Bus Accident Attorneys in Bedford, VA
Bus accidents can be catastrophic for everyone involved. While crashes involving multiple passenger vehicles can be serious, they also have a chance of causing minimal property or bodily damage. Buses, on the other hand, are much larger and heavier than passenger vehicles. Any crash involving a bus is more likely to cause serious property damage, severe injuries, or fatalities.
If you’ve been injured in a bus accident, you may be wondering what your legal options are going forward. Let us help you through this process. Call Pack Law Group at 540-586-7225 to set up a consultation.
Causes of Bus Accidents
Crashes involving buses are often linked back to the same few errors or circumstances. Determining the cause of an accident is part of figuring out who is liable and what type of damages a victim may be able to receive. Depending on the details of your crash, your crash could be traced back to:
- Driver fatigue. Bus drivers in some municipalities work extremely long hours or put in long shifts on crowded, high-stress roads. These situations can create driver fatigue and make a driver more prone to errors in judgment.
- Negligence. Bus drivers are held to extremely high standards, since they are responsible for the safety and wellbeing of passengers and others on the road. However, they can still make errors in judgment that cause accidents. If a driver does not check before changing lanes, fails to use a turn signal, drives too fast for conditions, or otherwise drives in a negligent manner, they could be directly liable for a victim’s injuries.
- Other drivers’ actions. Other drivers often play a role in bus accidents. Drivers may try to sneak in front of buses because they don’t want to get stuck behind a large, slow vehicle. They may try to turn right on the inside corner of a bus, leading to a crash. They may fly past a school bus stop sign, hitting pedestrians. In many situations, other drivers are partially or fully liable for injuries in an accident.
- Defective bus parts. If a bus is made with malfunctioning parts or parts that aren’t designed for the bus, a crash could be linked to these components. Similarly, if a bus gets replacement parts that aren’t approved for that vehicle during a repair, that could be the cause of any subsequent accidents.
- Improper or a lack of maintenance. Commercial vehicles are expected to stick to a strict maintenance schedule. If owners and operators do not follow the maintenance schedule or if they choose a repair service that is not qualified, shoddy repairs could be the cause of an accident.
Before you can seek damages for a bus accident, you must be able to prove liability. This doesn’t simply mean who caused the accident. It also means who is financially responsible for the results of that error.
For example, consider an accident where a driver fails to check before changing lanes. They merge into another vehicle, injuring three people. The driver caused the accident, but it is likely that the bus company that employs them is liable for the subsequent financial losses. Any funds you would receive from that accident would likely be paid out by the company’s insurance provider, not the driver.
Figuring out liability is one area that highlights the need for a Virginia personal injury attorney. To prove liability in an accident, you must first prove that the responsible party had a duty to the victim. In the case of a bus accident, a driver always has a duty of care to others on the road. You must demonstrate that they failed in that duty, for example, by showing that they drove too fast for conditions, ignored traffic lights, or drove while distracted. You must then show that their actions caused the accident and prove that the accident caused your injuries.
One factor that often complicates bus accident cases is sovereign immunity. Sovereign immunity is a principle that protects government entities from lawsuits. This may come into play if the bus that causes your accident is owned by a school district, city government, or other government entity.
However, sovereign immunity is not absolute. There are circumstances in which you can still seek compensation from a government entity if they are liable for an accident. Before you give up, discuss your case with an experienced Virginia bus accident attorney. We can look at the details of your claim and see if there’s a path forward for you.
Why You Need an Attorney
Bus accidents can cause serious injuries and leave vehicles totaled. You could leave a bus accident with spinal cord damage, a TBI, broken bones, lacerations, or infections caused by road burn. The costs of treating these maladies can be extraordinarily high, especially if you have to take time off of work to heal. Without a successful personal injury case, you could be left shouldering these expenses on your own.
You cannot trust the other party to do what is right for you. If you are contacted by the other party’s insurance company, you can expect their settlement offer to be insultingly low. Their goal is to have you waive your right to sue while paying out as little as possible. It is unlikely that the amount they offer is enough to cover your medical expenses, time away from work, and pain and suffering.
When you hire an attorney, they will get to work calculating the costs associated with your accident and determining a fair range for your settlement. They will handle negotiations, allowing you to focus on recuperation. If your case cannot be settled through negotiation, your attorney will prepare for trial and fight vigorously on your behalf.
Pack Law Group is Here to Help
If you have been involved in a bus accident, you do not have to go through this alone. Let the team at Pack Law Group step in and fight for you. Whether your case is settled in negotiations or requires a court battle, we are ready to fight for every penny you deserve. Set up a consultation now by contacting us online or calling us at 540-586-7225.