The latest report from the Virginia Department of Transportation shows that there were 352 bus crashes within the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2020. For a mode of transport that’s described as the safest on land, after trains, that is a large number.
Unfortunately, because of the vehicle size and the number of occupants in a typical bus, these accidents tend to record a sizable number of casualties. If you or a loved one were hurt in a bus accident in Hampton, VA, it is important that you seek legal counsel to receive adequate compensation.
Whether it’s a school bus crash or a commercial bus accident, our Hampton bus accident attorneys at Pendleton Law can help you recover compensation that will help cover the cost of your treatment and any financial losses you may have suffered because of the crash.
Who Is Liable in a Hampton Bus Accident Case?
Unlike car crashes and other personal injury cases that can be somewhat straightforward, bus accident claims are very complex. It’s not just because of the laws but also because of the multiple parties you would have to sue or hold liable. In Virginia, buses are referred to as “common carriers.”
All commercial charters and city buses are required to take extra care while conveying passengers. Because of the standard of care required to run and operate these buses, if an accident occurs, the operating entities may be held liable.
This is even more so if the bus crash was caused by negligence, mistakes, or carelessness. From our vast experience with Hampton bus accident cases, the following parties are likely to be held liable:
- The driver
- The bus maintenance crew
- The bus company
- The city
- The school district, if it’s a school bus accident
- Bus or vehicle parts manufacturer
- Other road users
Depending on the circumstances of the bus accident, one or more of these entities can be sued for the injuries sustained by the victims. Before you can successfully file a compensation claim, you’ll need the help of our experienced bus crash attorneys serving Hampton residents. Talk to us about your case and explore your legal options.
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How Much Can You Expect to Receive as Compensation after a Hampton Bus Accident?
One of the single largest bus accident settlements in Hampton, VA, was that of a motorcycle rider involved in an accident with a school bus. The victim was eventually awarded $7.5 million in settlement money.
We must note that just because they received that amount doesn’t mean that so will you. Your compensation may be more or less. This depends on the many factors that can affect your compensation payout. These include:
- If you were partly at fault: Virginia practices contributory negligence, which means that if you’re liable by as little as one percent, you may not be able to receive any payment.
- The insurance company’s willingness to settle: If they are not willing to pay the money, the case may drag on for an unduly long period of time.
- The severity of your injuries: Cases involving victims who have suffered catastrophic injuries are likely to be prolonged. Your lawyer may need to wait until you or the victim would have attained the maximum medical improvement level before they can file a claim.
- The lawyer’s ability to understand and adhere to county laws where necessary: Recovery can be barred by sovereign immunity if your bus accident attorney doesn’t follow the set procedures.
- The bus company’s or driver’s insurance coverage: According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), all commercial buses are required to have insurance coverage of $1.5 million to $5 million, depending on the number of seats in the bus. If the relevant parties do not have this amount of liability coverage, it may limit how much you’ll get as compensation.
As you can see, bus crash cases are both delicate and complex. And they require the expertise of skilled bus accident lawyers in Hampton who understand the laws and procedures to help you secure the maximum compensation.
However, don’t let all the seeming complications and technicalities discourage you. You can get the compensation you deserve with the right Hampton bus accident law firm fighting for your rights.
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Recoverable Damages in a Hampton Bus Accident Case
If you’re wondering about the kind of compensation you can claim, the good news is that you can recover economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are those losses that can be easily quantified or calculated. This is because they have a definite value attached to them.
Examples of economic damages include:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Loss of income
- Diminish capacity to earn an income
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are not easy to quantify because of their subjective nature. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Loss of quality of life
You may also be able to claim punitive damages, but these are only awarded in extreme circumstances where there was a clear demonstration of egregious behavior or gross misconduct. At Pendleton Law, we can help determine if your case qualifies for punitive damages.
Please note that there is no cap or limit on the amount you can receive for economic and non-economic damages. However, punitive damages have a $350,000 cap.
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Contact an Experienced Hampton Bus Accident Attorney
We know that the recovery process can be overwhelming, which is why we recommend that you talk to one of our experienced bus accident attorneys serving Hampton, VA.
You’ll need to do that quickly, as Virginia has a two-year statute of limitations after which you may not be able to file a claim anymore. On a similar note, if you’re bringing legal action against the government – e.g. Virginia’s Metrobus – you must bring a “notice of claim” within one year of the accident per Virginia Code Section 8.01-195.6.
At Pendleton Law, our legal team is committed to helping you get the most compensation possible if you or a loved one were injured in a bus accident in Hampton City. Contact us today to discuss your situation for free.
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