Bus accidents injure thousands of people every year. Passengers on buses can be injured because of negligence. Pedestrians or other drivers can be injured by a bus as well. It is important to understand that you have some legal recourse if you have been injured by a bus. This is true regardless of whether the bus is privately operated or part of a public transportation fleet for the city. You should know the steps that might be required to defend your rights after a bus accident.
Find the Cause of the Bus Accident
You are going to want to find the cause of the bus accident and your injuries. Buses are normally operated by larger companies or local government organizations. You need to establish liability. The driver might clearly be at fault because the individual was drinking, distracted from the road or trained incorrectly. The company or agency operating the bus service might be liable because of negligence, bad policies or bus stops that are unsafe. It is even possible that the bus manufacturer is responsible for your injury because of malfunctioning doors or safety measures. An experienced bus accident lawyer can help you to sort through the accident to see who was liable for your injuries.
Investigate and Locate Evidence
Investigating the bus accident is necessary in order to gather evidence that can be used to pursue a settlement or court judgment. It is critical to act fast because evidence from the driver or the bus company might be lost or thrown away if you wait for too long. You also want to act fast to find witnesses to the accident before memories fade. It is not easy to do this while you are recovering from a serious injury that might limit your mobility. A bus accident lawyer will take control of the investigation and gather all available evidence while you are recovering.
Make a Claim for Compensation
You should make a claim for compensation against everyone who was liable for the accident and your injuries. This means filing a civil case. You need to figure out how much compensation to ask for. You should document all your costs such as hospital bills, paychecks that were lost because you could not work and money that you will need to spend in the future. You might also be able to prove intangible losses like the inability to enjoy life or pain and suffering. You want to consult with a bus accident lawyer before filing your claim to ensure that the paperwork is done correctly and that your compensation request includes everything possible.
Insurance Companies and Opposing Attorneys
Insurance companies and possibly opposing attorneys will respond to your claim by offering a settlement. These settlements are generally very low and unrealistic. You want a bus accident lawyer with experience winning settlements for injury victims. The attorney can defend your rights and demand the compensation that you need. Additionally, an attorney shows that you are prepared to go to court if an agreement does not materialize. A lawyer is especially important if you were injured by a city or state bus. The right attorney can make it possible for you to win fair compensation for all of your physical and mental injuries.