Charlotte Bus Accident Injury FAQs
At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our experienced personal injury lawyers have helped clients who have suffered serious injuries in bus accidents. Whether you were injured in a Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) bus, a Greyhound bus, or a school bus accident, we can protect your rights and help you pursue your claim for compensation.
Bus accidents are typically the result of driver fatigue or distraction, such as looking at a text message or smartphone. In other cases, bus drivers operate the bus too fast during inclement weather. Improper hiring practices can also cause bus accidents when the bus driver is not qualified or prepared to handle such a large vehicle. In other cases, roads are slippery or in disrepair, and bus drivers do not slow down or leave enough room to avoid a crash. Finally, bus accidents can be caused by a lack of routine maintenance on the buses.
Knowing what to do immediately following a bus accident can be difficult, especially when you are injured and in shock. While you are at the scene of the bus accident, we recommend taking the following steps;
- Remain calm and stay in your vehicle unless it is too dangerous to do so
- Turn on your hazard lights
- Call 911 and ask for emergency medical services, even if the accident seems minor
- Seek medical attention for any injured passengers or drivers
- Do not move the vehicles until law enforcement arrives, unless it is necessary
- Do not leave the scene of the bus accident
- Write down the names, phone numbers, and addresses of all people involved including witnesses
- Take photographs of the bus and other vehicles, along with any injury sustained by you or other passengers with your cell phone
- Do not discuss the accident with anyone except for the police.
- Do not sign any settlement agreements until you have discussed your case with an attorney
Bus accident lawsuits can be extremely complicated, and they require the immediate attention of a lawyer who knows how to win personal injury lawsuits. Most bus companies and municipalities that provide bus services have extensive resources. They often have teams of lawyers, and other types of experts prepared to fight injury victims who file a lawsuit against them due to the accident. After you obtain the medical care you need, the best way to protect yourself is to seek an attorney who can help you defend your rights.
If you were injured while on a bus or because of a negligent bus driver, and you have an insurance policy, your insurance policy will typically pay for your medical expenses. Suppose the bus driver caused the accident that resulted in your injuries. In that case, his or her employer may be responsible for your medical bills, property damage, pain and suffering, and any other related damages. The city of Charlotte employs some bus drivers, and others are employed by private companies.
The owner of the bus will be liable for their negligent employees. If the bus owner is a private company like a Greyhound or another bus company, you can probably file a claim with their commercial insurance policy for damages. Under the North Carolina Tort Claims Act, victims of negligent drivers employed by the state or city can receive compensation. However, they must file a notice of claim first. It is crucial that you discuss your case as soon as possible because you do not want to lose the opportunity to file a claim and recover the compensation you deserve.
If you file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver, you will be able to recover compensation for your pain and suffering. In North Carolina, plaintiffs are entitled to economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages cover easily quantifiable costs, such as medical expenses and the cost of property damage. Economic damages also include coverage for lost wages. Non-economic damages are intended to cover the pain and suffering you have endured from your injuries.
If you or your loved one have been injured in a bus accident in the greater Charlotte area, you need an experienced lawyer on your side. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC, today to schedule your free initial consultation and learn more about how we can fight for your rights.