Although buses provide a convenient and environmentally responsible mode of transportation for people who do not drive or prefer not to, bus accidents can be deadly. Buses are responsible for hundreds of deaths and serious injuries every year.
If you suffered an injury while riding the Good Earth Transit, a bus hit you while you were walking, driving, or riding a bicycle, you could hold the bus company liable. Consult a Houma and Terrebonne Parish bus accident lawyer for guidance on securing monetary damages for your injuries. Our dedicated injury attorneys are standing by to provide the assistance you need.
Quick Legal Action is Necessary
Anyone who suffers injuries in a bus crash in this state must act quickly to preserve their legal rights. Louisiana Civil Code §3492 allows an injured person seeking compensation for personal injuries only one year to file a lawsuit against a negligent party. The law provides an exception for people who were under 18 at the time of their injury.
Many buses are owned or operated by public entities or local governments, which means that an injured party could file a claim against the government agency—but they must not delay.
Local governments require claimants against them to file a notice explaining the claim soon after an accident. In some cases, a claimant might have as little as 60 days to send a notice of claim. An attorney who serves Houma and Terrebonne Parish would be familiar with their requirements and could ensure timely filing to preserve the rights of the injured party.
Proving Negligence in a Bus Accident Case
If an injured party (the plaintiff) seeks compensation after an accident, they must prove that one or more parties (the defendants) were negligent. In most cases, negligence means not using the care that a reasonably cautious person would have used in similar circumstances. However, enterprises that transport people or goods for a fee are labeled as common carriers under the law, and must take utmost care to protect passengers and others.
An attorney could prove a bus company negligent by showing that:
- The driver was poorly trained or had an unfavorable driving record
- The bus did not receive recommended maintenance
- The bus was traveling too fast for conditions
- The driver was distracted
- The driver disobeyed traffic laws
- The driver ignored bus safety rules, such as moving before an onboarding passenger found a seat
If the bus company is negligent, its insurance company will be responsible for paying the plaintiff’s damages. Claiming against a bus company is usually beneficial because they carry commercial liability policies with high coverage limits. Note, however, that if a bus is operated by a local government, state law restricts damages to $500,000 in most cases. A lawyer for Houma and Terrebonne Parish could further explain what constitutes proof of negligence in bus accident cases.
Collecting Damages in a Bus Accident Case
Damages in an injury case compensate the plaintiff for all the losses they suffered due to their injury. Special damages compensate for out-of-pocket expenses and could include medical care, lost income, diminished future earning potential, and future medical expenses related to the injury. General damages compensate the plaintiff’s disfigurement, emotional anguish, physical pain, lost ability to enjoy life’s pleasures, and reduced quality of life.
State law permits a judge to award punitive damages if the plaintiff’s attorney can prove a legally intoxicated driver caused the accident that led to their injuries. Punitive damages punish a defendant, rather than compensate a plaintiff.
Sometimes a plaintiff in a bus accident case negligently contributed to an accident or the severity of their injuries. Such plaintiffs can collect reduced damages from other liable parties. A judge will apportion responsibility between all the liable parties, and the plaintiff can collect the percentage of their damages attributable to the actions of others. An attorney in the parish seat of Terrebonne knows what it takes to collected damages for bus accidents in this state and could work to give a claim the best chance of success.
Put Your Trust in a Houma and Terrebonne Parish Bus Accident Attorney
Bus accident injuries are often severe, and you might need significant time to recover. Unfortunately, the law offers you little time to act before you lose your right to claim damages.
Reach out to a Houma and Terrebonne Parish bus accident lawyer at Damon J. Baldone & Associates as soon as possible. In some cases, they could begin collecting evidence and negotiating appropriate compensation before you leave the hospital. Having legal representation frees you to focus on healing while your attorney gathers evidence and negotiates with insurance companies. Call today.