Dallas Bus Accident Lawyer
- Common Questions and Concerns After a Bus Accident
- Who can be held responsible for a bus accident?
- Can I receive compensation even if the bus accident was partially my fault?
- How long do I have to file a claim?
- What kind of compensation can I expect?
- Should I accept an offer from the bus company’s insurance provider?
- What should I do right after the bus accident?
- Will I have to go to court?
- What if the accident involved a school bus or a city bus?
- How much will it cost to hire an attorney?
- What if my loved one died in a bus accident?
- Common Types of Bus Accidents
Common Questions and Concerns After a Bus Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident, you likely have many questions and concerns about your legal rights and options. The following is a list of some common questions people ask after they have been hurt in a bus accident:
Who can be held responsible for a bus accident?
Multiple parties can be held liable, including the bus driver, bus company, maintenance personnel, other negligent drivers, and even bus manufacturers if there was a defect. The specific circumstances of the accident will determine the responsible parties.
Can I receive compensation even if the bus accident was partially my fault?
Texas is a “comparative negligence” state. This means that you may recover damages even if you were partially at fault in the bus accident as long as you were 50% or less at fault for the accident. In such cases, your damages may be reduced by the percentage of your fault in the accident. If, however, you were 51% or more at-fault for causing the bus accident, you cannot recover any damages.
How long do I have to file a claim?
The time period for filing a lawsuit is referred to as the “statute of limitations.” In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing a negligence claim in a personal-injury lawsuit is generally two years from the date of the incident. That said, there are special notice requirements that may apply to such claims related to bus accidents involving city buses, school buses, or buses owned or operated by other governmental entities. Consult with an attorney promptly to ensure you don’t miss the deadline.
What kind of compensation can I expect?
Depending on the nature and severity of your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and other related costs.
Should I accept an offer from the bus company’s insurance provider?
It’s advisable to consult with an attorney before accepting any offers. Initial offers might not fully compensate you for your injuries and losses. Remember, the bus company’s insurance provider does not represent you or have your best interest in mind.
What should I do right after the bus accident?
There are a number of things you should do after a bus accident. Here are just a few of the steps that you should take after a bus accident:
- seek medical attention,
- gather evidence (like photographs and witness details),
- report the incident to the police, and
- consult with an attorney.
Will I have to go to court?
Many bus accident cases are settled out of court. If a fair settlement can’t be reached, however, you may have to file a lawsuit. Lawsuits related to bus accidents often take a long time to resolve. If your case does not settle before trial, you may have to present your case to a judge or jury at trial. A personal injury lawyer can help guide you through this process.
What if the accident involved a school bus or a city bus?
Accidents involving school or city buses can be more complex due to potential governmental immunity issues, special notice requirements, and other special laws that apply to state and local governmental entities. It’s essential to consult with an attorney familiar with these cases.
How much will it cost to hire an attorney?
Many personal injury law firms, including Wagoner Law Firm, will take bus accident injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t pay any attorney’s fees unless you settle your case or win your case at trial.
What if my loved one died in a bus accident?
You may be able to file a wrongful death claim to recover compensation for funeral costs, loss of companionship, lost future income, and more.
Common Types of Bus Accidents
Buses, given their size and the number of passengers they carry, can be involved in a variety of accidents. Understanding the common types of bus accidents can help in determining liability and the nature of injuries that might occur.
Buses Hitting Pedestrians
Buses can sometimes strike pedestrians while making turns, at crosswalks, or in bus stops. Because of the sheer size and weight of a bus, injuries sustained in such accidents can be severe or even fatal.
Potential causes of such accidents include the bus driver’s:
- blind spots,
- careless or reckless driving,
- failure to yield the right of way to pedestrians at crosswalks, and
- distracted driving.
Buses Colliding with Other Vehicles
Buses can collide with other vehicles on the road, whether they are smaller cars, trucks, or motorcycles.
Potential causes of such accidents include the bus driver’s:
- failure to yield right of way to other vehicles on highways or at intersections;
- sudden stop, turn, or lane change;
- failure to signal their intention to change lanes or turn;
- swerving out of lanes;
- failure to control the speed of their bus;
- failure stop at a red light or stop sign;
- defective bus equipment; and
- failure to keep a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of them (tailgating).
Passengers Injured Getting On/Off the Bus
Injuries can occur when passengers are boarding or getting off of buses, especially if the bus moves suddenly or if there’s a misstep.
Potential causes of such bus accidents include:
- acceleration before a passenger is securely seated;
- acceleration before a passenger has stepped off the bus;
- sudden, unexpected starts or stops;
- slippery bus steps or floor; and
- lack of handrails or supports.
Bus Passengers Injured in a Bus Accident
When buses are involved in collisions or other accidents, onboard passengers can sustain injuries, especially since many buses lack seat belts. Bus passengers who were riding in a bus at the time of a bus accident may sustain the following types of injuries in the crash:
- soft-tissue injuries,
- broken or fractured bones,
- concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs),
- cuts and bruises, and
- muscle sprains and strains.
Injuries Caused by Negligent Bus Passengers
Occasionally, passengers might sustain injuries due to the negligent or aggressive behavior of other passengers inside the bus. Potential causes of such injuries on buses may include:
- fights or altercations,
- pushing or shoving,
- throwing objects, and
- spilled liquids leading to slips.
In any of these situations, determining fault and liability can be complex. Whether the bus driver, the bus company, another driver, a passenger, or even a pedestrian is at fault, a comprehensive investigation is crucial to ensure justice for the victims of a bus accident.
If you or a family member has been injured in a bus accident, it’s crucial to seek legal advice promptly. An experienced attorney can guide you through the process, ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.