Georgia Bus Accident Frequently Asked Questions
Bus accidents are typically much more dangerous than a motor vehicle accident with a passenger vehicle because of the enormous weight and size disparity between the vehicles. Over 15,000 people are injured and over 300 killed each year in bus accidents. The injuries suffered in a bus accident are often catastrophic including head and neck injuries, traumatic brain injury, spinal chord injuries, internal organ injuries and even fatalities.
If you or someone you love is injured in a bus accident, you may seek compensation for your injuries from the responsible parties. Busing accidents can be complex with multiple potential defendants who contribute to the incident. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been representing those injured in Georgia and Atlanta bus accidents for over 35 years. Here are answers to some of the questions you may have if you or someone close to you was involved in a bus accident.
Is the law regarding bus accidents like that for passenger vehicles?
The responsibility imposed upon busing companies is very different than that posed on ordinary drivers. A busing company is a "common carrier." The law poses the highest duty of care on common carriers while an ordinary driver is only expected to exercise reasonable care. The rationale for this special heightened duty is that a transportation company has exclusive control over safety and maintenance issues, so passengers cannot really do anything to protect themselves. Bus passengers effectively entrust their safety to the busing company.
Who is the responsible party that I may make a claim against in a bus accident?
Who to make a claim against in a busing accident depends on the particular facts and circumstances surrounding the accident. There may be multiple potential parties that contribute to the accident. Among those that may be liable are the following:
- Busing company
- Bus driver
- Bus maintenance company
- Bus or bus parts manufacturer
- Driver of another vehicle other than the bus
- Driver of your own vehicle if you are a passenger
- Governmental entity for dangerous sidewalk or roadway
How long do I have to pursue a lawsuit following an accident involving a bus?
The statute of limitations for most personal injury cases in Georgia is two years. However, the time frame can be much shorter or longer, depending on a number of circumstances. For example, if a public entitly is involved, or contributed to your injuries because a public bus or hazardous roadway were involved, the time limit to bring a claim is much shorter. Failure to file a claim within the statute of limitations will result in the loss of your rights. There is a lot of complexity and nuances as to how this time limit is applied. It is important to seek legal advice from an experienced Georgia bus accident attorney as soon as possible if you are involved in a busing accident.
Can I make a claim against the busing company if I am injured as a passenger on the bus?
Busing companies owe a high duty of care to passengers, so the bus driver and busing company may be sued if their negligence contributed to your injuries. You may also be able to sue the driver of another vehicle if that driver was responsible for the accident.
What are the most common causes of busing accidents?
- Failure to properly train or supervise the bus driver, or negligence in the hiring of a particular driver
- Poor bus maintenance
- Drivers who are tired
- Bus drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Unsafe driving, such as speeding
- Other drivers violating traffic signals or laws
- Illegally parked vehicles that block the bus driver's view
- Poorly designed or maintained roadways, sidewalks or crosswalks
How much risk do my children face when riding a school bus?
The good news is that school bus transportation is one of the safest forms of transportation. About six children per year are killed in school bus accidents. Pedestrian accidents with school buses are slightly more prevalent resulting in 17 fatalities per year. For information on keeping your children safe in and around school buses, including videos and a safety guide, visit www.montlick.com/FamilySafety, and search for "school bus."
Do I need an attorney if I am involved in a Georgia busing accident?
You should seek immediate legal advice if you are involved in a Georgia busing accident. A successful result in your case depends on prompt investigation and preservation of the evidence. It is also important that all potential parties that contributed to the accident be included and the basis for their liability be determined. An experienced Georgia bus accident lawyer can conduct an immediate investigation and make sure that your case is pursued promptly and that all legal time limits are met.
If you or someone close to you is seriously injured or killed in a bus accident, you need immediate legal advice. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, our Georgia bus accident attorneys have been helping victims of serious motor vehicle accidents, including busing accidents, for over 35 years. We are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia including, but not limited to, Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com. No matter where you are in Georgia, we are just a phone call away and we will even come to you.