for reimbursements from the settlement you get. This means we are fully invested in your case and will do our best to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
Talk to a Macon Bus Accident Lawyer Today
It is very important to talk to an experienced lawyer if you have an injury caused by the negligence of another party. Our car accident firm will work to make sure that you get medical treatment and also help in dealing with the insurance companies. Most of the claims we have been able to handle have ended up getting settled out of court. Give us a call at XXX-XXX-XXXX and you can be rest assured Calvin Smith Law is going to help you get the compensation you deserve and ensure justice has been served.