Millions of people ride commercial bus lines across the state and country. Bus riders have the right to assume that their driver gets held to a higher standard than the regular person on the road. But accidents still happen every day.
Bus accident legal cases can be complicated affairs with multiple plaintiffs. That’s why it’s crucial to turn to established bus accident lawyers in Atlanta, GA, like our team at John Foy & Associates. We are one of Atlanta’s most established personal injury law firms.
How Our Atlanta Bus Accident Lawyers Can Help You
From the moment you become our client, we form a partnership with you for your case. Our bus accident attorneys in Atlanta will help you by:
- Gathering information and evidence on your behalf after your bus accident
- Figure out which parties were liable for your damages
- Consult with experts in various fields to determine fault and evaluate the extent of your damages
- Ensure that all settlement offers are fair and in your best interest
- Represent you during negotiations or trial
- Handle all your communications with other parties
- Answer any legal questions and inform you of all the options available for your case
Even though filing a case doesn’t require a lawyer, trying to do so without one puts you at an extreme disadvantage against the insurance company and its resources. Don’t go through any negotiation process alone. Just hiring a bus accident attorney in Atlanta is more than enough to convince the insurance company to settle with you fairly.
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What to Do After a Bus Accident in Atlanta
First, get medical attention if you or someone else has life-threatening injuries. Then, make sure the bus driver knows you got injured. Finally, the driver should report the accident to the police, and both the driver and police must make a report.
Gather as much information as you can about the accident. There are likely other passengers aboard. Get their names and telephone numbers. When the police come out, make sure they put your name on their report. Many people are usually involved in a bus accident, and if your name is not on any report, it won’t be easy to document.
Insurance Companies Are Not on Your Side
Bus accidents can be very complicated for most people to manage on their own. Multiple witnesses mean multiple accounts that can sometimes be contradictory. Generally, numerous insurance companies, municipalities, or private companies are vying to serve their best interest, not yours.
It is not uncommon for insurance companies to go to great lengths to reduce their financial obligation. One of the top ways insurance adjusters attempt to reduce bus accident victim payouts is by accusing them of sharing liability for their injuries.
Modified Comparative Negligence
Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state when it comes to shared fault. If your portion of liability exceeds 49%, you will lose your right to have your case heard in the civil court system.
Your injury settlement will also be reduced to account for your portion of culpability. You can protect yourself from the insurance company by having your attorney ensure fault is evaluated accurately in your Atlanta bus accident claim.
How Bus Crashes Are Different from Other Motor Vehicle Accidents
When you have been in a car accident, there are certain damages and facets of your claim that can be difficult to deal with. A bus accident claim is even more complicated. That’s why you need a lawyer who has plenty of experience in bus accident law.
There are obvious reasons that bus accidents are different than other motor vehicle accidents: buses are much larger than cars, and therefore do more damage to other vehicles. A bus’s size also means it is harder to maneuver and stop, making it more difficult to avoid a crash.
There are other, less obvious reasons that bus crashes differ from car accidents, though. Bus operators usually have to have special licenses and job duties, making it more complicated to find them liable. In fact, other parties may be liable, including managers and parts manufacturers.
Bus accidents also tend to have more claimants because buses have the potential to hit more vehicles. That does not mean that your compensation will necessarily be less as a result, though; your compensation may be higher in a bus accident, actually, because of the more severe damages that buses cause.
Evidence in a Bus Accident Case
To prove what happened in your bus accident, your lawyer will have to gather strong evidence that shows not only who was at fault, but also why you deserve compensation. To that end, your attorney may look for evidence that includes:
- Security video
- Pictures of the scene of the accident
- Driving records
- Medical records
- Witness statements
- Expert testimony
It is possible that your bus accident attorney in Atlanta may call in expert witnesses, namely accident reconstruction experts. An accident reconstruction expert will be able to pull photos, videos, and other details of the crash scene to show exactly what happened and who was at fault.
It’s extremely important to have strong evidence in a bus accident case because there may be other parties at fault. By hiring an experienced lawyer to work on your case, you’re recruiting someone who can find any and all parties responsible for your injuries.
Damages You Can Recover in a Bus Accident Case
All damages in a civil case presume that you have the right to recover for any bodily injury under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §51-1-6. The more severe your injury is, the greater the potential compensation. You can recover compensation for several damages such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and emotional trauma
- Property damages
- Vehicle repairs or replacement
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Lost wages or reduced earning capability
- Medical expenses such as prescriptions, physical therapy, clinic visits, ER visits, hospital stays, surgery, equipment, and various other treatments
- Wrongful death
In addition to the compensable damages you are entitled to recover in your bus accident claim, you might also be awarded punitive damages. These are not a loss you are entitled to, but rather a way for the Atlanta civil courts to punish the defendant.
