With private buses, school buses and public transit buses all traversing the streets of Olympia, bus accidents can and do happen. If you were in an accident that involved a bus, your path to recovering damages may differ from typical passenger vehicle accident claims.
An attorney from Ron Meyers & Associates PLLC can recover compensation if you or a loved one has been involved in bus accident and sustained injuries.
Understanding Bus Accident Cases
Common Causes of Bus Accidents in Olympia WA
A bus accident may be caused by any number of factors. In some cases, a bus accident may be the result of the actions of another driver, such as the driver of a passenger car or truck. In other cases, a bus’s mechanical failure such as the brakes or defective equipment can cause an accident. At other times, poor road surface conditions, such as potholes or icy surfaces, may be a contributing factor in an accident.
Sometimes, bus accidents are caused by the bus driver’s negligence. A driver’s inexperience, for example, may cause a bus accident. Or a bus accident may be caused by a driver operating a bus while distracted, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, fatigued or while taking improper or aggressive actions, such as making a turn too quickly or driving at an unsafe speed.
Dangers Associated with Bus Accidents in Olympia
A bus accident can be extremely dangerous for the driver, the bus passengers and any other drivers, passengers or pedestrians on the road. Because the majority of buses aren’t equipped with seatbelts, a bus accident may cause passengers to be thrown from their seats, causing them to collide with windows, other passengers or other objects.
As such, a bus accident can cause serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries that result in permanent impairment, spinal cord injuries that cause paralysis, internal injuries that require immediate surgery to correct, and many others. Some might even be fatal.
Recovering Compensation after a Bus Accident in Olympia
After a bus accident, knowing how to recover compensation for injuries can be confusing. But some party typically is responsible for the accident. That party might be another driver, a mechanic who failed to repair a bus part properly, the manufacturer of a defective tire that caused the accident or the bus driver.
Whoever behaved negligently or outside what would be considered rational and safe behavior needs to be held responsible for the accident. According to the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, buses for transporting people are required to obtain permits and register as required under law as a passenger carrier. Passenger carriers have a duty to exercise a level of care required to keep passengers as free from hazards as possible.
In order to recover compensation following a bus accident, you will need to pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit. You will have to prove that the negligent actions of the party responsible caused the accident and that the accident was the direct cause of your (or your loved one’s) injuries. If this can be proven, then the responsible party will be liable for damages.
If the responsible party is liable, then you will be able to recover damages based on the severity of your injuries. If your injures were severe enough that you had to miss work, then one type of compensation that you will be able to recover is lost wage compensation. If your injury caused a permanent disability or impairment, then you may be able to recover damages for disfigurement, pain and suffering. In the state of Washington, you have three years from the date of injury to file a claim for damages, according to Washington Revised Code Chapter 4.16.
Our Approach to Bus Accident Cases
At Ron Meyers & Associates PLLC, we understand the complexities and challenges that arise in bus accident cases in Washington. We are dedicated to providing compassionate and skilled legal representation to individuals who have been injured in bus accidents, ensuring that their rights are protected and that they have the best chance of obtaining fair compensation for their injuries and losses.
Comprehensive Case Evaluation: When you come to us with your bus accident case, we will conduct a thorough and comprehensive evaluation of all the details surrounding the accident. Our experienced attorneys will gather evidence, review accident reports, interview witnesses, and work with accident reconstruction experts if necessary to build a strong and persuasive case on your behalf.
Identifying Liability: Determining liability in bus accident cases can be complex, as multiple parties could be involved, such as bus drivers, other motorists, bus companies, or even government entities in some cases. Our legal team will carefully analyze the facts to identify the negligent party or parties responsible for the accident. We will hold them accountable for their actions and work diligently to establish liability for your injuries.
Understanding Bus Regulations: Buses and other public transportation vehicles are subject to specific regulations and safety standards. Our attorneys have in-depth knowledge of these regulations and how they apply to bus accident cases in Washington. We will use this expertise to assess whether the bus operator and the transportation company complied with the required safety measures, ensuring that your rights are protected.
Advocating for Fair Compensation: After a bus accident, you may face mounting medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our primary goal is to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. We will aggressively negotiate with insurance companies and, if necessary, take your case to court to fight for the maximum compensation available to you.
Compassionate Support: Dealing with the aftermath of a bus accident can be overwhelming, both physically and emotionally. Our team of compassionate attorneys and staff will provide the support and guidance you need during this challenging time. We will keep you informed about the progress of your case, answer your questions, and provide you with the peace of mind that your legal matters are in capable hands.
Statute of Limitations Compliance: In Washington, there is a statute of limitations that restricts the time within which you can file a bus accident claim. We are well-versed in the state’s laws and deadlines, and we will ensure that your claim is filed within the required timeframe to preserve your right to seek compensation.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation: If you or a loved one has been involved in a bus accident in Washington, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a free consultation. We are ready to listen to your story, assess the merits of your case, and provide you with personalized legal advice on the best course of action to pursue. Our dedicated team is here to fight for your rights and help you navigate the complexities of bus accident claims to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
Free Case Evaluation
How Ron Meyers & Associates Can Help with Bus Accident Cases
Do You Believe You Have a Case? Speak with an Attorney Today!
Whether you were in another vehicle or in the bus at the time of a traffic accident, or if you slipped and fell on the bus stairs, an attorney from our firm can help gather all of the evidence you will need to prove negligence and liability. In some cases, this will require filing a claim against a government agency, which brings additional requirements to take legal action.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bus Accident Cases
Determining liability in bus accidents can be complex, as multiple parties could be at fault. The responsible parties may include the bus driver, other motorists, the bus company, or even government entities in some cases. Our experienced attorneys will thoroughly investigate your case to identify the negligent party or parties and hold them accountable for your injuries.
After a bus accident, your safety and well-being should be your priority. Seek medical attention for any injuries, and call law enforcement to report the accident. If possible, gather information from witnesses and take photos of the accident scene. Avoid discussing the accident with insurance adjusters without legal representation, as they may try to minimize your claim.
Yes, you can still pursue a claim for compensation even if the bus driver was not at fault. If another driver caused the accident, you can file a personal injury claim against the negligent driver’s insurance. However, it’s essential to consult an experienced bus accident attorney to ensure your rights are protected and all liable parties are identified.
In a successful bus accident claim, you may be entitled to recover various damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and rehabilitation costs. If your injuries are severe or long-lasting, you may also be eligible for compensation for future medical expenses and loss of earning capacity.
Yes, there is a statute of limitations for filing a bus accident claim in Washington. In most cases, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a claim. However, certain exceptions may apply, so it’s crucial to consult an attorney as soon as possible to ensure your claim is filed within the required timeframe.
Whether your case goes to trial or is settled out of court depends on the specific circumstances of your case. Many bus accident cases are settled through negotiations with insurance companies. However, if a fair settlement cannot be reached, our attorneys are prepared to take your case to trial to fight for your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve.
If the bus company’s insurance adjuster contacts you, it’s essential to be cautious with your interactions. Avoid providing recorded statements or admitting fault. Insurance adjusters may try to use your statements against you to minimize your claim. Instead, politely inform them that you are seeking legal representation and direct them to communicate with your attorney.
Yes, you can still file a claim if the bus involved in the accident is owned by the government or a public entity. However, bringing claims against government agencies involves additional legal procedures and strict deadlines. It’s crucial to consult an experienced attorney who has dealt with such cases to ensure compliance with the applicable laws.
If you lost a loved one in a fatal bus accident, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. An attorney can help you understand your rights and guide you through the legal process of seeking compensation for funeral expenses, medical bills, loss of support, and other damages resulting from the tragic loss.