Bus crashes can involve many victims all at once and leave dozens of people with serious injuries that need compensation. Bus companies and the insurance companies that represent them often have strong legal teams hired to shut down claims and stop victims from getting the compensation they need.
Work with your own legal team by reaching out to our attorneys. We can represent your interests in a claim, negotiate with the insurance companies, and fight your case in court if needed to get you compensation for your injuries.
Call the bus accident attorneys at Howe Law today at (844) 876-4357 for a free review on your case.
How to Get Compensation for a Bus Crash in Brookhaven, GA
You could be entitled to substantial compensation for a bus accident depending on what injuries and other damages you faced in the crash. Our bus accident lawyers can help you get compensation for your accident, but it is important to understand how this process works and what your case will look like:
Who to Sue
In bus accident cases, the bus drivers are not necessarily at fault. Under Georgia law, the at-fault driver is the one who is responsible for the accident, and their insurance should cover the victims and their injuries. If that was the bus driver, then you can sue them directly for the crash they caused, but many accidents involve other drivers hitting the bus.
If you were riding on a bus when another car hit the bus, then you should instead consider suing that driver. Their own insurance can cover your accident, but the bus driver and the bus company might have additional insurance that covers you on top of what you can claim from the at-fault driver.
In many cases, you can also sue the bus company. If their driver caused the crash, and they did so while they were working for the bus company as an employee, then the bus company can be held “vicariously liable” for the accident. Suing a bus company can open up additional compensation from the bus company’s coffers that the bus driver or another individual driver might not be able to afford.
Lawsuits vs. Insurance Claims
As mentioned, there might be insurance to cover your accident. Buses and other commercial vehicles must be insured with high-dollar insurance, given that they are on the road nearly every day and have a higher chance of being involved in a crash simply because they are on the road more than most cars. All drivers also have to be insured, meaning that there will be at least one insurance policy – if not two or three – that could cover your injuries after a crash.
Nonetheless, Georgia is what is known as an “at-fault” state for auto insurance. Under this system, the at-fault driver can be sued for injuries; you are not required to go through insurance in many cases. As such, a lawsuit is usually an option.
In some cases, you might start your claim as an insurance claim but also file a lawsuit alongside it. This can help put additional pressure on the insurance company and the bus company to settle your case, knowing that if they do not, they will be forced to move on to trial. Trial is often more expensive for these companies, and they will often feel the pressure to settle at a fair value instead of fighting a losing case all the way through trial.
Common Causes of Bus Accidents in Brookhaven, GA
Bus accidents can be caused by many different issues. In many cases, the specific impetus of the accident is a traffic violation by one of the drivers involved. In other cases, more than one driver shares responsibility for the accident, and injured passengers could actually have a case against multiple defendants.
Buses are large and easy to avoid, and it is often drunk drivers who crash into buses. This is especially true of school bus accidents since most sober drivers take extra caution to avoid crashing into a school bus.
Drunk drivers can usually be held liable for any injuries they cause, whether they crash into a car with one occupant or a bus with 20.
In some cases, bus drivers might drink on the job to try to entertain themselves or maintain a “buzz.” This is patently illegal and can put them at fault and put their job in jeopardy.
Public transportation buses are supposed to make periodic stops along their routes, and they often have flashing lights to warn other drivers, as well as signs indicating where the stop is located. If another driver is following too closely and sees the stop as “sudden” or “out of nowhere,” they might crash into the bus. This is often the other driver’s fault, but bus drivers might pull over unreasonably quickly or without warning, especially if they initially missed the stop and then tried to make up for it quickly.
If a car suddenly stops in front of a bus, the large, heavy bus might not have enough time to stop, and that driver could be at fault for failing to properly signal and slow to a stop.
Pedestrians are often hit by buses when crossing in front of them, when attempting to load bicycles or cargo, or simply when trying to board the bus. Public transit buses often have hydraulic lifts that lower them for riders to get on and off, and this lowering motion could potentially trap riders or perhaps trap their foot under the bus if the bus was actually over the curb.
Pedestrians – as well as cyclists – are also smaller than cars, and drivers might not take proper care to look out for them.
Call Our Bus Accident Attorneys Today in Brookhaven, GA
If you were in a bus crash in or around Brookhaven, call our bus accident attorneys at Howe Law by dialing (844) 876-4357 for a free case review.