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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, the convenience of bus rides comes with the risk of terrible accidents. 

If you were harmed in a bus accident, it is important to contact a Richmond bus accident attorney as soon as possible. At Christina Pendleton & Associates, our attorneys have decades of experience fighting for victims of bus accidents. They’ll make sure you are compensated for your injuries and related expenses. 

Your Richmond Bus Accident Attorney Can Help You Recover Damages

As a passenger in a bus accident, you may bring a claim for damages against the bus company and/or the driver. Depending on the accident, you might also be entitled to file a claim against the driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident.

An experienced Richmond bus accident attorney will assist you in determining who is responsible for causing the accident, as well as the damages you’re able to add to your claim. As the victim of a bus accident, you are entitled to file a claim for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Future earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium

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Let Your Bus Accident Lawyer Deal With Insurance Companies

The insurance companies involved in the accident will probably attempt to contact you shortly after the incident to negotiate a settlement. However, it is important to speak to an attorney prior to agreeing to a settlement offer, since it will affect your ability to claim the damages you are entitled to.

Insurance companies are infamous for offering low-ball settlements to victims who are too focused on recovery to notice that the offer is insufficient. Your Richmond bus lawyer can review any offers you receive, and negotiate with insurers to get you the highest payment possible. If the company is unwilling to offer fair payment, your lawyer can take them to court.

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A Bus Accident Lawyer Can Help With a Number of Injuries

Our Richmond bus accident lawyers have experience building claims for a variety of bus accident injuries. No matter how severe or mild your injuries are, you can be confident that our attorneys will do everything they can to win you an equitable payment.

The types of injuries we can build a claim for include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Brain injury
  • Lacerations and cuts
  • Broken bones
  • Internal injuries
  • Spinal injuries
  • Neck, back, and chest injuries

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Liable Parties in a Richmond Bus Accident

Determining who is liable for a bus accident in Richmond depends on the type of accident, which bus company was involved, and if another driver caused the accident. Every bus accident is unique, but it’s like that one or more of the following parties will be held responsible:

  • The driver of the other vehicle
  • The bus driver
  • Schools
  • The government
  • Private bus or transportation companies

When it comes to bus accidents, there are a number of parties who could be liable. Even a passenger could be held accountable if they tried to hijack the bus. Our attorneys will be able to investigate the details of the accident, and determine who is responsible for your injuries and losses.

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Bus Companies Can Be Held Liable for Insufficient Training

When bus drivers receive inadequate training or no training at all, they are more likely to cause a dangerous accident than drivers who are familiar with bus safety precautions and the rules of the road.

Bus companies are required to provide their drivers with the training they need to safely operate their vehicles. If they fail to do so, it’s more likely that their drivers will get into an accident that harms passengers. If you were injured in a bus accident involving an untrained driver, your attorney will find out and hold the bus company responsible.

How Long It Takes to Litigate a Richmond Bus Accident Case

Bus companies, including municipal ones, have hefty insurance policies as well as experienced insurance lawyers who will try to reduce the amount of compensation you receive. This can make for a long trial, but there are other variables that can determine the length of your case. 

Here are the factors that dictate how quickly your claim will be resolved:

  • 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 best to keep you informed on what is happening with your case and let you know what to expect at each stage. Following your lawyer’s instructions and providing them with the information they request is the best thing you can do to help speed up the process.

Statute of Limitations For Bus Accidents in Virginia

The 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 the state government, your time for filing may be much shorter than you expect.

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.

There are also filing deadlines for wrongful death claims. According to Virginia Code § 8.01-244 you’ll need to file a claim within two years of the victim’s passing. Our experienced bus accident lawyers in Richmond will ensure that all the necessary paperwork is filed on time.

Bus Accident Statistics in 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 Richmond represents a relatively small percentage of the total accidents throughout the state – just 0.3%. 

Fortunately, these accidents result in relatively few injuries compared to those of typical car accidents. That being said, you should still consult with a lawyer. Even if your injuries are mild, they’ll be able to get you compensated for any medical bills you’ve been burdened with.

Different Types of Bus Accident Cases We Handle

While most buses are similar in design, how we file a claim depends on who owns the bus. Your Richmond bus accident attorney will be familiar with the complex legal procedures required to file a claim for the following types of accidents.

Commercial Bus Accidents

Federal and state laws regulate commercial bus lines, like Greyhound or Megabus. The drivers and owners of such buses are held to high standards, as they are carrying paying customers.

These companies also have robust insurance policies to protect themselves when accidents happen. Since commercial buses carry multiple passengers at once, they need to have enough coverage to handle things if everyone is injured. 

School Bus Accidents

School bus safety is important, but 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, they’re 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. When you take the government to court, many of the normal rules for suing individuals change. Your attorney will be able to navigate the process of filing such a claim.

Public Transit Bus Accidents

Pursuing compensation in a public transit bus accident depends on the system and the insurance policies they carry. One city may run their system internally, while another might contract out to third parties. Part of our job in a case like this is to determine who is the liable party and insurer.

Unsafe Bus Design in Richmond, VA

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 up to a certain point.

While bus safety has seen a surge in recent years, with many buses now equipped with seatbelts, many passengers still refuse to wear them, 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 left uncompensated for an injury you’ll carry for the rest of your life. That’s why our attorneys are dedicated to winning the compensation you need to recover.

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 the Pendleton Law Team. Our personal injury attorneys have years of experience filing claims for victims of tragic bus accidents. 

We will take care of the claim process for you so that you can focus solely on your recovery. Call our office or contact us online today for your free case evaluation. You’ll be glad you reached out to us when you see how passionate our attorneys are about holding those at-fault accountable, and helping victims move on after an accident.

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