Bus accidents can permanently change your life. The size of these buses can see you or someone you love forced to contend with catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain injuries. Are you supposed to let the party responsible for your bus accident get away with their negligence? Vaughan & Vaughan says no!
Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers in Frankfort, IN, can work with you to investigate your accident. We accommodate your needs and prioritize your recovery while keeping you on top of your relevant legal deadlines. When you bring your bus accident concerns to us, you can count on our lawyers to look for every possible option you may have for accident compensation.
Who’s Liable for Frankfort Bus Accidents?
There are several parties that bus accident victims like you can hold liable for accident-related losses. Your right to hold these parties liable hinges both on the evidence of fault available at the scene of the accident and what contracts exist between the relevant parties.
Know that if you assert fault, you must have evidence to defend your position. That evidence, no matter what form it takes, must back your assertion of identity and the nature of the negligence you want to identify. Fortunately, you can work with a Frankfort bus accident lawyer to ensure that you present your relevant evidence in a compelling and accurate way.
That said, what parties can your video footage, photo footage, and witness statements hold accountable for your losses? These parties can include:
The City of Frankfort
Public transportation helps Frankfort residents without access to private vehicles navigate the city. That said, public transportation bus drivers are as human as you are. These drivers can cause dangerous accidents and leave you picking up the pieces afterward. Who, though, do you hold liable for an accident caused by a city employee?
If you’re hit by a city employee, you can file a lawsuit against the city of Frankfort. That said, this process is complicated. First and foremost, many city employees benefit from qualified or sovereign immunity. You need to determine if the city may prove immune from your lawsuit before you move forward by referencing Indiana Code 34-13-3-3.
If the city isn’t immune to your lawsuit, you need to file a Notice of Claim with the city of Frankfort before composing your complaint. If you don’t, local civil courts may dismiss your lawsuit when you move to bring it forward. You file these notices with the state’s attorney general within 270 days of your accident, as stated by Indiana Code 34-13-3-6.
What’s more, you must file your claim on a much tighter deadline than you would a standard personal injury case. Cases brought against the Indiana government must reach a civil court within 180 days of your accident.
Not all bus-based transportation falls under public transportation’s umbrella. Local and national bus transportation is often private. If you get into an accident with a corporate vehicle, you may subsequently have the right to hold that corporation, not the individual driver, responsible for the cost of your recovery.
You only have the right to name a corporation liable for your losses under specific circumstances, though. You have to figure out how a corporation classifies its bus drivers before you move forward. You can only name a corporation liable for your losses if an employee hit you.
That said, you may also have the right to hold a corporation liable for your losses if the bus that hit you suffered an avoidable or unreasonable mechanical failure. In these cases, you may hold the bus’s manufacturer or mechanic responsible for your accident. You can discuss these circumstances in more detail when you first meet with an attorney.
An Independent Contractor
Companies often try to protect themselves from assertions of liability after dangerous accidents. As such, many companies, including transportation companies, consider their bus drivers to be independent contractors instead of employees.
An independent contractor considers an affiliated company to be their client. As such, independent contractors do not benefit from a company’s legal or financial protection. If you get into an accident with a bus driver who works as an independent contractor or who was driving a bus outside of company hours, you may name that individual liable for your losses.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim After a Bus Accident
Once you determine who you may have the right to hold liable for your bus accident losses, it’s time to file your personal injury claim. Your claim needs to be comprehensive if you want it to move forward in civil court. This means you need to outline your desired damages as well as what evidence you have of another party’s fault.
The damages you deserve after a bus accident vary depending on the nature of your losses. You may have the right to request coverage for:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages or opportunities for employment
- Wrongful death, if appropriate
You can find the sum total of your possible damages with an attorney’s help. That sum can then become the baseline you return to when negotiating for coverage or taking your claim before a judge.
You’re Filing a Bus Accident Claim on a Deadline
If you file a personal injury claim against the city of Frankfort, you have no more than 180 days to file your complaint. Under most other circumstances, however, you can abide by the personal injury statute of limitations established in Indiana Code 34-11-2-4. This statute of limitations gives you two years to bring your claim forward.
If you’re not sure which statute of limitations addresses your case, contact a Frankfort bus accident attorney. Our team can help you determine how much time you have to investigate your losses. We can use that time to gather evidence and format a claim on your behalf.
Note, however, that this statute of limitations doesn’t come with many exceptions. More often than not, complaints submitted after an accident’s statute of limitations expires do not move forward in civil court.
Let Vaughan & Vaughan Demystify Your Bus Accident Case
It isn’t always easy staying on top of the variables contributing to a bus accident and its subsequent personal injury case. Fortunately, no one expects you to go to law school to get the compensation you deserve. Instead, turn to Vaughan & Vaughan. Our attorneys have spent decades in and out of Indiana’s courtrooms, fighting for our clients’ right to financial support.
We can break down the contracts impacting your bus accident case, address your claim accordingly, and help you make your voice heard in negotiations and court. You can contact our Frankfort bus accident lawyers online or by calling our main office.