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Bus Accident Lawyers in Fayetteville

Fighting to Protect Victims’ Right

As you drive around Fayetteville and the surrounding area, you can often see buses transporting passengers where they need to go. This includes school buses, public city buses, and private buses that facilitate field trips and travel for groups. While most of these routes are uneventful, when a bus accident does happen, it can be life-changing for those involved. Whether you were injured as a passenger or you were in another vehicle that was involved in an accident with a bus, there may be options for you to get compensation for your injuries that can help you move forward.

At Brent Adams & Associates, we have helped victims of bus accidents navigate the legal complexities that arise after an accident and ensure their rights are protected. Our team works to ensure that every victim has the representation they need to pursue action against the at-fault party and get the compensation they deserve.

What Types of Injuries Are Common in Bus Accidents?

While modern buses are built with the safety of passengers in mind, they are still large, heavy vehicles that don’t stop or turn quickly. Many buses also don’t have seat belts or any type of restraints for passengers or luggage, which can mean both people and objects are thrown about when a collision occurs. Injuries that are commonly seen with bus accidents include:

  • Broken bones
  • Contusions
  • Lacerations
  • Sprains and strains
  • Brain injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Crush injuries
  • Burns

Accidents involving long-haul transport buses may be likely to have more serious injuries due to the fact that these collisions often happen on the interstates and major highways where speed becomes a major factor.

What Steps Should You Take After a Bus Accident?

After a bus accident, the main priority is ensuring that you get medical treatment and can start on the road to healing. Once you are in stable condition, someone should notify your insurance company so that an agent can start the process of figuring out whose insurance will pay for the damage.

For those with serious injuries, it could take days, weeks, or even months before you are physically and emotionally ready to think about legal action. However, the sooner you talk with an attorney, the better. In North Carolina, you have three years to actually file a lawsuit against the other party, but speaking with an attorney early on can increase your chances of success and strengthen your case. A lawyer can advise you on how to deal with the insurance companies and legal teams and ensure that you don’t inadvertently jeopardize your case by making a potentially incriminating statement or accepting a low-ball settlement offer.

How Do You Prove Fault in a Bus Accident?

Proving fault in a bus accident relies on showing evidence that the bus driver made a mistake or was otherwise negligent in a way that caused the accident. Many buses have dash cams or cameras inside the bus that can offer valuable visual evidence of what happened directly before and during the accident. Bus passengers may also be able to provide witness testimony about what happened or what the driver was doing.

To win a bus accident case, you must show clear and convincing evidence that the driver breached the duty of care and that the breach resulted in your injuries and damages. In a civil trial, this requires convincing the jury that the driver was more likely than not to have been at fault and caused the accident.

Keep in mind that North Carolina is a contributory negligence state, which means that if you at all contributed to the accident, such as by speeding or not checking your blind spot, you cannot file suit against the driver. If you’re not sure if this applies to your situation, it’s best to meet with a bus accident attorney to evaluate your case and learn more about your options.

Are There Special Rules If a Public Bus Was Involved in an Accident?

While the type of bus doesn’t change whether you may be entitled to compensation, it can create some challenges with your case. Public buses, such as those used in Fayetteville’s FAST system, are often overseen by city government agencies, which can mean that you’re up against in-house legal teams and pressure from officials. Likewise, a school bus accident can mean that you’re dealing with the driver, the school district, and the Board of Education.

These cases can get complex quickly, so it’s important to discuss your concerns with an attorney who can give you information on how these situations are handled and what you can expect. It helps to have an attorney who is familiar with these cases and has helped victims of similar accidents before.

How Long Does a Bus Accident Case Take?

Personal injury cases — and civil lawsuits in general — can take a long time to resolve from the initial decision to file the lawsuit to the final decision and award. An attorney can give you a more specific timeline, but in most situations, you can expect a bus accident case to take several months at a minimum. Some cases take years to finalize. Some factors that can influence the timing of your case include what kind of bus was involved, the number of victims, the extent of the injuries, how long it takes the insurance company to finish their investigation, and how willing the other party is to negotiate.

You don’t have to deal with the aftermath of a bus accident alone. The attorneys at Brent Adams & Associates can help you understand your options and make informed choices about how you want to proceed. Call 910-483-7183 to schedule your appointment.