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A city populated with nearly a million residents is bound to have its fair share of traffic. Austin is no exception. A significant part of the traffic system in Austin are city buses. Each day thousands of individuals ride the bus to and from work or home. Given the number of buses within Austin and the frequency at which these buses operate, there will inevitably be bus-related accidents from time to time.
According to data collected by the Texas Department of Transportation, there were over 4,000 bus-related crashes in 2017. Of these, approximately 1,000 resulted in some form of injury, and about 25 resulted in the death of one or more persons.
If you or a loved one were injured in a bus accident, call Zinda Law Group today on (888) 671-5127 for a FREE consultation to find out more about how to seek compensation with the help of a personal injury lawyer in Austin.
Austin Bus Laws
Under Texas law, commercial buses are referred to as “common carriers.” The purpose of a common carrier is to carry passengers from one place to another. Because common carriers are in the business of transporting people, the bus drivers and bus companies are held to a high standard when it comes to exercising their duty of care.
The higher expectation imposed on bus drivers and bus companies is reflected in the responsibilities that they assume. These responsibilities differ from those that exist within the normal traffic laws that most of us are accustomed to. Examples of these responsibilities include:
- Keeping a safe distance between the bus and other automobiles
- Properly maintaining the bus and bus equipment
- Ensuring that passengers safely board and exit the bus
- Stopping at railroads before crossing
- Taking proper evasive action when necessary
A bus driver who fails to carry any of these responsibilities may be found negligent and thus can be held liable for any accidents or injuries. The bus company itself, by extension, may also be liable for the negligent acts of its drivers.
What To Do After a Bus Accident
Suffering an injury from or being involved in a bus accident can be a frightening and stressful experience. If you ever find yourself in this unfortunate situation, it can be extremely helpful to know ahead of time what steps to take following the event. Listed below are several critical steps that should be taken after a bus accident. Following these steps may promote a speedy recovery and strengthen your case.
1. Seek Medical Attention
The first and most important step you should take following a bus-related accident is to seek prompt and proper medical treatment. Many bus accidents result in immediate injuries, some of which can be severe or life-threatening. Other accidents result in minor injuries which may take hours or days to kick in but can last for weeks or months. Calling for medical attention after a bus accident ensures that you receive proper treatment, thereby putting you in a good position to recover from your injuries as quickly and efficiently as possible.
2. Report the Accident
Another important step to take following a bus-related accident is to report the accident to local law enforcement or to the busing company. Reporting the accident to the police and to the bus company can be beneficial to you for several reasons. For instance, a police officer who responds to the scene of the accident will create an official accident report which may serve as evidence and strengthen the value of your claim against the at-fault party. Informing the bus company of the accident will encourage the company to take the proper measures to ensure that similar accidents do not happen again.
3. Document the Accident
After the accident, it is very important that you document the accident. This means creating and maintaining a personal file where you keep every important document relating to the accident and your resulting injuries. Examples of documents and information that should be stored in the file include:
- The name and contact information of the bus driver and bus company
- The license plate number and vehicle identification number (VIN) of the bus
- The names and contact information of any witnesses
- A copy of the police report
- A copy of your medical records and bills
- Photographs of the scene, injuries, physical damage
Documenting the accident by keeping a thorough and organized file can be very helpful when it comes to establishing the value of your claim and recovering the compensation you deserve.
4. Call an Attorney
Finally, you should contact a personal injury attorney. An attorney will listen to the facts of your case and provide valuable legal advice based on and relevant statute or ordinance. An attorney can also represent you in the battle against stingy insurance companies. Lastly, an attorney will fight on your behalf should your claim be litigated in court.
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Motor Vehicle Collision
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Filing a Bus Accident Claim
In order to seek compensation for your injuries after being involved in a bus accident, you will likely need to file a bus accident claim. Listed below are important components that comprise the claim filing process.
1. Call a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you wish to file a claim, one of the first and most important steps you should take is to contact a personal injury lawyer. Bus-related accidents can contain several complex legal issues such as multi-party fault and contributory negligence. Contacting a lawyer can be helpful to your case because the lawyer will be able to provide legal advice which can preserve or strengthen your claim.
