Atlanta Bus Accident Lawyer
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Bus Accident Lawyers in Atlanta
Whether it was a school bus, a tour bus, or some other commercial carrier, we know that bus accidents can be devastating and have a lasting impact on your health, finances, and family. The bus operator is responsible for the riders’ safety and the safety of others on the road. If they or someone else was negligent in any way, you could be owed significant compensation for your injuries.
Our Atlanta injury lawyers are here to help you get back on your feet, and we’ll work to ensure that justice is served. If you or a loved one suffered an injury in an Atlanta-area bus accident, The Champion Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.C., can navigate the legal system, protect you, and pursue the maximum amount possible. Call, text, or chat for a free consultation.
Our Bus Accident Lawyers Can Help:
Investigate & Gather Evidence: The Champion Firm can investigate the bus crash scene, gather evidence, and interview witnesses to determine who was at fault. We can also obtain police reports and medical records related to the accident.
Evaluate Your Damages: Our lawyers can help evaluate the damages related to your bus crash, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Deal with the Insurance: We can communicate with insurance companies, large bus companies, and municipalities on your behalf to negotiate a fair and full settlement.
Representation in Court: If a settlement cannot be reached, we will represent you and seek max compensation in court.
Advocacy for Bus Accident Victims: Our lawyer can speak for you throughout the legal process. We can provide guidance and support to protect your rights and hold the right party accountable.
Tell Us About Your Bus Accident
What Caused Your Atlanta Bus Crash?
Buses are much larger than passenger cars, so they are more difficult to maneuver and can cause significant damage if an accident occurs.
Negligence and human error are the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents involving buses and other public vehicles. Here are some common scenarios and factors that may have resulted in your accident:
- Bus driver error: This could include behaviors like distracted driving, driving under the influence, speeding, or making unsafe lane changes.
- Failure to yield: Buses are large and difficult to maneuver, but drivers must still yield to other vehicles and pedestrians when appropriate. Failure to do so can result in accidents.
- Bus mechanical failure: If a bus is not correctly maintained or has a mechanical issue, it could cause an accident. There may be problems with the brakes, steering, or tires.
- Overcrowding: If a bus is overloaded with passengers, it can affect the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle safely and could contribute to an accident.
- Improper training: If a bus driver is not adequately trained or licensed, they may not have the necessary skills to operate the vehicle, which could lead to accidents.
What Type of Bus Was Involved?
Bus accidents can involve big yellow school buses, MARTA buses, private charters, shuttles, and other types of vehicles. While you may know you can recover compensation, you may now know who is responsible for the collision. Here are some of the typical buses on the road in Atlanta, along with who is likely financially liable in the event of an accident
- School Bus: Aside from the recognizable yellow bus that picks your child up from school every morning, various vehicles transport children to and from school. The school district or bus company may be liable for damages if the accident involves a school bus.
- Atlanta City Bus: The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority is the principal public transport operator in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The public transportation authority or the city government may be liable for damages if the accident involves a city bus.
- Charter Bus: A bus used for private group transportation, such as corporate events, tours, or sporting events. If the accident involves a charter bus, the charter company or the organization that hired the bus may be liable for any damages.
- Coach Bus: A bus used for long-distance travel. If the accident involves a coach bus, the bus company or the organization that hired the bus may be liable for any damages.
- Tour Bus: A bus used for sightseeing tours or other recreational activities. If the accident involves a tour bus, the tour company or the organization that hired the bus may be liable for any damages.
- Shuttle Bus: A bus used to transport people between different locations, such as an airport shuttle or hotel shuttle. If the accident involves a shuttle bus, the shuttle company or the organization that hired the bus may be liable for any damages.
It’s important to note that bus accident liability can vary. The responsible party depends on the circumstances of the accident and which laws apply. It’s best to discuss your situation with a lawyer experienced in bus accident cases before accepting a settlement or deciding to pursue a claim.
Was Your Child Hurt in a Bus Accident?
School bus accidents are particularly concerning because they involve children. Here are some critical points to consider regarding school bus accidents and children:
- School Bus Safety: School buses have several safety features, such as seat belts, compartmentalization, and flashing lights to alert other drivers. These features help protect children in the event of an accident.
- Bus Injuries: Children may still sustain injuries in a school bus accident, even with safety features in place. Common injuries include cuts, bruises, broken bones, and head injuries. The severity of the injuries depends on the circumstances of the accident.
- Psychological Effects: Even if a child is physically unharmed in a school bus accident, they may experience psychological effects, such as anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s essential for parents, teachers, and other caregivers to be aware of these potential effects and provide support as needed.
