Bus Accident Attorneys in Columbia, SC
The Federal Motor Carrier Association recently announced that fatal bus crashes have decreased by eight percent over the past decade. Unfortunately, that’s of little comfort to people who have lost a loved one or been seriously injured themselves in a bus accident. Bus crashes often involve more severe injuries and result in more fatalities than other types of motor vehicle accidents. Some of the most commonly reported injuries include:
- Amputation of a limb
- Bone fractures
- Bruises and cuts
- Internal injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
A bus accident can occur while a passenger is on the bus or shortly after he or she exits.
School Bus Accidents
Sadly, two-thirds of all children killed after exiting a school bus are struck by the bus while in the crosswalk and not by the driver of a private vehicle. These tragedies can occur when a school bus driver doesn’t know how many children exited the bus, does not see the child in the crosswalk, or moves the bus unexpectedly. Other situations that may cause a school bus accident include negligent behavior by the driver, poor road conditions, improper maintenance of the bus, and severe weather.
Nearly half of all accidents involving a school bus involve a front-end collision. Left side, right side, top, and rear impacts are less common but obviously do occur. It’s also possible for a school bus accident to happen with no impact from another vehicle, such as when a driver fails to slow down for a slippery patch of road and the bus rolls over.
Transit and Inter-City Bus Accidents
Mass transit is an excellent solution for a city as populated as Columbia, South Carolina. Our state also operates thousands of tourist buses for travelers arriving here to see the sites of our beautiful state. Unfortunately, the drivers of these buses are not immune to colliding with other vehicles or striking passengers. There are many reasons why transit bus accidents occur:
- Distracted bus driver
- Road conditions – wet pavement
- Road construction issues
- Vehicle maintenance issues or defects
- Structure of the bus and lack of passenger protection
- Urban locale – pedestrian traffic and limited area for maneuvering
The Challenge of Proving Negligence or Fault in a Bus Accident
It isn’t always the driver who is at fault for a bus accident. He or she could have done everything right and still crashed due to the actions of another driver on the road. As with commercial trucking accidents, determining liability when you have sustained injuries in a bus accident can be challenging. The people responsible for safely maintaining the bus could have ignored obvious safety issues or done a poor job of completing repairs, leading to a later crash. It’s also possible that the manufacturer of the bus was negligent during assembly.
After an accident happens, it is common for people to want to deny responsibility and point the finger at someone else. The insurance company representing the bus company may even say that you did something to cause your own injuries. It can feel intimidating as a bus accident victim to go up against a large insurance company, but this is something we are accustomed to at Peake & Fowler. Our experienced South Carolina bus accident attorneys will aggressively negotiate with the insurance company to obtain a fair settlement on your behalf.
Insurance policies can be complex and some insurance companies rely on accident victims giving up on personal injury claims because they don’t understand the policy language or their own rights. They may also sense your desperation for a settlement and provide you with a lowball offer that doesn’t come close to meeting your long-term needs as a bus accident victim. If the insurer for the bus company refuses to negotiate, you can depend on the experienced personal injury attorneys at Peake & Fowler to represent your interests and protect your rights in court.
What You May Receive with a Winning Personal Injury Lawsuit
Bus accidents can be horrific events and can result in terrible, life changing injuries. If you or a loved one has been involved in a bus accident, it is often nearly impossible to return to the same lifestyle you enjoyed before the crash. The best you can hope for is to recover sufficient damages to allow you to return to some type of normalcy.
Some of the compensation you may be entitled to receive includes:
- Reimbursement for medical expenses already incurred, including ambulance fees, doctor and hospital charges, medical supplies, ongoing medication, and physical therapy. The judge would also order the responsible party to pay all future medical expenses associated with the accident.
- Reimbursement for time missed from work due to the accident, including unpaid time and vacation or sick hours you had to use. If you suffer from long-term injuries or permanent disability and must retire or take a lesser-paying job, you would receive the difference in pay between the two.
- Reimbursement for damage to personal property, such as a laptop computer that flew out the window when the bus crashed.
- Compensation for non-monetary damages, such as pain and suffering or emotional distress.
- You could receive punitive damages if the judge and jury feels that the party responsible for the bus accident acted in an especially reckless manner. For example, the driver could have been speeding and under the influence of alcohol or the manufacturer could have deliberately compromised safety to meet production goals.
You may be eligible to receive other types of damages as well. Your attorney will discuss this with you while preparing your case.
Don’t Let a Bus Accident Sideline Your Life
A bus accident can occur in seconds, yet affect you for the rest of your life. If you continue to struggle with the physical, emotional, and financial effects of someone else’s negligent behavior, we encourage you to request a free case review from the aggressive personal injury attorneys at Peake & Fowler. It’s our goal to help you return to the standard of living you enjoyed before suffering an injury in a bus accident. Call us today for a free consultation with our auto accident attorneys!