2. Investigation Phase
The investigation phase is a critical part of the claim filing process. This is because an investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding the accident can strengthen the credibility of your claim. Part of this phase involves your attorney gathering the facts of your case ,such as where and how it occurred. The attorney will then collect important pieces of evidence by interviewing witnesses, reviewing important documents, and developing the best legal strategy. This process also involves accounting for each of your damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
3. Case Settlement and Negotiation
After investigation is completed, it is likely that an insurance company will want to settle your claim. The case settlement process will consist of back-and-forth negotiations between you and the insurance company. Hiring an attorney will allow the attorney to advocate on your behalf to get the insurance company to pay the full value of your claim.
4. Litigation (if necessary)
If a settlement is unable to be reached during negotiation, your claim may litigated in court. In this scenario, your attorney will fight for you to help seek the compensation you deserve.
Legal Time Limits
A “statute of limitations” is essentially a legal time-limit on which a person must initiate a lawsuit. If an injured or wronged party fails to bring a claim within the relevant statute of limitations, that party is effectively barred from litigating the claim in court. Statutes of limitations vary from state to state.
In Texas, there is a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. A claim following a bus-related injury is considered a type of personal injury claim. This means that a party that is injured following a bus accident must file a lawsuit within two years of the date of the accident.
In cases of minor children, the statute of limitations is extended until the child reaches the age of majority or until the child is legally emancipated. The child then has two years from that date to file a lawsuit.
In certain, rare situations, this two-year statute of limitations may be “tolled,” or paused. Tolling has the effect of giving you more time to initiate a lawsuit. One example is the injury of a minor child described above. However, it is important to remember that tolling a statute of limitations is an exception, not the norm.
In addition to this legal time limit, there is also a requirement that an injured party give notice to a governmental agency if it intends to sue. This requirement essentially acts as a statute of limitations within a statute of limitations. Although it is true that you still have two years to file a lawsuit, you must submit this notice to file suit within the mandatory time frame or else your claim will vanish. In Austin, there is a 90-day window from the date of the accident to give proper notice. Discussing the facts and details of your case with an attorney can help you grasp a better understanding of the statute of limitations and notice requirement, thereby ensuring that your claim is filed in a timely fashion.
I had the best experience with the Zinda law Group! Shivangi Was the the most professional and caring attorney anyone could ask for! She did everything in a timely matter and answered all the questions I could ever think of. Her paralegal, Danielle was always there for me throughout the entire process. She worked around my schedule and was very consistent about helping me in any way she could. If I could give this team 6 stars I would!! I highly recommend to anyone looking for the best team! I had the privilege of working with Zinda Law Group recently and was thoroughly impressed with the level of service and support they provided. When we began, I had reservations about the likelihood of reaching a settlement, but the team's professionalism, intelligence, and dedication quickly put those doubts to rest. They went above and beyond to ensure that I was informed and comfortable throughout the process, and their hard work and strong advocacy ultimately led to a successful outcome. I cannot thank Zinda Law Group and their staff enough for their exceptional service and support, and I would highly recommend them to anyone in need of legal assistance. Their commitment to their clients and their willingness to fight for what's right truly sets them apart. In short, I give them a rating of five stars for their outstanding work. Zinda Law Group is amazing! My husband was in an accident and they made the process super easy and hassle free. They took care of everything, we are so appreciative for them! They exceeded our expectations. We will definitely be telling everyone we know about them. Thank you Zinda Law for everything! Zinda Law Group is an amazing firm! My case was not without its challenges, but they handled it all in stride. They kept me up to date, kept me informed every step of the way, and ensured I understood the process and all of my options. Burgess, Ryan and their extremely capable staff of Paralegals made a very challenging process as painless as possible. They were kind, compassionate, and patient, and just a real pleasure to work with. I would, and will, recommend them highly to anyone needing an attorney. My experience with Zinda Law Group was pretty awesome. I