If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a bus accident in Tennessee, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries. At the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, our bus accident lawyer in Clinton can offer guidance on recovering compensatory damages from the bus driver or bus company responsible for causing the crash.
Contact our office today at 865-546-1111 to schedule a no-cost legal consultation. If you have a viable case, we can file a claim on your behalf to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the accident. We are ready to help personal injury victims who have suffered because of someone else’s negligence.
How Can a Bus Accident Lawyer Help Me?
We can help you prepare a solid case to present to the at-fault party’s insurance company. We will speak with you about the legal options you have to pursue compensation. Whether your injuries occurred in a public transit bus accident, a school bus crash, or a wreck on a private commercial bus in Clinton, you may file an insurance claim against the bus company.
We can also negotiate an insurance claim on your behalf. Our firm’s lawyers have extensive experience negotiating fair settlements for our injured clients. We usually reach an agreement with insurance companies without needing to file a lawsuit. Occasionally, however, insurers refuse to offer a fair settlement. If this happens, we will speak with you about filing a lawsuit to resolve the claim in court. We represent your interests and protect your rights throughout the entire process.
How Is Negligence Proven in a Bus Accident?
Before we can hold anyone liable for your injuries, we will conduct an investigation of your case to prove the bus driver’s or bus company’s negligence caused the accident. Establishing fault is essential because Tennessee is a “fault” state when it comes to auto accidents. Under a fault-based system, the party that causes an accident is responsible for paying damages resulting from the crash.
- Distracted driving;
- Defective or faulty bus parts;
- Inexperienced bus drivers;
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Drowsy or fatigued driving;
- Deteriorating weather conditions; and
- Ignoring traffic signals or signs.
Depending on the circumstances of the bus accident, we may engage an accident reconstruction expert to determine what caused the wreck and understand the role negligence played in the crash.
Your accident may have involved other vehicles. If we find that another motorist shared fault in the bus accident, we can also hold that driver liable once we demonstrate how their negligence contributed to the bus crash.
What Evidence Can Prove Negligence?
Before we can hold the defendants responsible, we must prove the following four elements of negligence:
- The bus carrier owed you a duty of care;
- The defendants violated this standard of care;
- The defendant’s negligence caused your accident and injuries; and
- You suffered damages because of the bus accident.
We will collect solid evidence to prove these four details and support your claim. The evidence we can use to prove negligence includes:
- Police reports;
- Traffic surveillance camera footage;
- Eyewitness testimony;
- Your medical records that detail the nature and extent of your injury;
- Bus maintenance records;
- The bus driver’s driving log; and
- Data from onboard recording devices from the bus.
Using this evidence, we will fight for the maximum compensation possible for you.
How Much Compensation Can I Recover?
The amount of compensation you can recover hinges on numerous factors, but primarily on the severity of your injuries. The more severe your injuries are, the more compensation you deserve. We can estimate the value of your claim after you provide us with information on the damages you incurred from the accident.
Generally, you can pursue damages like:
- Medical expenses;
- Hospital bills;
- Ambulance transportation;
- Inpatient rehabilitation;
- Physical therapy;
- Prescription medication;
- Assistive medical devices;
- Funeral expenses, if your loved one died in the accident; and
- Pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Governments Limit Compensation for Injury Accidents.
If your injury happened on a government-operated public transit bus, the process of recovering compensation will be more complex. State, local, and county governments can invoke sovereign immunity under Tennessee’s Governmental Tort Liability Act (GTLA).
The GTLA makes it difficult to file negligence claims against government entities and employees. However, if we can show that sovereign immunity should not apply in your case, we can file a claim for compensation.
It is important to note that the GTLA limits the compensation amount paid to claimants. The GTLA caps awards at:
- $300,000 for bodily injury or death coverage for each person per accident;
- $700,000 for bodily injury or death coverage for all peoplein a bus crash; and
- $100,000 for injury or destruction of property per crash.
Tennessee Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations allows one year from the date of an accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. If your loved one died in the bus accident, you only have one year from the date of their death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Our attorneys can build your case and take legal action before this deadline expires. Even if we do not need to file a lawsuit in your case, having the option to take your claim to court can encourage the insurance company to negotiate a fair settlement.
Contact the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, for a Free Case Evaluation.
The Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can assist in filing and negotiating your claim to recover compensation for your devastating bus accident injuries. Call us today at 865-546-1111 for a complimentary, no-obligation case evaluation with a bus accident lawyer in Clinton.