Buses are normal parts of daily traffic and can be seen on major highways and local streets. Unfortunately, bus crashes are known to be extreme, and victims are often badly injured.
If you are injured in a bus accident, an attorney can help you take legal action to get compensation for your considerable damages. You can file an insurance claim to cover certain monetary costs and a lawsuit for other economic and non-economic damages. Damages might include medical costs, property damage, pain, suffering, and more. Determining whom to hold responsible is another major consideration. Often, bus drivers are directly responsible for causing accidents, but other parties might share liability. Private bus companies or even government authorities in charge of public transportation might be implicated.
Our bus accident attorneys are available to schedule a free case review, call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 to get started.
How to Take Legal Action After a Bus Accident in Montgomery, AL
After a bus accident, your top priority should be getting emergency medical care as quickly as possible. Once you have recovered, you can start making preparations to get fair financial compensation. Bus accidents can be dangerous, painful, and costly. Medical bills or replacing damaged vehicles might be too much to handle alone. Our bus accident lawyers can help you decide how to take action to get compensation.
In many bus accident cases, injured victims file insurance claims. Naturally, auto insurance claims are very common. However, there might be other insurance policies you can rely on to cover various costs and damages. Health insurance might cover much of your medical bills, and supplementary insurance policies like MedPay might also apply.
Alabama is a fault-based insurance state for auto insurance claims. This means that injured drivers usually must file third-party claims with the other driver’s insurance and prove how the other driver caused the accident. If evidence of fault is hard to find – which it very often is – an injured driver might be denied or offered a reduced insurance settlement.
If insurance does not pan out as you hope or is insufficient, you may file a lawsuit to get your damages covered. One advantage a lawsuit has over insurance is that lawsuits cover non-economic damages like pain and suffering, whereas insurance often only covers monetary damages. In short, a lawsuit might help recover a broader range of damages.
Damages You Should Claim in a Montgomery, AL Bus Accident Case
Lawsuits might cover a broad spectrum of damages, especially in bus accident cases. Damages in these kinds of lawsuits tend to be severe since injuries are often devastating. As such, you should demand significant financial compensation to make up for everything you lost and endured.
Economic damages include the financial costs connected with your bus accident and injuries. Medical expenses are chief among economic damages and often comprise the bulk of your costs. If your injuries require long-term medical care, you can claim the costs of anticipated medical care in addition to current medical costs. On top of all that, you might have expenses related to your damaged car or lost personal belongings. You can even claim the income you lost because you missed work after the accident.
Non-economic damages are harder to describe because they are unrelated to money and inherently subjective. Non-economic damages, often summed up as “pain and suffering,” encompass negative personal experiences related to the bus accident. Your physical pain from injuries, mental anguish, emotional trauma, humiliation, and loss of enjoyment of your life are just a few examples. Since these damages do not have predetermined values and are very subjective, juries often have the final say on what kind of compensation they merit.
The Parties Responsible for Your Bus Accident in Montgomery, AL
When filing a lawsuit or insurance claim, we must identify the parties responsible for your accident. For insurance claims, we need to know whose insurance to file a third-party claim with. For lawsuits, we need to properly identify the defendants. Remember, identifying the defendant is not always easy, and many cases involve multiple defendants with varying degrees of liability.
The Bus Driver
The bus driver is often at the center of bus accident lawsuits because their negligence is usually the direct cause. Perhaps the bus driver was texting and driving, speeding, or even driving while under the influence. If their negligent actions are the direct and proximate cause of the crash, we should sue them for damages.
We must also consider the actions of other drivers in addition to the bus driver. Many bus crashes are caused by the negligence of several drivers coming together. For example, the bus driver might have been recklessly speeding when another driver cut them off without signaling, causing the crash. Both the bus driver and the other driver might be sued for damages because both of their negligent behaviors caused the crash.
Private Bus Company
If the driver of the bus in your accident was employed by a private bus line, the employer might also be liable for your injuries. Private bus lines could include charter buses, tour buses, or companies like Greyhound.
Under the legal theory known as respondeat superior, employers may be vicariously liable for damages caused by an employee’s negligence. For vicariously liability to apply, the employee’s negligent behavior must have been within the scope of their job duties. If the employee was performing unauthorized work, off duty, or intentionally caused harm, the employer might not be vicariously liable.
For example, if the bus driver caused the accident because they were speeding or failed to signal when changing lanes, they and the private bus company they work for can be sued for damages. We should look into this possibility because bus companies tend to have larger insurance policies than individual drivers, and they are often more capable of fully covering your damages.
If the bus in your accident was not private but part of Montgomery’s public transportation network, the local government might be involved in your legal claims. The Montgomery Area Transit System, known as The M, is owned by the City of Montgomery and run by the First Transit Group Incorporated under a contract. Since the city owns the bus system in Montgomery, you might be able to sue the city for damages.
When suing the local government in Alabama, you must adhere to certain legal requirements. According to Ala. Code § 11-47-23, claims against municipalities for damages related to torts (e.g., bus crashes) must be presented to the appropriate governmental authorities no later than 6 months after the accident. Otherwise, your claim will be barred.
Call Our Montgomery, AL Bus Accident Attorneys About Your Case
Call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 and schedule a free review of your case with our experienced bus accident lawyers.