Contact the Phoenix bus accident lawyers at Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A. if you or a loved one has been in an Arizona bus accident. You may qualify for compensation as an injured passenger, driver, motorcyclist, cyclist, or pedestrian.
Why Do You Need a Bus Accident Lawyer?
An experienced Phoenix personal injury lawyer from our law firm has the information, resources, and skill to go up against the government or a bus company in pursuit of maximum compensation for victims’ damages. An experienced Phoenix bus accident lawyer can skillfully take over settlement arbitration with a defendant’s insurance company. He or she as well as take your case to court if that’s what’s necessary for fair recovery.
Find out if you have a civil claim by contacting Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A. Schedule your free consultation over the phone at (602) 254-6071.
What are the Common Causes of Bus Accidents?
Determining the cause of your bus accident is one of the first steps toward obtaining compensation for your injuries and losses. You may need a bus accident lawyer with experience to help you determine who or what caused your crash. Your lawyer can then help you go up against the liable party.
- Bus driver error. A poorly trained, distracted, drowsy, negligent, reckless, speeding or drunk bus driver could cause a catastrophic bus accident.
- Third-party driver error. Another driver on the road with the bus may also cause the collision through an act of negligence or carelessness.
- Poor bus maintenance. It is the bus company’s duty to regularly maintain its fleet. Inadequate vehicle maintenance could lead to breakdowns and accidents.
- Roadway defect. A pothole in the road, uneven road surface, dangerous construction zone or broken traffic light could contribute to a bus crash.
Human error is behind most Phoenix bus accidents. If everyone involved in the bus’s maintenance and operation fulfilled their duties, they would prevent most collisions and injuries. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Bringing a claim against an individual or company after a bus crash may take help from a bus accident attorney at Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A.
Who Is Liable in a Bus Accident?
Buses are common carriers that transport passengers as a service. As common carries, buses and their owners/companies must abide by stricter safety rules and regulations than standard passenger vehicles. Common carrier laws exist to regulate the industry and protect everyone on the roadway. Breaking a federal or state bus-related law, resulting in a preventable car accident, is negligence on the part of the bus company. Defendants that could be liable for a Phoenix bus crash include:
The Bus Company
A privately-owned bus company or school could face liability if a driver is at fault for a bus accident. Bus companies and private schools are vicariously responsible for crashes their drivers or other employees cause, as long as the employee was on duty at the time.
State or local government agencies, including school districts, could be liable for accidents involving public school or city buses. It is possible to file a claim regarding a city-owned bus. A city-owned bus that injures others from driver negligence, poor bus maintenance, or dangerous practices is eligible for a claim. These public transportation accidents lawsuits have stricter deadlines for filing, however.
A third party such as another vehicle driver, rental company or product manufacturer could be liable for your accident depending on the circumstances of the case. Talk to a bus accident lawyer in Phoenix to find out if your claim involves product liability or more than one defendant. Multiple defendants can mean a higher likelihood of receiving compensation.
The party or parties that will be liable for your damages as a bus accident victim depend upon who caused or greatly contributed to your injuries. Federal and state laws may play a role in who is legally responsible for the crash and options for recovery. A discussion with a bus accident attorney can help you get a clearer picture of your legal future.
What Damages Can You Recover After a Bus Accident?
Arizona civil justice laws make it possible for injured accident victims to seek financial recovery for economic and non-economic damages after a harmful bus crash. Economic damages describe those with quantifiable, financial values, such as the cost of medical care, missed wages, and property damages. Non-economic losses are more difficult to value. Their difficulty lies in that they refer to intangible harms such as emotional distress, mental anguish, and psychological trauma.
Most courts will multiply the price of economic damages by a number from one to five (representing the severity of the injuries) to come up with non-economic damage amounts. You might also qualify for additional punitive damages if the bus driver or company intended to cause harm or was particularly wanton in its disregard for the safety of others. As a result, the court might award punitive damages as a way to punish the defendant.
If you lost a loved one in a bus accident, you may be able to receive compensation through a wrongful death claim. Speak with a wrongful death lawyer in Phoenix at our law firm to learn more about your legal options.
Do I Have a Bus Accident Case?
Most bus accidents will give passengers the right to file personal injury lawsuits. Since they did not cause the crash, injured passengers may be eligible for financial recovery from the bus company or another party. To have a valid claim, however, you must have proof of certain elements.
The first is duty of care. The bus company or defendant must have owed you a duty of care before your accident, such as a duty to keep you safe. The second is a breach of duty. You must have proof that the defendant failed to fulfill its duty of care to you, and that this is what caused your injuries. The third is damages. You need evidence of compensable damages, such as medical bills or lost wage pay stubs, for a valid claim.
Types of Buses in Arizona
There are different types of buses and group transportation vehicles used for a variety of reasons in Arizona. If you have been a victim in a collision involving any of the following types of buses, call our bus accident lawyers to explore your legal options:
- Charter bus
- City transit bus
- Greyhound bus
- Public bus
- Public school bus
- Private bus
- Private school bus
- Tour bus
Steps to Take After a Bus Crash
Do everything you can to protect your rights after a bus accident in Phoenix. Do not admit fault for the accident in any way, even if you are afraid you caused the crash. Stay calm and call 911 to request the police at the scene. Stay where you are if you think you have injuries. Twisting or moving the wrong way could make them worse. While you wait for the paramedics to arrive, collect information about the bus accident.
- The bus driver’s name
- The bus number
- The bus’s license plate numbers
- Names and contact information of eyewitnesses and other bus passengers
- Date, time and location of the bus accident
- Photographs of the scene and your injuries
- Police report number
- A description of how you think the bus crash occurred
Go to the hospital as soon as you can after a bus crash. Insurance companies want to see that you took your physical health seriously after an accident. Request a copy of your medical documents from the health care center.
When you are ready to report the wreck to an insurance company, call a bus crash lawyer first. It can be difficult to understand who is liable for a bus accident. Filing a claim with the wrong insurance company could delay your payout. A lawyer from Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A. can help you work through your claim.
Bus Accident Statistics
Accidents involving buses are inherently more dangerous than car accidents. Bus accidents involve dozens of passengers, larger and heavier vehicles, lack of seatbelts, and other elements that add to more serious personal injuries. In 2016, Arizona recorded 1,118 bus accidents (228 school buses and 890 commercial/noncommercial buses). Nine buses were involved in fatal accidents and 245 in injury crashes.
Contact Us Today
Do not hesitate to contact us after a bus accident in Phoenix, Arizona. Our accident lawyers in Phoenix have years of experience handling all types of bus accident claims. We may be able to help you obtain fair recovery from the responsible bus company or another party. Call (602) 254-6071 today for a free consultation.