Though the Seattle area is generally a safe place to live, the city has a worryingly high number of bus crashes each year. In 2019 alone, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) recorded 498 accidents involving buses in King County, with 149 resulting in injuries and three fatal.
If you suffered severe injuries and significant repair bills in a bus accident, you might find it intimidating to take legal action against a bus company, since it will likely have high-powered lawyers representing them. Having a Seattle bus accident lawyer by your side could help you in your fight for justice and compensation.
If you have questions regarding your case, you can call Ben Crump Law, PLLC, today at (800) 921-7227. Our team is ready to listen to your concerns anytime, and the initial consultation is free.
Many Factors Could Affect Liability in Bus Accidents
While it is easy to say a collision was the bus driver’s fault, liability in bus accidents is not always clear-cut. The bus line itself may also have liability if it did not provide proper training to its drivers or maintain its buses.
A construction firm or public entity could also have partial responsibility if it did not provide warning signs for road work, making it difficult for a bus driver to evade an obstruction. Other motorists may also be partially at fault for the incident.
A Seattle bus accident lawyer can investigate other factors in the crash to determine who has liability. The investigation could entail reviewing traffic camera footage, checking police reports, and interviewing witnesses, among other actions.
A personal injury attorney will also have studied the laws relevant to your case, such as city and state traffic and bus safety regulations. They can ascertain if the driver or bus company violated any regulations, which could further prove their negligence.
For a free legal consultation with a bus accidents lawyer serving Seattle, call (800) 921-7227
Filing a Seattle Bus Accident Claim or Lawsuit
In a typical auto accident in the Seattle area, you could claim against the other driver’s liability insurance policy mandated by Revised Code of Washington (RCW) § 46.30.020 to cover your medical and property repair expenses.
However, a bus accident has different options for compensation. Bus companies like King County Metro Transit must carry liability insurance per Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. In addition, passenger carrier companies operating within Washington must have liability coverage when registering with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC).
Keep in mind that an insurance provider could try to lessen their client’s liability to reduce the amount they have to pay you. A bus accident attorney can collect evidence to strengthen your claim and fight for fair compensation in settlement negotiations. If talks break down, you can file a personal injury lawsuit.
If a private company owns the bus involved in your accident, you will file suit in a King County court. However, if a government agency such as King County Metro Transit or Sound Transit owns the bus, you must file your claim following the process set forth in RCW § 4.96.020. The agency has 60 days to review your claim; if it denies your claim, you can then pursue your case in court.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC, has attorneys ready to provide you legal support in Seattle after a bus accident. Our legal team can help you comply with your case requirements and represent you in front of insurance adjusters or during court proceedings. Call us today for a free case review.
Seattle Bus Accident Lawyer Near Me (800) 921-7227
Receive Compensation with Damages
A successful bus accident case means you can receive economic and noneconomic awards for your monetary losses. The former repays you for the financial impact of the crash, while the latter serves to compensate for the inconveniences you suffered. These awards can reimburse you for:
- Hospitalization, surgery, therapy, and other medical expenses.
- Wages lost while recovering from your injuries.
- Car repair or replacement bills and car rental fees.
- Repairs for other damaged property.
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering.
Comparative Negligence Rules Apply
Washington uses a comparative fault system for auto accident cases. After reviewing your evidence, the jury might decide that you share part of the blame for the accident. Your award will then get reduced proportionately to your share of the fault. For instance, if the court finds you 15 percent liable for the crash, if you were supposed to recover $80,000, you would now get only $68,000 (or 85 percent of the full award).
A bus accident attorney can compile documentation that shows all your accident-related expenses, such as hospital and repair bills, and calculate the noneconomic damages you could receive.
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Filing Deadlines for Seattle Bus Accidents
All lawsuits in Seattle follow the statute of limitations specified in Washington’s state code. Your bus accident case will likely combine personal injury, property damage, or wrongful death claims. All three have the same deadline in Washington: three years per RCW § 4.16.080. This timeline applies whether a private company or public agency operates the bus.
If you miss the deadline, you might be unable to file your claim. A Seattle bus accident lawyer can check if any exceptions to the statute of limitations apply to your situation and help file your case within the time limit.
We Help You Seek Compensation
Developing a bus accident case can be distressing for anyone, especially while you still deal with the injuries, trauma, and expenses resulting from the crash. Our Seattle bus accident lawyers at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, have years of experience in these matters and know how to build a case to seek the justice and compensation you deserve. We stand ready to help you develop your claim and provide legal advice when you need it.
We handle an array of civil cases, including wrongful incarceration, medical malpractice, and workers’ compensation. If you need more details on our legal services, you can get in touch with us 24/7 at (800) 921-7227 for a free case review with a team member.