Bus accidents can be particularly severe. The size of the vehicle and the number of people who rely on drivers to be predictable and safe mean that, when something goes wrong, the damages are high. If you weren’t at fault in your accident, the personal injury lawyers in Tucker from John Foy & Associates can help you get compensation.
Who Is At Fault in a Bus Accident?
Bus accidents aren’t quite as clear-cut as other motor vehicle accidents. There are lots of moving parts—quite literally—and any negligence on the part of anyone involved could cause a crash. For your claim, your attorney may need to do extra investigation to find out who was at fault, and in certain cases, there may even be multiple liable parties.
Parties that could be at fault in a bus accident include:
Sometimes, the most obvious option is the right answer. If a bus driver was somehow negligent in their operation of the vehicle, and their negligence caused the crash, they’re at fault. That can look like speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving, or general reckless behavior.
Even if a bus driver is at fault for your accident, they aren’t necessarily liable for your damages. Often, the company or municipality that hired them is the party responsible for paying for your accident.
Private Bus Companies
Another party that could be at fault for your bus accident is the private company that owns the bus. If that company failed to maintain the vehicle and keep its passengers and other drivers safe, they could be liable for the damages their negligence caused. This could also be the case if they overworked their driver or failed to properly screen them.
If you or your child were injured on a public bus, including a school bus, the local government or school system could be at fault for the same reasons that a private company might. These cases are often messy, though.
There are usually legal limitations on the liability of a local government or school system. School bus or public transit accidents are difficult to get compensation for, but a claim is still possible.
If another negligent driver caused a bus accident, whether directly or through a chain of events, they could be liable for the damages they caused. In fact, in some cases, there could be multiple drivers at fault.
Manufacturers or Mechanics
Even bus accidents that seem like random chance could be due to someone else’s negligence. If a parts manufacturer put out a faulty product that caused a bus to crash, that company could be liable. The same goes for mechanics—if a professional tasked with making a bus run safely and smoothly failed to do so, they may be at fault for the consequences.
Because buses are large, have more mechanical components than other cars, and require regular maintenance, third-party claims are more common in bus accidents than other motor vehicle accidents.
No matter who was responsible, your Tucker bus accident attorney can help you hold them accountable. This may require in-depth evidence and expert testimony, but with the right lawyer, you can collect compensation from all negligent parties.
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Comparative Fault in a Bus Accident Case
Unfortunately, there is one more party that could be found at fault for your bus accident: you. If the bus driver, their company, or other party is able to prove that you had even a small percentage of the fault in your accident, you could lose out on compensation.
That’s because of Georgia’s comparative negligence law, filed under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) § 51-12-33. This statute dictates that any victim of an accident can be found partially negligent and have their payout decreased proportionally. Basically, that means the percentage of fault you had could be taken out of your compensation.
For example, let’s say you were eligible for $10,000 for the damages you suffered in a bus accident. However, the other party alleges that you were speeding and say you had 20% of the fault in the accident. Your compensation could be reduced by 20%, leaving you with $8,000.
Damages You Can Claim
The compensation that you do get from your Tucker bus accident claim will depend on the specific damages that the at-fault party caused. Those don’t just have to be monetary. In fact, you could collect compensation for non-economic damages, which cover the more abstract tolls on your life and well-being.
Damages you could claim for a bus accident include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Car repairs
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Loss of earning potential
- Wrongful death
Your bus accident attorney in Tucker will use the bills and receipts you have to calculate these damages, even the non-economic ones that don’t have a specific monetary value.
As for how much compensation you will be able to recover, it all depends on your damages and the level of fault you had in your accident. The best way to get a good idea of how much your settlement could be is to get a consultation with a lawyer in Georgia.
Talk to a Bus Accident Attorney in Tucker for Free
Bus accidents often result in injuries, property damage, and other severe consequences. When someone else is at fault for the accident, they should pay for the aftermath, not you. A Tucker bus accident lawyer from John Foy & Associates can help you get compensation.
To get your FREE initial consultation, call us or contact us online. You can get connected with one of our attorneys today.