definitely would recommend their Law firm. Brendan and his team were very friendly, helpful and informative about my case and were able to win as well. I really appreciate all of their hard work and dedication, I highly recommend.Thank you all again for your help and your time.Sincerely,Pat.b I was very satisfied with the professionalism of my attorney and the paralegals, they helped me threw this accident and got me a great settlement, all while keeping me involved and informed. Zinda law group made me feel comfortable and I trusted them to fight for me. The trust was well placed! Thank Yous, I appreciate all that Yous done for me and my family!! I’ve had such a great experience with Zinda law group! They’ve handled everything relatively quickly and professionally. They really have made my life a lot easier. I recommend anyone dealing with auto accidents (or similarly) to Zinda Law group.I felt I was very important to them and that my feelings and thoughts were validated. They treated me with much care and respect, not like “just another client”. I couldn’t have asked for a better team. I truly recommend Zinda law group they truly helped me and my family during such a hard hard time. Very accommodating they work extremely hard to make sure that you are compensated from start to finish they made it happen and made a rough time a lot smoother than I could of ever imagined thank you all for everything if you are looking for a lawyer that goes above beyond look no further Michael will get you taken care of! Zinda Law did an excellent job for us from start to finish. They communicated clearly and their staff was great! My son Nic was in a car accident and had an injury to his eye. Zinda Law took care of everything start to finish and obtained the maximum amount possible from insurance for his injury. I am so glad I called Zinda law group. being hit by a drink driver was the worst experience of my life physically and emotionally. As soon as I reached out they got the ball rolling with all my medical needs. They were in contact with all of my appointments and made my recovery as smooth as possible. I would definitely without a doubt recommend them. A huge shout out to Shivangi for taking over and fighting for what my family and I deserved. My experience with Zinda Law Group has been OUTSTANDING! Big shoutout to Joe Caputo and his team!I was the passenger in a terrible car accident that left me needing medical attention. The person at faults insurance company reassured me that my medical bills would be taken care of. However, that was not the case. I started receiving multiple calls from debt collectors, and bill after bill by mail. The driver’s insurance company no longer returned my calls, and emails went unanswered. I was so stressed and over my head with how to handle the situation. It was time to call the pros! As soon as I made the call to Zinda Law Group, Joe and his team I were on it! I no longer received calls from debt collectors, so I knew action was taken immediately. I was informed every step of the way, and every call/email was answered. Had I called sooner, I would have never gone through all that stress. I was treated like a friend, not just a client.Thank you Zinda Law Group! I hired Zinda for a crazy situation involving an 18 wheeler where an object flew off a trailer and blasted through my windshield.I reached out to Zinda and spoke with Michael Cupero, my attorney at Zinda, after the accident once I realized this is affecting my day to day life in a significant way (PTSD from a "Final Destination" type of incident) and Michael was nothing short of fantastic through the entire process.The Zinda team, including Michael and Mary-Catherine Holt and several others, guided me through the entire process from initial settlement offers, filing the lawsuit, depositions, the whole 9.They listened to my concerns, provided clarity and perspective when needed, and not once did I feel that my best interest was not at the forefront of their actions and behavior through my experience as a client.Thank you Michael, Mary-Catherine and Zinda!If you want a team that will treat you with professionalism, respect, and understanding then do yourself a favor and reach out to Zinda! Extremely professional and communicative . They explained the process as we went along and made it very clear weighting pros and cons. They understood my pain and my worries but kept their expertise always on the top of things finding elements for me to win my case. I am thankful to have had Zinda Law Group to support me during those two years as it finalized and I can keep on living. My experience with Zinda law group has been wonderful from start to finish. Natasha and Emily explained everything very well and answered any questions I had, communicated well throughout the whole process , and handled the case very professionally, they worked very hard on my case I would definitely highly recommend to friends and family. I found myself in a situation where I needed legal representation. After looking over reviews in the area, I decided to contact Natasha at Zinda law group in the hopes that she could represent me . Natasha put me at ease with her responsiveness and her ability to accommodate my last minute needs. I had no idea what to expect. It felt like a wave of relief