Roswell Bus Accident Lawyers

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Everyone at some point has relied on a bus to get them to where they needed to be, whether it was school, work, or a vacation destination. For the most part, buses are a safe form of public transportation; however, sometimes they can pose a danger to passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists. Whether you’ve been hit by a bus or were a passenger in one involved in an accident, the experience can be devastating. If you have experienced either type of accident, you may wish to hold the at-fault party responsible for your injuries. You should meet with Roswell bus accident lawyers to discuss your case and decide how best to proceed with your claim.

If you or a loved one have suffered from an injury after a bus accident in Roswell, NM, call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free consultation with one of our Roswell bus accident lawyers.

BUS ACCIDENT STATISTICS

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) defines a bus as a vehicle meant to transport nine or more passengers. According to data published by the FMCSA, in 2019, of the 33,244 fatal crashes on the nation’s roadways:

  • 4,696 (14.1 percent) involved at least one large truck or bus, and
  • 231 of those crashes involved buses alone.

In addition, there were an estimated 6,722,000 nonfatal crashes, 72,000 of which involved buses. In that same year, there were 13,000 crashes involving buses that resulted in nonfatal injuries to passengers.

Also in 2019, fatalities of 258 people (accounting for 28.3%) which occurred due to bus accidents were non-motorists—meaning pedestrians, bicyclists, and other non-driver victims. Furthermore, in 2019 there were:

  • 84 fatal crashes involving school buses,
  • 78 fatal crashes involving transit buses,
  • 32 fatal crashes involving van-based buses, and
  • 15 fatal crashes involving motorcoach buses (like Greyhounds).

In that same year, 78 fatalities were due to bus crashes in the state of New Mexico alone.

COMMON CAUSES OF BUS ACCIDENTS in Roswell, NM

Many bus accidents are caused by the actions of the bus driver, but some are caused by other factors. We’ll first take a look at some of the ways drivers can cause bus accidents and injuries.

Driver Error

Whether the bus operator is inexperienced or simply makes a critical error, they are often responsible for road accidents.

While driving a large motor coach is not always easy, especially on city streets, drivers are supposed to have special training that qualifies them to operate the vehicles safely. Common ways a bus driver may cause an accident include:

  • failing to signal,
  • speeding,
  • making too-sharp of turns, and
  • violating traffic laws.

Other Drivers

Buses are large vehicles, so they need more room to properly brake and make turns. They also need more space than others to operate safely on the road, such as when switching lanes. Another driver on the road can make an illegal turn or can suddenly brake in front of the bus, or make it more difficult for a bus to change lanes, causing the motor coach to either swerve or hit another vehicle.

Road Conditions

Local or state governments are responsible for maintaining the roads but more often than not they may fail to fix potholes or other dangerous conditions that can cause an accident. Some of these dangerous conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • broken stop lights,
  • broken or missing street signs (such as stop signs), and
  • broken guardrails.

COMMON BUS ACCIDENT INJURIES in NM

While every accident is different and produces unique injuries, there are certain types of injuries that are more commonly experienced by passengers of buses and other large vehicles than passengers of smaller cars. Pedestrians and other motorists can also experience the following injuries in a bus crash as well.

1. Broken Bones and Fractures

Common types of injury seen in bus accidents are broken or fractured bones. The force involved in a bus accident can break bones in the arms, hands, fingers, legs, back, and other areas of the body.

2. Skin Injuries

Passengers may also experience skin injuries. The high-impact nature of these accidents often sends objects flying through the air which can pierce the skin of bus riders, causing serious lacerations and scars.

3. Spinal Cord Injuries

Bus passengers, as well as pedestrians and passengers in other vehicles, may experience back and spinal cord injuries. The sensitive construction of the spinal column is especially vulnerable to the impact of a high-speed motor coach crash.

4. Head Injuries

Bus crashes may also lead to head injuries, and these are very common in bus accidents. Even when restrained by seatbelts, passengers often strike their heads from the impact of a collision and sustain concussions and other head trauma.

