Every car crash is dangerous in its own right, but the stakes are even higher when one of the vehicles involved is several times larger than the other. For those driving or riding in passenger vehicles, a bus accident can lead to severe or fatal injuries. Bus passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians are also at serious risk of injuries in a bus accident.
If you have been hurt in a bus accident and you believe the accident wasn’t your fault, it’s important to discuss your options with a personal injury attorney. Schedule a consultation now by calling Reeves & Mestayer at 228-374-5151.
Types of Bus Accidents
Your legal options depend a lot on which type of bus was involved in your accident. The type of bus you collided with determines whether you have to make a claim against a private or government entity, which decide how long you have to file a claim and even how much compensation you may be able to get. Different types of buses involved in these crashes include:
- Public city buses. These buses are generally owned by the city, funded by the local government, and driven by public employees. As a result, filling a personal injury claim for a city bus accident means bringing a claim against the government. This is much more complex than a standard personal injury claim, so it is crucial to work with an attorney with extensive experience in lawsuits against government entities.
- Tour buses. Tour buses, in most cases, are owned and operated by private companies. As a result, this type of case is generally a straightforward personal injury claim. One complicating factor is the fact that multiple companies may hold some liability for an accident. For example, a tour bus may stop at multiple restaurants or sightseeing places during each tour in exchange for a kickback from those businesses. In this scenario, you may have a claim against multiple parties.
- School buses. While school buses are generally funded by local governments for the benefit of school districts, they are not often operated by the government. Service is often outsourced to a nearby bus company, and depending on the circumstances of the accident, your claim may be against the bus company.
Unfortunately, bus accidents often cause severe injuries. The sheer size of a bus means that it can cause serious damage to drivers and passengers in standard passenger vehicles. This is why many bus companies carry much larger insurance policies than is typical for a standard private vehicle; the damage is likely to be higher and victims must have an avenue for seeking compensation.
While much depends on how the accident occurs, some injuries commonly sustained by bus accident victims include:
- Muscle sprains
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue damage
- Spinal cord damage and injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal bleeding
No matter what injury or injuries you suffer, it is likely that you will need medical care to heal fully. Between ambulance fees, emergency room expenses, surgical costs, and other treatment needs, these types of accidents can easily cost you tens of thousands of dollars. If you aren’t responsible for the accident that caused your injuries, you shouldn’t have to shoulder the costs alone. A personal injury claim can help you get the compensation you deserve.
The fight for compensation begins with a personal injury attorney. If the party liable for your accident was a private company or individual, their insurance company may reach out to you directly to ask about the accident and offer a settlement. Don’t fall for this trap—anything you say can be used to lower or eliminate your settlement completely.
With a personal injury claim, your attorney will argue for a fair settlement and negotiate on your behalf. This is how most personal injury cases end, since no one wants the additional stress, time, or expense of going to court. In some cases, though, the insurance company will not negotiate in good faith. When this happens, your attorney will file a lawsuit and prepare your case for court.
Why You Need an Attorney for Your Bus Accident Claim
Without a personal injury attorney, you have no one advocating for you. The insurance company has their own goals: ridding themselves of liability and doing so at the lowest possible cost. This means that any settlement they offer you is likely to be far too low for the scope of your injuries. Unfortunately, many victims accept this offer. By the time their settlement money has run out and they still have medical bills piling up, it is too late for them to fight for a higher settlement.
It is particularly important to have an attorney when the liable party is a government entity. Any claim involving the government takes longer, requires more paperwork, and is overall more stressful. You have a shorter statute of limitations for a claim against a government entity and you likely have to go a different route to ask for compensation. Without an attorney, it is easy for this entire time period to slip by before you have even gotten a chance to understand your options.
The bottom line is that you should not be left to pay the expenses of an accident you did not cause. Your attorney at Reeves & Mestayer will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. From gathering evidence and compiling a case against the other party to negotiating aggressively for you, they will help you get what you are owed.
This gives you more time to focus on the important work of healing. Whether you have minor or major injuries, healing from a bus accident is a job all on its own. With your attorney fighting for compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses, you can concentrate on getting back to normal.
Reach Out to Reeves & Mestayer Now
Have you been injured in a bus accident? We are here to help you with the next step. The sooner you contact our team and set up a consultation, the sooner we can start building a case for you. Get in touch with us now by calling us at 228-374-5151 or contacting us online.