Bus accidents are perilous for the passengers and car drivers impacted by the crash. That is because buses are much larger and heavier than a car, so they can cause more property damage when colliding with other vehicles. In 2019, there were 2,734 fatalities caused by bus and truck accidents, and on average, 20% of fleet vehicles crashed every year. The bus driver’s company can be held liable for the damages they caused if they are at fault for your injuries. For example, four to six children die each year on school buses because they aren’t following proper safety standards. When you get into a bus accident, you can hire a lawyer to fight for your right to receive compensation for your loss. They understand traffic laws and can prove how the bus driver’s company is liable for your personal injury.
Bus drivers are expected to uphold a high standard of safety when on the road. They drive 12,000 to 15,000 miles per year, increasing their chance of an accident. It is their job to protect their passengers and drivers around them, and when they fail to do that they can be held responsible for the damages that they caused. If you have been in a catastrophic bus accident, you can get the support of Michigan bus accident lawyers. Contact All Law PLLC for more information.
What Should I Do When I Get Into a Bus Accident?
Bus accidents happen frequently, for example, in 2018, 85 school buses and 15 intercity buses caused fatal accidents. Whether you’re a passenger or a driver, you should take the following steps to help collect information that will be useful for your Michigan bus accident lawyer. They can build your case against the driver to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Photograph the Scene
It is highly recommended that you take pictures of the crash. This includes damage to vehicles involved in the bus accident and the bus itself. You can take pictures of your injuries and any property damage caused by the bus as well.
Get Medical Help
After you are in a bus accident, you will need to get medical treatment. You may have to contact emergency services to get aid at the scene. EMTs will tend to any immediate wounds, so later on, you will have to go to a hospital and get additional follow-up treatment to evaluate whether you have any soft tissue injuries. Any wounds you don’t know about will be discovered, and you can learn about how bad your injuries are. This can all be reported to your bus accident attorney and included in your settlement.
Collect Witness Contact Information
Bus accidents tend to have a lot of witnesses, as these crashes often occur on busy streets. The passengers can also be contacted as witnesses, as they also observed the bus accident. They can later testify and provide information about what happened, which can further support your case.
Wait for the Police to Arrive
After collecting contact information, you should wait for the police to arrive. They will write a report based on the facts of those involved in the accident. You can request a copy of the police report to help justify your compensation claim.
Contact a Michigan Bus Accident Lawyer
You will need to speak with a bus accident attorney who can help represent your case. They can use the evidence from the bus accident to reveal how the bus driver’s company is at fault. Bus accident lawyers are experienced in using strategies to explain how the accident happened and why you deserve compensation.
How Can Michigan Bus Accident Lawyers Help Me?
After you’ve experienced a life-threatening crash, your Michigan bus accident lawyer can help you receive compensation.
They Improve Your Chance of Receiving a Settlement
Working with an attorney can greatly increase your chance of receiving the full amount of compensation you are owed. This is because they use proven industry tactics, understand traffic laws, and know what to look for to prove your damages were caused by the bus accident.
They Investigate on Your Behalf
Once you work with a Michigan bus accident lawyer, they will perform an inquiry into your case to figure out how the other party is at fault. They will use the following tools in their investigation:
If the bus accident happened somewhere near a traffic camera or was caught on video, your attorney will request any footage from nearby traffic cameras so that they can review the crash. This will allow them to see who caused the accident to prove that you were not at fault for your personal injuries. A video is concrete evidence that can provide the irrefutable proof needed for compensation.
Bus drivers may have a record of bad behavior or traffic violations. If your attorney finds out that there were many infractions in the bus driver’s past, it can be used against them in your claim.
If the bus driver exhibits strange behavior that may imply they are drunk or taking an illicit substance, the police officers at the scene could give them a sobriety test or request a drug screening. Lawyers can obtain the bus driver’s drug tests to reveal if they were under the influence. Your attorney can use any of this evidence as proof that the bus driver wasn’t following regulations and may have been impaired while driving.
They Accurately Calculate Your Settlement Amount
Your Michigan bus accident lawyer will add up your economic and non-economic damages to be included in the total amount for your settlement.
These damages typically include pain and suffering and can’t be calculated by the amount of bills or money spent. These types of damages refer to your emotional anguish and physical pain. For example, if you suffer from PTSD because the bus accident caused you to fear taking transportation, this can be included under i damages. You may also be sore or have aches and pains because of your bus accident. This is also calculated into your settlement. Your attorney will use a multiplier to estimate all non-economic damages. This is based on how severe your accident was. The more severe it is, the higher the multiplier.
Your economic damages are all based on the amount of money you had to spend to take care of the injuries you sustained. This can also include any property damage you experienced and lost wages you missed.
When you are deeply injured, it is likely that you will have to take time off from work. You can suffer from wage loss because of your injuries or may have to reduce the hours you work due to a partial disability. When you are temporarily disabled, you can lose a large amount of income for months. This income loss should be added to your settlement total.
Your personal injuries can create a pile-up of medical bills over time. You may need prescription medicine, physical therapy, screenings, scans, laboratory tests, and more. In some cases, you may need surgery, which can be expensive. Ongoing therapy and additional clinical visits can continue for weeks. All of this adds up and can be included in the total amount of your settlement.
They Negotiate and Represent Your Case
Once you initiate your claim for damages, your attorney will begin the negotiation process with the other parties. This will require them to reach out to witnesses, the police station for a report, the insurer of the company that employs the bus driver. They will be in frequent contact with all involved parties to try and negotiate a settlement amount that is fair and accurate. This may take weeks to months, and the amount may change over time as the other party counters your claim. When all parties agree to a settlement, then the case can be closed. If not, then you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Your Attorney Stays Organized and Prepares Documents
Your attorney’s job is to gather evidence, make sense of it, and explain it to the other party. Your lawyer will prepare all of the information and draft documents that outline all of your damages and any data that provides proof of who is at fault. This information is key and will provide a means of showing concrete evidence that the other parties must review and acknowledge.
They File Lawsuits
If the other parties don’t agree to a settlement, your bus accident lawyer can represent you in court. This is after the negotiation fails. Your attorney will go over all the evidence and support you. They will also contact witnesses that were at the scene so that they can testify in court. Legal professionals do their best to present your case so that when the judge makes a decision, it is likely to be in your favor.
How to Work With a Bus Accident Lawyer in Michigan
After you’ve been in a serious bus accident, you may be suffering from injuries that cause you to take time off from work. When this happens, it is time to work with a sharp attorney who can get you the compensation you deserve. They know what regulations bus drivers must follow and can point out how a driver was violating them to prove their liability. Injuries to the brain, back, or spine can impact your quality of life and create financial instability. To see if you are eligible to receive a settlement for your damages, contact All Law PLLC for a free consultation.
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