Bus Accident Attorneys in Mobile, AL
Buses serve an important role in Alabama’s transportation industry, providing safe options for students, busy employees, and families. However, due to their size and shape, these vehicles are inherently more dangerous than passenger vehicles. When accidents occur, those in passenger vehicles are far more likely to be hurt than the driver or passengers of the bus. That’s why it’s important to know your rights if you suffer injuries in an Alabama bus accident.
Bus accidents can leave you with severe physical injuries, mental trauma, and financial insecurity. We’re here to help. Call Burns, Cunningham & Mackey at 251-432-0612 to schedule a consultation now.
How Our Team Can Help You
Whether or not you’ve ever pursued compensation via a personal injury claim before, you’re likely in uncharted territory if you’ve now been hurt in a bus accident. The same basic principles apply: you need to prove liability, you need evidence, and you need proof of your injuries. However, there are other factors at play in this type of accident.
For example, if the bus company responsible for hitting you was part of a local or municipal government agency, you may have to follow a different statute of limitations. Immunity laws can also make these types of claims more challenging.
Additionally, there is a lot more money at stake in bus accidents. Busing companies tend to have very large insurance policies with much higher limits, which may allow you to actually recover full compensation for your losses. To seek significant compensation, though, you must be able to bring a lot of evidence to the table.
Of course, you’ll also have to go up against the bus company’s insurance provider. Insurance providers aren’t known for being particularly generous with accident victims, and the same is true for those who are hurt in bus accidents. These types of crashes may have multiple victims, including those riding the bus, passengers in the other vehicle, the driver of the other vehicle, and public property. In order to keep its costs as low as possible, the insurance company will try to drive down the value of each claim in any way it can.
An experienced bus accident attorney can help you avoid these pitfalls and fight for the compensation you are owed. You get the peace of mind of knowing that you have a professional handling your claim and the time to focus on your recovery.
The Dangers of Bus Accidents
You may wonder why bus accidents tend to be much more severe and cause much more damage than passenger vehicle accidents. For the most part, it comes down to the size and shape of the bus. The average passenger vehicle weighs a bit under 3,000 pounds, while a bus can easily weigh more than 30,000 pounds. Even at low speeds, a collision can cause a massive amount of damage.
On top of that, the vast majority of private and public buses do not have seatbelts. In an accident, bus passengers are at risk of being thrown from the bus, striking their heads on the seats in front of them, or being thrown into other passengers. When your claim is one of many for the same accident, you need to move quickly to ensure that you get the compensation you are owed.
Common Causes of Alabama Bus Accidents
Although some accidents can be attributed to road conditions, unclear signs, or malfunctioning vehicle components, most collisions come down to human error. Commonly reported causes of bus accidents include:
- Distracted driving. Both distracted bus drivers and distracted passenger vehicle drivers can cause serious accidents. A bus driver may get distracted by their phone, arguments between passengers, or road conditions. When such a large vehicle is under their control, even a second of distraction can be fatal.
- Driving while fatigued. Fatigued driving is a serious issue, particularly when bus driver shortages are a common problem. Those who show up to work are often expected to put in longer hours, take on longer trips, and deal with it for the sake of the company. Unfortunately, this significantly increases the risk of an accident.
- Driving under the influence. Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol significantly increases the risk of every type of accident, including severe or fatal crashes.
- Limited or insufficient bus maintenance. Bus owners are expected to follow a strict maintenance schedule to keep their vehicle running smoothly. When maintenance is pushed back or skipped, serious errors can occur.
- Inexperienced drivers. Driving a bus requires a separate skillset from driving a passenger vehicle. Again, bus shortages are a root cause of the issue here. When companies struggle to find bus drivers, they often have to put drivers on the road before they are truly ready.
Bus Accident Injuries
Injuries vary, and the amount of compensation you receive for a bus accident depends largely on their severity and prognosis. Some of the most commonly reported injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Cuts, lacerations, and resulting infections
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Fighting for Compensation
To get the compensation you deserve, you’ll need to determine liability. Depending on what the evidence shows, the bus driver or the bus company may have full or partial liability. This determines how much compensation you can ask for, who you will need to negotiate with, and how long you have to file a claim against the liable party.
This is where you will experience significant pushback from the liable party and their insurance company. An attorney is the best solution. Your attorney can find the strongest evidence to build your claim and prove that the other party is liable for everything you’ve lost, putting them in a position where they need to settle.
Your attorney will also estimate your damages and help you understand what a full and fair settlement offer looks like, rather than encouraging you to accept the insurance company’s first lowball offer. You’ve been hurt through no fault of your own—the liable party must be held accountable.
Call Burns, Cunningham & Mackey to Talk About Your Claim
Ready to take the first step in your personal injury claim? The team at Burns, Cunningham & Mackey is here to help. To schedule a consultation, give us a call at 251-432-0612 or fill out our online contact form.