Buses in Griffin should be some of the safest motor vehicles on the road. However, accidents still happen and when they do, the aftermath can be painful and costly. You should know that if you or your child sustained an injury in a bus accident, you have a legal right to seek compensation. It’s time to talk to a Griffin bus accident lawyer about your options today.
For the last 20 years, our bus accident attorneys have helped injury victims win the money they deserve. We work exclusively with injury victims, and we are not afraid to stand up to greedy insurance companies. Plus, it’s risk-free to work with us; we don’t get paid unless we win you money.
We’ll give you a FREE consultation to discuss the details of your case and how we can help. To get your FREE consultation, call us at 404-800-7053 or contact us online now.
How Fault and Liability Work in a Griffin Bus Accident
In Griffin and the entire state of Georgia, the at-fault party in an accident is legally liable for all damages. This includes the person or party responsible for a bus accident.
After your bus accident injuries, you will need to determine ultimately who was at fault for the crash. In most cases, the bus driver is the at-fault party, but not always. It could also be:
- Another driver on Griffin roads
- The school district
- The bus company
- A maintenance company that worked on the bus
- The manufacturer of the bus’s parts
In some situations, more than one party may be at-fault for the accident. For example, both the bus driver and the other driver in the collision might share fault. If you were a passenger on the bus, it’s highly unlikely that you will be responsible for any fault in the accident.
Bus Drivers in Griffin Have a Higher Standard of Care
A bus is known as a “common carrier” because its driver provides public transportation at an established rate. Georgia Code § 46-9-1 states that common carriers “are bound to use extraordinary diligence, and in cases of loss the presumption of law is against them.” There are no excuses for this except in very rare, specific cases.
Everyone has a duty of care to others on the roads, but bus drivers have a heightened duty to operate their vehicles in a safe and responsible manner. They must also be careful in the inspection and maintenance of their vehicles. This is because passengers have no choice but to trust the driver with their safety.
Bus drivers must also exercise extreme caution on the road around other drivers. If they don’t and it leads to an accident, they are responsible.
Bus Accident Cases Are Complex
Based on the information above, determining fault and liability are more complicated in bus accident cases in comparison to other types of injury cases. Therefore, it’s best to contact a bus accident lawyer as soon as possible after you are injured in the accident. Your lawyer can look at the facts and help you determine where to go from here.
Damages You Can Recover After a Bus Accident in Griffin
As the victim of an accident you did not cause, you have the right to seek compensation for your damages. Your damages are the losses you experience because of the accident, and they can fall into the following categories:
These typically make up the largest part of a bus accident claim. Medical costs include doctor visits, bills, tests, surgeries, and prescription medication. You will need to keep track of all bills, receipts, and doctor notes demonstrating all your medical costs.
If you are currently employed, a bus accident will likely require you to miss valuable work time. This is stressful for any accident victim because it means missing income (or sick days) on top of costs from the accident.
In your bus accident claim, you will need to demonstrate lost wages through evidence like paystubs and past income reports.
If you were driving another vehicle and collided with a bus, you can claim damages to your vehicle.
Pain and Suffering
Although you must have a physical injury to file a personal injury claim, you can account for emotional damages that result from your physical injuries. These are known as “pain and suffering” damages and may include:
- Emotional trauma
- Anxiety, depression, or PTSD
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- And more
Pain and suffering are difficult to prove after a bus accident because there is no set dollar amount. There’s also no one way that insurance companies calculate pain and suffering damages. You and your lawyer will need to discuss the details and come up with an accurate number for your claim.
Never Take the First Insurance Settlement Offer
It’s common for insurance companies to contact accident victims and offer an upfront lowball settlement. It is very important that you do not accept the first offer. Always consult with a bus accident lawyer first.
There are a couple of main reasons why taking the first offer is unwise:
- The insurer hopes you will take the first offer out of desperation. They want to pay you as little as possible and end the case before you can fight for more. If you accept any money, you will miss any chance of pursuing a settlement that actually covers your damages.
- Your damages may increase significantly over time. Your injuries may worsen, or you might discover you need a lot more treatment. Maybe your injuries even leave you disabled. Don’t get stuck with the remaining bills. Talk to a lawyer before you accept anything.
An experienced bus accident lawyer will know how to handle any tactics the insurance company tries to use. They can also communicate and negotiate with the insurer on your behalf.
Talk to a Griffin Bus Accident Lawyer for Free
Our experienced and compassionate bus accident lawyers can make sure you are treated fairly after your accident. You should not have to pay for the negligence of others—especially when it results in injuries and significant costs. Contact us today and we’ll give you a FREE consultation. Call 404-800-7053 or contact us online to get started today.