Bus drivers in Acworth have a lot of responsibility. They often have hundreds of people’s lives in their hands every day. And when a bus accident happens, it’s often serious. If you were injured while on the bus or you were hit by a bus, it may be grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. The best thing you can do is call an Acworth bus accident lawyer.
When you are involved in a bus accident, you need a lawyer who has experience with this type of case. Many Georgia buses are run by the government, which means there are special rules and requirements about filing a claim. Our attorneys know how to fight and win these cases—and we want to help you get the MOST money possible. Let us give you a free consultation and put our 20+ years of experience to work for you. Give us a call at 1-404-341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your FREE consultation today.
The police are investigating the bus accident that injured me. Does that help my case?
In many cases, yes, it will. The investigation process is one of the most important aspects of a bus accident case, and it usually begins immediately after the accident occurs. In situations that involve a bus hitting another vehicle, the police will likely be included from the very start.
The police start the investigation process by gathering information such as:
- The driver’s contact information
- Contact & insurance information for the bus company
- Information from any other drivers involved
- The time, location and description of the accident
- Witness information and statements
Perhaps most importantly, the police will usually include information about how they think the accident happened. Police officers see vehicle accidents every day, which means that their opinions on how a crash occurred are usually given a lot of weight both to an insurance company or at trial. If the officer issues a citation to a driver, that information is important as well—and it often helps prove fault.
Bus accidents often have many witnesses because there are several people in the vehicle. These witnesses may have all seen the crash from a different perspective so they all might have different information and insights that they can offer. For example, if one witness saw the bus driver texting just before the accident occurred, that can be vital information for your personal injury case. A witness may also see another driver run through a red light just before hitting your bus as well. Getting everyone’s story about what happened will generally be beneficial for your case.
What are the first steps in filing a bus accident claim?
The first step in your bus accident case should be talking to an attorney. In most situations, both your attorney and the insurance company or bus company will each do their own investigation—it makes a crucial difference to have a professional on your side performing your own, independent analysis of the facts.
Then everyone will estimate the value of the case if it were to go before a judge or jury. How an insurance company values a case could be very different from how your attorney assesses it, but not always.
At this stage, you can start tallying up the damages that the accident caused. In most cases, damages or losses will include things like:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Future medical costs
You may also have other losses that are unique to your situation. For example, if you were heading to an interview when the bus accident occurred, you may have damages for the loss of opportunity of getting that interview and obtaining that job. These types of losses will be different in every case.
When you have an estimate of your damages, you can start communicating with the other side to discuss settlement. In most cases, your attorney will develop a “demand letter” to send to the bus company or its insurance carrier. This demand will outline all of your losses and any damages that you are expecting in the future. It will explicitly state what you are willing to settle your claim for.
You do not have to make this demand yourself—or handle any of the communication. One of the benefits of having an attorney is that it shields you from having to take calls or email from the insurance company.
After you send your demand letter, negotiation will begin. Amounts will usually go back and forth until you, and the other side can agree on a number. If you can’t agree, then your lawyer will file a lawsuit for you. You can still settle at any point before your case goes to trial—in many cases you will never go to trial at all.
Should I take the settlement that the bus company is offering?
In some cases, a bus company may reach out to you to talk about settlement even before you send a demand letter. Insurance companies often do this because they realize that your legal claim could be extensive, and they want to settle the issue now before you get an attorney or because your damages are likely to continue to increase. This is especially common if you don’t hire a lawyer right away.
It is rarely a good idea to take the first settlement offered. In most cases, the first offer will be low—often only a fraction of what your case is really worth. There are situations where this general rule does not apply, but those cases are few and far between.
It’s a good idea to involve an attorney as soon as you can after a bus accident. That way an insurance company is far less likely to try to take advantage of you by offering you a low or unfair settlement amount. You should never accept a settlement without having an experienced bus accident lawyer take a look at it first.
Talk to an Acworth Bus Accident Lawyer for Free
If you have been involved in a bus accident, you can’t use just any personal injury attorney. Let us connect you with experienced lawyers who have dealt with Georgia bus accident cases for decades. Call us at 1-404-341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to schedule your FREE consultation today.