Atlanta roadways are a hustle and bustle of bikes, pedestrians, cars, trucks and buses all en route to destinations near and far. Heavy congestion, inattentive drivers and rushing motorists lead to auto accidents, which are an unfortunately common occurrence on Atlanta roadways.
Car accidents are never a sight you wish to see or an event you want to experience, especially when a school bus or public transportation services are involved. Accidents, where buses are concerned, can have dangerous consequences for drivers and passengers in the commuter vehicle and in the bus.
Many Atlanta residents find themselves surrounded by public transportation every single day. While chances that they’d get into a bus-related accident might be low, it’s important to know how personal injury claims and compensation would be handled — especially if you are a passenger on the affected bus.
What Should You Do After Getting into a Bus Accident?
If you’ve been injured in a bus-related accident, you may be eligible to claim compensation. There are a few steps you should take after getting into an accident to ensure you have what you need to file a claim.
- Ensure the safety of all involved and call 911 (the police will need to file a report)
- Take pictures with your phone to document the scene
- Exchange information with all parties (this will come in handy for filing claim documents later)
- Move to a safe location to avoid further accidents or injuries
- Seek medical attention to assess potential injuries
- Hire a bus accident attorney in Atlanta
Why Don’t Buses Have Seat Belts?
We are required to wear a seat belt while driving or riding in almost every other form of transportation. So, why aren’t there seatbelts on public buses or school buses? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) does not require seat belts on buses over 10,000 pounds, but Federal law does require seat belts on lighter buses.
There are eight states that now require seat belts on school buses. They are Arkansas, California, Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Texas.
In school buses, children are protected by “compartmentalization,” what are essentially small soft pods made up of seats that cushion passengers during impacts. The cost of installing seat belts on public busses is too high based on the relatively low risk faced by passengers for not having them.
Who Is at Fault in an Atlanta Bus Accident?
Passengers on school buses and public transport may have a difficult time determining who is liable after an accident. It’s important to have documented proof, relevant medical records or bills, and an Atlanta lawyer on your side. There are multiple potential parties that may have or share blame for a bus crash:
- The bus driver could be guilty of negligence if they fall asleep at the wheel or are under the influence. If proven guilty, the bus driver could be partially responsible (along with their employer) for the compensation of affected passengers or parties.
- The bus driver’s employer or the bus company could be at fault if the bus was poorly maintained or didn’t meet safety standards. In Atlanta, where public transportation is operated by MARTA, you may need a lawyer to look into their operations.
- The bus manufacturer could be held accountable if there was enough evidence to prove defective parts or malfunction. Your attorney may be able to locate expert witnesses to testify to defective components in a bus.
- The car or truck driver may also be responsible for the accident and could be liable for injuries of bus passengers.
Types of Compensation Available After a Bus Accident
Depending on who is at fault in a bus accident, you may qualify for compensation. The compensation type can vary depending on the damages you suffered and the specifics of the accident.
Generally, Atlanta bus accident victims may be able to claim compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
How Can an Atlanta Bus Accident Attorney Help?
Our attorneys at the Dressie Law Firm are committed to fighting for people who have suffered injuries in accidents they didn’t cause. If you’ve been injured in an Atlanta bus accident, our team can help you take appropriate action against the liable party.
Learn how we can work together to get you the compensation you deserve by contacting our Atlanta office at (678) 909-1639 for a free case evaluation.