When an accident involves a bus, things can become complicated quickly. The number of people injured and the severity of the damage caused can result in substantial lawsuits. Failure to gather proper documents and evidence, however, or bring suit against the right party can result in your claim being denied compensation.
Seeking the guidance of a lawyer with a history of handling negligence claims successfully, like John Foy & Associates, is the best thing you can do, and the sooner the better. Negligence claims can take extensive investigation. Locating and questioning witnesses will result in more useful information immediately following the accident than several months down the road.
Complications Experienced in Bus Accident Compensation Claims
The average school bus can range from 20 to 45 feet long. The average carrying capacity is between 30 and 100 passengers. City buses and coach buses, used for travel, are often bigger and can accommodate as many as 300 passengers. With that number of people at risk and that sized vehicle involved, you can see how the claims for compensation could add up quickly.
If the accident involved a city transit or school bus, the driver may be a government employee, which in many cases affords them sovereign immunity. If the driver has sovereign immunity, they cannot be sued without first being notified and agreeing to be sued. When this situation arises, injuries and damages can be compensated by insurance policies held by the government agencies to compensate for such claims.
Other policies may be liable for various amounts of compensation as well, depending on the factors of your case. Only a bus accident lawyer in Ellenwood with a thorough understanding of the laws governing negligence can properly assist you in navigating such complex circumstances.
There are exceptions to sovereign immunity, such as a driver who is guilty of gross negligence resulting in a bus accident and subsequent injuries. Gross negligence is defined as reckless disregard for the lives or safety of others. Government employees who have acted with gross negligence which resulted in the bus accident and negligence claim will not be given immunity from the consequences of their actions.
Get the strong arm
A common carrier is anyone who charges a fee to transport goods or passengers publicly. This can mean a bus, taxi, or delivery driver. The state of Georgia sets financial and care requirements and limitations on those who work as common carriers.
Higher Duty of Care
Common carriers are expected to provide passengers with the greatest duty of care. They are expected to take every precaution to prevent injury or harm to their passengers. The heightened duty of care means that less proof of negligence is needed for them to be accountable for passenger injuries.
Negligent Contributing Factors in Bus Accident Cases
There are many negligent acts that contribute to bus accident injuries. These factors can be aggravating. Proving they apply can also be key to a settlement negotiation or winning your case in court.
- Distracted driving
- Neglecting to follow traffic laws
- Driver fatigue
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Vehicle maintenance
Injuries that May Result from an Ellenwood Bus Accident
The severity of injuries that can result after a bus accident can be devastating. The lack of seat belts and airbags makes a bus accident very dangerous. Seeking medical attention right away is important even if you do not feel injured right away.
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Spine, neck, or back injuries
- Head trauma
- Ejection from vehicle
Compensation for a Negligence Claim
When seeking compensation for accident injuries caused by a negligent driver, the amount of compensation you are owed will be based on all of the information above as well as the circumstances of your accident. Discussing your injuries and the case factors with your Ellenwood bus accident lawyer will allow you to determine what factors you can seek compensation for.
Compensatory damages you may be awarded are meant to reimburse you for costs that resulted from your accident. These are some of the compensatory damages you may be able to recover.
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Lost quality of life
Punitive damages can be awarded as well. These damages are not for a specific treatment or injury, they are imposed as punishment and are meant to deter the negligent party from repeating their actions.
Steps You Should Take After an Ellenwood Bus Accident
When a bus accident occurs you can increase your odds of getting compensated by taking the following steps.
Seek Medical Attention Right Away
You may not feel your injuries right away. Getting checked out ensures that signs of trouble do not go unnoticed longer than necessary.
Document as Much as Possible
It may not be possible to take photos or write things down at the time of the crash, but if you get the chance, this evidence can be very helpful to your claim.
Report to Insurance Company
If you were driving a vehicle your insurance company should be notified right away even if you were not at fault. If you are contacted by the at-fault party’s insurance company you are advised to not make a statement or agree to a settlement amount before consulting a lawyer.
Get Copies of Reports
Documents that pertain to your claim should be collected as they become available. The police report should be made available within a few days but will only remain available for a few weeks.
Speak with an Ellenwood Bus Accident Attorney Today
The best step you can take towards getting compensated for your injuries is to speak with a bus accident attorney in Ellenwood. An injury lawyer who has experience navigating Georgia negligence claims successfully can increase your odds of getting compensated properly for damages you incurred.
John Foy & Associates are Georgia personal injury lawyers with many years of navigating negligence claims related to bus accidents, automobile accidents, and all other claims seeking compensation due to negligence. Contact us today for a free consultation of your case and find out what your options are for receiving compensation.