A rash of bus accidents along the East Coast in recent years has motivated the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to review and update bus safety regulations and federal laws.
Although the FMCSA is working to improve bus safety across the country, change takes time and bus accidents are still all too common in Georgia. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident, you may be entitled to collect damages under bus accident law for your medical bills, your lost wages, and any additional damages related to your injuries. A knowledgeable bus accident lawyer can fight to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
To learn more about your case, or to ask a question about your bus accident and injury, please contact an experienced Atlanta bus accident attorney at Van Sant Law.
Investigations into these crashes have revealed a number of troubling issues with the commercial busing industry as well as public transit authorities, including:
- Fatigued bus drivers who fall asleep at the wheel
- Improperly trained bus drivers
- Improperly maintained buses
- Bus drivers who drive recklessly, speed, or drive aggressively
- Bus drivers use cell phone while driving or drive while distracted
- Bus drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Bargain bus companies who sacrifice safety in order to offer low ticket prices
- Bus companies that violate rest and driving regulations
- Bus equipment failure
Buses have a wide range of uses and come in many shapes and sizes. Most of the bus accident claims we see involve the following types of buses:
- Public transportation buses
- Charter buses and Greyhound buses
- Tour buses
- Curbside buses
- School buses
- Airport buses
Public transit bus lines in Georgia include:
- Metropolitan Atlanta Transit Authority (MARTA) operating in Fulton County and DeKalb County
- Cobb County Transit (CCT), serving the suburban Atlanta area of Marietta, Kennesaw, and Mableton
- Gwinnett County Transit (GCT), serving the suburban Atlanta areas near Norcross and Lawrenceville
- Chatham Area Transit (CAT), serving Savannah, Georgia and the surrounding cities and towns
Not all bus accident injuries occur when the bus you are riding collides with another object. In fact, bus accident injuries can take a surprising variety of forms. Here are just a few examples:
- The bus you are riding collides with another vehicle or object.
- You are struck by a bus while driving your own vehicle.
- You are struck by a bus while walking or riding your bike.
- You are injured due to a poorly designed bus station.
- You are injured due to a poorly maintained bus station.
- You are injured at a bus station with poor security.
- You are injured when the bus you are riding suddenly starts or comes to a stop.
- You are injured when your bus suffers a mechanical malfunction.
A bus accident injury claim is usually more complicated than a traffic accident involving non-commercial vehicles. Not only is the cause of bus accidents often more difficult to understand, but also the bus’ insurance provider often has the power and money to fight back aggressively in order to avoid payouts. In addition, Georgia’s sovereign immunity laws may make it more difficult for accident victims to collect fair and timely compensation when it comes to bus accidents involving government entities, such as a transportation authority or department of transportation.
Any information you can gather about the accident, including photographs of the site and witness accounts, may also help with your claim. Do not sign anything given to you by the bus company or insurance adjuster before talking to an experienced bus crash lawyer, as you may be signing away your right to fair and proper compensation.
Do the Circumstances of My Bus Accident Matter?
Ultimately, there can be any number of reasons for a bus accident or other personal injury claim involving a bus. Whether the bus or bus station was not maintained appropriately, bus equipment was faulty, the bus driver was impaired or distracted, or road conditions contributed to the accident, you have a right to hold the driver and bus company, and potentially other motorists or other third parties, responsible for their negligence.
Your bus accident lawyer will work on your case carefully to determine what occurred, who the responsible parties are, and what type of compensation you are entitled to receive based on the extent and nature of your injuries.
What if My Accident Involved a Tour Bus?
Commercial bus carriers, including tour bus companies, are not immune from liability when injury accidents occur. To a certain extent, the location of your accident will influence how you pursue compensation for your injuries. For injury accidents in the Atlanta metro area or across the state of Georgia, Van Sant Law can represent you directly, advocating for your rights and holding the commercial bus company accountable.
If your accident occurred outside of Georgia, even if the tour bus company was based in Georgia, you will need to work with an attorney in the state where the injury occurred. But your Van Sant Law bus accident attorney can help you find competent and trustworthy counsel and can help provide the local support and resources you need as you pursue justice and recover from the accident.
Are School Bus Accidents Compensable in Georgia?
If your child was hurt in an accident involving a school bus in Georgia, you have rights. When a government entity is responsible, as can be the case with school bus accidents, you may not be able to pursue litigation through the courts for injuries your child sustained in the accident. However, most municipalities and school bus companies have private insurance coverage designed to cover personal injury accidents. In addition, there may be other applicable insurance coverage. Talk to a bus accident lawyer who can help you understand the merits of your case and help you pursue obtaining an appropriate insurance settlement for your child’s injuries.
How Can I Determine Who Was Responsible for My Bus Accident?
Determining liability after a bus accident can be complex. In addition to the driver, there may be other responsible parties. For example, if you were injured on a city bus, the city or metropolitan transit authority may bear some responsibility. In the case of a bus accident involving a commercial carrier like a tour bus or Greyhound, the private carrier may be liable. Another motorist may have caused or contributed to the accident. Sometimes there are other third parties involved too, such as fleet maintenance companies, security firms, and more.
Based on the underlying facts and circumstances surrounding your accident, the bus accident law firm will identify responsible parties and will seek to hold them accountable for their actions or inactions.Have You Been Injured in a Georgia Accident?
If you’ve been injured in an accident you should speak with an experienced bus accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 855-GA-INJURY or 404-991-5950 to schedule your free consultation.