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Bus Accident Lawyers in Southern Pines

Making the Legal Process Understandable and Straightforward for Bus Accident Victims

Anytime you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, it can be difficult to understand what the law allows for and how you can get compensation for your injuries and expenses. Bus accidents, in particular, can make this even more challenging because they can involve government entities or large transit companies. Understanding how to file a lawsuit after a bus accident and what you can expect from the process makes it easier to decide how you want to proceed.

One of the most important resources you can have when you’ve been injured in a bus accident is an experienced personal injury attorney. A lawyer who has successfully represented victims in similar cases knows what it takes to win and can provide a realistic assessment and strategy for your case.

What Injuries Do Victims Commonly Sustain in Bus Accidents?

Buses are large, heavy vehicles, and that means they can cause serious injuries when there is a crash. Severe injuries can include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal injuries, and damage to the limbs requiring amputation. Broken bones and crush injuries are also common, and burns can happen if the vehicles catch fire, which is more likely with the large fuel supply buses carry. Even seemingly minor injuries like lacerations, soft tissue injuries, and whiplash can require lengthy healing times.

Victims of bus accidents may also suffer from psychological issues related to the accident, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety. Victims may be too fearful to drive or ride in a car or may have debilitating nightmares. Many of these challenges are eligible for compensation under pain and suffering.

I’ve Been Injured in a Bus Accident. What Should I Do First?

There’s a flurry of activity after a bus accident. The police are on the scene interviewing people and getting the vehicles cleared, and emergency medical services are there making sure that everyone is okay and transporting those who are injured to the hospital. It’s always important to seek medical treatment and take care of yourself before anything else, but there are some other things you can do during this time that could help your case later on.

The first is to document as much as possible. Write down everything you remember from before, during, and after the accident. Your memory can get hazy even just days after the accident, and having it written down can help with clarity. Once you are released from medical treatment, contact the police to get a copy of the accident report. Your insurance company should also be notified as soon as possible after the accident so they can get the claims process started.

It’s also important to talk to a personal injury attorney as soon as you are able. They can evaluate your case and provide instruction on what you should and shouldn’t do. For example, if the insurance company requests a statement or tries to settle with you quickly to avoid a lawsuit, your attorney can ensure that your interests are being represented.

What Do I Need to Prove Fault?

A variety of evidence is used to prove fault in a bus accident case. Visual evidence, such as pictures of the accident scene or dashcam footage, can be helpful, and witness testimony is also compelling for the jury. Many of these cases also rely on the use of expert witnesses. These may be medical professionals who can attest to the severity of your injuries or accident reconstruction specialists who explain to the jury what likely happened by looking at things like tire marks or debris patterns.

For a civil lawsuit in North Carolina, you must prove your case by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that you must show that it is more likely that the other party was negligent and responsible for the wreck than not.

Should I Talk to the Bus Company’s Attorneys?

It’s likely that, at some point, you will be contacted by the counsel for the bus company. Remember that they represent their client’s rights and interests only and won’t be interested in being “fair” or educating you about the legal process or your options. If you have already retained your own attorney, you can refer anyone who contacts you regarding the accident to them. This ensures you don’t accidentally say or do something that could harm your case or be construed as admitting wrongdoing. If you haven’t yet hired your own attorney, this is a good time to contact one. It’s imperative that you don’t attempt to go up against the other side’s legal team without an experienced attorney by your side.

How Long Can I Expect the Case to Take?

When you’re dealing with injuries and mounting expenses, the last thing you want is to be drawn into a long legal battle. However, it’s important to be realistic about the time it takes for these cases to be settled.

First, you have to account for the statute of limitations. In North Carolina, victims have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. After this has happened, it can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to get to a final resolution, depending on the case and the willingness of both parties to negotiate.

There are many things that require your attention in the days and weeks after a bus accident, and obtaining experienced legal counsel should be one of them. Call the law firm of Brent Adams & Associates at 910-692-1119 to schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys to discuss your case.