About 3000 people ride on Augusta Public Transit buses every day, and many more Augusta residents board charter buses or bright yellow school buses. When a bus gets into an accident, the damage and injuries can be widespread. If you or someone in your family has been in an accident involving a bus, you may have big medical bills and wonder who is responsible for paying for them. A bus accident lawyer in Augusta can help you.
John Foy and Associates knows how complicated bus accident claims can be – and how to get results. For more than 20 years, we’ve been getting injured people the money they need to pay their bills and get their lives together again. We’d like to talk to you for free to find out more about your bus accident and help you figure out if you have a claim. There’s never any obligation. Let us give you a free consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
What makes bus accidents different than other types of accidents?
Several features of buses make them far more likely to have an accident that causes serious injuries. First, there’s the shape and sheer size of a bus. A bus is far larger and heavier than a passenger car, and that means in an accident it can cause devastating damage to anything in its path. The high profile of a bus also makes it vulnerable to tipping over.
Second, in many ways, riding on a bus is not as safe as riding in a car. For example:
- Buses don’t have any air bags that could help cushion the impact from an accident.
- Many buses don’t have seat belts. Even when a bus does have seat belts, passengers don’t usually use them. In an accident, bus passengers can be jostled and thrown around, causing bruises, cuts and broken bones.
- It’s not uncommon for passengers to stand in the aisles of transit buses, either because there are no seats or because a passenger is preparing to get off the bus. In an accident, standing passengers are likely to be thrown to the ground and injured.
- Bus passengers often have backpacks, shopping bags, groceries or small children on their laps. In an accident, these ordinary items become dangerous projectiles, and young children’s lives may be at risk.
Who is “at fault” in an Augusta bus accident?
The responsibility for accident injuries in Georgia lies with whoever was “at fault.” In most car accidents, one of the drivers is at fault for driving carelessly and/or in violation of traffic regulations. The legal term for this is “negligence.” When someone’s negligence causes an accident, that person is liable for every injury that occurs, as well as all property damage.
In a bus accident, the bus driver or the driver of another car may have been negligent. But there are other parties who may have been negligent too, such as the bus company that operated the bus and employed a driver, a bus maintenance company, a bus manufacturer, or a governmental entity. This makes bus accident claims more complicated than claims in many other types of accidents.
You are entitled to recover all your costs from the “at fault” party, including money to pay our medical expenses and make up for time you’ve missed from work. If you were seriously hurt, it is likely you will recover far more than this.
What are some common causes of bus accidents?
Speeding, tailgating, running red lights and other traffic violations can cause bus accidents in Augusta-Richmond County, just as they cause car accidents. But there are some common reasons bus accidents happen that are more unique to buses. These include:
- A bus being overloaded with passengers and baggage
- Poor bus driver training
- Inadequate maintenance of the bus
- A driver not paying enough attention to pedestrians along the roadway and entering or exiting the bus
- A driver distracted by something going on inside the bus
- Defective bus parts
What should I do if I am in a bus accident?
Regardless of whether you are a passenger in the bus or are in another car on the roadway, be sure to get emergency medical care for any urgent injuries. Always follow up with a doctor after your accident, even if you don’t think you were injured at all. Bus accident injuries can be worse than they seem at first, and getting a doctor’s opinion right away will help you recover faster.
The scene around a bus accident can seem chaotic, but if you stay calm and focus on a few simple tasks, you will strengthen any claim that you may make later. These include:
- Calling the police, if someone else has not done this already.
- Taking pictures of the accident scene, the damage to the bus, and any other vehicles that were involved.
- Talking to people who might have witnessed the accident. Its very important to get any witnesses’ names and phone numbers so you can locate them again later.
- Getting the names and insurance information for the other drivers involved in the accident. The law enforcement officer responding to the accident may be able to help you with this.
Finally, be sure you see a bus accident lawyer as soon as possible. Bus accidents can grow complicated very quickly. Multiple people or businesses may share the liability. Professional investigation is often needed to sort everything out. If a governmental entity is involved, you need someone who knows how to deal with the insurance companies that insure transit and school buses, because government entities are protected from lawsuits in the local courts.
Talk to an Augusta Bus Accident Lawyer
At John Foy & Associates, our goal is to get you money for your injuries. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a bus accident, we’d like to give you a free consultation to talk about what happened and your injuries and explain how you can make a claim. Our law office never charges a fee unless we get you paid. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.