Atlanta Bus Accident Attorney
Atlanta Bus Accident Attorney: You Deserve to Travel in Safety!
Riding a bus is a popular mode of transportation in US cities. People ride buses to and from work or school, or they ride a bus as a tourist. There are many buses operating in Atlanta, including school buses and private companies like Greyhound. Our city’s MARTA system runs hundreds of buses over more than 90 routes in the city, with a ridership well above 100,000 every single day.
Buses travel all across Atlanta to bring children to school and commuters to work, get residents around the city, and transport shuttle riders throughout the state. With hundreds of buses passing through our city every single day, accidents happen. Unlike driving your own car, riding a bus takes control completely out of your hands. You trust that all parts of the bus work as they should, that the bus is maintained in good working condition, and that the driver of the bus is licensed and responsible. When your trust is broken as a result of being involved in a bus accident that caused your physical and emotional injury, our Atlanta bus accident attorney can fight for you to get the justice and compensation that you deserve.
When you or a loved one suffers an injury in a bus accident due to the negligence of a bus driver, bus company, or another driver, Bobe & Snell Law Office LLC will work tirelessly to hold every party responsible. We aggressively pursue your justice so you can focus on your recovery.
Our bus accident attorneys represent injured bus riders, pedestrians, and motor vehicle passengers in lawsuits against negligent bus drivers, transportation companies, and any other party deemed responsible for the bus accident.
Bus drivers and their companies are entrusted with the safety of their riders as well as fellow motorists. When they 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.
Common Causes of Bus Accidents
Buses are often thought to be a safe mode of transportation. As common carriers, bus drivers owe a heightened duty of care to their passengers and pedestrians.
Additionally, bus drivers owe a duty of care to other motorists on the road. When a bus driver breaches this duty and an accident occurs, they may be held responsible for any resulting accident and damages.
Some causes of Atlanta bus accidents that may indicate negligence on part of the driver or their employer may include:
- Drivers operating under the influence
- Overloaded buses
- Distracted drivers
- Fatigued bus drivers
- Inadequately trained bus drivers
- Failure to follow traffic regulations
- Poor bus maintenance
In showing that a bus driver or third party was negligent, the injured victim must prove the driver had a duty of care to their passengers or other vehicles on the road, an action or failure to act resulted in a breach of this duty, an injury was suffered, and the breach was the cause of the injury.
Our experienced Atlanta bus accident attorney can help you build a strong compelling case to prove the breach of duty of care and ensure you get the compensation that you deserve.
Common Bus Accident Injuries
The lack of safety precautions for passengers aboard buses significantly increases the chance of injury or death should an accident occur. Injuries that may result from a bus accident include:
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
Bus Accident Lawsuits and Liability
Most bus accident lawsuits focus on the concept of negligence, which is the failure to behave responsibly in a certain situation, which may cause injury to another. Bus drivers are held to a higher standard of care than other motorists, which may ease the burden of proving negligence. To prove that you were a victim of negligence, your lawyer will collect evidence to prove the other party (i.e. the defendant) behaved irresponsibly.
Then, he/she will use the evidence to prove to the insurance company involved or a jury that you weren’t responsible and that you deserve compensation.
If your car or the other party’s car had a defect at the time of the accident, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer — but only if the defect contributed to the accident. To prove that it did, your Atlanta bus accident attorney will conduct an investigation and verify whether the vehicle had any defects and, if so, whether the defect caused the accident.
To do so, he/she will work with experts to determine whether the car had a manufacturing, labeling, or any other problem. Successful lawsuits will require the plaintiff to show:
- The defective bus or part was “unreasonably dangerous”
- The bus was being operated as intended
- The bus’ performance had not changed since its initial purchase
Some product liability claims against manufacturers have been based on defective tires, seats, brakes, accelerators, windows, and defective fuel systems.
If you have lost a loved one in a bus accident, you may have legal recourse to recover compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. Our attorneys understand that money cannot bring your loved one back; however, it may be able to offset the financial difficulties you may face as a result of your loved one’s death.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, your claim will, in most cases, proceed under the theory of negligence or product liability. In some instances, where wanton disregard for human life or willful and malicious behavior contributed to the death, punitive damages may be pursued to punish the offender and prevent similar behavior.
Potential Liable Parties
- Bus driver
- Owner of the bus, including Georgia state, other government entities, and private companies
- The municipality in which the accident occurred
- The company overseeing the maintenance of the bus
- Manufacturer of the bus or any part of the bus
- Negligent third party
The Bus Accident Lawsuit Process
If you have been injured in a bus accident, you may decide to hire a lawyer to file a lawsuit against a bus driver, owner, or company to seek compensation for your injuries. When choosing legal representation, it’s 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 the 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 Atlanta bus accident attorney may investigate the accident to determine whether negligence contributed to your crash – examples of which are listed below:
- The driver’s failure to be aware of their surroundings
- Insufficient credentials
- Inadequate training
- Violation of traffic laws and specific bus regulations
- Inadequate maintenance or manufacture of the bus
- Operating the bus above the permitted speed limits
Your attorney’s investigation may include:
- Collecting statements from witnesses (i.e., passengers, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority — MARTA — employees)
- Reviewing Atlanta police reports and photographs
- Establishing whether all required bus regulations and local traffic laws were followed
- Establishing weather conditions when the accident occurred
- Re-creating the accident with the assistance of accident specialists
- Analyzing your medical reports with medical experts to establish your injuries
Your attorney will use the information gathered in the investigation when consulting with medical and economic experts. He/she 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 lawyer will create a claim on your behalf. This claim will be the baseline of your lawsuit. Your attorney’s ability to leverage a settlement or prevail at trial will depend heavily on the information and evidence gathered during the initial investigation.