They may find this necessary if the defendant’s conduct was intentional, egregious, or grossly negligent. You should not expect to be awarded punitive damages, but the court system may award them if they hope to send a message to the community that they will not tolerate this conduct in the future.
As can be seen, there are many damages related to bus accidents. Even still, this list does not even scratch the surface. As long as you can prove your damages are related to your bus accident in Atlanta, you can factor them into your settlement. We will not leave even a single penny out of the total to ensure you get the maximum amount of compensation possible.
The Statute of Limitations for Atlanta Bus Accidents
You have a certain amount of time to file a claim, but you may forfeit your opportunity if you wait too long. In addition, you have an obligation to report claims to insurance carriers. Still, there are usually multiple carriers in these cases, all wanting to close the case as quickly and cheaply as possible.
OCGA §9-3-33 generally gives Atlanta bus accident victims two years to file their claims. You should not take too long to get started. Instead, begin building your case immediately while the evidence and accident are still fresh. When people wait until the last minute to file a claim, they weaken their chances of getting a fair settlement.
Talk to Our Atlanta Bus Accident Attorneys Today
The Atlanta bus accident lawyers at John Foy & Associates are one of Atlanta’s largest and most established personal injury firms. For more than two decades, we have helped bus crash victims such as yourself get a settlement that properly reflects the damages they sustained.
So, do not let the insurance company cheat you out of fair compensation. Get your free consultation today by calling us or filling out our online contact form.
Frequently Asked Questions
After suffering a devastating injury in an Atlanta bus accident, you may be confused and unsure of what to do next. With so many unanswered questions, you may be feeling overwhelmed. We hope to ease your worries and get you the answers you deserve.
Below, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding bus accidents in Atlanta. If you have additional concerns we did not cover here, do not hesitate. Contact our office for a free consultation to get started on your case today.
Who Can Be Held Liable for My Bus Accident?
Besides the driver, a city entity or commercial line can also be held accountable. A city or commercial line is responsible for hiring good, trustworthy, and qualified drivers. Was there negligent hiring or training? If there’s another vehicle involved, there may even be another driver at fault.
Our Atlanta bus accident attorneys will work tirelessly to determine all the people involved in your bus accident and who is responsible. We will make sure that every negligent party that had a part in your accident gets held liable.
What if My Child Was in a School Bus Accident in Atlanta?
A school bus accident is similar to any bus accident. Your child should report an injury to the bus driver or any possible chaperone. In addition, we’d urge your child to describe any potential injury to you. If your child is hurt and the driver is negligent, there is a case.
If your child is on a school bus, there are possible issues of sovereign immunity, which means that you can’t sue a government entity unless it agrees to get sued. But most communities do purchase insurance for these types of cases.
For example, the city of Atlanta carries a $25,000 insurance policy. If you, as the parent, have Uninsured Motorist coverage, then we may be able to recover damages from your own insurance company as well. We’re going to go after any responsible party, and we’re always going to look for any insurance policy that may apply.
What if I Was in a Greyhound or Tour Bus Accident?
If you got injured in a bus accident in a different state or county, you need a local attorney. In addition, you’ll want to get any medical care from Atlanta professionals you trust. We’ll make sure you have all the local resources necessary to get your life back to normal.
Let our bus accident attorneys research the designated location for the case. If the case must get held outside of Georgia, we’ll find an attorney we trust from that state. Because we’ve been in business for so many years, we have a lot of friends and colleagues we trust across the country. And don’t worry, you will never pay a double charge for legal services.
What Does It Cost to Hire a Bus Accident Lawyer in Atlanta?
Many predatory law firms out there seek only to charge you exorbitant fees and steal your settlement money from under you. We stand firm with our ethics and values. We are always open, honest, dedicated, and transparent with our clients. Our reviews and testimonials show how much we care about helping you win your case.
John Foy & Associates will never charge you any fees upfront. There are also no hidden fees that we add on to anything. In addition, we only get paid at the end when we successfully recover a settlement for you. If our Atlanta bus accident lawyers cannot get you compensation, you pay us absolutely nothing for our services.
Does It Matter How My Bus Accident Happened?
Bus accidents happen for many reasons:
- Dangerous road conditions
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Faulty equipment
- Other drivers’ negligence
It does not matter how your bus accident happened. Anyone driving a bus gets held to a higher standard since they have the responsibility of not just others on the road but also the passengers they transport.
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