If you or someone in your family has been in an accident involving a bus, you may have extensive medical bills and wonder who is responsible for paying for them. A bus accident lawyer in Augusta can help you.
John Foy and Associates knows how complicated bus accident claims can be – and how to get results. For more than 20 years, we’ve been getting injured people the money they need to pay their bills and get their lives together again. Call us and get your free consultation today.
What Makes Bus Accidents Different from Other Types of Accidents?
Several features of buses make them far more likely to have an accident that causes serious injuries. There are many ways that a bus accident is more dangerous than other accidents on the road.
First, there’s the shape and sheer size of a bus. A bus is far larger and heavier than a passenger car, which means in an accident, it can cause devastating damage to anything in its path. The high profile of a bus also makes it vulnerable to tipping over. Second, riding on a bus is not as safe as riding in a car in many ways, for example:
- Buses don’t have any airbags that could help cushion the impact of an accident.
- Many buses don’t have seat belts and even when they do, passengers don’t usually use them. Bus passengers can be jostled and thrown around in an accident, causing bruises, cuts, and broken bones.
- It’s not uncommon for passengers to stand in the aisles of transit buses, either because there are no seats or because a passenger is preparing to get off the bus. In an accident, standing passengers are likely to be thrown to the ground and injured.
- Bus passengers often have backpacks, shopping bags, groceries, or small children on their laps. Everyday items become dangerous projectiles in an accident, and young children’s lives can be put at risk.
All of these dangers can cause severe injuries and damages. Thus, the people responsible for operating, manufacturing, and taking care of these buses need to exercise a high duty of care. One slip-up or negligent action can lead to an accident that can hurt or kill innocent people.
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Damages You Can Be Compensated for After an Augusta Bus Accident
You can recover compensation for damages you or your loved one sustained at the expense of the negligent party responsible. There are many damages that you can file a claim for, including:
- Medical expenses such as prescriptions, physical therapy, ER visits, hospital visits, continued treatment, etc.
- Various property damages
- Lost wages or reduced earning capability
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and emotional trauma
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death
This is just a shortlist of the most common damages for which our bus accident attorneys in Augusta can file claims. Even if the damage you sustained isn’t on this list, rest assured that we can still fight hard on your behalf to get you compensated.
Our bus accident lawyers in Augusta use various formulas and have an all-encompassing approach when it comes to calculating your damages. We will ensure that nothing gets left out, and we will always strive to get you the maximum amount of compensation possible.
Punitive Damages for Bus Accidents
The Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §51-12-5.1 allows for accident victims to receive a reward for punitive damages if their case qualifies. However, there are specific criteria about your case that need to be met first before you can receive any reward.
Keep in mind that punitive damages primarily exist to punish the negligent party for their actions. It’s not something you can actively pursue in your claim unless specific circumstances allow you to. If your bus accident case qualifies, our lawyers will seek to get you the financial rewards associated with punitive damages.
Augusta Bus Accident Lawyer Near Me 404-400-4000
Who Is “At Fault” in an Augusta Bus Accident?
The responsibility for accident injuries in Georgia lies with whoever was at fault. In most car accidents, one of the drivers is at fault for driving carelessly or violating traffic regulations. The legal term for this is “negligence.” When someone’s negligence causes an accident, that person is liable for every injury that occurs, as well as all property damage.
In a bus accident, the bus driver or the driver of another car may have been negligent. But other parties may have been negligent too, such as:
- The bus company that operated the bus and employed a driver
- Bus maintenance company
- Bus manufacturer or a governmental entity.
This makes bus accident claims more complicated than claims in many other types of accidents. You are entitled to recover all your costs from the “at fault” party, including money to pay for your medical expenses and make up for the time you’ve missed from work. If you were seriously hurt, it is likely you will recover far more than this.
What Are Some Common Causes of Bus Accidents?
Speeding, tailgating, running red lights, and other traffic violations can cause bus accidents in Augusta, just as they cause car accidents. But there are some common reasons bus accidents happen that are more unique to buses. These include:
- A bus being overloaded with passengers and baggage
- Poor bus driver training
- Inadequate maintenance of the bus
- A driver not paying enough attention to pedestrians along the roadway and entering or exiting the bus
- A driver distracted by something going on inside the bus
- Defective bus parts
Regardless of how your bus accident happened, we can send our own investigators and conduct our own research into your case. Our goal is to get the evidence necessary to hold the negligent party responsible liable for their actions.
For a free legal consultation with a bus accidents lawyer serving Augusta, call 404-400-4000
What Should I Do If I’m in a Bus Accident?
Regardless of whether you are a passenger in the bus or are in another car on the roadway, be sure to get emergency medical care for any urgent injuries. Always follow up with a doctor after your accident, even if you don’t think you were injured at all. Bus accident injuries can be worse than they seem at first, and getting a doctor’s opinion right away will help you recover faster.
The scene around a bus accident can seem chaotic, but if you stay calm and focus on a few simple tasks, you will strengthen any claim you may make later. These include:
- Calling the police if someone else has not done this already
- Taking pictures of the accident scene, the damage to the bus, and any other involved vehicles
- Talking to people who might have witnessed the accident. It’s very important to get any witnesses’ names and phone numbers so you can locate them again later
- Getting the names and insurance information for the other drivers involved in the accident. The law enforcement officer responding to the accident may be able to help you with this.
Be sure you see a bus accident lawyer in Augusta as soon as possible. Bus accidents can grow complicated very quickly, and multiple people or businesses may share the liability. A professional investigation is often needed to sort everything out.
If a governmental entity is involved, you need someone who knows how to deal with the insurance companies that insure transit and school buses because government entities are protected from lawsuits in the local courts.
The Statute of Limitations for Bus Accidents in Augusta
OCGA §9-3-33 gives you a general statute of limitations of two years from the date of your bus accident to file a claim. If you pass this deadline, there’s nothing you will be able to do to recover compensation.
It’s best not to wait until the last minute to start preparing and filing your claim. Some bus accident cases may have an even shorter time frame than what the general statute of limitations provides.
Talk to an Augusta Bus Accident Lawyer Today
At John Foy & Associates, our goal is to get you money for your injuries. If you or someone close to you got injured in a bus accident, we’d like to help you make a claim. Our law office never charges a fee unless we get you paid. Contact us at (404) 400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your free consultation today.