Mass transit systems were created to help people travel to their desired destinations safely and efficiently. However, a 2017 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) report showed that over 200 fatal crashes involved buses.
With buses being a part of a municipal entity, it may be wise to get legal representation to seek compensation. In Norfolk, the attorneys at Christina Pendleton and Associates have experience with obtaining significant settlement packages for a bus accident injury.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a mass transit accident, our legal team will help you fight for justice and financial recovery.
Bus Accident Injuries
Buses are supposed to be convenient, thoroughly inspected, and safe to ride. However, there are still risks involved in choosing this form of transportation. Limited seat belts, passengers obstructing the aisle, and lack of rail support can result in severe injuries if a wreck occurs.
Those in bus accidents often report common injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Fractures or broken bones
- Loss of limbs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries
Emotional injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety are reported as well and sometimes require continuous medical treatment. Our firm fights to ensure that the physical, emotional, and financial costs of a wreck are handled by the negligent party.
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The Dos and Don’ts of a Bus Accident Case
If anyone that you know has suffered injuries from a bus accident, compensation may be available after filing a claim. In order for your accident lawyer to best assist your case, take note of the following things to do or avoid in order to maximize your settlement claim.
Do Take Pictures of the Accident Scene
Any additional proof that an attorney has to support your claim will solidify your claim in the long run. Photos of injuries or property loss after an accident will suffice.
Do Collect Names and Numbers of Those Involved in the Collision
The people involved in the wreck are key witnesses that can confirm the severity of the crash. Keep a record of their contact information for your attorney to interview them if needed.
Do Visit a Practitioner Immediately After a Wreck
All too often, car wreck victims skip the hospital because of financial costs. Going home to self-treat is not only dangerous to your health but hurtful to your case. A doctor will identify and list all injuries that could be missed without a scan or physical.
Don’t Say That You Are Fine
The police and paramedics on the scene will arrive to question your health condition. Never confirm before going to a doctor that you are fine. Instead, reveal that you wish to seek medical attention on your own just to be sure.
Don’t Post on Social Platforms
Beware of posting about your accident on the internet. In any personal injury case, investigators will look for clues to dismiss or invalidate your claim. Refrain from discussing accident details with anyone except your doctor and your accident attorney.
Don’t Try to Handle the Case Alone if You Aren’t Familiar With Law
Accident attorneys are knowledgeable in many areas of law. Complex legal terms, unfair deals, or statutes may overwhelm the average person. If you are not familiar with the law, retaining a lawyer will be beneficial.
Bus accident cases are not always cut and dry. There are many areas where legal processes or deadlines can postpone or invalidate your case. Our Norfolk mass transit lawyers are current with procedural rules and law defenses that can get you the highest possible payment award.
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Bus Accident Settlement Amount
The main element to remember is that all insurance agencies have policy limits and that insurance companies are looking to serve their client’s best interest- not yours. There is no average bus accident settlement amount, but there are things that a winning settlement commonly covers:
- Pain and suffering
- The price of medical bills
- Income loss due to injuries
- Emotional anguish
- Property loss
- Permanent injury
- Wrongful death
The reckless actions of the at-fault party may even award the victims punitive damages. Don’t agree to any settlement offers before consulting with an attorney.
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Is Hiring a Bus Accident Lawyer Necessary?
Regardless of if you were a passenger, pedestrian, or operator of a vehicle when injured, a lawyer will help you to know all of your legal options while pursuing a fair settlement for your losses.
Bus accidents have more moving parts than the average car accident. While the statute of limitations deadline is the same, the investigative process has to pass through the busing company, the government entity, the manufacturer, and possibly others.
Your accident attorney’s role is to clarify any concerns you may have, gather factual evidence that supports your claim, investigate, negotiate with insurance, and represent you if your case goes to trial. Our bus accident legal team in Norfolk oversees your case thoroughly.
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Causes of Bus Accidents in Norfolk
The Department of Motor Vehicles in Virginia provides a comprehensive crash detail report each year, highlighting the main causes of auto accidents within the state. For buses, a majority of the crashes aren’t caused by their improper actions, but the list states reasons such as:
- Defective equipment
- Impaired driving
- Improper weight distribution
- User error
- Blocked or blurred visibility
- Dangerous weather
- Poor mechanical maintenance
- Obstructive road conditions or debris
Some instances can’t be defined simplistically in this report. Still, a skilled legal professional can prepare a defense statement that will hold the appropriate party accountable regardless of the reason.
Free Legal Consult With a Norfolk Accident Lawyer
The law firm of Christina Pendleton & Associates works on a contingent-fee basis, meaning that we assume all financial risks of representing you until after your settlement wins. We understand that recovery can be draining and expensive, so we offer a free initial consultation.
Mass transit companies and municipalities have the resources to drag out the legal process or offer such a low settlement that it intimidates victims. A skilled Norfolk bus accident attorney will evaluate your case and provide an estimated settlement amount, contact us today.
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