No one expects to be involved in a traffic accident, especially a bus. But we all know these accidents happen all the time.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a Hampton bus accident, you have likely received extensive medical care. A bus accident lawyer in Hampton can help you receive proper compensation for your injuries and the suffering you have experienced.
When Is It Time to Consult a Hampton Bus Accident Lawyer?
Once you have been treated for your injuries and are on the mend, seeing a personal injury lawyer with experience in bus accidents is a good strategy. If you are considering a legal case to pursue compensation for your injuries and other damages, you have a limited window of opportunity.
Georgia’s statute of limitations for filing a civil lawsuit is two years. There are exceptions, which a qualified bus accident attorney in Hampton should be aware of, but in general, you have two years from the actual date of the accident to file a legal claim.
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Determining Who Was Responsible for the Bus Accident is Vital to a Legal Case
Whether you were a bus passenger or in another car struck by a bus, it is up to you and your attorney to determine and prove fault for receiving compensation. Usually, one of the drivers is the at-fault party, but not always. The responsibility could lie with someone or some entity, not even at the accident scene.
- There was a faulty mechanical part on the bus or other vehicle
- The bus company’s maintenance crew improperly cared for the vehicle or missed a customary service appointment
- The roadway had a significant pothole or other problem that either damaged the vehicle or caused it to swerve into another one
In each of these instances, someone other than one of the drivers could be responsible.
What Constitutes Fault by a Driver?
If driver error is the cause of an accident, it is almost always due to negligence. Examples of driver negligence include:
- Driving while under the influence
- Failure to stop at a red light or stop sign
- Failure to obey other traffic regulations
- Distracted driving
If negligence was the cause of your accident, you deserve reimbursement for the medical bills you have incurred and other damages. A driver’s insurance company usually pays this, but others may also be held accountable if a bus driver is an at-fault party.
From Whom Can You Receive Compensation?
When a bus driver causes an accident, they are at fault. But others may be too and should be held accountable. This could include the driver’s employer, such as:
- A tour bus company
- A private company with buses and drivers available for hire
- A public entity such as a school district or government agency
Any of these should have insurance coverage for all their drivers.
What Compensation Could You Receive for Your Injuries?
As mentioned, you deserve reimbursement for your out-of-pocket expenses. These are called economic damages and include:
- Medical bills to date, including ambulance transportation and emergency room care
- Ongoing medical care and future medical bills
- Lost earnings and benefits from time spent away from work
- Future lost wages and benefits
But there are also non-economic damages, as most individuals also suffer from the trauma of the accident and their injuries. They include such things as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional and mental anguish
- A loss of companionship
- A loss of consortium
The amount you can request for non-economic damages does not come from monetary bills but from a loss of quality of life, whether temporary or permanent. Your bus accident lawyer will refer to former cases to help develop an amount for the compensation you deserve.
Seek Help from an Experienced Bus Accident Attorney
Most attorneys specialize in one particular area of the legal field that interests them. If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a Hampton bus accident, you should seek help from a personal injury lawyer.
Call for an initial consultation. Do not be afraid to ask if the attorney has experience with bus accident cases. Share any information and evidence from the accident you have or have knowledge of, so the lawyer can develop an understanding of what happened.
Upon reviewing your information, the legal team can determine how your case could proceed. If you feel comfortable with their assessment, you will sign a representation agreement.
How Much Will a Bus Accident Attorney Cost?
When you first meet with your lawyer, you may have many questions, such as, “How much is this going to cost me?” Personal injury lawyers do not charge an upfront fee. If they decide to take your case and hire them, you agree to pay them a percentage of your compensation.
Once your legal team wins your case, they will collect all your compensation and place it in a holding account. You will receive a check for your payment, minus the agreed-upon percentage when it clears. This should all be spelled out in your representation agreement.
What You Can Expect from Your Bus Accident Attorney
Once hired, your lawyer and legal team can further investigate the accident by:
- Interviewing witnesses
- Getting a copy of the police report
- Taking a deposition of the driver
- Looking into the history of the driver and the company they work for as it pertains to traffic regulations and any previous violations or lawsuits
- Consult experts in the field
- Review your medical records and consult with your doctor
Details from as much evidence as possible are key to winning your case. The more evidence your attorney can find, the better the chances for positive negotiations with the defense’s legal team preventing the necessity for a court trial.
But if it becomes necessary, an experienced bus accident lawyer should be prepared for that possibility. When looking into bus accident attorneys, check out their experience in the courtroom.
Contact a Hampton Bus Accident Attorney Today
John Foy & Associates has years of experience in personal injury law in and out of the courtroom. We also have experience handling bus accident cases. We are proud to help our Georgia neighbors, and we are prepared to help you.
Contact John Foy & Associates for your free consultation. Let us examine your case and help you get adequately compensated. Contact us today!