Bus accidents are unfortunately common in Georgia and elsewhere. Whether it’s a collision with another vehicle, a rollover, or a mechanical failure, these accidents can result in serious injuries and even fatalities. After a devastating crash, you may wonder about your next steps.
From seeking medical attention and gathering evidence to consulting with an Atlanta bus accident lawyer, there are crucial actions to take following a crash. Knowing what to do in such a chaotic situation can help you stay calm so you can protect yourself and others.
What to Do Immediately After a Bus Accident
If you find yourself involved in a bus-related accident, taking swift action will help ensure your safety and pave the way for a potential personal injury claim.
Prioritize the following actions:
- Make sure everyone is in a safe location and call 911: Your highest priority should be the safety of everyone involved. Call 911 immediately so that first responders can treat any injuries and the police can complete an accident report.
- Seek medical attention: It’s crucial to seek emergency medical assistance to identify any injuries, even if they seem minor. Your health is of utmost importance.
- Document the scene: Use your phone to take pictures of the accident scene. These photos can serve as valuable evidence when filing a claim.
- Exchange information: Communicate with all parties involved and exchange contact and insurance information. This step is important for filing a claim. However, avoid saying anything that could be viewed as an admission of fault.
- Collect Information: Jot down details about the incident. Obtain the names and contact numbers of other people involved, and make sure that your name is included in the police report when law enforcement arrives.
By following these steps, you not only prioritize safety but also lay the groundwork for a smoother claims process. Remember, detailed documentation is key when seeking compensation after an accident.
Collecting and presenting this evidence is crucial to establishing the merits of your bus accident claim, and your attorney will play a key role in building a compelling case.
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Pursuing Financial Compensation After a Bus Crash
The compensation you may recover after a bus accident depends on the extent of your injuries and the circumstances of the crash.
While every situation is different, damages you could recover include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death
In addition to the above damages, your bus accident claim might also warrant punitive damages. Unlike damages that aim to address your losses, punitive damages are awarded to you to punish the defendant.
How Our Law Firm Can Help Your Case
From the moment you become our client, we establish a collaborative partnership with you, and your lawyer will be dedicated to your case’s success.
Our bus accident attorneys play a pivotal role in supporting you by:
- Gathering information and evidence: We meticulously collect information and evidence related to your bus accident to build a strong foundation for your case.
- Identifying responsible parties: Determining who is liable for your damages is a crucial step. For example, if the bus driver caused the accident, the bus company may be liable.
- Consulting with experts: We work with experts across various fields to assess fault accurately and calculate the extent of your damages, ensuring an accurate settlement demand.
- Reviewing settlement offers: Our team scrutinizes settlement offers to ensure they are fair and aligned with your best interests.
- Representation in negotiations or court: Whether negotiating with insurers or representing you in court proceedings, our attorneys are dedicated to securing the maximum compensation available in your case.
- Managing communications: We take charge of all communications with insurers and other involved parties while you relax and focus on healing.
- Addressing legal issues: Our personal injury attorneys are ready to handle any legal issues that may arise, providing you with a clear understanding of your options throughout the process.
While it is possible to file a claim on your own, navigating your case without a lawyer can put you at a disadvantage against the insurance company and their legal team. Having an experienced attorney by your side evens the playing field and often increases your initial settlement offer.
You Have Limited Time to File Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
Every state imposes a time limit for filing personal injury claims, and filing after the deadline could mean losing the chance to recover compensation.
In Georgia, the window of opportunity for filing a claim is generally two years from the injury date, as outlined in OCGA § 9-3-33. However, if your claim involves a government entity, the filing deadline is reduced to 12 months from the incident date. Certain circumstances might modify these deadlines.
Although one or two years is a long time, insurance companies expect you to report the accident right away. Seeking legal assistance shortly after the incident not only aligns with these expectations but also gives your lawyer time to compile evidence and interview witnesses.
Free Consultation Regarding Your Georgia Bus Accident
For more than two decades, John Foy & Associates has advocated for accident victims throughout Georgia. Our experienced attorneys are committed to securing settlements that fully compensate accident victims for the damages they have suffered.
Don’t accept less than you deserve from an insurance company. Our bus accident lawyers are ready to take legal action, including filing a lawsuit and representing you in court. Take the first step by securing your free consultation today.
Contact us by phone or complete our online form to get started.