Public transportation, whether by bus, van or taxi cab, is a major benefit to those living inside or outside the city limits of a major city. Congested city streets and highways can be a nuisance for drivers who must reach a certain destination on time. Buses put more people in one vehicle, which reduces traffic congestion. Even though riding a bus can be a safe and convenient option, a bus can be involved in an accident just as any other vehicle on the highway.
The biggest difference is that when a bus is involved in an accident, the damage can be much greater due to the weight and size of the vehicle involved. Larger vehicles generally have a longer stopping distance, which can lead to certain bus collisions.
A bus or van provides public transportation in virtually every significantly-sized city. No matter which company or public entity (i.e., school district) offers the ride, if an accident occurs while riding a private van, school bus or commercial bus (e.g., accidents in school buses, Trailways, Greyhound or Megabus), the victim or his or her family may be entitled to pursue a personal injury case or wrongful death case to determine fault and recover compensation. Sometimes another vehicle other than the bus may be primarily at fault, with the bus driver being secondarily liable for injury or death.
A skilled bus accident lawyer knows all of the federal and state law rules to fight on a serious injury victim’s behalf to pursue the settlement they deserve. For example, any 16-passenger van or larger capacity bus must carry minimum liability limit insurance policies under federal law. This amount, however, is to be divided among all injured or killed by fault of the van or bus.
In a wrongful death bus accident case, the injury attorney handling the case seeks the maximum recovery from the dependents of the deceased victim. The personal injury settlement or compensation paid after a trial can cover medical benefits, lost wages, permanent disability, disfigurement, wrongful death, property damage, loss of consortium (loss of the normal relationship you previously had with your spouse or other loved one) and/or pain and suffering.
Why a Bus Accident Requires the Best Personal Injury Lawyer
Buses are large, heavy and full of moving parts. Plus, passengers bring all sorts of loose items, large and small, onto the bus. Based on this fact, when a bus accident occurs, it is possible that the aftermath includes enormous amounts of property damage and catastrophic injuries to those riding inside. A famous Atlanta bus wreck killed and seriously injured multiple athletes about a decade ago, in a personal injury case that made national and international news.
A bus is called a “common carrier” for purposes of federal transportation law. Vehicles carrying 16 or more passengers must have $5 million in coverage, and smaller capacity buses are only required to carry $1.5 million. This amount of coverage is paltry, if many serious injuries or deaths have occurred.
So, do not always assume that the bus company owner can pay all damages. Depending on how serious the injury is, a victim may be able to pursue compensation from others who are at fault (if another vehicle caused the car accident), and possibly from his or her own uninsured motorist coverage (when insufficient coverage from the at fault parties fails to cover your total loss).
Bus companies are responsible for properly hiring careful bus operators and monitoring their drivers’ traffic tickets and motor vehicle accident history. Plus, bus and van companies are required to systematically service and maintain their vehicles, train their drivers properly, and provide a safe transport experience for their passengers. When a bus transportation company does not take the necessary precautions to ensure a safe experience for passengers, accidents are more likely to occur.
When a bus wreck involves injury, death, traumatic brain damage, scarring or lost time from work, the injured party or a family member should immediately contact a bus accident attorney. Our injury attorneys are willing and prepared to fight for full compensation for your bus accident. The sooner you act, the more likely all of the important evidence from the accident will be gathered and protected for purposes of your injury lawsuit.
Call us today for a FREE phone or personal appointment. The initial legal advice and phone call are FREE: 404-567-5515 or 1-888-986-7150.
Our MAIN OFFICE is located at 5 Concourse Parkway, Suite 2340, Atlanta, GA 30328, but for injured clients or families who have lost a family member, we come to your home.