Buses are a primary means of travel for thousands of residents throughout Georgia, including Cherokee County. The bus drivers and companies owe a responsibility to the passengers to ensure that they are provided with safe travel to their destination. Despite this increased responsibility, negligence still occurs, and innocent bus riders or motorists suffer as a result.
When a bus driver and company fail to uphold their responsibility to provide safe transit, you may be entitled to recover compensation with the aid of an experienced personal injury attorney. A Cherokee County bus accident lawyer understands the complexities of this legal pursuit, and negotiating with insurance companies and the defendant to obtain suitable compensation.
Standard of Care for Bus Drivers
There must be proof of negligence to recover for injuries and damages suffered due to a bus accident. Negligence requires proving that a bus driver failed to exercise the requisite level of care for the situation.
What is a Common Carrier?
Georgia law defines a common carrier as anyone who provides transportation services to a member of the public for money. As such, a bus driver working for the state of Georgia, a city, a county such as Cherokee County, a school, or a company would likely be included as a common carrier. On the other hand, a bus driver that is operating a bus that they privately own would not likely be included as a common carrier.
The type of vehicle has no bearing on whether a bus is considered a common carrier; instead, the focus is on the purpose of the transportation. The distinction between a common carrier and other carriers is important because Georgia law holds a common carrier to a higher standard of care than a general motorist.
Heightened Standard of Care for Common Carriers
The standard of care in Georgia for those that fall within the definition of a common carrier is “extraordinary diligence” (Official Code of Georgia § 46-9-1). The heightened standard requires a bus driver to exercise an extra level of diligence than a standard vehicle driver. This standard of care allows a person injured in a bus accident to recover for actions or inactions that may not be considered negligence if the driver of another type of vehicle did the same.
Although the standard of care is heightened for common carriers, it does not mean that these drivers need to be perfect at all times. Proving that a bus driver or bus company breached their standard of care is essential in a lawsuit, which is why consulting with a Cherokee County bus crash attorney could help negotiate and litigate cases of this nature.
What to Do After a Bus Accident
Bus companies and local or state governments are unlikely to admit fault or give away compensation without a fight. With that in mind, it is important to understand what should be done following a bus accident, as the investigation will begin right away. Following a bus accident, an injured party should:
- Seek medical attention immediately and before doing anything else;
- Contact the police even if they believe others have called;
- Obtain the contact information of other passengers, the driver, and any witnesses;
- Take photographs of the scene and any damage; and
- Document anything they can remember about the accident.
Bus accidents can lead to severe injuries given the size of the vehicles and the lack of safety restraints inside for passengers. The most important thing following an accident of any kind is getting medical attention. A bus accident lawyer in Cherokee County could help obtain the necessary evidence to determine the cause of the accident.
Schedule a Consultation with a Cherokee County Bus Accident Attorney Now
When you put your trust in another entity to provide you with safe transit, they must be held accountable when they fail to meet their standard of care to you. A Cherokee County bus accident lawyer understands how to negotiate with all parties to present your case in the best manner. Call today to discuss your accident with an experienced attorney.