With so many people relying on commercial bus lines for transportation across the state and country, bus passengers and other drivers on the road have the right to expect a higher standard of safety from professional bus drivers. Unfortunately, accidents are still common.
Court cases stemming from bus accidents can be complicated, often involving multiple plaintiffs. The complexity of these cases underscores the importance of seeking assistance from an attorney with experience in bus accident claims.
If you’ve been involved in a public bus accident in Georgia, filing a lawsuit against the responsible party may be necessary when seeking compensation for your damages. Hiring a seasoned Atlanta bus accident lawyer will help maximize your settlement or court award.
How a Bus Accident Lawyer Can Help Your Case
Upon becoming our client, we establish a collaborative partnership with you.
Our bus accident attorneys will assist you by:
- Gathering pertinent information and evidence pertaining to your bus accident
- Identifying the parties responsible for your damages
- Consulting with experts across various fields to determine fault and calculate your damages
- Reviewing settlement offers to make sure they are fair and align with your best interests
- Representing you in negotiations or during court proceedings
- Managing all communications with insurers and other involved parties
- Addressing any legal issues that arise and informing you of your options
While it is not mandatory to have a lawyer when filing a claim, attempting to do so without legal representation puts you at a disadvantage against the insurance company and its vast resources.
Having an attorney represent you is often enough for the insurance company to offer a fair settlement.
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What to Do After a Public Bus Accident
Taking prompt action after a bus accident is crucial. Follow these steps to ensure your well-being and safeguard your interests:
- Seek medical attention: If you or others are injured, seek immediate medical assistance.
- Inform the bus driver: Make sure the bus driver is aware of your injuries. It is crucial to report any injuries you suffered during the crash.
- Contact law enforcement: The bus driver should report the crash to the police, and both the driver and law enforcement must create an official report.
- Collect information: Gather as many details about the incident as possible. Since other passengers are likely involved, obtain their names and contact numbers. When the police arrive, make sure they include your name in their report.
Evidence in a Bus Accident Case
Your attorney plays a pivotal role in compiling evidence that identifies the responsible party and shows why you deserve compensation.
This evidence may encompass:
- Videos: Surveillance footage provides a visual account of the incident.
- Pictures: Photos taken at the accident scene capture the conditions and aftermath of the crash.
- Driving records: Obtaining records from the Georgia Department of Driver Services may shed light on the bus driver’s history and qualifications.
- Medical records: Seeking prompt medical attention ensures your well-being and creates an official record of your injuries.
- Witness statements: Third-party accounts from people who saw what happened can be valuable to your case.
- Expert testimony: Insights from professionals, such as crash reconstruction experts, are often useful in bus accident claims. Your lawyer might enlist the help of an expert witness to bolster your case.
Available Damages in a Georgia Bus Accident Case
The Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) § 51-1-6 explains your right to seek damages in a bus accident case. The compensation you may receive depends on the severity of your injury and the circumstances of the accident.
While every case is different, damages you could recover include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and emotional trauma
- Property damage to your vehicle or personal items
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Lost wages or reduced earning capacity
- Medical expenses
- Wrongful death
In addition to the above damages, punitive damages may also be awarded in your bus accident claim. Unlike compensatory damages that address your losses, punitive damages serve as a means for civil courts to punish the defendant.
You Have a Limited Time to File Your Public Bus Accident Lawsuit
Each state has a statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims, and waiting beyond the deadline may result in losing your opportunity to seek compensation.
In Georgia, accident victims typically have two years to initiate their claims per OCGA § 9-3-33. However, if you are suing a government agency, you must start your claim within 12 months of the accident date. Unique circumstances could alter these deadlines.
While a year or two may seem like plenty of time, insurance companies may expect you to report the accident within a day or two. Also, seeking legal help soon after the incident will make it easier to gather evidence and locate witnesses.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
John Foy & Associates has assisted bus accident victims in Georgia for over two decades. Our seasoned lawyers are dedicated to helping injured parties like yourself receive a settlement that accurately compensates them for the damages they incurred.
Don’t let an insurance company shortchange you. Our Georgia bus accident lawyers are prepared to file a lawsuit and fight for you in court. Secure your free consultation today by calling our offices or by completing our online contact form.