Whether you or a family member uses a bus to commute to work, go to school, or travel to events or other activities, you expect that the trip will be safe and uneventful. Unfortunately, however, bus accidents in Georgia are more common than you may think and, because riders are not required to wear seatbelts, they can have catastrophic consequences.
Most often, a negligent bus driver or transportation company is to blame for a crash. If you or a loved one is hurt in a bus collision, a Gwinnett County bus accident lawyer could help you establish fault in the incident so you can recover the much-needed damages to put you on the road to recovery. Reach out to a compassionate personal injury lawyer who could help.
Top Causes of Bus Accidents
Bus accidents can be caused by a number of different factors. Among the most common causes of crashes involving buses are:
- Inadequate training;
- Violation of traffic laws and bus regulations;
- Driver fatigue;
- Drug or alcohol use; and
- Poor equipment maintenance.
Depending on the cause, a plaintiff may have a claim against the driver, bus employer, or owner of the vehicle. A Gwinnett County bus accident attorney could examine the causes of the accident and who may be liable for the resulting damage.
Proving Negligence in Gwinnett County
Most personal injury cases are brought on the basis of negligence. Negligence is the failure of a party to exercise a certain degree of care to avoid the risk of injuring another person. To establish negligence against a defendant in Georgia, a plaintiff must prove four elements:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
- The defendant breached their duty;
- The plaintiff suffered an injury as a result of the defendant’s breach of their duty; and
- The plaintiff incurred damages that are compensable monetarily.
In Georgia, the doctrine of comparative negligence applies in bus accident cases. According to Title 51 of the Georgia Code, that means that the plaintiff is still able to recover damages – even if they are found to be negligent – as long as they are less than 50 percent at fault. However, the plaintiff’s award will be reduced proportionately by the percentage of their fault. If the plaintiff is deemed 50 percent or more responsible for the accident and resulting injuries, they may not be able to recover damages at all.
This is important to note because insurance companies and their defense teams may try to show comparative fault if the victim was standing or getting up from their seat. To avoid being taken advantage of by untruthful insurance companies, work with an aggressive Gwinnett County bus accident lawyer who could advocate for your rights.
Available Damages in Bus Accident Cases
Passengers riding in a bus can sustain serious, sometimes life-altering, injuries in an accident. Common injuries suffered by victims include lacerations, fractures, spine damage, neck and back injuries, disfigurement, and brain injuries.
These types of injuries require medical treatment, both immediately after the accident and sometimes for the rest of a victim’s life. Plaintiffs who have sustained losses may seek compensation for their medical and rehabilitative costs. In addition, they can receive compensatory damages for past and future lost earnings as well as noneconomic damages for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, and other impacts to their life.
A Gwinnett County Bus Accident Attorney Could Be an Advocate
After a bus accident, you may have to deal with the hospital and medical bills while coping with time away from work. In addition, you may be wondering whether you can receive any help covering these costs.
Bus accidents can be complex, but a seasoned Gwinnett County bus accident lawyer could help you establish liability and seek the compensation you deserve. Call today to set up a free consultation.