Whether you are a passenger on a bus or driving your own vehicle, a bus accident might be a disaster. You undoubtedly have serious injuries, and an attorney can help you sue the people responsible, so you get fair compensation.
Various parties might share the blame for a bus accident. Among them, bus drivers and bus companies are common in lawsuits for accidents. If your case involved public transportation, such as Gadsden Transit Services, you might have a claim against the local government. To support your allegations and be awarded damages, we need to present evidence of your claims. Witnesses, photos, and records might all play important roles in how we convince a jury of the defendant’s negligence. Damages in cases of bus accidents are often quite considerable, with numerous medical expenses, lost earnings, property damage, and trauma all factored into potential compensation.
Make an appointment to discuss your claims with our bus accident attorneys of Howe Law in a free case review by calling (844) 876-4357.
Parties Liable for Bus Collisions in Gadsden, AL
A bus accident is seldom simple, and there might be various causational factors in addition to multiple liable parties. One important step in your case is determining who should be held liable. An attorney can help you review potentially liable parties and decide whether they should be included in your case.
Bus drivers control very large, heavy vehicles, and one wrong move behind the wheel could injure dozens or more. The driver is commonly directly responsible for a crash, and they are usually named as the main defendant in many bus accident lawsuits.
A common instance of bus driver negligence is distracted driving. Any driver, especially bus drivers, should always have their eyes on the road. Cell phones and GPS devices are so prevalent nowadays that distracted driving is an increasingly significant factor in many accidents. If you believe the driver was on their phone or distracted while driving, talk to your attorney immediately.
Another possibility is that the driver lacked the requisite driving experience to be behind the wheel of a bus. Bus drivers must pass special driving tests and obtain special licenses to work as bus drivers. Since driving a bus is very different from driving a car, they need a special set of driving skills unique to the job. A new driver’s lack of experience might inadvertently cause a crash. Even if the crash is unintentional, the driver and possibly their employer should be held accountable.
In many cases, the bus company that employs the bus driver may be held liable alongside the negligent driver. Under the legal theory of repsondeat superior, an employer may be vicariously liable for injuries caused by a negligent employee. The key to making this work is that the employee’s negligence must have happened in furtherance of normal job duties or otherwise within the scope of their employment.
This means that if the driver of the bus in your case caused the accident because they negligently performed their normal job duties, our bus accident lawyers can help you hold the bus company liable. This commonly comes up in cases against private bus companies such as tour or charter buses.
Employers may not be held vicariously liable for intentional or criminal actions by employees. This means that if the bus driver purposefully caused the accident in a fit of road rage or because they were drunk, the bus company might not be liable. However, depending on the situation, we might sue the bus company for negligent hiring if they knew the bus driver was unsafe behind the wheel but hired them anyway.
Bus Accidents Involving Public Transportation in Gadsden, AL
Bus accidents with public transportation vehicles are a somewhat different story. In Gadsden, transportation services are provided by the Gadsden Transit Services (GST). These services include transit for the elderly and disabled in addition to public trolley routes. The trolleys used by GST are not rail cars like traditional trolleys but buses.
If you are injured in an accident with a GST trolley or similar vehicles, you might have a claim against the driver and the local government. Lawsuits against governmental entities are tricky to navigate and often come with various additional rules and requirements, one of them being a notice requirement.
According to the Alabama Tort Claims Act, specifically Ala. Code § 11-47-23, plaintiffs suing a municipal entity, such as the GTS, must submit a notice of their claim to the appropriate government entity or organization within 6 months of their injuries. This is a very small window of time, and if it closes, you might no longer be allowed to sue the government.
Supporting Your Claims in a Bus Accident Lawsuit in Gadsden, AL
To support your claims, we need evidence of your injuries, other damages, and the defendant’s negligent behavior. Exactly how much evidence you need is hard to say. Some cases utilize a myriad of evidence to prove their claims, while others rely on only a few key pieces of evidence. Call a lawyer immediately to get a better idea of what your case needs.
To be successful, we need enough evidence to meet our burden of proof. The burden of proof requires that we prove that the defendant’s negligence, more likely than not, is the direct cause of the accident. Again, what this means for you depends on your unique circumstances and claim.
A great way to begin gathering evidence is to return to the scene of the crash. We might find physical evidence like tire marks and debris that shed light on how the crash happened. We might also locate witnesses who can testify about seeing the bus driver texting or doing something else when the accident occurred.
Other evidence might include medical records regarding your injuries, photos from the accident scene, security camera footage, and almost anything else that we believe is relevant to the case and meets evidentiary standards.
Call Our Gadsden, AL Bus Accident Lawyers for Support Today
Schedule an appointment to talk about your case with our bus accident attorneys of Howe Law in a free case review by calling (844) 876-4357.