Knoxville Area Transit (KAT) operates buses throughout the Knoxville area. If one of these buses was involved in an accident that injured you, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, the fact that KAT is a government entity can put additional limits on any lawsuits against them.
It is important to work with an attorney if you have been injured on a KAT bus. Our lawyers can help you get compensated for your damages and work to hold the right parties accountable, even if that means suing the government.
For a free case analysis, call our Knoxville Area Transit accident and injury attorneys today at Howe Law by calling (844) 876-4357.
What to Do After a KAT Bus Accident in Knoxville
If you were injured in a bus accident on a Knoxville Area Transit bus, there are some important steps to take to get the medical care you need and help secure any evidence you might need for an injury claim. Performing these steps before calling a Knoxville Area Transit accident and injury attorney will help move your case along, but our attorneys can also help with some of the evidence and police report collection if you are unable to do this on your own.
First, you should call 911 and get help. Bus accidents have so many potential victims and at least one or two drivers involved, so it is likely that someone already called, but do not leave that to chance. When you call, request ambulances and police.
When the EMTs arrive, you should seek treatment for any injuries you have. If your injuries are mild and can be treated at the scene, you might not have to go to the hospital, and you can stay to collect additional evidence and give a statement to the responding officer.
If you are seriously injured and have to leave in an ambulance, go with the EMTs and get any additional medical care you need. In any case, you should follow up with your own doctor and any other recommended specialists in the days after the accident and get copies of all medical records related to your injury.
At the scene, if you can collect contact information for all drivers and witnesses, do so. Also get the insurance info and driver’s license info for the KAT bus driver and any other drivers involved in the accident. Also collect all vehicle info (make, model, license plate number, etc.).
Talk to the Police Officer and Get a Copy of the Police Report
The police officers at the scene will make a report and take statements and information, so make sure that you speak with them. If you were driving another car in this accident, you might want to be careful about what you say so that nothing you say is mischaracterized as an admission of fault. You should also get a copy of this police report when it is ready.
Call an Attorney
In the days after your accident, get in touch with our attorneys so we can help you with any insurance claims or lawsuits you might need to file.
Determining Fault in a Knoxville Area Transit Accident
When you are involved in a KAT bus accident, there are a few potential parties that could be held liable. We will explain some of the legal issues surrounding each party and how to hold them liable – when possible – for contributing to your accident.
The Bus Driver
When a driver causes an accident, they are usually held responsible in their individual capacity for the accident. However, bus drivers, truck drivers, taxi drivers, and other commercial drivers can usually be held liable alongside the company they work for. In the case of Knoxville Area Transit bus drivers, the driver is often skipped entirely as a public employee. Instead, government entities like KAT are held responsible instead of the individual driver.
Knoxville Area Transit
As the public entity that operates buses and provides government services in the Knoxville area, KAT can be sued directly if its driver causes an accident. However, lawsuits against government-owned entities like KAT are often more complex because of limitations on the damages you can collect.
Under Tennessee law, damages for injuries from a government entity are usually capped at $300,000 per person. There are also limits for property damage, such as damage to your own vehicle if you were in another car or damage to property you were carrying when the crash happened. This means that you might ultimately receive less than you would have hoped for in a lawsuit against the government for a KAT bus accident.
If you were a passenger – or even if you were the KAT bus driver – then you might be able to hold the other driver liable for the accident. Just because buses are larger, heavier, and harder to steer does not necessarily mean that the bus driver did anything wrong. In many accident cases, the other driver is truly the one to blame, and bus passengers can seek to hold them liable for the crash like in any other car accident.
When a private driver is responsible, their insurance should cover the damages. If their insurance is not sufficient to cover all injuries, you might be able to sue them directly to recover the remaining compensation you need. This does not face the same cap for government damages, but there might be other general caps that affect any injury case.
In many accident cases, both drivers share the blame. This could mean that you ultimately hold the bus driver liable for a share of your damages and the other driver liable for the rest of the damages.
If you were a passenger on the bus, then there is likely no way for the drivers to claim that you contributed to your own injuries. However, if you were driving a car or bicycle when you were hit by a KAT bus, the lawyers for Knoxville Area Transit might try to blame the crash on you.
As mentioned, many crashes involve both drivers making mistakes and sharing liability. If you were one of those drivers and the court does find you partially liable, you could have your damages reduced by your share of the blame. However, our lawyers can fight to hold the other driver 100% responsible for your injuries.
For a Free Case Evaluation, Call Our Knoxville Area Transit Bus Accident Attorneys Today
If you were hit by a KAT bus, call Howe Law’s Knoxville Area Transit accident and injury attorneys today at (844) 876-4357.