Getting into an accident with a bus is very dangerous. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), between 200 and 300 fatal bus accidents occur each year. 142 of those involve school buses alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Bus accidents tend to be more severe than accidents with smaller vehicles. Because of this, bus accident victims are usually left with more severe injuries and higher costs for the services that they need while recovering. Fortunately, you can take legal action to recover compensation for some of those expenses.
Whether you were a passenger on a bus or another driver in an accident with a bus, you may be able to take legal action to protect your finances from the high cost of recovery. Discuss your case with a Charlotte bus accident lawyer to see if it is viable and you can take it to trial. Call the offices of Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 921-7227 for a free consultation.
Determining liability in a bus accident can be difficult under certain circumstances. Your case largely depends on your position in the accident. If you are a driver that was hit by a bus, then the bus driver may be held liable. If the bus is owned and operated by a company, you may be able to hold the company liable if the accident was caused by a problem that the company should have prevented. For example, failing to properly maintain the bus could make the company liable for the accident.
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Statute of Limitations
Bus accidents can leave victims with serious injuries and property damage that needs to be addressed. If it has a major impact on your finances, legal action may help to resolve those problems. However, you have a limited amount of time to do so. This time limit is called the statute of limitations.
According to NC General Statutes (GS) §1-52(16), you have three years to file a lawsuit with claims for personal injury and property damage. The process may become more complicated if you are in an accident with a bus that is owned by a government organization. Many government agencies have their own processes for handling lawsuits, and you may be required by law to follow a specific process that gives the agency a chance to respond to your claims. Before you take action, consult a lawyer to make sure that you are following the correct process so that you do not miss your chance to take legal action to protect your finances.
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Settlement vs. Trial
When you file a civil lawsuit, there is a chance that your case may not go to trial. Instead, you may be offered a settlement agreement by the other party or their insurance company. Settlement agreements offer a faster way to end your lawsuit while still collecting compensation. This means that you may be able to collect compensation and address financial issues sooner, which may make it a more attractive alternative than going to trial.
If you are offered a settlement agreement, make sure that you thoroughly review it with a lawyer before accepting it. Many settlement agreements do not offer enough compensation to cover long-term expenses from an accident. Fortunately, a Charlotte bus accident lawyer can renegotiate the agreement until it meets your needs.
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Bus accidents usually result in severe injuries, which can leave you with extensive medical expenses. Some of these medical expenses may include:
- Emergency medical care: Because you were in an accident, you likely went directly to the emergency room. Ambulance transportation and emergency medical care at a hospital can be expensive. Your insurance may not provide enough coverage to handle all of these expenses.
- Physical therapy: You may have an injury that requires physical therapy to properly heal. While it may be necessary, physical therapy can be expensive and last a long time.
- Specialist care: Specific types of injuries, such as head injuries, may require specialized diagnostic care. Specialists are usually not covered by insurance except under specific circumstances.
You may have other medical expenses not covered on this list. You can file claims for medical expenses in your lawsuit as long as your lawyer can prove that those expenses are related to the accident. This should be relatively easy by using medical records and bills as evidence.
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Possible Recoverable Compensation
Aside from medical expenses, you may be able to claim other expenses in a lawsuit. If you have property, such as a cell phone or car, that was damaged in the accident, you can file a property damage claim for the cost of repairing or replacing those items. You may also be able to file a claim for lost wages if you had to take unpaid time off from work.
The types of compensation that you can claim in a lawsuit depends on the specifics of your case. Your lawyer will do an extensive analysis of your expenses and make sure as many are claimed as possible.
Reasons to Hire a Lawyer
The legal process can be complex and there are many areas where you can run into problems that can derail your case if you are not properly prepared. Hiring a lawyer can make it easier to focus on your recovery. You will have someone dedicated to managing your case with the legal expertise, experience, and resources to handle your lawsuit.
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Recovering from a bus accident can be a long process, but you do not have to struggle with financial obligations that the accident caused. Instead, protect your finances by hiring a lawyer and filing a lawsuit. Choose a Charlotte bus accident lawyer that you feel can best represent your case by calling the offices of Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 921-7227 for a free consultation.
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