Many people in Georgia rely on buses for their transportation needs. Sometimes public transit is easier than fighting traffic, and if someone has children, they likely put them on a bus to school every day. While we may trust that these vehicles are safe ways to travel, bus accidents happen every day. If you have experienced this misfortune, a Clayton County bus accident lawyer is here to help.
Because buses are larger than many other vehicles on the road, other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians can suffer serious injuries in the event of a crash. Our team of skilled personal injury attorneys knows how to determine which parties should be held legally responsible and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Causes of Bus Accidents in Clayton County
Two leading causes generally contribute to bus accidents. One is operator error, and the other involves defects in the vehicle itself. For example, a driver might be talking on the phone or otherwise distracted while driving. Or, perhaps they are not obeying speeding or other traffic laws, or they are operating the vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Companies could also be held liable for negligent accident because they are responsible for adequately training their employees, and a poorly trained driver may be more likely to make a mistake.
Like any vehicle accident, the cause may lie in a defect in the bus itself. The bus may be poorly maintained, have outdated equipment, or present other mechanical dangers that could potentially injure passengers. When proving who is responsible for the incident, a legal advisor with experience in bus crashes could need expert testimony to establish fault.
School Bus Accidents
School buses generally do not have seat belts. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration only requires buses weighing less than 10,000 pounds to have them. The recommendation from the Georgia Department of Public Health is that children age five or younger should wear seatbelts if available. However, most school bus injuries happen outside the vehicle. In Clayton County, legal counsel could evaluate a case involving injuries due to a school bus.
What to do After a Clayton County Bus Accident
In the case of a bus accident, safety is the first concern. Directly after the accident occurs, someone should call 911 and assess their vehicle’s safety. For instance, leaking gasoline could present a fire hazard after a collision, so it may not be safe to reside in the vehicle until help comes.
The police will generally get the names of witnesses and prepare a report. In the case of a lawsuit, these and other reports from other investigators and medical providers will be crucial to a plaintiff’s bus accident claim.
Filing a Lawsuit after a Bus Crash
In Georgia, a party typically has two years to file a lawsuit against the people or companies at fault. With both public transit and school bus accidents, there is often insurance payments available. A bus crash legal representative can negotiate directly with insurance companies on behalf of a client.
In a lawsuit for negligence, the injured party must establish a duty of care. In cases involving buses, a “common carrier” has a responsibility to take reasonable care to avoid injury. When a Clayton County bus accident legal professional proves that a breach of this duty caused an injury, they move to establish damages.
In the damage phase of a trial, there must be evidence of the direct and consequential financial losses suffered because of the injury. For example, an injured party can recover compensation for unpaid medical bills, future medical care, lost income and wages, as well as compensation for pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Reach Out to a Clayton County Bus Accident Attorney
While we often take safety for granted when a professional is driving, bus accidents could happen with both public transit and school buses. These cases can be complex and require expert testimony.
Our experienced attorneys can evaluate the facts of your case and provide analysis and legal support. If you were hurt in a bus accident, a Clayton County bus accident lawyer is ready to advocate for you.