Litigating Bus Accident Claims in Atlanta
Bus companies are held to a high legal standard to ensure their passengers’ safety. If a bus company fails to adequately protect its customers, injured riders can seek compensation for their injuries. Atlanta bus accident attorney Terrence R. Bethune has litigated countless personal injury cases against negligent defendants. If you have been injured in a bus accident, The Law Office of Terrence R. Bethune can help you seek the compensation that you deserve.
Thousands of People Are Injured in Bus Accidents Each Year
Bus safety has steadily improved in the last 20 years, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; however, there were still 24,000 people injured in U.S. bus accidents in 2008, the last year for which there are data. With the total number of registered buses increasing each year, it is inevitable that people will continue to be injured in bus accidents. Fortunately, those injured in bus accidents have a right to compensation.
Georgia Law Holds Bus Companies to a Higher Standard
A person injured in a bus accident can file a lawsuit to seek compensation for his injuries. Most such lawsuits allege negligence on the part of the bus company. To win, the plaintiff must prove:
- The bus company owed a duty to its passengers;
- The bus company breached the duty; and
- The plaintiff’s injuries were caused by the bus company’s actions.
Most defendants in negligence cases owe plaintiffs a duty of reasonable care. However, bus companies, by virtue of being a common carrier, owe their passengers a duty of extraordinary care. This duty requires the bus company to use extreme care and behave the same way a very thoughtful and prudent person would. It is therefore much easier for a bus company to breach its duty than ordinary negligence defendants. If a bus company breaches its duty and causes an accident that injures a passenger, the passenger can sue the bus company for damages.
Just as with truck accidents, people injured in a bus accident should seek the advice of an experienced attorney as soon as practicable after the accident. Litigating a bus accident case requires the preservation and use of important evidence, such as driver logs and other records that will be more difficult to obtain as time passes.
Injured Bus Passengers May Be Entitled to Damages
If an injured passenger brings a successful lawsuit against a bus company, the jury may award damages. Economic damages compensate the plaintiff for the more easily quantifiable costs of the accident, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Plaintiffs can also collect noneconomic damages to compensate them for pain and suffering, mental distress, or other less quantitative damages.
In some cases, plaintiffs may be able to seek punitive damages. An award of punitive damages requires the plaintiff to prove that the defendant acted with malice or a conscious indifference for the consequences of his actions.
Protect Your Rights by Hiring an Experienced Attorney
Bus companies must use extraordinary care to protect the safety of their passengers. Failing to exercise this care can expose the bus company to legal liability in the event of an accident. If you have been injured as a bus passenger, Atlanta bus accident lawyer Terrence R. Bethune can help you get the compensation to which you are legally entitled. Call (404) 875-7800 or visit our contact page to schedule a free case evaluation.