knowing that you're working with a professional that knows what she's doing, and knows how to get things done quickly and efficiently. I appreciate the time and attention that Natasha put into my case. I hope I won't be needing their services again in the future, but I would absolutely contact them again if I do. Thanks again I am very satisfied with the service and the outcome of my case.Since the first phone call, and every step of the way until the end, Zinda Law was on top of every detail pertaining to my auto accident case.The case is now closed, and looking back, they made every step of the process easy and manageable. They were very thorough in explaining the different scenarios, and extremely transparent with all the possible outcomes.Thank you to every person who aided in the success of my case, all of whom were exceptional in their tasks and working as a team. The Zinda Law Group was outstanding in helping me with my aunts case. My two Attorneys Neil and Shivangi were very compassionate, kind, eager to help, and really listen carefully and attentively to my case about my aunt. My aunt got hit by a driver while crossing the street and killed. I went after the guys insurance; although, this doesn't bring back my aunt, but allows for this not to happen to other people like this in her case. These attorneys worked very hard and efficiently to bring the justice that they saw fit. When I had a question they explained in terms I understood and not above and beyond me. I appreciate it when people can come down to my level and not intimidate and use trepidation on someone in feeling like they are the fly while they're the spider waiting for the right moment for the fly to walk into its web.Neil and Shivangi always whenever they called asked me how I was at the beginning of our conversations and is there anything I needed at the end of each call. Each call they made to me, was made very professional, personable and felt heart felt as if you were part of the family. At the end of each subject matter they always asked, "Do you have any questions for me before we go to the next thing we need to talk about?" They always wanted to make sure I understood everything before the next item we needed to talk about. These guys really are good and want to please the client anyway they can I thought; when I first started talking to them. I give them above and beyond a 5-Star rating if there was such a thing. I Highly Recommend The Zinda Law Group to Anyone who needs them. This is what I give them if I could!!💯💯💯💯💯 and👍👍👍👍👍 and⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐❗❗❗THANK YOU TO NEIL, SHIVANGI, MARA AND TO EVERYONE AT THE ZINDA LAW GROUP WHO WORKED ON MY CASE!! I APPRECIATE YOU ALL! I would like to recognize a fantastic attorney named Joe Caputo from Zinda Law Group. I was involved in an auto accident that had many complicated moving parts that were hard to navigate and understand as a victim. Joe was so gracious and spent quality time explaining what courses of action I needed to take as a victim to protect myself. Joe was also diligent in following up with me regarding my case and provided guides and checklists that were extremely helpful to keep things organized and moving. Joe was always readily available for my questions and responded promptly. Joe Caputo's excellent counsel ensured I protected myself when dealing with the opposing insurance company and ensured the best possible outcome for my case. Joe's expertise in personal injury lawsuits helped alleviate the stress and anxiety that follows the aftermath of an auto accident. Thanks again Joe! You are truly an amazing, kind person and attorney! Zinda Law was incredibly amazing. I had the pleasure of working with Michael and his incredibly hard working team after my wreck in November. They went above and beyond keeping up with my health, bills, insurance companies, all that fun stuff I had no time for. After what felt like such a short amount of time, they were able to win every last penny from the "bad guys" insurance (loved that term). I couldn't happier, and even though I went through something traumatic, it was still the best experience I could have ever asked for. Thank you Michael and everyone that helped with my case, yall are the best!! My attorney was Christina , she and her team gave me the best outcome for my case .I am giving an honesty review at first I was very upset because I kept getting moved around and I never knew who I was talking to because they switch attorneys and kept changing my paralegals.. I was going to go with another law firm but Christina helped me with my case from then on out and she worked around my schedule to talk to me which I appreciate. Also my last law firm took 30 percent, and this one took 33 percent which I wasn’t to happy so just a heads up. Overall I rate this 4 stars cause I’m just happy the case is over with and I get to go back to my life.Update: I just received another call from my attorney and they have worked to negotiate my case with the billing and have put more money in my pocket. All the money that I had spent while working on the case has came back to me. I can fully move on and say that I have gain every penny that was lose during those hard times. I’m so happy and thankful to Zinda law group!!!!!! Zinda Law Group did an excellent job with my case. The staff was super friendly and super effective as far as communicating with me throughout the entire case. I highly recommend Zinda Law Group for your next case and for any of your future cases. 