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Bus Accident Lawyers in Clinton

Providing Information, Resources, and Representation to Victims

Public transportation can make it easier for those who aren’t able to drive to get around town and travel to other areas. Buses, in particular, serve an important role, helping people get to work, transporting children to school, and providing a way for seniors and other communities to take group trips. However, the downside to bus transportation is that there can be multiple injuries if there is an accident. Whether you were injured in a bus accident where you were a passenger or a bus hit your vehicle, it’s important to know what your legal options are.

At Brent Adams & Associates, we provide a safe space and an empathetic ear for prospective clients to relay their stories and find out whether they may be able to get compensation for their injuries. We’ll help you understand your options and explain all the possible outcomes so you can make informed choices about a potential claim.

What Factors Contribute to Bus Accidents?

Bus accidents can happen in any situation, but there are some contributing factors that are more common than others. Some common reasons for bus accidents include:

  • Speeding
  • A distracted or impaired driver
  • Adverse road conditions, such as rain or ice
  • Mechanical issues with the bus itself
  • Unsafe driving behavior, such as failing to check blind spots before changing lanes

The size and weight of a bus can also increase the seriousness of a crash. It takes buses much longer to stop than smaller vehicles, which means drivers need to leave more space between the bus and the car in front of them and be paying close attention to changing road conditions. Failing to do so can result in not having enough time to react and avoid an accident.

Who Is at Fault If a Bus Crashes?

Who is at fault in a bus accident depends on the surrounding circumstances. In many cases, it’s the bus driver who is at fault. They may have been distracted, tired, or were not driving safely for road conditions. In rare cases, there could be an issue with the bus that puts the fault on the transportation company or another third party, such as a mechanic who didn’t properly fix an issue.

Because buses often operate on highways, it’s common for bus accidents to involve multiple vehicles. This can make determining fault more difficult. For example, if a vehicle behind the bus crashed into it and pushed the bus into your car, it could be the first driver’s fault. If you have questions about how fault is determined and who the negligent party was in your case, an attorney can help.

Can a Victim Sue If They Were Partially at Fault?

In North Carolina, whether you can file a lawsuit against the other party is governed by the contributory negligence rule. According to this law, you cannot file a lawsuit against another party if you contributed to the accident at all. Even if the other party was 99 percent at fault and you were only 1 percent at fault, you cannot file a claim against them.

It’s easy to see from this why insurance companies would want to try to show that you were partially at fault for the accident. If they can show that you were slightly speeding or were somehow distracted, their client ceases to be liable. They may try to get you to admit some kind of fault, such as asking if your children were fighting in the car or if you were eating when the accident happened. Remember that anything you say to the insurance companies can have an impact on your case, and it’s best to discuss what you should and shouldn’t say with your attorney beforehand.

How Is Compensation Determined?

Compensation in bus accident cases is determined based on the extent of the victim’s injuries. In general, the more serious the injuries, the more compensation the victim could receive. The first part of compensation is related to the expenses or lost income that you incurred as a result of the accident. This covers your initial evaluation and treatment, follow-up care like physical therapy, and the income you lost from not being able to work.

The second part of the compensation is for pain and suffering. While North Carolina doesn’t have any caps on pain and suffering related to car accidents, this is generally reserved for victims who have very serious injuries. While there’s no way to truly put a number on your mental and emotional suffering, it has to be done for legal purposes. Pain and suffering can be calculated as a multiplier of your economic damages or as a per-day rate.

When Should I Talk to an Attorney?

Immediately after an accident, the focus is on getting treatment for your injuries and taking the time to heal. However, the insurance companies will be getting to work to determine who was at fault for the accident and to try to negotiate a settlement. Victims in Clinton have three years to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party after a bus accident, but you’ll want to discuss your legal options with an attorney well before this.

The insurance companies are not on your side, and they will try to get you to admit fault so that they don’t have to pay damages. An attorney can ensure that you understand these strategies and what you should do as you communicate with them.

If you need an experienced personal injury attorney to handle your bus accident case, call 877-273-6823 to schedule a consultation with one of the lawyers at Brent Adams & Associates.