A public bus system provides a convenient service that helps Tennessee residents get to where they need to go without the hassle of driving in congested traffic. Similarly, private commercial buses take passengers on tours, shuttle them to airports, or transport them from one state to another. While buses provide an affordable means of travel, a bus accident could result in significant injuries, large-scale damages, and passenger fatalities.
If you sustained an injury as a passenger in a public, private, or school bus crash—or your loved one suffered a fatal injury—trust the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, to help you recover monetary compensation for your losses. Contact us now at 865-546-1111 to schedule a complimentary legal consultation with a bus accident lawyer in Johnson City.
How Can a Bus Accident Lawyer Help Me?
Our legal team has decades of collective experience helping clients pursue compensation for damages after an accident. In the case of bus crashes, we help with the complicated process of filing claims with local and out-of-town bus carriers and their insurance companies.
If you choose to file a personal injury claim on your own, you will have to track down contacts for the bus company and its insurer. You will also need to understand which local, state, or federal laws apply to your case. Filing the claim incorrectly means an insurer can deny your claim or a court can throw out your lawsuit. If this occurs, you will not receive the compensation available to you.
Our law firm works hard to alleviate your worries about handling legal paperwork. We investigate your case, help you file an insurance claim, and negotiate a fair settlement that will help you rebuild your life. We know how to navigate the legal complexities of personal injury claims and lawsuits. We can handle your bus accident claim.
We Will Conduct a Thorough Investigation Into the Crash.
Tennessee is a fault state, which means the party at fault for an accident is liable for paying damages. We help you build a solid insurance claim by conducting an investigation into your accident. We will work to identify the cause of the bus crash and the party liable for your damages. Generally, police reports and eyewitness statements help to establish the at-fault party.
In your case, we will examine how the bus driver’s actions contributed to the accident. We may discover, for instance, that the bus driver drove while:
- Fatigued or sleepy;
- Ill or with a medical condition;
- Texting or talking on the phone;
- Under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Failing to take poor road conditions into account; or
- Convicted of prior motor vehicle violations.
We might also discover that the bus company failed to conduct proper maintenance on the bus or hired drivers without the proper training or experience to operate a large, commercial vehicle.
With our evidence, we move on to fulfill Tennessee’s negligence law. This requires personal injury claimants to prove how the negligence of the bus company and its driver caused the accident in which you sustained damages. We have four elements of negligence to prove:
- The defendants had a duty to provide safe transportation for bus passengers;
- The defendants failed in that duty;
- The defendants’ negligence caused an accident; and
- You suffered actual damages because of the crash.
While all motorists have a duty to drive carefully to avoid an accident, bus companies must meet a higher standard of care because they transport multiple passengers for a fee.
What Compensation Can I Recover After a Johnson City Bus Accident?
The amount of compensation you may pursue will depend upon the severity of your injuries and your damages. If severe or permanent damage occurred, such as a spinal cord injury, your settlement will be higher.
While your claim’s value will vary depending on the specifics of your case, in general, you may pursue compensation for:
- Medical expenses;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of earning capacity;
- In-patient rehabilitation costs;
- Home health care;
- Physical therapy;
- Assistive medical devices;
- Funeral costs, if a loved one died in the accident;
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental anguish; and
- Emotional distress.
Is There a Limit on the Damages I Can Receive?
If you were in an accident on a government-run bus, Tennessee limits the amount of damages you can receive. The Governmental Tort Liability Act (GTLA) caps the amount of damages a government pays after a bus crash. Under this law, you cannot recover more than $300,000 to pay for your injuries or a loved one’s death after a bus crash. The law also caps the government’s payout to all claimants after a bus crash at $700,000. While the law limits a bus accident victim’s compensation, it does not mean that we cannot hold a government entity liable for the accident.
While state and federal laws may apply to private commercial bus companies, damage caps are generally not placed on private bus transportation companies involved in crashes. Since a bus company must operate under higher safety standards than typical drivers, it often carries more insurance coverage. That means we can pursue the full value of your damages.
Whether you were on a public or private bus, our legal team strives to help you recover the maximum compensation available for your losses.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
Tennessee allows one year from the date of an accident to settle a personal injury claim or file a lawsuit. Because it takes times to build a valid claim, we recommend starting the process as soon as possible. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can help you recover compensation.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation.
Call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, at 865-546-1111 to schedule a meeting with a bus accident lawyer in Johnson City. Our firm works on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not pay for our services unless we achieve a favorable outcome for your claim.