According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there are a surprisingly large number of bus accidents every year in the United States. Getting into an accident with a bus can cause a lot of damage to your car and leave you with serious injuries. To make a full recovery, you may require expensive medical care and property replacement costs. Bus accident victims can experience a serious interruption to their lives and as well as long-term financial burdens.
If you are the victim of a bus accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your related expenses. Contact a San Jose bus accident lawyer to see what your legal options are. You can call Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 683-5111 for a free consultation about your bus accident case.
Liability is an important part of your case. When there is an accident, the police investigate it to determine who is responsible for the accident. That person may also be liable for the damages caused by the accident. However, liability may not only fall on the driver.
If the bus driver is liable for an accident, that means that the driver is a possible defendant in a lawsuit filed by the accident victim. If a company owns and operates the bus and employs the driver, the company may also be liable. Companies are responsible for their employees’ actions and can be on the hook for compensation. Companies are more likely to have money or assets to cover expenses and are likely covered by large liability insurance plans.
If a government agency owns and operates the bus, holding that agency responsible can be more difficult. In terms of liability, the government is still responsible for the vehicles that it owns and operates and the employees they hire. However, there may be restrictions on how you can sue the agency. This often includes only a short timeline to notify them of the case and additional steps in the process. Our team can help you understand the necessary steps if we handle your San Jose bus accident case.
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Recoverable Compensation in a San Jose Bus Accident
Depending on the specifics of your accident, there are different types of compensation that you may be able to recover. Compensation for your medical expenses is common, and most cases involve asking for property damage compensation. Property damage compensation covers the cost of repairing or replacing your car, as well as any other property that you lost in the accident. You can also ask for compensation for missing work since you will not get paid for the time that you are out due to your injuries.
Your lawyer can also ask for pain and suffering damages. These damages are intended to address the emotional and mental stress caused by the accident. If your accident has an impact on your mental and emotional health or if your injuries were painful, you may be awarded compensation for it.
According to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), fatal bus accidents occur regularly. If your loved one dies in a bus accident, you may also be able to claim wrongful death compensation.
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Statute of Limitations
If you need to file a lawsuit against the bus driver and the company that owns the bus, it is important to start the process as soon as possible. There is a limited amount of time that you have to file your lawsuit. This is called the statute of limitations, and it is designed to get victims to take legal action in a reasonable amount of time. That way, lawsuits cannot be filed many years after an accident.
In California, victims must file lawsuits for property damage stemming from a bus accident within three years from the date of the accident. They must file lawsuits involving personal injury claims within two years from the date of the accident. If you miss the deadline, the court will most likely reject your case.
If the agency that owns the bus is a government agency, there is a different method of filing the lawsuit that you need to follow. This process gives government agencies a grace period to deal with any claims filed against them before they go to court. A lawyer can help you coordinate this process, but ultimately you could have considerably less time to take action.
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Understanding Your Rights
Under civil law, you have the right to sue someone that hurt you or a loved one in some way. This is also true of bus accidents. In a bus accident, the driver is liable, and so is the company that he worked for. You have the right to hold them responsible and to seek compensation that makes them pay for your accident-related expenses. That way, you will not have to take years to pay off your bills and repair your finances.
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Your Legal Options for Recourse
Your legal options involve filing a lawsuit or accepting a settlement agreement. In many cases, the person being sued will offer the victim a settlement agreement so that the case does not have to go to trial. This keeps the information from becoming a matter of public record that can make companies look bad, and it is also generally much cheaper for the company.
Before you agree to any settlement, have your lawyer review it first. There is a good chance that the initial settlement will not offer enough compensation to cover your expenses. Instead, have your lawyer renegotiate the agreement to fit your needs and ensure that you can pay off your accident-related deaths.
Call for a Free Consultation
Getting into a bus accident can change your life, but you do not have to let it ruin your finances indefinitely. You can claim compensation from the driver who caused your accident or the company that he or she works for. Work with a San Jose bus accident lawyer to ensure that you can protect yourself from becoming a victim all over again. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at (800) 683-5111 to discuss your case in a free consultation.
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