Richmond Bus Accident Lawyer
Buses offer a convenient and relatively inexpensive method to get from place to place, whether it be to work, or even across the country. However, along with the convenience of bus rides comes the unfortunate risk of terrible accidents.
If you were harmed in a bus accident, it is important to contact a knowledgeable bus accident attorney in Richmond as soon as possible. Even if you don’t believe you sustained injuries right away, your timeline to sue could be affected by the statute of limitations.
Why Are Bus Accidents So Dangerous?
Bus accidents are often more devastating than the average motor vehicle accident because of the inherent lack of safety features and protection offered to bus passengers. Buses have long relied on their weight and height to keep passengers safe, but that only works to a point.
While bus safety has seen a surge in recent years with many buses now equipped with seatbelts, many passengers still refuse to wear seatbelts, and those that do, notice little change in the bus’s safety.
If a bus is hit hard enough to roll over, the results can be catastrophic. Bus companies must be held liable if one of their drivers gets into an accident. You shouldn’t be uncompensated for an injury you’ll carry for the rest of your life.
Bus Accidents in Richmond, Virginia
In the 2020 statistics on crashes in Virginia, there were 352 bus accidents that resulted in 166 injuries and no fatalities. The number of bus accidents in Virginia represents a relatively small percentage of the total accidents throughout the state—just 0.3%.
While there may be one seemingly terrible bus accident every year, fortunately, these accidents result in relatively few injuries compared to the heightened number of injuries in typical car accidents.
The number of school bus accidents remains terrifying, as the thought of our children involved in an accident is almost too much for some parents. Many vigilant parents opt to drive their children to school rather than risk the lack of safety features found on school buses.
No matter the severity of you or your loved one’s injury, you should still consult with a bus accident lawyer in Richmond to assess the damages and compile a claim.
Types of Bus Accidents
While most buses are similar in design, how we approach them with a claim will vary a lot depending on who owns the bus. Here are some types we’ve encountered with past clients.
Commercial Bus Accidents
Federal and state laws regulate commercial bus lines, like Greyhound or Megabus. Drivers of commercial buses and their owners are held to high standards as they are carrying paying customers.
These companies also have robust insurance policies when things go wrong. Since commercial buses carry multiple passengers at once, they need to have enough coverage to handle things if everyone is injured.
School Bus Accidents
When it comes to school bus safety, most school buses are not equipped with traditional seat belts. Children have an increased risk of serious injury if the driver makes a sharp turn or slams on the brakes. Because the bus driver is a government employee, the driver is protected from lawsuits for simple negligence but they can be held liable for gross negligence.
It is possible to sue the government directly for a school bus accident, but it is difficult. Many of the normal rules for suing individuals change. For instance, the statute of limitations is far shorter when you’re suing a government agency.
Public Transit Bus Accidents
Pursuing compensation in a public transit bus accident all depends on the system and the insurance policies they carry. A city may run their system themselves, while others are contracted out to third parties. Part of our job in a case like this is to root out who is the liable party and their insurer.
Statute of Limitations With Bus Accidents
One tricky part of filing a lawsuit against a bus company is the statute of limitations. If the bus involved in your accident is run by a government, your time for filing can be much shorter than you realize.
If you are suing the State of Virginia, you have up to one year to file your lawsuit. If you are filing against a city, state, or town, you only have six months to file. It’s imperative that you speak with a lawyer before these deadlines or you could lose your right to sue.
Who Is Liable for Your Bus Accident in Richmond?
Determining liability for a bus accident depends on the type of accident, which bus company was involved, and if someone else caused the accident. Every situation in a bus accident is unique but here are a few examples of who may be responsible for a bus collision:
- The driver of the other vehicle
- The bus driver
- The government
- Private bus or transportation companies
There’s even a chance that a passenger could have some liability, like if they tried to hijack the bus. Until our Richmond bus accident attorneys can investigate the details, we won’t know for certain who we’ll need to target with a bus accident claim or lawsuit.
How Long Will My Bus Accident Case Take?
Bus companies, including municipal ones, have hefty insurance policies, which come with hefty insurance lawyers who will try to reduce the amount you are owed. The speed of your case depends a lot on:
- The insurance company’s offer
- The circumstances of your case and your injuries
- Whether we need to go to trial to reach a fair result
- How busy the court is where your accident happened
We will do our utmost to keep you informed of what is happening in your case and what to expect at each stage. Follow your lawyer’s instructions and provide the information they request to help speed the process as much as possible.
Personal Injury Recovery After a Bus Accident
As the passenger in a bus involved in an accident, you may bring a claim for damages against the bus company and the driver, or the driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident if you are injured.
An experienced Richmond personal injury attorney will assist you in determining the fault of the accident, as well as the number of damages you can add to your claim. As the victim of a bus accident, you are entitled to bring a claim for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
The insurance companies involved in the accident will probably attempt to contact you and all the other passengers to negotiate a settlement shortly after the accident. However, it is important to speak to an attorney prior to agreeing to a settlement offer, since this will affect your ability to claim the proper amount of damages you are entitled to in the future.
Contact Our Richmond Bus Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one have been injured in a bus accident, contact a Richmond, VA, bus accident lawyer at Pendleton Law. Our personal injury attorneys have years of experience in assisting our clients with their claims after tragic bus accidents.
We will take care of the claim process for you so you can focus solely on your recovery. Call our office at the number on your screen or contact us online today for your free case evaluation.