If you have been injured as a result of an auto accident, you might be eligible to file a personal injury (PI) claim in order to recover the losses you suffered along with some additional damages. A car accident can lead to many expenses, including:
- Medical expenses
- lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
By filing a PI claim, you will be asking the liable party's insurance company to pay you for your damages. Because insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible, you should consult with a PI attorney to ensure your interests are protected and that you are fairly compensated for your losses as a result of the crash.
Potential Crash Scenarios With a Bus
There are hundreds of buses on the road, so it would be easy to be involved in an accident with one. There are several possible scenarios of how you could be involved in an accident with a bus.
As an example, if you were in an accident that involved being rear-ended by a bus, it's very likely that the bus company will be at fault for the crash. Determining negligence is challenging though, so be sure to speak with a personal injury attorney.
In most scenarios, the vehicle that is rear-ended is not at fault for the crash. There are a few exceptions, such as if you were to stop in the middle of the road without probable cause, the bus driver might not be to blame for the claim. There are some states that do not let you file an accident claim if you are even just 1% to blame for the accident.
Determining if the bus driver was at fault for the crash is a major component of any personal injury claim. There might be some crash scenarios in which determining fault is a bit more challenging, but law enforcement and a personal injury attorney should be able to do just that.
Most busses reach their destination safely, but large bus companies carries 16 million passengers over 5 billion miles every year. With this many busses on the road, unfortunately there will be accidents every year. If you are physically able to, it is important to begin working your case immediately. Here are some details to look for after an accident:
Was the driver distracted? – In August of 2019, a bus crashed injuring 17 in Kentucky. Just a few minutes before the crash, the driver was seen on his cell phone.
Was the driver violating any traffic laws? - In January of 2019, 22 passengers were injured after a driver was speeding and lost control of the vehicle. Later, alcohol was confirmed as a contributing factor in the accident. Both clear traffic violations.
Was the driver fatigued? – One of the most common factors in a bus accident is fatigue. Dozing off for a split second can have catastrophic consequences. In January of 2016, two women were killed when a bus driver fell asleep at the wheel and the bus went off the road and flipped onto the highway divide. The bus was an overnight bus leaving Los Angeles at 11:30pm and set to arrive in Oakland at 8:10am.
To find the answers to these questions, the best evidence will be in the form of witness statements. Your attorney will be able to help you gather witness statements.
If you have been injured in an accident, one of the more popular transportation services, you will want to pursue a personal injury claim to recover compensation for your damages. For your claim to be successful, you need to gather as much supporting evidence as possible. In addition to the standard evidence and documentation that is used to support a personal injury claim after a motor vehicle accident, there are other kinds of evidence that your personal injury attorney may be able to obtain to support your case.
Many bus companies and commercial vehicle operators monitor their drivers speed and location. They have GPS units installed on the vehicles. If this is the case, your attorney can ask that these details be submitted as evidence to the court. You and/or your attorney can also check to see if the bus that was involved in the crash was equipped with dash cams and/or cabin cams. These cameras could have caught part or all the accident, and they may provide valuable support to your personal injury claim.
Video recordings often tell the story about the crash, providing information that otherwise may not have been made available despite thorough investigations. Commercial vehicle operators, including bus lines, are required to maintain a thorough vehicle maintenance history. Failure to maintain this history could be considered negligence and is a violation of federal traffic laws. These maintenance records can be asked for as evidence and can help determine if a mechanical issue or the lack of maintenance to the vehicle was a contributing factor to the crash.
If you are physically able to do so, you should get photos of the accident scene from different angles. Also, be sure to get photos of the damages and of any visible injuries. You should get the name of the bus driver and get the bus number and its license plate details. Remember, the more documentation and evidence that you have that will support your claim, the stronger your claim will be against the bus company. Ask any witnesses to provide written statements. In this situation, there may be several witnesses, so get the names of any witnesses along with their contact details.
Maintain all supporting documentation, including medical bills and proof of lost wages, so you can show the exact losses you suffered. Medical bills, medical records, proof of missed work and lost wages, and any property damages should be included in your claim with supporting documentation that indicates the value of your claim and the extent of your losses.
How A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You With Your Personal Injury Claim
Commercial bus lines, such as Greyhound Lines, have experienced legal counsel looking out for their interests. These attorneys will work to ensure that the bus and their insurer end up paying out as little as possible. They will work to show that their client wasn’t liable, or wasn’t completely at fault, for the damages suffered. You want an experienced attorney looking out for your interests and standing up for your rights.
Your attorney will work to gather supporting evidence and documentation to support your claim and will also investigate the accident above and beyond the responding police officer. Your lawyer will look for more details than those found in the accident report. Your lawyer will look at the damages, the injuries, the location of the vehicles, talk with witnesses, and review all supporting documentation to get the whole story and then use those details to build a case that focuses on helping you recover compensation for the damages that you suffered because of the negligence of someone else.
When you hire an accident injury attorney, you will not have to pay anything out of pocket. Instead, your personal injury lawyer will take your case on a contingency basis. That means that your lawyer will not be paid until you win your claim and recover compensation through either a judgment or a settlement. At that time your lawyer will get the agreed percentage, which is usually 20 percent. Your attorney will discuss payment when they are hired.
What Can Be Included In Your Personal Injury Claim Against a Bus Line
When you file your claim against a bus line, you will want to be sure to include all your damages. After all, you can only file one claim. So, if you miss something you cannot go back and file a different claim. You will want to make sure your lawyer fully reviews your situation and all the details. Here are some of the more commonly claimed damages after a bus accident:
- Medical expenses – past, present, and future
- Lost wages – past, present, and future
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Property damages
You will need supporting documentation, such as photos, medical bills, proof of missed work and lost wages, medical excuses, repair estimates, witness statements, and so forth to get your accident injury claim underway.
To have a successful personal injury claim, you will need to prove negligence. There are four elements of negligence and all four elements must be proven as applicable to your specific accident. Those elements are duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Bus lines have a duty or a responsibility to adhere to traffic lines and to protect others from harm, if they violate traffic laws or fail to operate the bus safely, they have breached that duty.
You then will need to show that your accident – or the crash in question – were the direct result of the breach of duty. Then you need to show your damages were the result of the accident caused by the breach of duty. Your personal injury attorney will build your case on negligence, showing that if the bus line hadn’t been negligent, your accident wouldn’t have occurred and you would not have suffered the damages and injuries that you did.
Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured in a crash with a bus, you should consult with a PI attorney. A PI attorney knows all the ins and outs of a personal injury claim and can build your case to ensure you are treated fairly and that you recover your losses that resulted from the accident.
Your personal injury attorney will also know to what damages you are entitled and how much you should be compensated for your losses. Because a personal injury attorney won't be compensated until you have won your claim, there is no out-of-pocket expense. Schedule a consultation with a PI attorney today to ensure your rights are protected.
*The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Greyhound, or any other party, you may not be entitled to any compensation.