The mass transit METRO bus system in Houston serves over 26.5 million riders each year. In addition to public buses, the city’s streets see charter buses, over 1000 school buses, passenger vans, private shuttles, and more. While bus accidents are less common than car accidents, with drivers and passengers of cars being three times more likely to be injured when compared with bus riders, bus accidents still do occur and cause serious injuries.
If you’re injured in a bus accident, you’re also facing a different and more complex claims process than many other forms of motor vehicle accidents. With a bus accident, there are likely to be multiple injured parties and multiple liable parties.
Some of the defendants may even be school districts or government agencies with liability protection and certain immunities, which is why you need an experienced Houston bus accident lawyer by your side. A Houston bus accident attorney can tell you whether you have a lawsuit, how much your injuries may be worth, and what laws could impact your case. Your attorney can also take care of the details of your claim for you.
Bus accidents can be life-altering events. You may be in many types of motor vehicle accidents, including a car accident, 18-wheeler accident, commercial truck accident, or a bus accident, but bus accidents have some unique characteristics. Since buses usually contain multiple people and since many buses do not have safety features such as seatbelts or airbags for passengers, in a crash it is likely that people will collide as they lose their footing. This can cause serious injuries, including:
Whether you have been injured in a school bus accident, passenger van, shuttle bus, or any vehicle, the large size of buses means injuries and losses may be catastrophic and expensive. You may be paying not just immediately after your collision but for months into the future and your expenses may include:
If you have lost a family member in a bus accident, you may have additional expenses as well. You may need to pay for funeral or memorial expenses, final medical bills, and other costs. If your family member contributed to your household income, you may need to replace their lost wages somehow. A wrongful death claim may be able to help you seek financial recovery to address these expenses.
Whether you have suffered injuries yourself or have lost a loved one in a bus accident, it’s important to consult with an experienced bus accident lawyer in Houston. An experienced bus accident Houston lawyer that has worked on cases similar to yours and knows the incidental costs, medical costs, and other expenses common after such a collision. He or she can calculate current and future expenses so you may pursue fair compensation for all your losses.
If your injuries were caused by negligence, you may have a lawsuit against the liable parties. In a bus accident, there may in fact be multiple liable parties. If you were injured in a METRO bus accident, for example, you may have a claim against the driver and any car driver who may have caused the accident. Under “vicarious liability” laws, you can file a lawsuit against METRO for the actions of their employee. No matter who the liable parties are, you may be able to seek financial recovery for:
It may be important to work with a Houston bus accident lawyer to seek the best possible financial recovery in your case. Without compensation, you could be left to pay the many expenses out of pocket.
However, in a bus accident, it often requires considerable legal acumen to get a fair recovery. Section 101.023 of the Civil Practices and Remedies Code, for example, limits lawsuits against government entities, which may affect your case if your accident involves a public transit bus operated by the city.
According to the code, “Liability of a municipality under this chapter is limited to money damages in a maximum amount of $250,000 for each person and $500,000 for every single occurrence for bodily injury or death and $100,000 for every single occurrence for injury to or destruction of property.” Given that the expected lifetime costs for a traumatic brain injury can be an average of $85,000-$3 million and the average cost of an amputation is $509,275, the liability limits may make it a challenge to get the recovery you need to pay for care after a serious injury.
An experienced Houston bus accident attorney understands the liability protections for different entities but also the options for pursuing financial recovery. Your attorney may seek all liable parties, negotiate, build a strong case, and pursue every viable option for recovery for you. This can make a dramatic difference. It may mean the difference between worrying about the bills and having money to pay for quality medical care and support when you need it.
The process of seeking financial recovery begins at the bus accident scene. You will want to seek emergency medical care if you need it and even if you don’t seem seriously injured, you will want to get a full evaluation by a doctor soon after the accident to rule out any injury.
If you can, take photos at the scene, get the contact information of any possible witnesses, and write down as many details as you can remember. It’s not unusual for someone from the bus company or the insurance company to arrive at the scene, but before you speak with anyone, you may wish to consult with a bus accident lawyer in Houston. Unlike the representatives of the transit company or tour operator, an attorney is bound to represent your best interests. If you decide to work with your attorney to file a lawsuit, your attorney will:
While you are not required to have a bus accident Houston lawyer to represent you, bus accident cases are complex and time-consuming, so having someone with experience in these claims may make a difference. Working with an attorney also frees you to attend doctors’ appointments to take care of healing after your injuries.
If you’ve been injured and are looking for a bus accident attorney Houston has many options, but there’s a reason why our clients recommend Johnson Garcia. We have recovered $100 million for injured people in Texas and we have dedicated ourselves to offering compassionate and competent legal representation. Our goal is to help you pursue the financial recovery for which you may be eligible.
Johnson Garcia has a bilingual staff and 24/7 support to better serve you. We also offer contingency billing and Saturday and evening meeting times. Our more than 30 years of combined experience and record of results speak to our commitment to making a difference for those who have been injured. Contact us today for a free consultation if you have been injured in a bus accident.