Nearly everyone, from school students to senior citizens, rides or has ridden a bus at some point in their lives. For many Georgia residents, buses are simply a way of life. However, with such a widely used method of transportation comes safety risks. While buses are arguably safer thanks to state and federal laws, bus accidents are serious and often result in bus accident injuries. Here is what you should do in the event you are ever involved in one.
Some of the most obvious, yet preventable causes of bus accidents can be attributed to driver error or negligence. Among these causes are speeding, failure to check blind spots, improper turning and similar mistakes. Other, more dangerous behavior, such as driving while intoxicated or fatigue, can also cause bus accidents. A minor mistake can have fatal consequences, because of the sheer size of a bus.
Not every bus accident is caused by the drivers involved. Hazardous road conditions could be a cause. Construction work zones, especially in urban areas like Atlanta, could worsen already congested commutes. Even properly designated work zones can be dangerous and difficult for buses to navigate. On the other hand, an improperly maintained bus could cause mechanical errors that lead to wrecks. Sometimes defects in the bus affecting brakes, the engine or other critical components are to blame.
Accidents such as these will likely require that third parties be considered for liability purposes. Among those who could be held responsible are state and local governments and companies that manufacture defective parts. Your attorney will know how best to seek compensation from any responsible parties involved.
A bus accident can result in numerous injuries. These include broken bones, lacerations, head and spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries. Depending on how severe the accident is, you may be facing more than just high medical bills. Many accident victims miss work and suffer lost wages. Others experience permanent disability and painful rehabilitation. You may have other property damage because of the accident.
Your attorney will gather all relevant information related to the crash. In your case, there could be witnesses involved, including other accident victims. To the extent you can, you should try to get contact information for anyone who may have seen the crash. There may also be maintenance records and other documents demonstrating negligence. An accident attorney can obtain this and any other evidence concerning the wreck.
Once all of the information is gathered, your lawyer will work to determine who is at fault. Some bus accidents involve private parties, from bus companies to the manufacturers of defective parts. Multiple insurers may be involved and have competing claims and disputes. You may have a lawsuit against a public transportation agency such as the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). These claims are especially complex and should be handled by an experienced bus accident attorney.
Bus companies owe an extraordinary duty of care to their passengers as well as other motorists. They are expected, of course, to follow all safety regulations and laws governing common carriers. There are different standards involved in claims against MARTA and other public entities. Your attorney will know the necessary rules to follow, depending on who the defendants are in your case.
An Experienced Georgia Accident Attorney Can Help
If you’ve been involved in a bus accident, you need tenacious litigators on your side. At Schneider Hammers, we work hard for the rights of accident victims. We will review the facts in your case and understand the losses you’ve suffered. Call us today to set up a free initial consultation.