A city bus provides a convenient way to get to work, school, and other locations around Knoxville. Unfortunately, a convenient ride can turn into a traumatic event when a bus accident occurs and you suffer serious injuries or your loved one dies due to the crash.
If you find yourself in this situation, the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, is ready to help you seek monetary compensation for your losses. Call us today at 865-546-1111 for a free legal consultation with a bus accident lawyer in Knoxville.
Bus Accidents Are Different From Other Motor Vehicle Crashes.
Bus accidents involve more in-depth investigations than a motor vehicle crash solely involving passenger vehicles. A passenger vehicle accident usually involves two drivers and their passengers. A bus accident, however, involves multiple passengers and occupants in the other vehicle.
Additionally, local governments operate public transit systems and certain city and state rules apply when dealing with government entities. After a bus crash, you will need to determine which government entity is responsible for the wreck before you can seek compensation. You will also need to know who caused the accident, whether it was the driver of a bus or another party altogether.
This is where our bus accident attorneys can help your case. We have the time, passion, and professional resources to handle an extensive investigation on your behalf. We know which local, state, or federal laws apply to your case. We will use this information to build a solid insurance claim for you while you recover from your injuries. With our help, you stand a better chance and recovering a fair settlement for your damages.
How Can I Hold the At-Fault Party Responsible for My Damages?
Before we can file an insurance claim, we need to understand the details of your bus crash. Using the information you provide, we can conduct an investigation to determine which person or entity to hold responsible for the wreck. For instance, if you suffered injuries on a local government bus line, we would determine:
- Whether the driver was distracted, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or exhibiting other behavior that put passengers’ safety in jeopardy;
- Whether the bus driver had a history of past traffic violations or license suspensions;
- Whether the local government failed to perform routine maintenance on its buses to keep their fleet in safe conditions;
- Whether the local government complies with state and federal safety standards established for public transit systems; and
- Whether the bus was under a manufacturer’s recall or had a faulty part.
If our investigation finds negligence on the part of the driver or local government—or a combination of the two parties—we can hold them liable for your injuries.
How Can a Lawyer Prove Negligence?
To hold a bus driver or the local government which operates the bus legally responsible for your injuries, we must prove that negligence occurred. To do this, we must show:
- The defendant driver and local government entity have a duty to other motorists to carefully operate the bus;
- The defendants breached that duty;
- The defendants caused the accident and your injuries; and
- You incurred damages eligible for monetary compensation.
Historically, public transportation operators must meet a higher standard of care of providing safe transportation for its passengers. Research has shown that higher standards also lead to a higher degree of liability.
Does It Matter If My Accident Involved a Local Bus or a Private Commercial Bus?
An injury is an injury regardless of whether it occurred in a local Knoxville Area Transit bus accident or an accident involving a private commercial bus, such as a tour bus. When an accident involves a privately owned commercial bus company, filing for compensation may be more complex.
In addition to state laws, federal rules apply to private companies operating buses on interstate highways. This adds additional complications when an accident occurs. Our attorneys can help you navigate this legal process and get the maximum compensation you deserve.
What Type of Compensation Can I Receive for My Injuries?
Bus accident injuries are often severe due to the large size of the vehicles involved. After a bus crash, you may face bills for several trips to the doctor, extensive in-patient rehabilitation, and in-home medical supplies to use in your recovery. We can help you get compensation for these costs, as well as your:
- Medical bills;
- Emergency ambulance transportation;
- Physical therapy;
- Prescription medications;
- Medical devices;
- Lost wages, if you were not able to work;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress; and
- Funeral expenses, if a loved one died in the bus accident.
Tennessee caps non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, at $750,000. However, we may request up to $1 million if you suffered any the following:
- A spinal cord injurythat resulted in paraplegia or quadriplegia;
- Amputation of both of your hands, both feet, or one of each;
- Third-degree burns over at least 40 percent of your body or face; or
- If a loved one died in the bus accident and left a surviving minor child, we can seek additional wrongful death
Do I Need to File a Lawsuit to Receive Compensation?
While we can file a lawsuit after a bus crash, we do not always need to take this course of action to recover your compensation. First, we will negotiate your insurance claim with the defendants’ insurance company. Insurers usually offer low settlements, but we hold firm to getting the highest compensation for you. If we cannot reach an agreement, we may file a personal injury lawsuit. No matter what route you choose, we will represent you and protect your legal rights.
Call Our Bus Accident Lawyers in Knoxville Today.
If you have questions about a bus accident and need expert legal advice on filing an insurance claim or pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, contact the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, today.
We work on a contingency fee basis. That means you do not pay unless we achieve a favorable outcome for you. Let us fight for your rights after a Knoxville bus accident. Call 865-546-1111 today.