5 Stars across the board thank you so much for everything! Joh Harper, Priyonka Bhikha, and the rest of the team gave my case a quick and satisfactory conclusion. The attorney, Mr. Harper did an absolutely amazing job keeping me on the same page as far as the case goes. Honestly, if anybody is hurt in a car wreck or another personal injury case, I WILL STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU SPEAK TO THEM. I was in a motor vehicle collision about two years ago. From the minute I picked up the phone to speak with a representative to the case finally settling, it was a great experience. I worked with Burgess Williams and his team (Kathy, Ryan, and Linda) throughout the process. They were all very professional and helpful when I needed them the most. Great Firm. I was in motorcycle accident- T-boned at a full stop with my daughter riding on back. Zinda's team was instantly responsive. Christina was very compassionate, organized and scheduled time before every legal event to discuss goals and overview. The process was 2 years but during that time the lawyers and staff (John and Shane were also great) were always available and understanding. The team is focused on doing what is right and by the book. I would highly recommend this firm to anyone who is suffering from a motorcycle accident. Jason Aldridge and his paralegal Mara did an absolutely amazing job on my case. They were very responsive to all emails, calls and even texts. They treated me with dignity and respect from start to finish. I never once felt like my case was at the back of the list or anything. Not only did they explain and walked me through everything, they got me the help I needed and a final outcome over what I had expected. I would highly recommend this law firm, Jason and Mara to anyone seeking legal assistance. Highly Recommended-100% Satisfied!.From the initial phone call I felt confident I chose the right firm. They explained the process and I was always in the loop, even when we were at a stand still. Very grateful I was quickly referred to them by a friend who had a similar case. Both of us are happy with the end result. Thank you! My team of lawyer were very professional and communicated extremely clearly. They kept me updated on their status and did not make me worry at all about my situation. They explained everything to me very well and put things into simple terms for my understanding. I am very satisfied with their performance. I would recommend them to anyone that's been involved in an accident and feels skeptical in engaging an attorney.When one gets into an accident, you're traumatized, confused, angry and helpless.That was me last year, getting all kinds of advice becomes your next norm, to use or not to use an attorney.I was in so much pain from my injuries but at the same time knew I had to act fast.I called Zinda Law Group for consultation, they took my case seriously and treated me with respect, they were very professional and understanding.Elizabeth, kudos to you, you're true to your word, Integrity should be your last name.Jason Aldridge my attorney went to work immediately, he assured me that all be well and I should concentrate on my healing and he will do the rest. Thank your Sir, You did just that.His team, Mara, Zuleyma and Andrew, they all become my support system, so professional and lots of respect in each and everyphone call or email. Thank you guys.I would recommend anyone to use Zinda Law Group. I honestly loved not dealing with the hospital bills while I was recuperating. It gave me peace of mind going through this process and Zinda took care of everything. They found awesome health providers for me and haven't had to worry about anything while they've been taking my case. I've been well informed, communicated with, responded to and understood by Zinda. They have been efficient and effective while working on my case and I'm so glad I choose to go with this law firm. When I was injured in a car accident in March of 2020 the insurance companies were not concerned with my well being. I called Zinda Law group & spoke with Reagan, who went over my concerns & later had Jono contact me. After reviewing my information with Jono my case was immediately put in motion. I worked mainly with Sam Thomas who truly was a blessing to me, he was very supportive & genuinely concerned with my well being, everything wasn't simply about the case it was about me being healed & getting the proper treatment that I needed. Sam was also emotionally supportive when I went through several losses in my family & is a great friend. In all everyone was extremely supportive & all worked for me which was quite a different legal experience for me from Law groups in my past. I was well supported, always informed, treated with respect & made the priority in all decisions. Zinda Law Group made sure I was compensated completely & that I didn't have financial stresses over hospital bills after all was said & done. Sam, Katrina, Mary Catherine, Reagan & Jono I just want to thank you & all of Zinda for the incredible experience & the wonderful caring