Buses are among the biggest vehicles on the road, and while passengers on buses are usually well-protected, bus accidents can cause big injuries. Virginia bus accidents are different from car or truck accidents because bus accidents typically involve transportation companies that own the buses and hire and manage drivers. For these types of accidents, your best bet is to work with an attorney with specific experience in bus accidents and dealing with big companies and insurance companies.
Most people who call my law firm first ask about the cost of talking to a lawyer. Before we dive into the details of Virginia bus accidents, I want to clear up a critical misconception. It is FREE to speak with our bus accident lawyers about your potential personal injury claim. Our firm offers free claim reviews to help you learn more about the personal injury process, our attorneys and support staff, and your rights as an accident victim. We also provide clients with contingency fee agreements, which means we only charge a fee if and when you are awarded compensation for your injury-related losses.
What to Expect After a Virginia Bus Accident
Let’s say you are driving to Dulles Airport on your way to pick up your mother when a bus carrying tourists into DC improperly merges and sideswipes your vehicle. Your car is undoubtedly totaled, and your head and neck jolted violently in the collision. What are your next steps?
First, please look for medical attention. You may have someone come to the scene to take you to the ER, or you may need to call 911 and request an ambulance. What’s important is that you treat your injuries with all the care and attention they require.
Second, contact the police while at the scene of the accident. The police will investigate the accident scene to determine the cause and who is at fault. They will also file a report you can use as evidence if you pursue a personal injury claim.
Third, you should contact your insurance company to report the accident. You may do this using the insurance company’s mobile application or their website. Be sure to give your insurance company accurate information, including details of your pain and injuries.
Finally, research your options for a personal injury attorney. If the bus accident was in Virginia, you’ll need to contact a board-certified personal injury attorney with experience dealing with major insurance companies.
Your bus accident may not be like the one I described above, but the steps that follow are almost always the same. Your number 1 priority is taking care of your physical and emotional health. You do not have to rush to contact a law firm, but you want to be mindful of Virginia’s two-year statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is a deadline for filing a lawsuit for your claim, and you do not want to wait too long to speak to an attorney.
What are the Most Common Injuries After a Virginia Bus Accident?
Bus accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, ranging from minor bruises to severe and life-threatening injuries. Some common injuries that passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers may sustain after a bus accident include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI): Head injuries are common in bus accidents and can range from mild concussions to severe brain trauma. Symptoms of a TBI may include headaches, dizziness, confusion, and loss of consciousness.
- Spinal cord injuries: The sudden impact of a bus accident can cause severe damage to the spinal cord, leading to partial or complete paralysis.
- Broken bones: Fractures to the arms, legs, and ribs are common in bus accidents. These injuries can be painful and may require extensive medical treatment.
- Soft tissue injuries: Soft tissue injuries such as bruises, sprains, and strains are common in bus accidents. They can cause pain, discomfort, and limited mobility.
- Whiplash: Whiplash is a type of neck injury that occurs when the head is suddenly jerked forward or backward. This can happen in a bus accident and can cause neck pain, stiffness, and headaches.
- Internal injuries: Bus accidents can also cause internal injuries, such as internal bleeding, organ damage, and punctured lungs.
It is essential to seek medical attention immediately after a bus accident, even if you do not feel any pain or injuries right away. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and prompt medical attention can help prevent complications and ensure proper treatment.
Virginia Bus Accident Lawyer Near Me 571-229-1800
How Do Virginia Bus Accidents Happen?
The cause of an accident is a very important factor in your bus accident injury claim. Virginia is a contributory negligence state, which means that if you are responsible for causing the accident at all, then you are barred from recovering a settlement. Insurance companies know this and try to find any evidence that might suggest you caused the accident. This is why consulting with an attorney before taking on the insurance companies is crucial.
Below is a list of potential Virginia bus accident causes and how the insurance company tries to dispute or deny these claims.
- Driver error: Bus drivers can cause accidents due to reckless or negligent behavior, such as speeding, distracted driving, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. But, evidence of their negligent behavior may not be clear. Even with on-bus cameras, it may be difficult to establish that the driver was responsible for causing the accident.
- Poorly maintained buses: Buses need to be regularly inspected and properly maintained for safety reasons. If they are not, then this can lead to bus breakdowns or mechanical failures that cause an accident. Insurance companies may try to dispute these claims by arguing that the bus was well maintained and the breakdown was a fluke.
- Unsafe road conditions: If a bus accident is caused by poor road conditions, such as potholes or uneven pavement, the insurance company may try to blame the city or state government for failing to maintain safe roads. In this situation, it will be important to gather evidence of negligence by the responsible parties.
- Other drivers: Other drivers on the road can cause accidents by driving recklessly or failing to follow traffic laws. If more than one person is at-fault for a bus accident, the insurance company may argue that the other driver shares liability.
It is important to determine the cause of a bus accident as soon as possible to determine who is at fault and to pursue appropriate legal action. If you have been injured in a bus accident, it is recommended that you seek the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney to help you navigate the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected.
Who is Responsible for Injuries in a Bus Accident?
Determining who is responsible for injuries in a bus accident can be a complicated process, and it often depends on the specific circumstances of the accident. Here are some parties who may be held responsible for injuries in a bus accident:
- Bus driver: If the bus driver caused the accident due to negligent or reckless behavior, they may be held responsible for any injuries that result from the accident.
- Bus company: The bus company may be held responsible if they failed to properly maintain the bus or if they hired a driver with a history of reckless or unsafe driving.
- Other driver(s): If the accident was caused by another driver on the road, they may be held responsible for any injuries that result from the accident.
- Manufacturer: If a defect in the bus or one of its components contributed to the accident, the manufacturer or distributor of the defective product may be held responsible for any resulting injuries.
- Government entities: In rare cases, a government entity may be held responsible if poor road conditions or inadequate traffic control measures contributed to the accident.
Determining who is at fault in a Virginia bus accident is a little more complex than a simple car accident, and finding all the responsible parties may require a thorough investigation of the bus company and their records. In some cases, more than one party may be responsible and you’ll need an attorney to file multiple claims or lawsuits.
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What Types of Damages Can You Recover After a Bus Accident
Damages are a way to be compensated for losses that resulted from someone else’s actions. After a bus accident, victims can recover damages for the losses they have suffered. These damages can cover medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, property damage, and other costs related to the accident. In short, recovering damages after a bus accident is about getting back what was taken away due to someone else’s negligence.
These damages can include:
- Medical expenses: This includes any medical bills and expenses related to the treatment of injuries sustained in the accident, including hospital stays, surgeries, medication, and rehabilitation.
- Lost wages: If you had to take time off work to recover from your injuries or if you are unable to return to work due to your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages.
- Property damage: If your personal property was damaged or destroyed in the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the cost of repairing or replacing your property.
- Pain and suffering: This includes compensation for physical pain and emotional distress resulting from the accident, such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
- Punitive damages: In rare cases, the court may award punitive damages to punish the defendant for particularly egregious conduct or to deter similar conduct in the future.
After a bus accident, the damages you can recover depend on the circumstances of the incident and the extent of your injuries. To determine the full extent of your damages you can start by getting a FREE claim review from the Virginia bus accident lawyers at the Parrish Law Firm.
Don’t Fight Alone – Let Us Help For FREE – FREE Claim Reviews
Our attorneys know how bus accidents can impact your life – physically, emotionally, and financially. That’s why we offer a no-risk experience to help you. We’ll assess your case for free and only take a fee if we successfully recover compensation for you. Our goal is to fight for your rights and to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (571) 364-6346 to schedule a free claim review.