Buses in Lafayette provide an economical and efficient way for many people to travel. Buses are a popular means of transportation, whether they are city buses or charter buses. Sadly, due to their size and weight, they are susceptible to accidents that could severely injure the passengers as well as others. In either case, injured individuals may have the right to seek compensation for their injuries.
A Lafayette bus accident lawyer could help people who were injured in a bus accident understand their rights under the law. An attorney could investigate the facts that led to the incident, identify the proper defendant, and present your case to the appropriate parties. Contact a well-practiced personal injury lawyer for help seeking a fair compensation for your situation.
Legal Duty of Buses
Buses have the same legal obligations as all other vehicles on the road and have a duty to protect all other people they may encounter when driving. This could include other motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. If an individual is injured in a collision with a bus and could prove that the bus driver breached this duty and caused them to suffer an injury, they may be able to demand compensation. A Lafayette bus accident attorney could represent those who are injured due to the actions of a bus driver, regardless of the circumstances of their situation.
For a free legal consultation with a bus accident lawyer serving Lafayette, call (337) 223-9925
Choosing the Proper Defendant
In some injury cases, the defendant may be easy to identify. In a car accident case, the driver of the at-fault vehicle may usually be the defendant. The claim may move through an insurance company, but the driver is still the named defendant. However, bus accident cases could get more complicated.
Plaintiffs in these cases may need to identify the operating agency that owns the bus. This may determine the defendant in the claim and the rules that govern the case. If the bus is run by a private company, the case may be fairly simple. The driver is an employee of that company and the company generally shares liability for all injuries caused by any of its employees. Plaintiffs in these cases may be likely to deal with a private insurance company in their settlement negotiations and lawsuits.
Things might become more complicated when the bus is operated by a city or parish. Traditionally, government agencies and their employees were exempt from personal injury lawsuits by the legal doctrine of sovereign immunity. However, in the interest of fairness, most government entities now follow laws allowing aggrieved citizens to file lawsuits.
Specifically, Louisiana passed the Louisiana Governmental Claims Act, which allows any injured person in Lafayette to file a lawsuit claiming that the government or one of its employees was responsible for their injuries. This type of claim is similar to a lawsuit against a private company but contains key differences in venue choice, recovery limits, and rights to jury trials. A Lafayette bus accident lawyer could help individuals to identify the proper defendant and hold them accountable in their case.
Lafayette Bus Accident Lawyer Near Me (337) 223-9925
Iberia Parish Bus Accident Lawyer
Damages in a Public Transportation Crash
In a personal injury claim, victims may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include compensation for medical expenses, costs of medical equipment, and loss of income. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering and emotional distress.
The severity of the injury is an important consideration in a damages analysis. For example, victims may be able to recover damages for both past and future medical expenses and lost earnings, which can make a significant difference in the total value of a case. For this reason, it may be helpful to have a bus crash lawyer in New Iberia identify all of the victim’s losses and consult medical experts as needed for estimates regarding future damages.
In order to preserve the right to recover damages, an injured party must comply with the statute of limitations, or prescriptive period. In Louisiana, the prescriptive period gives injured parties only one year to file a lawsuit based on their injuries. Failure to file the lawsuit within the allotted timeframe may mean that an individual faces dismissal of their claim and the loss of their right to recover damages.
Comparative Negligence in Iberia Parish
Although passengers on a bus may be blameless, other drivers who are involved in a collision might share fault in the accident. Arguments of comparative fault are common in personal injury cases, but a bus crash lawyer in Iberia Parish may be able to help victims refute them.
If a bus driver or company faces liability due to their failure to exercise reasonable care, they might attempt to argue that the victim contributed to their own injuries. In Louisiana, a comparative fault argument could reduce the injury victim’s recovery in proportion to their share of fault. For example, if the bus accident victim was five percent responsible for the crash, they could only recover 95 percent of their damages.
How a Lafayette Bus Accident Attorney Could Help
Buses are large, unwieldy vehicles that are prone to accidents. These accidents could have devastating consequences for drivers of smaller cars, and when they do, these drivers might have the right to sue the bus company for damages. In addition, the passengers on the bus may also be protected under Louisiana law. If the bus driver is at fault, they may be responsible for all the people they injured.
Since bus accidents could be some of the most complex personal injury cases, a claimant may need to hire a Lafayette bus accident lawyer to help them sort through the legal issues that govern bus accident personal injury cases. Depending on who owns the bus, the procedure and court processes might change dramatically. Attorneys are dedicated to pursuing a fair compensation on your behalf, so call today to learn more about your legal rights.