- Legal Liability: If a child is injured in a school bus accident, liability may fall on the school district, the bus company, or another party responsible for the accident. It’s important to consult a legal professional to determine who is liable in a specific case.
- Bus Accident Prevention: Schools and bus companies can take steps to prevent school bus accidents, such as conducting regular maintenance on the buses, providing driver training and safety programs, and enforcing safety policies for passengers.
- Parents Can Pursue Legal Action: If a child is injured in a school bus accident, the parents or legal guardians may be able to file a lawsuit on their behalf to recover damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses related to the accident.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses are one of the safest forms of transportation for children, but accidents can still occur. If your child was hurt in an accident involving a school bus, whether on or off the bus at the time, you should contact The Champion Firm to discuss your options.
Bus Accident Liability, Negligence & Duty of Care
More than one party may be responsible for a bus accident. The governmental or private entity that runs the bus line may be negligent if they fail to hire responsible and qualified drivers. The driver may be at fault if they disobey the traffic laws or operate the vehicle irresponsibly. The driver’s employer will also be accountable for the driver’s negligence.
Maintenance workers could be liable if the bus was negligently maintained or inspected. Other parties involved in the vehicle’s operation and passengers may also be liable for damages. Manufacturers of the buses and bus parts may be liable if one of its components, its design, or its assembly is defective and the cause of the bus accident.
Bus operators and owners must adhere to special regulations and are responsible for the safety of their passengers and others on the road. A qualified attorney could help determine whether these regulations were followed and who is liable for the accident if they weren’t.
Bus Drivers: Standard Duty of Care
Atlanta bus drivers must follow the same rules of the road that apply to everyone else. Most drivers on the roadways have to exercise what is called “ordinary care” or “ordinary diligence.” However, bus drivers have additional rules that apply specifically to them.
Buses are considered common carriers. This means they owe their passengers a heightened duty of care under Georgia law. Georgia courts have frequently said that this heightened duty of care requires “extraordinary diligence.” This does not mean that bus drivers are always liable to their passengers following a bus accident. Still, it does make it easier to hold them responsible for passenger injuries.
Bus drivers must also comply with certain state and federal regulations. For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations may apply to the bus service. This would create standards for the maintenance and inspection of the bus, hours of service requirements for the driver, and more.
An experienced Atlanta personal injury attorney can conduct the necessary legal research to find all the local, state, and federal regulations that apply to the bus company and its drivers.
Proving Negligence Caused Your Bus Accident
Negligence is a legal concept that refers to the failure to exercise reasonable care, resulting in harm or injury to another person. In the context of a bus accident case, negligence may be established if the bus driver, bus company, or another party fails to take reasonable steps to prevent the accident.
Negligence may include acts of commission (doing something that a reasonable person would not do) or acts of omission (failing to do something that a reasonable person would do).
To establish negligence after a bus accident, several elements must be proven. These elements include duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
Elements of Negligence
First, it must be shown that the defendant had a duty of care to the plaintiff (in this case, the passengers on the bus or other drivers on the road). Second, it must be shown that the defendant breached that duty by acting in a way that a reasonable person would not have acted. Third, it must be shown that the breach of duty caused the accident. Finally, it must be shown that the plaintiff suffered damages from the accident, such as physical injuries, property damage, or other losses.
Establishing negligence in a bus accident case can be a complex process. It requires a thorough investigation of the accident’s circumstances. It may involve collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, analyzing police reports and medical records, and consulting with experts in accident reconstruction or bus safety. A skilled attorney can help bus crash injury victims navigate the legal process and work to establish negligence.
Investigating Bus Accidents
Like any motor vehicle accident, an important part of handling any bus accident claim is investigating the cause of the accident. An adequate investigation will help determine who was at fault. In Atlanta, a police officer investigating a bus accident will generally try to determine who was at fault and issue a citation to the negligent driver. Although a citation is generally not admissible in Georgia, a guilty plea to a citation is admissible.
If you hire a lawyer to handle your bus accident claim, you should expect the lawyer to investigate the accident thoroughly. This includes interviewing witnesses on the bus or outside. Some bus accident investigations may require an inspection of the accident site. In bus accident cases involving serious injuries or wrongful death where liability is in dispute, the services of an accident reconstructionist can help determine fault.
Bus Accident Evidence
In a bus accident case, various types of evidence can be used to establish fault, negligence, or liability. Here are some examples of evidence that can be used to support your personal injury claim:
- Police Reports: These reports can include details such as the location of the accident, the cause of the accident, and any traffic violations or citations issued.
