Some of us never think about being injured when we choose to ride on public transport. Similarly, we may assume that a bus driver will drive as safely as possible when we encounter these vehicles on the road.
However, due to the massive size of buses and the tight schedules they often have to follow, bus accidents can be a real threat. There were 67,000 bus crashes nationwide in 2015, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
If you were recently injured in a bus accident, Hammack Law Firm understands that you may be feeling stressed out or overwhelmed. You do not need to face this situation alone. While you focus on your recovery, an Anderson bus accident lawyer from our firm will investigate the accident and bring a personal injury claim against the responsible party on your behalf.
To learn more about our services in a free case review with a member of our team, call Hammack Law Firm today at (864) 326-3333.
Why Bus Accidents Happen
A bus accident can happen for a variety of reasons. Here a few common examples:
- Speeding or reckless driving: a bus driver usually has to follow a tight schedule and try to arrive at each stop at a specific time. If the bus is delayed, the driver may try to make up for the lost time by speeding or cutting other corners.
- Distracted driving: bus drivers are just like the rest of us when it comes to the temptation of distracted driving. A bus driver may be looking at their phone, reading email, eating, or trying to complete other tasks while behind the wheel.
- Lack of proper training: a bus is a massive vehicle that is not always easy to maneuver. If a bus driver does not complete the required training to learn how to operate the bus safely, it may create a serious risk.
- Intoxicated driving: if a bus driver uses alcohol or drugs before their shift, it can impact their driving and make them unsafe behind the wheel. Even certain types of prescription or over the counter medications may impair their ability to drive safely.
- Talking to passengers: sometimes, a passenger will ask a driver a question while the bus is in motion. Although there are some rules and precautions to try and keep passengers away from the driver, some people ignore these. If a driver is talking to a passenger, they may be unable to keep their eyes or attention on the road.
- Poorly maintained buses: a bus requires constant maintenance due to the number of miles that are put on it. If the company that owns the bus fails to perform this maintenance or cuts corners on keeping the bus safe, passengers or other motorists may face a dangerous outcome.
If your bus accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you might be entitled to financial recovery. For a free consultation on your case with a member of our team, call Hammack Law Firm today at (864) 326-3333.
For a free legal consultation with a bus accidents lawyer serving Anderson, call 864-514-8192
Bringing a Personal Injury Claim
If you decide to pursue legal action, it is important to know what you may be required to prove before you can receive compensation from the people who hurt you.
In a bus accident claim, you typically must prove four elements of liability:
- Duty: the defendant owed you a duty to act with reasonable care and skill.
- Breach: the defendant failed to act according to this duty.
- Causation: this breach was the direct cause of the injuries that you suffered.
- Damages: your accident and injuries caused you to experience various damages.
An Anderson bus accident lawyer from Hammack Law Firm can collect evidence of these elements when we represent you.
The Liable Party in a Bus Accident Case
A bus accident can involve several different parties.
First, the bus driver may be the one who did not drive according to their duty. For example, they may have caused the accident by breaking a traffic law.
However, if the bus driver caused an accident during their normal work duties, their employer may be liable for the accident due to the legal principle of vicarious liability. The owner and operator of the bus company may also be liable for your damages if the accident was caused by their failure to service or maintain the bus.
If the bus was publicly owned, the liable party in your case might be a municipality or county. There are special rules that apply to bringing a claim against a government entity, including the deadline to sue (discussed below). Hammack Law Firm can help you understand those rules, how to follow them, and whether they apply in your situation.
The Deadline to Sue in South Carolina
The time that you have to sue for compensation after a bus accident is limited. Per South Carolina Code §15-3-530, there is a general three-year statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits.
However, if your claim is against a government entity, you generally have a two-year statute of limitations to file your lawsuit, per South Carolina Code §15-78-110.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Most buses carry a minimum of $1 Million in liability coverage. If your damages exceed the limits of the responsible party’s insurance coverage, and if you carry underinsured motorist coverage (UIM), you may be able to rely on your UIM policy for additional compensation. UIM is an optional form of insurance coverage in South Carolina.
Hammack Law Firm can help you identify all of your potential options for pursuing compensation in your personal injury claim.
Anderson Bus Accident Lawyer Near Me 864-514-8192
Damages in a Bus Accident Case
Depending on the nature of your accident and injuries, the following damages may be available in a personal injury claim:
- Medical expenses, including hospital fees, surgeries, medications, and physical therapy
- Your estimated future costs of medical care
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
Call Hammack Law Firm Today
An Anderson bus accident lawyer from Hammack Law Firm may be able to coordinate all of the legal work in your case.
We know how overwhelming this time may be. Our firm strives to treat every client like family and to provide a big firm experience with a small firm feel.
You can learn more about working with Hammack Law Firm by reading our Google reviews and the testimonials on our site. When you are ready for your free case review with a member of our team, call us at (864) 326-3333.