Passengers can suffer serious injuries when a bus collides with another vehicle or hits a stationary object. Since most buses do not have airbags or seat belts, a collision could throw bus passengers out of their seats, onto the floor, or even out of the windows if the bus rolls over. This kind of trauma can lead to brain injuries, spinal cord damage, or even death.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a Tennessee bus accident, the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can help you pursue the maximum compensation available under Tennessee law. Contact us at 865-546-1111 to schedule a free legal consultation with a bus accident lawyer in Kingsport. We have decades of collective experience helping people seek justice for the losses they suffered in a personal injury accident.
Buses Must Operate Under Strict Safety Standards in Tennessee.
Buses are common carriers in the state of Tennessee. Common carriers, like bus companies, make a profit by transporting passengers from one place to another. Consequently, common carriers have a duty to maintain a high standard of care for passengers. This means that a bus company may face a higher degree of liability if a passenger can prove that the negligence of the company or its driver caused an accident.
How Can I Prove Negligence in a Bus Accident?
We can help you prove negligence by conducting an investigation into your accident and collecting evidence to support your personal injury claim. The evidence we collect will prove the elements of negligence set forth under Tennessee law.
We will show that the bus driver, the bus company, or another party—all called defendants—owed a legal duty to you and other passengers to drive safely. However, the defendants breached that duty by causing an accident because of their negligence. Because of the accident, you suffered harm and damages.
To prove the negligence, we connect the defendants’ careless actions to the injuries you suffered. We do this because Tennessee is a fault state, which means the party responsible for causing an accident pays for the damages. Our legal team has had success in fulfilling the negligence law requirements and holding at-fault parties responsible for their actions. This helps our clients pursue the maximum monetary compensation against the defendants liable for their damages.
We Will Determine What Caused Your Bus Accident.
When we take on your case, we will conduct an investigation to determine the cause of the bus accident and which party—the bus driver, the bus company, or a government entity—to hold liable for your damages. In our investigation, we may discover that the accident occurred because the bus driver:
- Operated under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Was texting while driving;
- Ignored traffic signals or signs;
- Was drowsy or fatigued;
- Failed to drive according to deteriorating weather conditions;
- Was speeding; or
- Was not properly trained to drive a bus.
Our probe may also show that the bus company or governmental entity failed to perform routine maintenance on the bus. Bus accident investigations can get complex when government entities become involved because special laws factor into these cases. However, our legal team knows how to apply those laws to hold governments liable for injuries or damages employees cause.
Private Buses and Federal Laws
Besides Tennessee laws, privately owned bus transportation services—such as Greyhound and Megabus—and charter motorcoach companies are subject to federal laws. If your accident involved a commercial bus, we will determine whether the company violated federal regulations. The most common violations include:
- Failing to meet the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) safety fitness standards;
- Failing to ensure the bus driver has a valid commercial driver’s license with a passenger endorsement; or
- Forcing the bus driver to drive beyond the federally regulated hours.
Our legal team leaves no stone unturned when it comes to holding the at-fault party liable for your accident.
Could Other Parties Have Played a Role in the Accident?
In our years of helping bus accident victims and their survivors, we have found that another motorist’s negligence can contribute to the crash. For instance, drivers of passenger vehicles can collide with buses because of distracted driving, speeding, changing lanes without signaling, or other careless actions. Bus manufacturers may also contribute to accidents by installing defective equipment or failing to issue safety recalls to correct problems with their vehicles.
If another negligent party caused or contributed to your bus accident, we can hold them responsible, too.
When Do I File a Claim?
After we complete our investigation, we submit the evidence that we gathered to the bus company’s insurance carrier. If another motorist contributed to the bus accident, we may also file a claim with that driver’s insurance company.
Rather than have you deal with paperwork as you recover from you injuries, we file the claim on your behalf and negotiate a fair settlement payout with the at-fault parties’ insurance companies.
We will aggressively pursue a fair settlement on your behalf, despite any tactics from the insurance company. Our legal team has experience challenging small payouts or claim denials. When an insurer refuses to negotiate or offer a fair settlement amount, we advise our clients to file a lawsuit in court and we serve as their legal representatives.
What Type of Compensation Can I Recover?
Depending on the circumstances of your accident and the severity of your injuries, you may receive compensation for:
- Medical bills;
- Hospitalization costs;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of earning capacity;
- Home health care expenses;
- Physical therapy;
- Assistive medical devices ;
- Funeral expenses, if a loved one died in the bus accident;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress; and
- Mental anguish.
Depending on the factors of your bus crash, you may also pursue punitive damages. A court awards these damages to punish a defendant’s reckless behavior.
Contact Us Today for Help With Your Claim.
The Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can help you get the compensation you need to recover from your bus accident injuries. Contact our law firm now at 865-546-1111 for a complimentary, no-obligation case evaluation. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you do not pay us unless we achieve a favorable outcome for you.