- Eyewitness Testimony: Eyewitnesses who saw the accident may be able to provide testimony about what they saw and heard. Their statements can be used to support the injured party’s version of events and establish fault.
- Video Footage: Surveillance cameras near the accident scene may have captured footage of the accident. This footage can depict the accident and determine who was at fault.
- Bus Maintenance Records: Maintenance records for the bus involved in the accident can reveal whether the bus was properly maintained and inspected. If the accident was caused by a mechanical failure or another issue that could have been prevented with proper maintenance, this evidence could be used to establish fault.
- Medical Records: Medical records documenting the injuries sustained by the injured party can be used to establish the extent of their injuries and the associated medical expenses.
- Expert Testimony: Experts such as accident reconstruction specialists, bus safety experts, or medical professionals may be called upon. They can provide expert testimony regarding the cause of the accident and who was at fault.
Don’t Settle for Less Than You Deserve.
Compensation for an Atlanta Bus Accident
After an Atlanta bus accident, you may need to file an insurance claim and potentially a lawsuit to recover the full compensation you need.
Remember that the insurance company representing the school district, city, or bus company will not focus on your long–term interests. These companies are interested in settling your case for as little as possible. The compensation they ultimately award will vary based on the severity of your injuries, the impact on your life, and the policy limits. But depending on the details of your case, you should pursue the maximum amount possible for all your damages, which can include your:
- Medical expenses (Current bills and costs of future medical treatment)
- Lost income (Missed wages and being unable to work)
- Property damage (Damage to your vehicle or other personal items)
- Pain and suffering (The physical and emotional stress you endured)
- Funeral expenses (If your loved one was killed in a fatal crash)
Working with an experienced lawyer can help you understand exactly what compensation you deserve.
Insurance After a Bus Accident
A common question people have after a bus accident is what insurance is available to cover their damages. The answer to this question depends on several factors, including who was at fault and whether you were a passenger on the bus.
Whoever is responsible for causing the accident should have liability insurance that can be used to pay your damages. For example, if the bus driver were at fault, the bus’s liability insurance would cover the driver’s negligence. If another vehicle’s driver was responsible for causing the accident, then that driver’s liability insurance should apply.
But what if the at-fault driver’s liability insurance cannot pay all your damages? This is where uninsured motorist coverage comes into play. Your uninsured motorist coverage, or the uninsured motorist coverage for the vehicle you were in, may be available to pay for your damages if the negligent driver has no insurance or insufficient insurance.
It is important to remember that your uninsured motorist insurance and the uninsured motorist coverage for any resident relatives are available to you. This is true even if you were a passenger in another vehicle at the time of the accident. So, if you were a passenger on a bus and sustained an injury, you must notify your car insurance company and the car insurance provider of any relatives you live with.
Atlanta Bus Accident FAQs
Do you have questions after you or a loved one were hurt by a bus in Atlanta? Here are some of the most common questions we discuss with our current and prospective clients.
If you are involved in a bus accident, seek medical attention and report the accident to the police. Exchange contact information with the bus driver and any other drivers involved. Gather information from witnesses if possible.
The statute of limitations for a bus accident can vary based on the details and parties involved. Georgia law typically allows bus accident victims two years to file a lawsuit. It’s essential to consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected.
Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state. This means you can pursue legal action if you were partially responsible for a bus accident, as long as you are under 50% to blame. However, compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault. For example, if a jury awarded $100,000 but determined you were 10% at fault, you could only recover up to $90,000.
Damages can also include loss of enjoyment of life, loss of intimacy and support and mental anguish. Depending on the amount of negligence involved, punitive damages may also be awarded to punish the party or parties liable for the accident.
The time it takes to settle a bus accident lawsuit depends on various factors. The complexity of the case, severity of injuries, and willingness of the other party to negotiate can affect the timeline. Resolving a bus accident case can take several months to years.
Contact Our Atlanta Bus Accident Attorneys Today
If you've been injured on a school, charter, or MARTA bus, our bus accident lawyers can help. Contact The Champion Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation. Contact us at 404-596-8044 by phone, text, or chat. We don't charge upfront fees unless we win.
What Our Clients Have to Say
Dajaneshia | Car Accident
Michael | Car Accident
Natalia | Premises Liability
Robyn | Slip and Fall
Jake | Car Accident
Sue | Slip and Fall
Judith | Medical Malpractice
Champion Firm Client | Motor Vehicle Accidents
Wanda | Wrongful Death
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Walter | Motor Vehicle Accident
Michael | Slip & Fall
Brent | Motorcycle Accident
Sandra | Car Accident
Julie | Wrongful Death
Cynthia | Car Accident
Christy | Car Accident
Andy | Wrongful Death