What to do after a Bus ACCIDENT

What you do immediately after a bus accident is important for your claim and for your continued overall health and recovery. It is important to follow the necessary steps to ensure that you not only get the maximum compensation that you are entitled to, but also recover physically from your injuries and get back to enjoying your life.

1. Call 911

After any car accident you should call the local police immediately if other passengers have not already done so. The Roswell police will write up a report as they document the scene of the accident. You can request a copy of this report in the days and weeks after your accident.

2. Take Care of Medical Needs

When you call 911, be sure to let the operator know if you or others are injured. The operator will be sure to send an ambulance to the scene to help treat any severe or minor injuries sustained. If you are unable to call 911, the bus operator or witnesses are responsible for calling paramedics.

If you are in harm’s way, move to a safe location near the accident scene. If you are not treated at the scene, seek medical attention immediately after the accident. After every treatment or doctor visit, be sure to get copies of the documentation of your treatment.

3. Document the Scene

If you can, take photos and video of the accident scene, and any injuries that you have. Note any areas of pain as well.

If you were operating a vehicle, take photos of the damage, and collect witness contact information as well. Take photos of the area where the accident occurred. Make note of the intersection, whether there were traffic lights or stop signs, and any road or weather conditions that may have contributed to the accident.

4. Do Not Admit Fault

It is very important that you do not admit fault for the accident at any point. Whether you are at the scene, speaking with your insurer at home later, or speaking with the bus company’s insurer/legal department the next day, do not admit fault. You may not fully understand traffic laws or who had the right of way. Admitting fault will hurt your case. So, prior to speaking with insurers, contact a Roswell bus accident attorney, who can speak to them on your behalf.

5. Find an Experienced Roswell Bus Accident Lawyer

After calling the police and attending to your injuries, try to speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. A Roswell injury attorney will be able to help you hold the bus driver—and any other liable party—responsible for your injuries.

Read More: Roswell Personal Injury Lawyers

Contact a ROSWELL BUS ACCIDENT LAWYER As Soon As Possible

An experienced Roswell injury lawyer who has handled many similar cases will be able to provide sound advice for your case and walk you through your next steps. Finding the right personal injury lawyer in Roswell may seem difficult, but there are plenty of resources available to make the process easier; for example, you can ask friends or family for recommendations. You may even conduct a simple internet search using terms such as “personal injury lawyer Roswell,” “Roswell injury lawyer,” or “Roswell accident lawyer.”

Another option when looking for reliable legal representation is to look for an attorney through the American Bar Association’s online directory. You can also find a lawyer through the New Mexico Bar Association’s website where you can search for lawyers in the Roswell area.

Choose a personal injury attorney who has the experience and skill needed to handle your case, and a track record of success in pursing personal injury claims. Zinda Law Group’s personal injury lawyers have experience with personal injury claims involving bus accidents and an outstanding record of success in handling matters like these for our clients.

New Mexico Statute of Limitations

If you wish to pursue a personal injury claim against a bus driver, contact an injury attorney right away, for there are time constraints, such as statutes of limitations, involved in civil cases that determine how long you will have to file your claim. In New Mexico, the statute of limitations for a personal injury case involving a bus-related accident is three years. This means that you would have three years from the date of your accident to file a claim.

If you attempt to file your claim beyond that three-year limit, your claim is barred. This means that it is not allowed and will be dismissed.

If you lose a loved one in a bus accident in New Mexico, there is a three-year statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim that begins to run on the day of your loved one’s death. You will have three years from that point to file a claim, and if you fail to do so it is barred. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to help you determine when you will need to file, and if you are subject to any of the exceptions that exist to “toll” or delay the statute of limitations.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE for my accident injuries?

To find someone liable for the accident, it must be proven that that person was negligent. The bus driver or another driver, pedestrian, or even a passenger on the bus can all be found at-fault and liable for the accident. They can thus be held responsible for your injuries in a civil court if the four elements of a negligence claim are met: duty, breach of that duty, causation, and damages.

