Groups » Four Things to Know if You Are Injured in a Bus Accident

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Bus accidents are under-reported, but they are more dangerous than other crashes due to the number of people and other vehicles that can potentially be affected. Bus crashes cause multiple deaths, serious injuries, and permanent disabilities to victims. Large-scale bus accident cases in Rhode Island are relatively rare, but small mistakes on the part of bus drivers or other motorists can cause grievous harm to other vehicles, drivers, passengers, and even bystanders.

If you or a loved one has been affected by a bus accident, you have every right to claim compensation. Injuries, loss of wages, disabilities, and loss of enjoyment of life all present valid grounds to make a claim.

In order to understand your rights as a hapless victim of someone else’s negligence, it is necessary that you understand the circumstances under which you can sue. Read on to learn more about it.

1) Bus Driver's Negligence Causes Crash

Buses are huge vehicles, often the largest traveling on the road at any given time. Drivers are given special training to drive huge vehicles, and they are also trained to maintain safe distance and avoid harm to other vehicles on the road.

A bus driver’s negligence occurs when he or she loses focus on the road and misses smaller vehicles coming in from rear or from side. Abrupt turns or stops all can lead to collisions. Speeding and jumping signals are other instances of bus driver negligence.

Bus drivers are held to a higher standard of care as compared to other motorists on the road. This reduces the burden of proof that usually rests on the plaintiff, and you will find it less cumbersome to prove negligence. If you have evidence of negligent and irresponsible behavior on the part of the driver, and proof that you are innocent, then you may be eligible for compensation.

2) Other Instances of Bus Driver Negligence

Bus driver negligence occurs under other circumstances, as well.

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, use of cell phones, and excessive driver fatigue all fall under negligence. This is because a reasonably trained and experienced driver would not drive under similar circumstances, and will be able to gauge the consequences of these actions and prevent them. You will be able to prove negligence if the driver failed to exercise the standard of care that a similarly qualified driver would have done.

It is the duty of the bus driver to see to it that the vehicle is well-maintained and in good condition. He or she must also report any malfunctioning or defect in the vehicle, if he or she spots them beforehand. Failure to do so is putting the lives of several people at risk.

3) Sue for Product Liability Under Certain Circumstances

Product liability lawsuits are hard to fight and it is not easy to win a favorable verdict. But, if you are sure that a defect in your vehicle or a fault in the bus resulted in the accident, then you can sue the manufacturer of the vehicle. In most situations, there will be more than a single defendant with vendors and suppliers also party to the case. Any third party that has been involved in manufacturing, designing, or marketing the dangerous part will also be held liable for tort under product liability law.

You will have to show that the defective part was unreasonably dangerous and life-threatening. Product liability lawsuits require the plaintiff to prove that the bus was being operated and maintained as intended, and its performance has not changed in any way since purchase, and was satisfactory. The malfunctioning or damaged part of the bus should have caused the crash. Your lawyer will have to prove that if it were not for the defective part, the accident would not have occurred.

4) Ensure You Claim Your Injuries

As in most auto crashes, victims realize the effects of their injuries after a few hours, days, or even weeks. Even if you are feeling fine after the crash, ensure that you visit a doctor and get professional care. Maintain a file of all your medical reports, test results, treatment expenses, and other details. This will come handy when you are claiming for injuries or medical expenses.

If you have suffered from a permanent disability, your bus accident compensation claim will include that as well.

In a bus accident personal injury case, your lawyer will seek compensation for loss of wages, loss of future career prospects, loss of enjoyment of life, long-term medical care expenses, loss of consortium, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and other damages.

The monetary compensation will not help reverse the devastating effects of the accident, but it will definitely relieve your financial stress and help your rebuild your life. Do seek professional legal advice in order to present your case strongly to the insurance company or to a jury.

Bus accidents cause extensive injuries, many of which manifest much later in life. It is important to seek medical help and attend to any health issue immediately. A lawyer will be able to build a strong case for you and help you win your deserving compensation.

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