Buses are an efficient method of public transportation. They exist to allow people to get places around a city without driving themselves, worrying about traffic, or having to think about parking. Buses are great, and usually cost-effective, options for the people of Columbia to get around our city with relative ease. However, riding a bus doesn’t always protect you from a collision.
Buses can get into accidents as well as cars and other motorized vehicles, and they can cause serious damage with whoever they crash into. If you’ve been injury in a bus wreck, you could use the help of our Columbia, SC bus accident lawyer. We’ll represent you and ensure that your rights are protected. We’ll also fight to get you the full and fair compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages.
Who Causes Public Transportation Accidents?
When you get onto a bus, you expect the bus driver to get you to your destination safely. Sometimes the driver makes mistakes and acts negligently, which leads to crashes. However, they’re not the only person who can cause an accident on the road. Sometimes drivers of other vehicles cause collisions as well. Here are some of the different causes of public transportation accidents:
- The bus driver or another driver was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- The bus driver or another driver was drowsy while driving.
- The bus driver or another driver was distracted.
- The bus has not received proper maintenance.
- The bus company employed a driver who was not qualified.
- The bus manufacturer included defective parts, like bad brakes or tires.
- The bus company has neglected to get the bus inspected or fixed.
It’s important for drivers of all vehicles to be sober and vigilant while driving and all times. When they become distracted, drive under the influence, or are unaware of their surroundings, they can get into an accident with other drivers. Colliding with a bus for public transit not only can cause serious injuries, but it can also cut into many people’s commutes and disrupt the schedule for buses.
Determining Liability in a Bus Accident
If you were harmed through the negligence of another party, you will likely want to file a legal claim against the person or company responsible for the collision. South Carolina’s comparative negligence law acknowledges that more than one party could be liable, and with so many potentially-involved entities in a bus accident, determining fault can become a complicated undertaking.
An experienced attorney will know where and how to investigate the causes of an accident. Your lawyer will examine multiple pieces of evidence in order to determine and prove liability. The following evidence can be analyzed by your lawyer and used to prove negligence in a bus accident case:
- Police reports made at the collision site
- Footage from nearby traffic or surveillance cameras
- Reports from credible eyewitnesses of the accident
- Physical damage to vehicles, roadways, surrounding areas, and buildings
- Photographs of the crash scene showing damage, weather, and road conditions
- Dashboard camera footage (when available)
- Vehicle black box or event data recorder (EDR) information
- Testimonies from expert witnesses like traffic forensic experts and traffic accident reconstructionists
Parties who are partially responsible in a collision may still be able to recover compensation. Under South Carolina’s 51% rule, a party 50% or less at fault in the accident can still receive compensation, and the percentage of their fault is deducted from their compensation amount. In bus accidents, the bus driver, another driver, the bus company, or a manufacturer are most likely to be the most at-fault parties. Your attorney will examine evidence including your medical records to determine the amount of compensation you should rightfully be awarded following the accident that caused your damages.
There are many reasons why bus accidents are harmful, but the biggest reason is that the injuries victims can suffer from can be severe. Let’s take a look at the potential injuries that can be caused in an accident involving public transportation.
Common Bus Accident Injuries
Just like collisions with other motor vehicles, wrecks involving buses can cause accident injuries. Much like large trucks, buses are larger and weigh more than regular-sized vehicles. What’s unique about buses compared to other vehicles is that even though they carry many people, the passengers inside usually aren’t wearing seatbelts, even when they’re provided.
Since passengers on public transportation most likely aren’t wearing seatbelts to keep them strapped in, they can suffer more injuries in a collision when their bodies are thrown in the cabin. Here are some of the most common injuries that occur in a bus accident:
- Broken bones
- Bruises and lacerations
- Soft tissue injuries, like whiplash
- Internal organ damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Wrongful death
The physical damage that bus accident victims face could be anywhere from mild to severe. Even if you don’t think you’re injured after a collision with a bus, it’s important to seek medical attention to evaluate you for any damage. If you were seriously injured, it’s possible that the injury could affect the rest of your life, make you miss work, or require life-long treatment. A Columbia, SC bus accident attorney from our firm can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Let’s take a look at what that compensation could look like and what is used to calculate how much you can recover.
What Compensation Can You Recover After a Bus Accident?
With the help of a bus accident lawyer, you’ll be able to recover compensation from whomever was responsible for the collision that injured you. Like many other types of accident claims, you’ll likely be able to recover economic and noneconomic damages from the injuries and other damages that you suffered from.
Economic damages are the costs that are easily calculated and documented. Costs that you had to pay for because of the injuries that were directly caused by the accident, like medical bills, repair costs, and lost wages from missed work can all be recovered. Future medical costs, future missed work, and the price of necessary medical equipment that you could need from your injuries. Documentation like bills and medical charts will help your lawyer calculate these damages.
The other kind of compensation that you can likely recover are noneconomic damages. These are harder to calculate because they’re based on more abstract ideas rather than firm costs that you suffered. But you still suffered from these damages, so you deserve to receive financial recovery for them. Pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium are all examples of noneconomic damages that your attorney will investigate and fight to get for you. They’ll refer to experts and their experience to determine how much you’re owed for these damages.
We Can Support You Through Your Claim
When you’ve suffered injuries at the hand of someone else’s negligence in the form of a bus accident, you’ll want to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions. Our Columbia, SC bus accident attorney can help you get the justice you deserve. The Solomon Law Group has experience in representing its clients and providing them with the legal support that they need. Whether your case settles out of court or goes to trial, we have the legal expertise to help you attain a successful outcome.
We’ll fully investigate what happened and what caused the collision, look into your injuries, and consult any experts we need to in order to determine who was at fault and how much you’re owed in compensation. With us on your side, you can feel peace of mind in your case. Contact us today so we can get started right away.