The Four Elements of a Negligence Case

1. The Duty Owed to Others

First, a lawyer must prove that the at-fault party owed you a duty, which is typically to act as a reasonably prudent person would under circumstances similar to those under which your accident occurred.

2. A Breach of That Duty

Next, a lawyer must show that the at-fault party breached that duty by acting in a way which caused the accident.

3. Causation of Injury

From there, a lawyer must show that, but-for the actions of the at-fault party, your injuries would not have occurred.

4. Proof of Damages

Damages are proved by showing you suffered an injury, whether physical or financial (such as damage to your car or other personal property), from the accident.

If all these elements are met, the bus driver, other motorist, pedestrian, or passenger will be held liable for your injuries. With the aid of a good attorney, you may recover the monetary costs of the accident from them.

Negligence Per Se

Typically, the first two elements (duty and breach) can be proven by showing the driver violated a law which was meant to protect a class of persons which you belong to. This theory is called negligence per se. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to identify if there are any laws that the driver may have violated that would prove duty and breach via a negligence per se theory.

The bus company or the public transit agency that employs the operator is also responsible for the actions of the driver behind the wheel, as bus drivers are agents of their employers. You may be able to hold the driver’s employer liable for the accident through vicarious liability. Further, if the accident was caused by dangerous roadway conditions, the state or local government may be held liable to a limited extent for the danger the roadway posed.

WHAT YOU CAN RECOVER from a bus accident case

You may be able to recover the costs associated with your injury and recovery through a personal injury claim. The severity of the injury and the amount of time it takes you to recover physically directly affect the amount of financial recovery for a personal injury action.

Your injury may leave you unable to work or perform daily tasks, and you might require ongoing medical care and extensive rehabilitative therapy. If so, you may be able to recover the costs in the form of compensatory damages. An experienced personal injury lawyer can assist you in recovering the maximum compensation you are entitled to.

Recoverable damages include both economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are the actual, monetary costs of your injury. Noneconomic damages cover the mental and emotional toll the injury has taken on your life and are recovered in the form of compensation for pain and suffering.

The following are common economic and noneconomic damages you may be entitled to recover:

1. Medical Bills

You may be able to recover the cost of medical bills you have paid out of pocket since the accident. This includes doctor’s visits, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and medication. You may also be able to recover the costs of any future appointments, medication, or treatments necessary for your recovery.

2. Lost Wages

If you are out of work due to your injury, you may recover what you would have earned from the time of the accident until you can return to work, as a part of your economic damages.

3. Diminished Earning Capacity

In addition to lost wages, you may be able to recover loss of earning capacity. If your injuries from the bus accident prevent you from going back to your job or working at another job for similar compensation, you may be able to recover the difference between what you were earning before the accident and what you are earning now.

4. Wrongful Death

If you lost a loved one in a bus accident, you may be able to recover any costs for their medical care or funeral expenses through a wrongful death claim against the responsible party.

5. Mental Anguish

Your non-economic damages include compensation for pain and suffering that result from the accident. Any kind of bus accident takes emotional and mental tolls on a person and their family, and being a passenger and having no control over the circumstances of the accident can exacerbate this suffering. You may be able to recover for this mental anguish itself, and the cost of mental health treatment that may stem from the accident.

How Zinda LAW GROUP Can HELP

No one should have to deal with the financial and emotional costs of suffering an injury after a bus accident all on their own. It is important to get as much help and support as you can immediately following your or your loved one’s injury.

Our Roswell bus accident lawyers at Zinda Law Group can assist you with recovering the costs associated with your or your loved one’s injury and recovery. We are experienced personal injury lawyers who will guide you through the often-complex legal system to help file your claim and ensure you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to. We will take care of the legal work so you can focus on yourself and your family during this time of recovery.

If we do not win your case, you will not pay any fees. This is our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.

If you or a loved one has suffered from an injury after a bus accident in Roswell, NM, call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312. Ask to schedule your first, free consultation with one of our  Roswell bus accident lawyers near you.

Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.