Negotiations and Settlements
Using your claim, your Atlanta bus accident attorney will attempt to reach a settlement before your lawsuit is officially filed in 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 trial. If negotiations are unsuccessful, your lawsuit will proceed to court, where your attorney will present your case in front of a judge or jury.
School Bus Accidents
School buses carrying children are common carriers that owe a heightened duty of care to protecting their passengers. Children have a special status in the eyes of the law, and courts have recognized their need for extra protection.
Bus drivers must drive and operate their vehicles with extreme caution and strictly follow rules and regulations enacted for the protection of the children. Liability typically applies while children are on board the bus but can extend under certain circumstances where the driver still has a duty to ensure the safety of the children.
School entities, school bus owners, and school bus drivers may be held liable for injuries a student sustains if the driver fails to:
- Operate the bus with due care
- Verify traffic has stopped before permitting a child to exit the bus
- Monitor a child’s safe crossing of a street
- Activate safety measures, including flashing red lights and stop signs, while students board and leave the bus
Liability will depend on the specific statutory duties in place for school buses and drivers in the district in which the accident occurred.
Additionally, since personal injury protection (PIP) insurance carried by a parent may cover some of the costs resulting from the school bus accident injury to their child, the claims process can become complicated and may require the help of an experienced Atlanta bus accident attorney.
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 a 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 are 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, neglect to pay attention to their surroundings, or fails to enforce onboard rules such as seatbelt use or does not adhere to traffic laws.
They may also be liable if the bus was negligently maintained or 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 the child’s resulting injury.
What Compensation Can Be Recovered in A Bus Accident Claim/Lawsuit
During negotiations or litigation against an insurance company, the state of Georgia, other government entities, or a negligent party, a bus accident victim may be able to recover compensation for the following:
- Current and Future Medical Expenses – This may include fees for emergency room visits, hospital care, surgery, assistive devices, and appointments with necessary medical professionals.
- Lost Wages – You may be able to recover compensation for wages you would have earned had the accident not occurred. If you were unemployed at the time of the accident, you may be awarded lost wages if you can demonstrate earning potential during this time.
- Pain and Suffering – This includes compensation for the physical pain suffered as a result of injuries sustained in the crash. Factors including the nature of the injury, the extent of the pain, and the length of time the victim is expected to suffer are considered when awarding these damages.
- Mental Anguish – Victims may also be awarded for emotional suffering incurred as a result of the accident. This can compensate for fright, embarrassment, nervousness, worry, grief, and other forms of emotional distress endured. It is important to note that parents may not be able to recover damages for mental anguish as a result of an injury their child sustains in a school bus accident; there are only certain instances in which recovery is possible.
- Loss of Consortium – The uninjured spouse of a bus accident victim accident may be able to recover damages for loss of marital benefits, sexual relations, affection, and comfort.
If you were a passenger on a bus involved in an accident or a third party injured in a bus accident or if your child was injured in a school bus accident, you may have legal recourse. To learn more about how our Atlanta bus accident attorney may be able to help you, please fill out our free case review form today.
How Our Bus Accident Attorney Can Help You
Our Legal Representation Process
- Documentation – First, your assigned legal team will gather records related to your claim, including medical records, medical bills, and insurance policy information. These documents will help your attorney understand the extent of your injury, and build your compensation case.
- Investigation and Gathering of Evidence – Your attorney and legal team will investigate your accident in great detail to gather the necessary evidence. They may look at dashcam footage, security camera footage, police records, and more as well as consult experts to help build your case.
- Negotiation – Your attorney will negotiate with the defense, outside of the courtroom, to help get you the compensation that you deserve. If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, your attorney is prepared to go to trial and present your case in the strongest possible form.
Filing a bus accident lawsuit can be a complex process, as there are a number of entities that may be liable for the crash. If a third-party driver struck the bus or caused the accident, your attorney may be able to help you recover compensation through a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver or their insurance company; however, if the bus driver caused the accident, the process may not be as straightforward.
If the bus is owned and operated by the government, your attorney will first attempt to negotiate a settlement with the government’s insurance company. If your claim is denied, you may be required to file a claim against the government itself. It is imperative to hire an attorney who has experience in these types of lawsuits to help ensure you receive fair compensation for your losses.
There are strict rules and deadlines that must be followed to collect compensation in Georgia, and without the help of an experienced bus accident attorney, you may lose your chance to recover damages.
At Bobe & Snell Law Office LLC, our bus accident attorneys have experience handling third-party personal injury cases, negotiating with or litigating against insurance companies, and filing claims against the government. Additionally, we have access to experts, including medical experts, accident scene re-creationists, and automotive safety experts at the top of their respective fields.
In building a bus accident claim, we will:
- Review accident and police reports
- Interview witnesses and other passengers
- Photograph the scene of the accident as well as the injuries you sustained
- Re-create accident scenes and scenarios with experts
- Analyze medical reports
- Handle correspondence from the opposing party and their respective insurance companies
Atlanta Bus Accident Attorney
Have you or a loved one been injured in a bus accident? If so, you may be entitled to compensation you can claim through an accident lawsuit. To learn how our Atlanta bus accident attorney may be able to help, call us today at (470) 268-5802 or fill out our FREE, no-obligation case review/consultation form now.