Bus Accident Lawyer
Taking the bus is a great way to get from point A to point B while being cost-effective and environmentally friendly. However, as with any other type of vehicle, bus accidents are sometimes unavoidable. Poor weather, unexpected accidents, or careless drivers can easily lead to collisions and injuries.
No matter if you frequently ride CTtransit, CTrides, CTfastrak, Star Shuttle, 30-Bradley Flyer, Greater Bridgeport Transit Authority, Estuary Transit District, Housatonic Area Regional (HART), Middletown Transit District (MAT), Windham Region Transit District (WRTD), Valley Transit District, or some other school bus or commuter bus, a bus accident attorney can help you receive injury compensation. This is especially true if another party is at fault for your accident.
In Hartford County, or anywhere else in Connecticut, bus routes have to be safe and well-maintained. However, it’s important that you know all of the laws regarding your rights in the event of an accident to help you get a fair settlement. This is where a bus accident lawyer comes into play, and they can help you navigate this process.
Here’s a closer look at bus accidents in Hartford County and the greater Connecticut region.
Bus Accident Statistics
Serious bus accidents may be far more common than you think. For example, the Transportation Research Institute reported that there are nearly 63,000 bus accidents every year throughout the United States. Most of these accidents don’t result in fatalities and only property damage. However, there are also hundreds of fatalities and thousands of reported injuries as a result of these crashes.
According to the UCONN Connecticut Crash Data Report Repository, since 2016, there have been 4,695 crashes involving school buses reported. Road safety experts indicate that the most common accidents that involve school buses come from being rear-ended.
Additionally, a review of Durham School Services, DATTCO, and First Student found that 55% of the ongoing lawsuits involved other vehicles or drivers, while 37% of the lawsuits involved injuries to passengers or children.
Also, data showed that the most accidents happened in Stamford, New Haven, Waterbury, Bridgeport, and Hartford, CT. However, you should note that more of these cases were for injuries instead of fatalities. Bus safety gets regulated at federal and state levels, and this can contribute to the decline in fatalities in bus crashes.
What to Do if You Are in a Bus Accident in Hartford County
Passengers who ride the bus have to entrust both the owner of the bus and the driver with their well-being and safety. Unfortunately, there are a number of bus crashes in Simsbury and greater Connecticut each year. If you’re in a bus accident, you’ll want to enlist the help of a bus lawyer as this can be a very complex case.
The complexity of your case is due to the fact that there are more responsible parties and victims involved than if you were in a crash with smaller vehicles. Due to the lack of seat belts and airbags on buses, injuries can quickly be much more serious. If you’re in a bus accident, our trusted local Connecticut personal injury lawyers recommend you take the following steps:
Call the Police and Seek Medical Attention
While the bus driver is typically the one who will call 911, the passengers will have to report the accident to law enforcement right away if the driver is unable to or unwilling to do so themselves. The officer will document the crash details, and your injury lawyer can use this report to help build a case for you.
Next, you should get immediate medical attention right after the accident, even if you don’t necessarily think you need it or your injuries are mild. Point out every injury you have to the medical professional, even if you’re not in pain from it at the time. Certain injuries, including those involving the neck and head, may not bother you until days or even weeks after the crash. In the event of a TBI, you may require partnering with an experienced Connecticut brain injury lawyer.
Failure to get the proper medical care after your bus accident could be a huge setback to your case if you decide to file a personal injury claim. The longer you wait to get medical treatment, the more difficult it will be to find viable links between the accident and your injuries.
Document the Accident Scene
If you’re able to, get the contact information of the driver and other passengers. Try to take videos or photos on your phone of the accident scene. This will ensure that you don’t forget the small details of the crash. In turn, these things can help solidify your version of events when comes time to talk to your best local bus accident attorney.
Protect Your Legal Rights
Next, contact a law firm with a reputation for successfully representing bus crash victims, like Hassett & George, P.C. Bus companies and insurance companies will likely have investigators go to the accident scene mere hours after a serious crash.
It’s also important to note that bus systems operate in conjunction with or by a public entity. This means you may have shorter claim notice periods, and if you fail to put the company on notice for your claim, you may lose your rights to obtain injury compensation.
This is why it’s critical that you retain experienced Connecticut accident injury lawyers. They’ll help protect your rights and get all of the details of the accident to ensure you get adequate compensation.
Types of Bus Accidents Our Connecticut Injury Law Firm Handles
There are many accident types that Hassett & George handles, some of which are more complex. However, in a very basic sense, they tend to the legalities of your bus accident. These specialized accident lawyers handle bus accident cases from start to end, and they usually help victims with claims for physical pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, emotional distress, wrongful death, and loss of earning capacity. They specialize in:
Passenger Van Accidents
Many smaller organizations like local charities, churches, and schools use 15-passenger vans to transport goods or people. Due to the larger number of people in the van at one time, a fully loaded van is very heavy with a raised center of gravity and increases the chances of a rollover.
MARTA Bus Accidents
Public buses like CTtransit, CTrides, and CTfastrak don’t have seat belts, airbags, or other safety features, and this can make them very dangerous when the weather turns hazardous. To make matters more complex, a government entity controls MARTA, and this can make the claims very difficult to understand and figure out.
You’ll need a MARTA bus accident attorney who has the experience required to guide you through the claims process so that you can figure out what you need to do for compensation.
School Bus Accidents
Roughly 330,000 children get transported each year on yellow school buses, and there are thousands of children injured each year in bus accidents. While most of them are minor, some are fatal and life-altering.
