Bus accidents can have devastating consequences for anyone involved, from the passengers on the bus to any other motorists, cyclists, or pedestrians the bus hits. These accident victims may be left with expensive medical bills, costly repair estimates, and lost wages from time missed at work. Worse, the complicated nature of bus accident claims can make it far too difficult for victims to get the compensation they could be entitled to.
The El Paso bus accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael J. Gopin, PLLC are here to help. Since 1987, we have been providing injured victims in El Paso with the aggressive legal representation they deserve, fighting to get them the full compensation they need. From investigating the bus accident to negotiating with insurers to litigating the case in court if necessary, we are ready to do whatever it takes to pursue justice on your behalf.
Hurt in a bus accident? Then contact the Law Offices of Michael J. Gopin, PLLC today for a free, no-risk case evaluation.
What Should You Do After a Bus Accident in El Paso?
Being involved in a bus accident can be painful, stressful, and overwhelming. However, taking the following steps can protect your ability to pursue compensation:
- Contact the authorities – Immediately report the accident to authorities. Law enforcement can control the scene and prevent secondary collisions while emergency medical responders care for the injured.
- Seek medical care immediately – Bus accidents can cause significant injuries. If you are not transported from the scene, you should still seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
- Document the crash – Exchange information with those at the scene and gather evidence, if you are able to. Take pictures of the scene, the damage to your vehicle (if you were driving), and your injuries. You should also note the bus’s livery and record the name and employee number of the bus driver. Also, try to gather the contact information of witnesses who may have seen what happened.
- Contact an El Paso bus accident lawyer – Reach out to an experienced bus accident attorney in El Paso for help pursuing the compensation you deserve.
- Keep all follow–up appointments – Continue your medical treatment and keep all follow-up appointments with your physician or physical therapist. Sticking with your treatment plan can result in a better prognosis, and medical documentation can be vital to your claim.
- Maintain records – Do not throw out repair estimates, medical bills, or receipts for out-of-pocket expenses. Keep all documents related to the crash and the injuries you suffered. These documents can help your attorney estimate the value of your claim.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Bus Accidents in El Paso?
Bus accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. These vehicles are large, boxy, and difficult to maneuver. They are also generally used to transport large numbers of passengers, some of whom may be distracting to the driver. Drivers may also have to travel long distances or work frustrating routes, which can lead to fatigue. Any combination of these or other factors could contribute to a collision.
Some of the most common causes our El Paso bus accident injury lawyers have seen include:
- Distracted driving
- Driver fatigue
- Driving while under the influence
- Unsafe lane changes
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Defective parts or equipment
- Driver inexperience
- Poor bus maintenance
Poor weather conditions can cause serious accidents as well. However, bus drivers are expected to change their driving behavior in inclement weather to avoid potential accidents.
Who Is Liable for Injuries Caused by a Bus Accident?
Establishing liability for a bus accident isn’t always as easy as pointing the finger at the driver. Yes, the actions of a bus driver can be to blame, but other parties may also be responsible for the conditions that led up to the accident. Liability for a crash can fall upon one or more of the following:
- The bus driver
- The bus company
- The government body that operates the bus network
- Another motorist or road user
- Manufacturers of the bus or its parts
Determining who is at fault for a bus accident generally requires an extensive investigation. An experienced El Paso bus accident lawyer can handle this on your behalf, collecting evidence that establishes liability and building a case for why you deserve maximum compensation for your injuries.
What If My Bus Accident Involved a Municipality?
Government entities and municipalities have broad protection from legal repercussions under Texas law. However, municipalities aren’t shielded entirely, and not all government entities can claim immunity from liability after an accident caused by an employee’s wrongdoing.
Further complicating matters, there are strict deadlines for notifying a municipality of your intent to file a claim – as little as 90 days for the City of El Paso. This narrow window, combined with the inherent complexity of filing a claim against a government entity, is why you should consult with an experienced bus accident lawyer in El Paso as soon as possible.
Is There a Statute of Limitations on Bus Accident Cases?
In Texas, you have only two years from the date of an accident to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your related losses. This statute of limitations applies to most personal injury cases, including those stemming from bus accidents. However, if the accident involved a Sun Metro bus, you must generally notify the City of El Paso of your intent to file suit within 90 days of the accident.
There are serious consequences for missing these deadlines. If you wait until after the statute of limitations has run out on your case, the party you are suing can ask the court to dismiss your case as untimely. Generally, a court will grant the request, and the case will be tossed out, which could leave you unable to get the compensation you deserve.
What Are Common Injuries Associated with Bus Accidents?
Buses are large, heavy, and imposing. When they’re involved in an accident, they can cause serious injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Fractured bones
- Facial injuries
- Crushing injuries
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Soft tissue damage
How Can an Attorney Help with My Bus Accident Case?
Bus companies and their insurers want to limit their liability and exposure after an accident. That could mean fighting your claim or pressuring you to settle quickly and quietly, typically for less money than your claim is worth. You need an experienced lawyer who will stand up for your rights and demand the full compensation that you’re entitled to. You need the Law Offices of Michael J. Gopin, PLLC. Contact us today for a free consultation with an El Paso bus accident lawyer.