At Morgan & Morgan, our bus accident attorneys represent injured bus riders, pedestrians and motor vehicle passengers in lawsuits against negligent bus drivers and transportation companies. Bus companies are entrusted with the safety of their riders, as well as fellow motorists. When these entities fail to provide a certain level of care in operating their vehicles, those injured as a result may have legal recourse to recover compensation.
Our Atlanta bus accident attorneys understand the special regulations bus operators and owners must follow and have experience handling cases in which the duty to adhere to these obligations was not met. We have years of experience negotiating and litigating cases of this nature, successfully obtaining compensation for our clients.
If you or someone you know was injured in a bus accident, you may have legal recourse. For information on how our Atlanta bus accident attorneys may be able to help, please complete our free case evaluation form
The Bus Accident Lawsuit Process
If you’ve been injured in a bus accident, you may decide to hire an attorney to file a lawsuit against a bus driver, owner, or company to recover compensation for your injuries. When choosing representation, it is important to hire an attorney with experience investigating, negotiating, settling, and litigating these types of cases.
Conducting an Investigation
The strength of your case will rest on your attorney’s ability to collect evidence and present it in your most favorable light, while illustrating the other party’s negligence. Negligence occurs when a party’s conduct falls below established standards enacted to protect others against unreasonable harm. Your attorney may investigate the accident to determine whether negligence, examples of which are listed below, contributed to your crash:
- The driver’s failure to be aware of his or her surroundings
- Inadequate training
- Insufficient credentials
- Inadequate maintenance or manufacture of the bus
- Violation of traffic laws and specific bus regulations
- Operating the bus in excess of permitted speed limits
Your attorney’s investigation may include:
- Reviewing Atlanta police reports and photographs
- Collecting statements from witnesses (i.e. passengers, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority – MARTA – employees)
- Establishing weather conditions when the accident occurred
- Establishing whether followed all required bus regulations and local traffic laws were followed
- Analyzing your medical reports with medical experts to establish your injuries
- Recreating the accident with the assistance of accident re-creationist specialists
Your attorney will use the information gathered in the investigation when consulting with medical and economic experts. Your attorney will work with these experts to determine which damages will be requested in your claim. Damages include, but are not limited, to the following:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of intimacy and support
Creating a Claim
Using information uncovered in the investigation, your attorney will create a claim on your behalf. This claim will be the baseline on which your lawsuit will be based. Your attorney’s ability to leverage a settlement or prevail at trial will heavily depend on the information and evidence gathered during the initial investigation.
Negotiations and Settlements
Using your claim, your attorney will attempt to reach a settlement before your lawsuit is officially filed with the court. If negotiations are unsuccessful, your attorney will submit your claim to the court, which will begin the official lawsuit process. Generally, the parties will engage in additional negotiations for a settlement offer while preparing their cases for trial in an attempt to keep the case from going to court. If negotiations are unsuccessful, your lawsuit will proceed to court where your attorney will present your case in front of a judge.
Georgia School Bus Accidents
In the eyes of the law, children are viewed differently than adults, and are owed a higher duty of care while on or in the vicinity of the bus. School buses, commonly entrusted in the transportation of children, are considered to be “common carriers.” They are required to adhere to specific federal and Georgia state regulations, in addition to this heightened duty of care.
The size and maneuverability of these buses is significantly different from most other vehicles on the road. They are therefore subject to strict requirements regarding careful operation and maintenance to ensure the safety of their passengers and others on the road.
Liability is typically limited to injuries sustained while a child is on the bus, though there are exceptions. For example, school bus regulations require drivers to ensure the safety of children boarding the bus, who are waiting at a bus stop or crossing a street.
Bus drivers, owners, maintenance workers, and other entities connected to the operation and safety of the bus and its passengers may be liable for damages if the driver is inadequately trained, neglects to pay attention their surroundings, or fails to enforce onboard rules such as seatbelt use or fails to adhere to traffic laws.
They may also be liable if the bus was negligently maintained and inspected. Manufacturers of school buses may be liable for damages incurred if the bus or one of its components contained a defect that contributed to the accident and child’s resulting injury.
Have you or a loved one been injured in a bus accident? If so, you may be entitled to compensation and can claim them through an accident lawsuit. To learn how an Atlanta bus accident attorney may be able to help, complete our free case review form today.