Columbia Bus Accident Lawyer
Buses are generally safe modes of transportation. There are fewer traffic accidents involving buses than cars or motorcycles, but accidents involving buses still injure people each year. In 2014, 132,000 people were injured in accidents involving buses or large trucks, according to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Bus accident injuries vary widely in scope and severity, from abrasions and bruises to more severe injuries such as concussions and fractures. In the worst cases, spinal cord injuries and other forms of severe trauma can result.
Buses are also more likely to experience rollover than other vehicles on the road because of their higher center of gravity. They also don’t have safety restraint requirements – such as airbags and seat belts – as cars do. While being injured in a bus accident is less likely, it also means the damage can be much more severe and the need for a competent Columbia bus accident lawyer is that much more important.
What Makes Bus Accidents Different?
Car accident cases are usually straightforward. In Maryland, you file a claim with your insurance company to cover your medical expenses and lost work time. In the event you experience extensive injuries, you may file a personal injury claim against the driver at fault. Bus accidents, on the other hand, aren’t so simple.
When the bus driver is at fault for the accident, the law gets complicated. Government entities, like public transportation companies and school districts, run most of the buses on the road. Filing a claim with a government entity is a completely different process than filing a claim against other drivers.
If you decide to file a personal injury claim with a bus company, keep in mind it has different restrictions than do other traffic accidents. The government gives itself extra assurances to avoid payout, like a shorter statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for personal injury in Maryland is three years, but in the case of government liability, this time-frame could be as short as six months. Our bus accident lawyers are well versed in filing claims against government entities.
Determining Who’s at Fault in a Bus Accident
Maryland has some of the toughest liability rules in the United States. The state uses an old doctrine called contributory negligence to determine fault in accident cases. In other words, if you’re even partially at fault for an accident, you have no claim to a personal injury settlement. Even if a judge or jury finds the other party is 99% at fault, you’re ineligible to recover damages beyond what your insurance company pays.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you prove fault in a bus accident. Here are some of the factors we look at through the course of a personal injury investigation:
- Was the driver fatigued or non-compliant with work rules?
- Was the driver properly screened for employment and sufficiently trained?
- Was the driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
- Was the bus properly loaded (i.e., within proper weight limits?)
- Was the bus properly maintained?
Bus Accident Claim in Columbia MD
Your first concern after any accident should be tending to your health. Get the medical care you need and get in touch with an experienced bus accident attorney as soon as possible. Save all documentation and medical records to flesh out your case.
The bus accident attorney you contact should be Discepolo Firm for a free case evaluation. We’ll review the specifics of your accident and, if we feel we have the grounds for a personal injury claim, take your case on a contingency-fee basis. After a thorough investigation, we’ll work to recover additional damages to pay for economic and physical loss.
We’ve been serving the Columbia area for years, and our practice extends to other states as well, ensuring that even if your case involves interstate rules, our attorneys have the expertise to fight for your fair compensation. To schedule your initial consultation today, please contact us.