people that you all are, you are truly Golden in your field. I am so glad I got in touch with Zinda! My car accident occurred just 4 days prior to moving, during the busiest week of the year at my job, and just a week before the quarantine was declared a new reality for all of us. Everyone at Zinda remained persistent, supportive, and most of all advocated for me throughout such a chaotic time. I’ll always be grateful for the care they took to make sure my health and well-being were taken care of. So super grateful to know that a split second mistake someone else made doesn’t have to dictate my life. Thanks! My experience with Zinda Law Group was better than expected. After an accident that totalled my car, I reached out and was paired with a wonderful attorney. She communicated frequently and responded to my calls and texts in a timely manner. She was friendly, knowledgeable, and answered all of my questions. I was kept in the loop during every step of the process. I would call Zinda Law if I ever need this type of support again. I had an excellent experience working with the attorneys at Zinda Law Group! They were knowledgeable, professional and patient. They walked me through every step of the long process of getting treatment after my car wreck and kept me updated with timeframes and next steps. I would absolutely recommend anyone working with them! I was referred here by a family member. Our lawyer jason and his team did and amazing job. They kept me updated in everything made sure I understood what was going on. My son was hit by a van in the hospital jason came right over. He's awesome so much down to earth straight forward. I would recommend him and his firm to everyone and I have thank you zinda but most of all thank you Jason for being there for us for being a friend Zinda Law Group was recommended to me from another satisfied client and I certainly received excellent service. The attorneys and staff are very proactive with communication and I knew every step of the way what was happening on my case. I never felt pressured with decision making and they went above & beyond to answer questions with satifactory explanations. This is a very professional group of attorneys & support staff. In addition, they were willing to meet me at a location more convenient for me. I appreciated their concern for my time. Could not speak highly enough of the firm. I was involved in my first accident and thankfully had Zinda Law Group supporting me through the scary time. Jono took care of me every step of the way. He made me feel like I was a priority through the entire process. A big thank you to Jono and the rest of the Zinda crew!
An accident is not always caused by just one party. Liability may exist for several individuals or entities. In the context of bus accidents, there are several common parties that may be liable for your accident and injuries:
Bus Driver/Bus Company
Commonly, the bus driver or bus company is liable for bus-related accidents. A common scenario where the bus driver may be liable is where the driver is speeding, runs a red light, or is engaging in distracted driving. The bus company itself may also be held liable if it can be established that it negligently hired, trained, or supervised the bus driver.
A bus accident can occur even if the bus driver exhibits perfect driving. This is because other drivers on the road do not always drive perfectly. If you have been injured in car crash while on a bus, it is possible that another driver who was driving negligently can be found liable.
A manufacturer of car parts can also be held liable. These scenarios typically arise when the manufacturer supplies the bus company with a broken or defective part. Because establishing liability on the part of a manufacturer can be tricky, it is important to consider consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney before filing any lawsuit.
Austin City Government
The local Austin government may itself be held liable if the bus was operated by the city (e.g., Capital Metro). In these situations, the bus is an extension of the city government. Thus, the city government may be held liable for an accident involving one of its buses.
AWARDED TO JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA BY THE NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION (2016-2020)
AWARDED TO JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA (2009, 2011-2012, 2014-2021), JOE CAPUTO (2019-2021), BURGESS WILLIAMS (2019-2020), & NEIL SOLOMON (2020-2021)
AWARDED TO JACK ZINDA (2016-2020), JOE CAPUTO (2016 – 2020) & BURGESS WILLIAMS (2016-2017)
LIFETIME MEMBERS JOHN C. (JACK) ZINDA & JOE CAPUTO
Common Bus Accident Claims
Bus accidents and bus-related injuries occur in a variety of ways. Some of these claims involve single vehicle accidents. Others involve collisions between two or more vehicles. Some accidents even involve pedestrians or bystanders. Listed below are several of the most common bus accident claims:
Crash with Another Car
One of the most common types of bus accident claims involves the bus crashing into another vehicle. In these cases, passengers on the bus may sustain various injuries as a result of the collision. Fault for these accidents requires examining the conduct of the bus driver and the driver of the other vehicle.
