Just 25 miles from Atlanta, Austell offers plenty of options for public transportation, including bus service around town and across the region. While buses provide a reliable source of transportation for many, they are not immune to becoming involved in an accident.
If you have been injured in a personal injury lawyer in Austell, an experienced lawyer from John Foy & Associates can help you understand the process of seeking compensation for the expenses and impacts of your injury.
The Process of Seeking Compensation After an Austell Bus Accident
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), more than 150 buses were involved in fatal crashes, including school buses, intercity buses, and transit buses. While the occupants of other vehicles are more likely to die in bus crashes, the National Safety Council (NSC) reports that — at least in terms of accidents involving school buses – passengers of the bus are injured in crashes about as frequently as occupants of other vehicles.
If you have been injured in a bus accident that was caused by the negligence of the bus driver or another driver on the roadway, you can seek compensation for your injury through the personal injury claims process, which may include a personal injury lawsuit.
The liability insurance policy of the individual or entity responsible for the accident that caused the injury is the most likely source of compensation for the injured party. One of the early tasks of a bus accident lawyer in Austell is to determine all sources of liability. In a bus accident, this may include:
- The driver of the bus
- The carrier or district responsible for providing the bus service, hiring drivers, and maintaining the vehicles
- Another driver whose negligence resulted in an accident with a bus in which you were injured as a passenger
Occasionally, a bus accident will result from a defective part on the bus or another vehicle, which can result in a product liability claim against the manufacturer or distributor of the bus parts.
Valuing Your Claim
There are a number of considerations made when a bus accident attorney in Austell values their client’s claim, including the amount of insurance the at-fault party has, the severity of the injury, and even the income (if any) that the injured person was making before the accident occurred. The reason income matters is because some types of compensation a claimant can seek involve wage loss and loss of earning capacity.
Not only do the liable parties have to be identified along with their associated insurance resources, but the attorney is tasked with gathering evidence and witness testimony that can help prove the claim in court. In order to prove that someone was liable for injuries incurred in a bus accident, the following elements must be present:
- Duty: The at-fault party had a duty to protect the safety and property of others in a given set of circumstances.
- Breach: The duty was breached when the at-fault party took an action that was contrary to looking out for the well-being of others.
- Cause: The breach caused an Austell bus accident in which the claimant suffered injuries that resulted in expenses and impacts.
Georgia allows personal injury claimants – including those injured in bus accidents – to seek compensation for expenses and impacts such as:
- Wage loss and loss of earning capacity
- Medical expenses associated with the treatment of the injury and any related complications
- Repair or replacement of property damaged in the accident (such as the vehicle the claimant was driving when they got into an accident with a bus)
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
The Time Limit for Filing a Bus Accident Claim in Austell
Individuals who have been injured in a bus accident in Austell generally must meet the state’s two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. What this means is that your case must be filed in court within two years.
Special Considerations for Child Victims of Bus Accidents
The most common type of bus to be involved in an accident is a school bus, which can result in injuries being incurred by a child. Children are owed a special duty of care by bus drivers, who – along with the district they work for – can be liable for injuries sustained by a child not only on the bus but also injuries sustained if the bus driver dropped them off in an unsafe location as well.
Because children are not able to file personal injury claims on their own, the statute of limitations is tolled (extended) to two years after the child’s 18th birthday if they wish to seek compensation. Because a minor child’s medical expenses are often covered by their parents or their parent’s insurance resources, parents of a child injured in a bus accident can file a claim for those expenses within two years of the date on which the accident occurred.
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How Much does an Austell Bus Accident Lawyer Cost?
Believe it or not, people can speak with an Austell bus accident lawyer about their case for free, and if they decide to hire the firm to assist them with their claim, they do not have to pay for their attorney’s services until the claim has been resolved either through a negotiated settlement or a court award. This is because most Austell bus accident attorneys provide free case evaluations and use a contingent fee billing method.
A contingent fee billing method involves an agreement that the attorney and their client enter into that outlines the services that will be provided and sets a percentage of the award or settlement that will be used to pay for those services.
Contact John Foy & Associates After an Austell Bus Accident
Being injured as a result of someone else’s negligence is a scary and frustrating situation to be in. Let us give you peace of mind by answering the questions you have about your case and informing you of the ways we can assist you in the pursuit of compensation. Contact us for your free case evaluation.