Students going to Carmel Clay schools and professionals who need a lift to work have something in common. They can turn to Carmel buses to get where they’re going. Buses and bus drivers throughout Carmel make it easier to get from Point A to Point B. That said, they are prone to mistakes.
That does not mean that you, as the parent of an injured child or an accident victim, yourself, don’t have the right to hold bus drivers accountable for their roadway negligence. If you were involved in a recent bus accident, you can collaborate with Vaughan & Vaughan’s bus accident attorneys in Carmel to fight for post-accident compensation in civil court.
Who’s to Blame for a Bus Accident in Carmel?
When it comes time to hold someone accountable for your bus accident losses, you have to consider how external contracts might influence your case. Bus drivers typically operate under one of two banners: that of the employee and that of the independent contractor.
Bus drivers, who we can categorize as employees and on duty during your accident, can benefit from their employers’ legal protection. Corporations and school districts that categorize bus drivers as employees tend to offer those employees on-duty insurance. As such, said institutions may reach out to you to negotiate a settlement before you can file a claim.
If you get hit by an independent contractor, you cannot hold that contractor’s clients or agency accountable for your losses. You must instead take up a complaint against the individual driver. Bus drivers who work on contract must provide their own insurance when on the road and procure their own defense if they have to go to civil court.
Always Use Evidence to Establish Liability
Contracts have an overwhelming influence on the way you frame a bus accident claim, but they’re not the only factor you have to consider. You cannot make a claim regarding bus accident liability if you don’t have the evidence to back it up. In addition, you must bring forward evidence of a violated duty of care if you want to argue for your right to post-accident damages.
The good news is that you don’t have to dawn a deerstalker yourself. You can recruit a Carmel bus accident attorney to return to the scene of your accident and bring forward evidence supporting your claim. This evidence can include:
- A bus’s black box data, if applicable
- Video footage of the accident
- Bystander reports
- Input from expert witnesses
- Insurance claims and adjuster assessments
- Statements from police and first responders
This evidence can help you both defend an assertion of fault and argue for your right to a certain amount of financial support when the time comes.
What’s the Average Bus Accident Settlement?
There is no average bus accident settlement for attorneys to refer back to when pursuing your case. Each case is unique. We have to account for your individual losses and their related value. With that in mind, when estimating the total value of the compensation you could receive in your pursuit of a civil case, we take the following expenses into account:
- Your post-accident medical expenses
- At-home aids and assistance, if needed
- Physical therapy and related recovery costs
- Lost wages
- Lost opportunities to pursue alternative employment
- Income lost if relying on another person who was also injured in your accident
- Property damage and subsequent restoration, repair, or replacement
Our team also considers your non-economic or otherwise intangible losses, such as your pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish. You can learn more about how we translate these losses into economic sums during an initial, no-obligation case consultation with our team.
Do You Qualify for Punitive Damages
You might qualify for punitive damages after a bus accident, but you cannot include punitive damages in your estimate of your case’s total value. This is because only a judge can assign punitive damages to your case, and even then, only under specific circumstances.
A judge must rule that the person liable for your losses displayed gross negligence or obscene recklessness before awarding you punitive damages.
When’s Your Bus Accident Claim Filing Deadline?
Indiana Code section 34-11-2-4 dictates the amount of time bus accident survivors like you have in which to investigate your losses and submit a civil complaint. You must bring a bus accident claim forward by the second anniversary of your accident if you want the right to argue for compensation before a judge or in private negotiations.
Failure to bring forward a complaint within Indiana’s personal injury statute of limitations can see a civil judge deny you the right to legal action. You lose this right regardless of what evidence you have on hand backing your claim.
This is one of the many reasons it can benefit you to work with a Carmel, IN, bus accident lawyer. Our team can take over your case while you contend with post-accident injuries and your day-to-day responsibilities. As such, your complaint can make it to appropriate legal parties before your deadline passes without you having to sacrifice your mental health.
Vaughan & Vaughan Personal Injury Attorneys Can Tackle Your Bus Accident Case
Public transportation is a boon to locals, even in a city as walkable and well-connected as Carmel. That said, bus drivers are human. Accidental or deliberate negligence puts a bus’s passengers, other motorists, and nearby pedestrians in harm’s way. Fortunately, Indiana’s civil courts give survivors like you the right to act in the face of those oversights.
It’s time for you to contact Carmel’s bus accident attorneys. Let Vaughan & Vaughan guide you through the process of filing a personal injury claim with Carmel’s civil court. You can count on our team to defend your right to post-accident compensation in both a traditional trial and independent settlement negotiations. Call or use our online contact form today.