The biggest problem is that, in most cases, the bus that caused your accident is government-owned.
Bus accidents account for only a fraction of the total motor vehicle crashes in South Carolina, but seeing justice done and getting the damages you deserve is quite complicated. If you or a loved one were injured in such a crash, you need to look up the best South Carolina bus accident lawyers as soon as possible as you’ll need their help to build a strong case.
Whether you’re looking for Hilton Head Island bus accident lawyers or need an accident attorney anywhere in the state, you should get one as soon as you’ve recovered enough to talk to them.
The biggest problem is that, in most cases, the bus that caused your accident is government-owned. And you’ll have to file a lawsuit against the government. Public transport buses or school buses are owned and operated by the state or local government, which have good lawyers on their payroll. If you want to stand a chance against them, you’ll need highly-experienced bus accident lawyers.
Private shuttle buses or tour buses are privately-owned so you’ll probably need to take it up with their insurance. Greyhound or Coach are private bus lines, and since we’re talking about big companies you can imagine they can afford tough lawyers, so you’ll need one just as tough yourself.
Speaking of who can afford what, you don’t need to worry about paying your attorney; many work on a contingency fee basis, which means you won’t have to pay them a dime until they win the case for you.
Bus drivers are considered common carriers, so they are required by law to exercise the ‘highest degree of care’ when performing their duty. They are responsible for their passengers’ safety and face severe penalties if they fail to do so.
An important thing to keep in mind is that when you file a lawsuit against the government or a government employee, such as the bus driver, the statute of limitation is reduced to 2 years, as opposed to 3 years when suing a private company or citizen.
Experienced lawyers can help you by securing police reports and checking out the bus driver’s criminal record to see if they were ever convicted for traffic-related offenses. They might also request their medical records to see if they were fit to drive.
Most traffic accidents are caused by distracted driving. If the bus driver was checking out the messages on the phone at the time of the accident, they can be held accountable for negligence. However, if the accident was caused by a malfunction, such as faulty brakes, the blame lies with the maintenance company or the local government, as it’s their duty to make sure the buses they run are in good shape.
If you were injured in a bus accident, you can claim economic damages (medical bills, lost wages), as well as non-medical damages to compensate you for your pain and suffering.
If the bus driver was found guilty of reckless driving or they were intoxicated, you can also claim punitive damages.