What do you do after a Whitestown bus accident? You call first responders, you assess your losses, and you contact an insurance provider. Even if you’re diligent in your effort to recover, though, the cost of your post-accident medical bills and property damage can leave you in a bind.
Fortunately, the state of Indiana affords you the right to take civil action against the party responsible for your bus accident. You can work with Whitestown personal injury lawyers to determine what damages you deserve in the wake of your accident. Vaughan & Vaughan has the experience to make your civil efforts straightforward and low-stress.
What Can You Do After a Bus Accident?
Your ability to act after a bus accident hinges on the severity of your losses. You need to work with medical professionals to determine the extent of your injuries and what kind of long-term care you may need to restore your previous quality of life. In the meanwhile, you can work with an insurance provider to determine what protection the coverage you’ve paid for affords you.
If your insurance won’t provide you with comprehensive coverage, though, don’t panic. There are other means through which you can secure the financial support you need. You can specifically work with a Whitestown, IN, bus accident lawyer to pursue a personal injury claim against the party liable for your bus accident.
To hold a party liable for your bus accident, you have to:
- Identify the party liable for your losses
- Calculate the economic value of your losses
- Present evidence of your losses and relevant liability
- File your claim within your relevant statute of limitations
Who Can You Hold Liable for a Bus Accident?
You need evidence to establish liability after a bus accident. Evidence, ranging from videos of your accident to statements from bystanders, helps establish the nature of the negligence that caused your crash.
That said, the nature of a bus driver’s contract can also influence your right to hold certain parties responsible for your losses. Contracts can specifically see you hold any of the following parties liable in civil court:
Many cities in Indiana own and operate their own bus lines. If you get hit by a bus that’s operated by someone under the employ of Whitestown, the city, you may have the right to file a lawsuit against the city as an institution.
That said, filing a lawsuit against your city can prove challenging. Many bus drivers benefit from sovereign immunity, as defined by Indiana Code 34-13-3-3. This statute can prevent you from taking legal action against city employees.
Even if your bus driver isn’t protected by sovereign immunity, the state still makes it harder than usual to take up a claim against the institution of a city. You must file a Notice of Claim with the state’s attorney general before you file your personal injury claim, or else you may waive your right to legal action. You then have 180 days to file a personal injury claim.
What’s more, you need to file these documents on a tighter deadline, as established in Indiana Code 34-13-3-6. This statute of limitations gives you no more than 270 days to bring information about your accident forward in civil court.
All that said, if you jump through these hoops, you can fight to hold Whitestown liable for your bus accident losses. If you win your case, the city can supply you with the funds needed to recover.
A Busing Company
If you don’t take up a complaint against the city, you have to consider the relationship between a bus driver and a related corporation. Greyhound, for example, has hundreds of bus drivers operating throughout the United States, all of whom may falter behind the wheel. Do the busing companies operating in Whitestown count their drivers as employees, though?
More often than not, private busing companies hire bus drivers as independent contractors. Independent contractors do not receive the same in-house protections as employees. These contractors specifically do not qualify for workers’ compensation, most forms of in-house insurance, and, in many cases, a company’s legal protection.
That said, if the bus driver who hit you either counts as an in-house employee or falls under a corporation’s protection courtesy of that company’s insurance policies, you’re in luck. That standing allows you to hold a corporation liable for any losses you faced on the road.
An Individual Driver
If you do get hit by an independent contractor or an off-duty bus driver, you have to take up your civil claim against that individual. The good news is that you can then move to negotiate for financial support with a person instead of a corporation’s legal team. Our attorneys can guide you through the process of building your claim, submitting it, and initiating legal action.
Note, however, that if you want to take up a claim against an individual or a corporation, you must do so within the two-year statute of limitations afforded to you by Indiana Code section 34-11-2-4. Trying to file a claim outside of this statute of limitations can see Indiana civil courts waive your right to compensation.
Why Should You Take Civil Action After a Bus Accident?
Many injured parties find it difficult to pursue civil action after a dangerous bus accident. These accidents can leave you drained emotionally as well as coping with physical injuries that limit your ability to meet your daily needs. In the face of accident-related injuries and unexpected expenses, why should you bog down your day-to-day responsibilities with a civil claim?
Bus accident injury claims specifically allow you to demand damages for your crash losses. In other words, you can work with a bus accident attorney in Whitestown to hold a liable party accountable for your post-accident losses. If you can overcome the financial burden of your recovery, it may prove easier for you to get back on your feet.
So long as you can bring forward evidence to defend your claims, you may have the right to request compensation for your:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
- Medical expenses and at-home care
- Lost wages
You can discuss how to calculate the sum total of your bus accident damages during an initial case consultation with our team.
Let’s Discuss Your Right to a Bus Accident Claim
Detangling liability and your right to compensation after a bus accident can put you off of the pursuit of compensation. Fortunately, no one’s asking you to investigate your bus accident alone. You can turn to a bus accident attorney in Whitestown, IN, and request that an experienced professional oversee your case.
Vaughan & Vaughan’s team of attorneys has worked within Indiana’s civil courts for decades. We know how to guide clients like you through this process with as much ease as possible. Whether you have questions about your right to civil action or want to discuss the specifics of your case in more detail, you can call on our team.
Reach out and schedule your first case evaluation over the phone or through our website.