In Atlanta, an estimated 400,000-plus riders hop on a MARTA bus or train. Millions of people ride a commercial bus line across the state and country. And more than half of all children get on a school bus every morning. Bus riders have the right to assume that their driver is held to a higher standard than the regular person on the road. And thankfully, most of us arrive at our destination safely. But accidents happen every day—the federal government estimated that 12,000 passengers were injured just in 2012 alone.
Bus accident legal cases can be complicated affairs with multiple plaintiffs. That’s why it’s important to turn to an established Bus Accident Attorney like John Foy & Associates. We’re one of Atlanta’s most established personal injury law firms. Call us at 404-400-4000 to find out how we can help.
What should I do if a loved one or I was in a bus accident in Atlanta?
First, make sure the bus driver knows you’ve been injured. The driver should report the accident to the police and both the driver and police must make a report. Gather as much information as you can about the accident. It’s likely that there are other passengers aboard; get their names and telephone numbers. When the police come out, make sure they put your name on their report. In a bus accident many people are usually involved and if your name is not on any report it will be difficult to document.
If you’ve already been in a bus accident and weren’t able to do any of this, call our attorneys at John Foy & Associates and we’ll help you sort out your options.
What does the lawsuit process look like for a bus accident?
Bus accidents can be very complicated for most people to manage on their own. Multiple witnesses mean multiple accounts that can sometimes be contradictory. Generally there are multiple insurance companies, municipalities or private companies, all vying to serve their best interest, not yours. If you’ve been in a bus accident, it’s best to call a personal injury attorney even before you talk to your, or any, insurance company. And we’ll work with you to make a statement with any insurance company. We’ll make sure you don’t sign over confidential information on your medical history or that you don’t unknowingly implicate yourself for any responsibility for the accident.
You have a certain amount of time to file a claim, but if you wait too long you may forfeit your opportunity. You are obligated to report claims to insurance carriers, but in these cases, there are usually multiple carriers, all wanting to close the case as quickly and cheaply as possible. You have the right to be represented by an attorney even while you’re making a statement with an insurance company. Remember that they have staffs of lawyers working on their behalf, not yours.
Call John Foy & Associates right away at 404-400-4000 and we’ll work with you to report your claim, get the proper medical care and get you back on the road to recovery. The majority of our claims are settled before anyone has to go to court.
How do you conduct an investigation?
From the moment you become our client we form a partnership with you for your case. The more information you’ve gathered before calling us the faster we can get started. Our investigators will gather any reports filed after the accident—generally there are at least two reports. We’ll call your witnesses. If you didn’t get a lot of information right after the accident, don’t worry. It’s not unusual to try to minimize what’s happened to you after a traumatic event. We can still get started.
How do you determine damages?
All damages in a civil case presume that you have the right to recover for any bodily injury, any “reasonable and necessary” medical expenses and any income you have lost due to this injury. You also have the right to recover for any pain and suffering incurred because of this accident. The more severe your injury is the greater the potential compensation.
If the driver is found to be criminally at fault you may also have the right to sue for punitive damages. Those are damages awarded to punish the wrongdoer.
Says our firm founder John Foy, “Anybody driving a bus is going to be looked at differently than you or I would be driving a car. They are held to a higher standard, especially when driving a city bus, school bus or a commercial vehicle.”
In addition, drivers for national bus companies must follow strict interstate regulations such as how many hours they can drive and how much sleep they’ve had in the recent day or two. If they are found disobeying the law or these regulations there is a real opportunity to make a financial recovery.
Most common causes of school bus accidents
- Dangerous road conditions
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Faulty equipment
- Other drivers’ negligence.
The main difference is that anyone driving a bus is held to a higher standard. For example, texting and driving would be looked at much more harshly for a commercial driver. “They are being entrusted to transport the public,” says John Foy.
Who are the responsible parties at fault?
There may be many responsible parties for an accident. Besides the driver, a city entity or commercial line can also be held accountable. A city or commercial line is responsible for hiring good, responsible and qualified drivers. Was there negligent hiring or training? If there’s another vehicle involved, there may even be another driver at fault.
That’s why it’s important to contact a qualified Bus Accident Lawyer who will work tirelessly to determine the responsible party.
What if my child was involved in a school bus accident in Atlanta?
A school bus accident is similar to any bus accident. Your child should report an injury to the bus driver or any possible chaperone. We’d urge your child to describe any possible injury to you. If your child is hurt and the driver is at fault or negligent then there is a case.
If your child is on a school bus, there are possible issues of sovereign immunity, which means that you can’t sure a government entity unless it agrees to be sued. But most communities do purchase insurance for these types of cases. For example, the city of Atlanta carries a $25,000 insurance policy. If you, as the parent, carry Uninsured Motorist coverage, then we may be able to recover damages from your own insurance company as well.
We’re going to go after any responsible party and we’re always going to look for any insurance policy that may apply.
What if I was involved in a bus accident in a different state or country, specifically while I was on a Greyhound or tour bus?
If you’ve been injured in a different state or country, you need a local attorney. You’ll want to get any medical care from Atlanta professionals you trust. And we’ll make sure you have all the local resources necessary to get your life back to normal. Let our attorneys at John Foy & Associates research the designated location for the case. If the case must be held outside of Georgia, we’ll find an attorney we trust from that state. Because we’ve been in business for so many years we have a lot of friends and colleagues we trust across the country. And don’t worry–you will never pay a double charge for the legal services.
How can John Foy & Associates help me?
If you’ve been hurt in a bus accident, you need medical care. If you can’ t drive, you’ll need transportation. We’re one of Atlanta’s largest and most established personal injury firms. With more than 100 employees we make sure you’ll get the best care around. We have a community of professionals we turn to for our clients who are willing to care for you and wait for reimbursement. All of your costs will be taken out of your settlement. Get a free consultation at 404-400-4000.