Single Vehicle Crash
A single-vehicle crash is an accident that most commonly occurs when the driver loses control of the vehicle. For bus accidents, a single vehicle crash may occur if the bus driver falls asleep at the wheel, engages in distracted driving, loses control of the bus, or experiences a mechanical malfunction. These accidents are likely to result in the onboard passengers sustaining injuries.
Pedestrian/Cyclist Struck by Bus
Pedestrians and cyclists are always at risk of being struck by automobiles, and this includes buses. These accidents can occur in severe injuries such as broken bones, concussions, or even death.
Fall on a Bus
Another common bus-related accident occurs not when the bus is accelerating, but rather when it is coming to a stop. Inexperienced bus passengers, particularly those who are standing, are susceptible of falling and hurting themselves when a bus driver hits the brakes. The injuries resulting from these accidents range from minor (e.g., small cuts and bruises) to severe (e.g., broken bones and concussions).
Bus-related accidents can result in a wide assortment of injuries ranging from minor to life-changing. Listed below are several common injuries that may occur as a result of a bus accident. Always keep in mind that the first step you should take after being involved in an accident is to seek immediate medical attention.
Concussions and Head Injuries
One common type of injury that can occur during or after a bus accident are head injuries, including concussions. Many passengers on a bus do not wear a seatbelt. As a result, a collision or sudden stop can lead to a person shifting around inside the bus cabin. This shift may lead to a person hitting their head against another object inside the bus.
Cuts, Scarring, and Permanent Disfigurement
Many bus accidents end up with one or more passengers sustaining a laceration, cut, bruise, or scar. In extreme cases, a collision may lead to a passenger being ejected from the bus, which may cause permanent disfigurement of the face or body.
Spinal Injuries and Paralysis
Bus-related accidents can also lead to severe spinal cord injuries. For example, a passenger without a seatbelt may be thrown from his or her seat and suffer a cracked vertebra. If a bus hits a pedestrian or cyclist, the victim may sustain temporary or permanent paralysis.
Unfortunately, a substantial number of bus-related accidents result in death. This is particularly so for accidents involving pedestrians or children.
A person who is hurt or injured in a bus-related accident may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and damages if he or she can establish that another party is liable for causing the accident resulting injuries. In calculating the amount of monetary damages that should be awarded to the victim of a bus-related accident, courts divide compensatory damages into two main components: Economic damages and Non-economic damages.
Economic damages reflect expenses that can be assigned a numerical value and quantified. In a bus accident case, economic damages may include medical expenses (present and future bills; pharmacy costs, rehabilitation services, etc.), lost income and wages, and property damage (vehicle repair costs and personal property damages in the collision). Accidents resulting in severe injuries lead to greater awards of economic damages than relatively minor accidents.
Non-economic damages are awarded to the victim to compensate for intangible losses that cannot be assigned a numerical value. Non-economic damages are subjectively evaluated by a jury. Although these types of damages cannot be easily quantified, it is possible for non-economic damages to be greater in value than economic damages. Types of non-economic damages may include pain and suffering, loss of affection or companionship, emotional distress, disability or disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life.
It is important to note that the Texas Legislature has enacted a law which caps the amount of damages that an injured individual can seek from the government. The Texas Tort Claims Act only permits you to sue a municipal government entity, like Cap Metro, for $250,000 per person, with a maximum of $500,000 per incident.
Although each of the buses is likely insured for $5 million dollars in liability coverage, the law only lets you get to $250,000 per individual. If your damages exceed these limits, you may be able to get more from third-parties, but that is the maximum amount you can seek from the government.
Tell Zinda Law Group About Your Case
For more information on what to do after a bus accident and how to pursue compensation, call Zinda Law Group today on (888) 671-5127 for a FREE consultation with a personal injury lawyer.
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