Buses can be seen every day throughout Indiana – on streets and highways, at schools and stadiums. They’re an efficient way to transport large groups of people. But when there’s a bus accident, large groups of bus passengers and other people can get hurt.
The Law Firm of Vaughan and Vaughan is a trusted and experienced legal team dedicated to helping those affected by bus accidents in the state of Indiana.
Our firm has a long history of successfully advocating for the rights of injury victims and their families. Our Indiana personal injury lawyers understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that a bus accident can take, and we are here to help you navigate the complex legal process and secure the compensation you deserve.
Who Can Be Held Liable for My Injuries in a Bus Accident?
The operators and owners of a bus owe their passengers and other motorists a duty of care. If they fail to maintain the bus or properly train the drivers, they can be held liable for the accidents they cause.
You have the right to recover financial compensation if you are injured in a bus crash caused by negligence. But getting that money can often be complicated. You must identify the at-fault parties and ensure that you have the evidence to prove negligence.
Determining who is at fault after a bus accident is difficult because so many different parties are involved. These can include:
- Bus driver
- The driver of other vehicles involved in the crash
- A private company that owns the bus
- A local government that owns the bus or is responsible for maintaining the road
- A company responsible for maintaining and repairing the bus
- The bus manufacturer or manufacturer of any defective parts on the bus
- A school district or other governmental entities responsible for student transport
There are countless reasons a bus accident can happen, but proving negligence is critical to your claim. For example, the right evidence is needed to prove that school buses were staffed with inexperienced bus drivers or that a common carrier had a practice of overworking drivers.
An experienced bus accident lawyer in Indiana can collect and analyze evidence, identify all sources of liability, locate the responsible party, and help you to build a strong case to ensure that you collect the maximum compensation value of your damages.
How Long do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim After a Bus Crash in Indiana?
It’s important to get legal advice as soon as possible after a bus accident. According to the Indiana Code § 34-11-2-4 (a) (1) for personal injury claims, you have two years from the date of the crash to take legal action. But it can take several months to build a strong case, and there can be exceptions.
And over time, evidence gets lost or destroyed and witnesses forget important details.
A bus accident attorney in Indiana can help you to avoid pitfalls and obstacles that will put your claim at risk by managing your legal calendar and ensuring that all of your documentation is filed on time.
What Kinds of Compensation Should Be Expected in a Bus Accident Claim?
When a passenger bus, school bus, or commercial bus is involved in an accident, the law treats it the same way it would a car accident. In the event of a bus accident, the bus company is likely to be a defendant, increasing the number of defendants and the size of any award.
Whatever role you played in the accident (passenger, driver, or witness), the injuries you sustained, the expenses associated with those injuries, and other variables will determine the amount of compensation you receive.
In most bus accident instances, however, the following factors are taken into account:
- Medical expenses for your injuries
- Your loss of income
- Your loss of potential earnings
- Mental trauma
- Property damage and costs to repair or replace your belongings
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment
There are a lot of expenses to think about after a bus collision. Lawyers at Vaughan and Vaughan know how difficult it may be to recover after experiencing a major disturbance to your life and finances.
If you were injured in a bus accident in Indiana, our attorneys will fight for maximum compensation for your suffering.
Common Injuries We Claim in Bus Accident Cases
Depending on the specifics of the crash, bus passengers can get hurt in a number of different ways. Among the most frequent medical emergencies are:
Head injuries can range from mild concussions to life-threatening traumatic brain injuries. In the event of a bus accident, passengers could sustain head injuries from being tossed around the vehicle or from making contact with a hard surface.
Neck and Back Injuries
Sprains, strains, and fractures to the neck and back are also prevalent in bus accidents. Passengers who aren’t adequately strapped may sustain these injuries if the bus suddenly stops or if they are ejected from their seats.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Damage to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons is referred to as a “soft tissue injury” and can vary in severity. The impact of a bus crash can be great enough to cause soft tissue damage that is painful and costly to treat.
Broken Bones and Fractures
If passengers are flung from their seats or hit a hard surface, they risk breaking bones in their arms, legs, and other body parts. Hand and wrist injuries are common from bracing or falling, and dental and facial fractures can happen when the passenger is thrown forward.
Injuries to the internal organs, such as the liver, spleen, or kidneys, may not show up on a physical exam right away if they occur during a bus accident.
Even if you don’t think you’re severely hurt, it’s best to get checked out by a doctor following a bus accident. Concussions, for example, often don’t manifest themselves until hours or days after the incident.
This is why it’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately after the crash. It’s important to protect your health and establish documentation of your injuries to ensure the validity of your claim. After you have attended to immediate medical needs, seek legal counsel and guidance from an Indiana bus accident lawyer.
Relying on the Insurance Company Is Not in Your Best Interest
In order to maximize profits, insurance companies seek to limit the amount of money they must pay out in claims. They may try to dispute your injury claim for several reasons following a bus accident. Before anything else, the insurance company may deny the severity of your injuries.
They may blame preexisting conditions for your injury, or say that the injury was largely your responsibility.
Further, the insurance company may prolong the claims procedure to force your hand. They know you have bills piling up and will take advantage of desperation. You can be better prepared to push back on these tactics by working with an Indiana bus accident attorney.
We Demand Justice for Bus Accident Victims
There’s a lot of money at stake in bus accidents. That’s why bus companies and insurance companies often do what they can to keep payments as low as possible, especially if multiple people were hurt.
We know how insurance companies use tactics to avoid responsibility and how to overcome them. They will make a lowball initial settlement offer, promising quick payment. They’re hoping you’ll just take what they want to give you and go away. We think you deserve better.
Because we spend time building strong cases, insurance companies often agree to reach a settlement. But we are not interested in a quick settlement that saves them money and leaves you shortchanged. We will fight for you in court if their offer does not meet your needs.
Contact a Bus Accident Lawyer in Indiana to Protect Your Rights
Do you need an attorney? There’s no requirement to have one when seeking financial compensation after a bus accident. But the insurance companies have attorneys who are not concerned about what’s best for you.
You need a lawyer who is familiar with insurance company tactics and will fight for your best interests. When your life is disrupted, the negligent parties should be held accountable. If you’ve been hit by a bus or injured in a bus accident in any way, we can help.
Contact the Indiana bus accident lawyers of Vaughan and Vaughan for a free consultation with an experienced bus accident attorney. We’ll listen to what happened, answer your questions and review your options. Contact us today.