By: William C. “Bubba” Head, Georgia Personal Injury Attorney since 1976
Public transportation, whether by bus, van or taxicab is part of life in America. These services offer a major benefit to those living inside or outside the city limits of a major city.
Atlanta Georgia is a prime example of this economic importance. Accidents involving buses (such as a MARTA bus stop accident handled by the author in Roswell, GA recently) gain immediate media attention. TV and press coverage of bus accidents is even greater for a school bus accident. The first student injured or in the hospital will be on all local news stations, and a fatal crash will make national news.
Greyhound and Trailways are the best-known interstate carriers. However, many smaller companies operate full size (Megabus) and smaller 16 passenger vans (Groome) that offer economical transportation on regular schedules.
Buses are what our laws call "common carriers." These are responsible for showing a higher duty of care since they charge a fee for their services. A common carrier must exercise the highest degree of care, safety and vigilance for its passengers. This protects all members of the public. Therefore, injured bus passengers operate under bus injury law that has special rules that differ from a routine auto accident.
Congested city streets and highways can be a nuisance for drivers who must reach a certain destination on time. Buses put more people in one vehicle, which reduces traffic congestion. Riding a bus can be a convenient and economical transportation option.
But a bus can be involved in an accident just as any other vehicle on the road. As with a car, visibility is limited at night, or in heavy rain, snow or when fog is present. Some recent accident victims' injuries in bus wrecks might have been caused by inclement weather conditions.
An experienced personal injury attorney knows that all buses are regulated under commercial vehicle laws. The owners typically have multi-million-dollar policies with insurance companies, to cover losses.
Like trucking accidents, the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Association oversees all aspects of big rig traffic safety. The Georgia Department of Public Safety (DPS) will come investigate any bus rollover or crash due to heightened public concern over common carrier wrecks.
Bus Injury From a Tour Bus Accident or School Bus Accident
If a bus wreck results in serious bodily injury or death, a Georgia bus accident lawyer near me is needed. Serious injury examples include traumatic brain damage, loss of a limb, blindness, broken bones, scars or damaged joints. A dislocated hip, knee, shoulder would also qualify.
A bus or van provides public transportation in virtually every significant sized city. bus injury occurs while riding or getting ON or OFF a bus, call our bus accident law firm. No matter which company owns the bus, you are likely entitled to compensation. For school bus accidents, a county, city or private school would have to pay.
Bus crash cases are among the most complex personal injury law cases. Issues like choice of venue (i.e., where to file the lawsuit) and differing insurance company policy limits are just two challenges. Buses operated by government units (e.g., school bus) may pose sovereign immunity issues.
Other vehicles other than the bus may be primarily at fault. Yet, the bus driver may be secondarily liable for an injury or death in bus-car accidents. Occasionally, nation news will cover a catastrophic bus-dump truck crash or a bus-train crossing collision that has an overturned bus.
7 Hidden Sources for Recovery Sought by a Bus Injury Attorney
A bus accident lawyer knows all the federal and state law rules to use in fighting a victim's serious injury claim. Aggressive litigation is needed to properly pursue the settlement the client deserves. For example, any 16-passenger van or larger capacity bus must carry minimum liability limit insurance policies under federal law. This amount, however, is to be divided among all injured or killed by fault of the van or bus.
In a wrongful death bus accident case, the injury attorney seeks the maximum recovery from the dependents of the deceased victim. The personal injury settlement or compensation awarded by a jury can cover a long list of damages:
- medical benefits
- lost wages
- permanent disability
- wrongful death
- property damage
- loss of consortium (loss of the normal relationship you previously had with your spouse of other loved one) and/or
- for pain and suffering before, during and after surgery, rehabilitation and therapy.
Why a Bus Accident Today Requires the Best Personal Injury Lawyer
Buses are large, heavy and full of moving parts. Plus, passengers bring all sorts of loose items, large and small, onto the bus. So, when a bus accident occurs, it is possible that the aftermath includes enormous amounts of property damage and catastrophic injuries.
The difference for buses is that when a bus crash is involved, the damage can be much greater. This is attributable to the weight and size of the vehicle involved. Plus, larger vehicles generally have a greater stopping distance, which can lead to certain bus collisions. More than a decade ago in Atlanta, a famous nighttime bus wreck on Northside Drive killed and seriously injured multiple young athletes.
A bus is called a “common carrier” for purposes of federal transportation law. Vehicles carrying 16 or more passengers must have $5 million in coverage. Smaller capacity buses are only required to carry $1.5 million. This amount of coverage is paltry, if many serious injuries or deaths have occurred.
So, do not assume that the bus company owner can pay all damages. Ability to depends on the size of their insurance company coverage. In insurer's willingness to pay turns on how serious the injury is. For paralysis, brain damage, or a crippling compound fracture, most are quick to settle.
Lastly, our client may be able to recover from his or her own uninsured motorist coverage. This is possible when insufficient coverage from the at fault parties fails to cover your total loss.
Contact Atlanta Injury Lawyer Bubba Head For a Bust Stop Accident or Injury Case Near Me
Bus accident victims can count on our law group for filing a claim EARLY in the personal injury case. Georgia tort laws favor the "first to file" in some instances. All bus accident law firms with top lawyer ratings know these rules.
The typical statute of limitations for civil injury suits in Georgia is 2 years. Yet, the best attorneys in Atlanta know the secrets of filing a suit first.
Our injury attorneys are willing and prepared to fight for full compensation for your bus accident. The sooner you act, the more likely all the important evidence from the accident can be identified and gathered.
Call Bubba Head today at 1-800-GO-BUBBA [1-800-462-9222] today OR email him for a FREE consultation via phone call, home visit or personal office appointment. The initial legal advice and phone call are FREE. Our listed Atlanta area number is 404-567-5515.
Our MAIN OFFICE is located at 5590 Roswell Rd, #210, Sandy Springs, GA 30342. But for injured clients or families who have lost a family member, our Atlanta attorneys near me come to your home.