If your child or you have been in a bus accident and sustained injuries, a bus accident lawyer might be able to file a claim against the owner of the bus or the bus driver to help you get compensation. Compensation can cover any lost wages or monetary damages for pain and suffering due to the accident.
Shuttle Bus Accidents
Airports, hotels, and bigger establishments use a fleet of shuttle buses like Star Shuttle or 30-Bradley Flyer to transport bigger numbers of people from point A to point B. Due to the shuttle buses’ shape and size, they’re much more likely to have an accident, and the frequent stopping motion combined with the shape creates blind spots on the road, which can lead to an increased risk of accidents.
An accident lawyer will help you file a claim against the person responsible for any emotional pain and suffering or injuries you sustained in the crash.
Who Is Responsible in a Bus Accident in Connecticut?
Being involved in a bus accident can leave you with disabilities or long-lasting emotional turmoil or injuries. If you were in Connecticut and you were involved in a bus accident, you may wonder who is responsible. This is where liability comes in.
How to Determine Liability
Bus accidents can be much more complicated than traditional car accidents. Manufacturing problems, driver errors, and bus company errors are all common accident causes, and a bus attorney can help you build your case for a lawsuit.
Generally speaking, the attorney will investigate and figure out what the root cause of the accident was. They’ll collect evidence using police reports, witness testimony, photos from the accident scene, and footage from dashboard or traffic cameras. This will help them decide which parties are at fault, and this can even include the injured party.
Connecticut’s Comparative Negligence Regulation
Connecticut is a comparative negligence state, and this means that you can get damages even if you were partially responsible for the accident as the injured party. So, if you were found to be 10% at fault for the accident and the total settlement is $15,000, you’ll get $13,500. If you were more than 50% at fault for the accident, you won’t get any compensation.
Private and Government-Owned Bus Companies
If you were on a privately owned bus company, you’ll have a more straightforward lawsuit. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you might be able to sue the bus company, bus driver, and the parts manufacturers for the bus in question.
Government-owned bus entities are much more complicated because sovereign immunity may apply. This immunity will give some protection to government employees, and it may block a lawsuit from the start of the filing process.
Causes of Bus Accidents in Hartford County
Bus drivers are highly trained to know how to safely operate these large vehicles while keeping everyone safe. Negligence, recklessness, and speeding to the next stopping point can easily create dangerous situations that result in passenger injuries, accidents, and injuries to pedestrians and other drivers. Some of the most common causes of bus accidents in Hartford, CT, include:
- Bus equipment and maintenance failures
- Cutting drivers off or failing to yield to those in the right of way
- Driver negligence, errors, or distraction
- School bus accidents, whether another vehicle or the driver is at fault
- Speeding or taking turns far too sharply
- Striking pedestrians in crosswalks (see pedestrian accident lawyer for more information on pedestrian accidents)
- Sudden direction changes that cause passengers to fall
- Suddenly slamming on the brakes
How Can a Bus Accident Attorney Help?
Enlisting the help of an experienced injury lawyer can help speed up the lawsuit process if you’re involved in a bus accident. This lawyer will be able to help with:
- Determining accident cause – As we touched on, investigating the root cause of the accident is usually complicated. You can have one or more parties responsible, and you may find a company responsible due to the faulty actions of the mechanic or driver. In other instances, an outside party may be the cause, and it’s the duty of your personal injury lawyer to investigate and hold the party accountable.
- Victim support – Due to the lack of safety features and the size of the bus, you can sustain substantial injuries in an accident, including puncture wounds, lacerations, neck, spine, or brain damage, or loss of limbs. A lawyer can help recover damages for lost income, medical expenses, wrongful death, and pain and suffering.
- Accident prevention – A solid accident lawyer can help uncover inadequate safety features on buses, unsafe roads, poor vehicle inspection practices, undertrained or overworked drivers, lack of appropriate signage, or dangerous weight distribution. All of these things can lead to accidents, so fixing them can lead to accident prevention.
- Ensuring future passenger safety – Since thousands of people use buses every day, it’s essential that legal teams safeguard all current and future passengers. By helping spot and pinpoint misconduct and negligence, your accident lawyer is an instrumental partner in helping establish sustainable, safe practices.
How Much Is My Bus Accident Claim Worth?
There is no single way to determine the average compensation you can be entitled to for a bus accident. Several factors contribute to your settlement amount, and each case varies. How much your case is worth will depend on your injury’s extent, the permanence of it, the effect it has on your job and life, and how much emotional damage you have. A skilled bus lawyer can give you more information.
A bus accident lawsuit can easily be worth over $100,000, especially if the injuries are damaging and the bus driver was negligent or reckless. The lawsuit’s worth could even go over $250,000 if you have permanent and severe damages.
A wrongful death claim can be worth over $2,500,000 if you or your Connecticut wrongful death lawyer can prove that there were several losses as a result of the accident and that the driver was grossly negligent.
Connecticut Bus Accident Law Firm
Have you or a family member been in a Connecticut bus accident and sustained injuries? If so, don’t allow your statute of limitations to run out before you file a claim. Consult the professional and experienced accident attorneys at our full service law firm in Connecticut by calling us at 860-943-4557 or by filling out our simple contact form.
Some of the locations in and around Hartford County our bus accident lawyers serve include: Hartford, Simsbury, Glastonbury, New Britain, Bridgeport, Waterbury, Danbury, Norwalk, Manchester, Windsor, Farmington, Windsor Locks, Wethersfield, Rocky Hill, Avon, Bloomfield, Bristol, Enfield, Newington, South Windsor, Southington, Plainville and more.