All accidents are different. That being said, what happens when a school bus crashes may vary on a case-by-case basis. However, if you or someone you love was injured in a school bus crash, you may be entitled to receive compensation for any injuries or damages you incurred. Keep reading to find out how you can sue for the compensation you need.
Bus Accidents Can Be Serious
School buses are bigger and carry more passengers than the average motor vehicle. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, an empty car can weigh up to 5,000 pounds, while an empty school bus can weigh up to 14,500 pounds. This disparity may increase if the bus is at full capacity.
What does this mean for your accident? Colliding with a school bus versus a passenger vehicle could mean you might sustain more serious personal injuries and more extensive damage to your vehicle. You may have to deal with injuries, such as:
- Concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Back pain
- Damage to or loss of extremities
- Mental trauma
Injuries you sustain in a school bus accident might drain you physically and emotionally as you try to recover. It might also cost a lot of money to manage your injuries, get medical treatment, and pay for prescription medications. If you lost a loved one, funeral and burial or cremation costs may also be high.
You May Be Able to Seek Multiple Forms of Damages
Motor vehicle accidents, especially those involving larger vehicles like busses, can leave victims coping with many injuries and expenses. In efforts to have their damages covered, accident victims may sue for monetary compensation from the liable party or parties.
Compensation is often referred to as “damages.” Damages are typically divided into two categories. Noneconomic damages compensate you for physical and/or mental wounds, such as:
- Disfigurement: This damage applies to people whose injuries caused large or painful scars.
- Loss of quality of life: This damage applies to people who cannot live as freely or independently as they used to live before the accident.
- Pain and suffering: This damage applies to people who suffered in any way, either physically or emotionally.
- Loss of companionship: This damage applies to people who lost a loved one in the accident.
Economic damages compensate you for monetary losses or expenses incurred due to the crash. Examples typically include:
- Loss of wages: This damage applies to people whose injuries kept them home from work.
- Loss of employment: This damage applies to people who lost their job because of their accident injuries.
- Medical costs: These damages apply to people who need any type of professional treatment or care for their injuries.
- Funeral costs: These damages apply to people who had to pay for their loved one’s burial, funeral, and so on.
A Lawyer May Help You Build Your Bus Accident Case
According to the New York Estates, Powers, & Trusts Law (EPT) §5-4.1, accident victims generally have two years to file a lawsuit after a wrongful death from a bus accident. If you were injured in a bus accident, you generally have three years to file a personal injury lawsuit, per the New York Civil Practice Law & Rules (CVP) §214. To ensure you have a chance of getting compensation, talk to a law firm representative, and start your lawsuit as quickly as possible.
It is understandable if you do not feel up to handling a lawsuit at such a trying time. Instead of going at it alone, consider hiring legal representation to fight on your behalf. During your initial consultation, a law firm will tell you whether you have a case or not. From then on, your legal team can make themselves available to answer your questions and advise you about the next steps.
A lawyer can help with every aspect of the legal process, including:
- Finding all liable parties: Your lawyer’s investigation into your case might uncover factors that contributed to the crash, which might lead to discovering who might be liable for the accident.
- Calculating damages: Your lawyer can help you figure out what types of damages you qualify for and how much you may be entitled to collect.
- Negotiating for a settlement: In some cases, you can get compensation without having to go to trial. Your lawyer can meet with the insurance company on your behalf and fight hard for the compensation you demand.
- Representing you at trial: What if the insurance company does not want to negotiate? You might have the option of going to trial. Here, again, your lawyer can represent you, arguing before a jury on your behalf.
- Work on a contingency-fee-basis: Your financial situation does not have to be a barrier to getting legal representation. Find a lawyer who will work for a contingency fee—that is, who will not charge you any attorney’s fees unless you win your case.
If a school bus crashes, you might be left with serious injuries and extensive medical bills. You should not have to pay for someone else’s mistake or bad behavior. Let a lawyer from Morelli Law Firm help you understand your rights and fight for your compensation. Give us a call at (212) 751-9800 to get started.