The most populous city in Southern Indiana, Evansville is a major economic and cultural center in the greater tri-state area. To meet their daily professional and personal commuting needs, many of the city’s residents rely on the bus services provided by the Metropolitan Evansville Transit System, with additional support from charter and school buses. Bus travel can be convenient, but it is not without risk. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that there are an average of 183 bus accidents in the United States each day, many of them resulting in serious injury.
Indiana law permits victims of bus accidents to recover compensation from the ones responsible, but a successful outcome is not automatic. To overcome the obstacles you may encounter if you have been injured in a bus accident, reach out to the dedicated Evansville bus accident lawyers at Hensley Legal Group.
Since 1998, Hensley has devoted its practice to fighting for the everyday people of Indiana. No matter how much you have or who you know, we will make sure that you enjoy equal access to justice.
For a free consultation with an Evansville bus accident attorney, call us at (317) 472-3333, chat with us online, or complete our contact form.
Why Do Bus Accidents Occur?
Some of the main causes of bus accidents include:
- Speeding – Traveling too fast is the most common factor in motor vehicle collisions, responsible for more than 15,000 Indiana auto accidents each year. Drivers who speed have less time to respond and take more time to stop, which can increase both the likelihood and severity of a crash.
- Distraction – Distracted driving is the second leading cause of traffic accidents, with cellphone use contributing to at least 12 percent of all distraction-related collisions in Indiana.
- Distraction caused by passengers – Given the large number of people riding in a bus at any given time, distracting behavior by passengers is much more likely to play a role in a bus accident than in a car or truck crash.
- Impaired driving – Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs continues to happen far too often, with Indiana law enforcement agencies making an average of one DUI arrest every 11.98 hours, and the consequences can be catastrophic. In 2020 alone, 124 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in Indiana, while 56 percent of drivers involved in accidents resulting in death or injury tested positive for at least one drug.
- Drowsy driving – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that as many as 100,000 auto accidents, 50,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in the United States each year are caused by drowsiness. Bus drivers are especially prone to experience fatigue because they spend more than eight times as many hours behind the wheel as the average motorist.
- Confusion about standard bus operations – Drivers who do not understand how buses act in traffic may cause otherwise avoidable accidents, such as rear-end collisions at designated bus stops.
- Inadequate training – Extensive training is required before someone can officially be certified to operate a bus. Any inadequacies in that training can negatively impact a bus driver’s ability to do the job without causing harm.
- Irregular bus maintenance – The average mass transit bus is driven more than 43,000 miles annually, almost four times the mileage of a car, truck, or van in a typical year. Without regular inspections and maintenance, a bus could suffer a dangerous malfunction that may put lives at risk.
Whatever the cause of your collision, our Evansville bus accident lawyers are here to discuss your next steps if you are considering legal action.
Who Is at Fault in a Bus Accident?
Any number of parties could be at fault in a bus accident, including the driver of the bus, the driver of another vehicle who collided with the bus, an outside manufacturer or servicing agent whose actions may have contributed to equipment malfunction, or someone else altogether.
It is essential to identify and pursue everyone who may be responsible for a bus accident within the time allotted by law, known as the Statute of Limitations. The Statute is two years for most bus accidents in Indiana, though it can be significantly shorter in cases against government entities. If you do not file a lawsuit or otherwise resolve your claim before the Statute elapses, you could be forever barred from obtaining full compensation.
Our highly meticulous Evansville bus accident attorneys will never fail to satisfy the deadlines and requirements needed to establish a valid claim.
What Should You Do After a Bus Accident?
To protect yourself and any future case you may have after a bus accident, you should always remember to:
- Dial 911 – While bus drivers are required to alert the authorities when accidents occur, be ready to call 911 on your own if this does not happen so that police and emergency personnel will arrive to document the event and treat the injured.
- Get medical care – Seek prompt medical attention from a trained professional, ideally from an emergency responder at the crash site. Any delays in care could limit your physical recovery and provide an opening for an insurance company to question the relevance and scope of your injuries.
- Get witness information – Eyewitnesses can provide invaluable support for your claim, so try to get the contact information of any bystanders and encourage them to give statements to the responding officers.
- Take pictures and videos – A visual record of the scene can help determine who and what caused a bus accident. Use your phone to take pictures and videos of your immediate surroundings when it is safe to do so.
- Avoid speaking with the insurance company – You may be surprised how quickly insurance company representatives will contact you after a bus accident, but try to avoid speaking with them. Even a seemingly harmless comment can be exploited to minimize the value of your case, especially if you are not fully aware of your legal rights.
- Consult an attorney – To learn more about your rights, consult a knowledgeable attorney who can answer your questions and explain what you can expect if you decide to pursue a claim.
What a Bus Accident Lawyer Can Do for You
A bus accident can happen in a matter of seconds, but its effects can last months or even years, potentially leaving you overwhelmed by medical bills and unable to earn a living. In the face of this newfound economic hardship, it can be tempting to accept that offer from the insurance company, but are there hidden conditions that could come back to haunt you?
At times like this, you need attorneys with the empathy to understand your struggles and the experience to ensure that nobody takes advantage of your relative inexperience. You need the Evansville bus accident lawyers at Hensley Legal Group, who have been standing up for the average Hoosier for more than 25 years. We won’t let the obstructive tactics of insurance carriers and defense attorneys prevent you from getting what you deserve.
If you decide to hire us, we will conduct a thorough investigation to uncover the cause of your bus accident and everyone who may be responsible for it within the time permitted by law. We will also secure all the evidence needed for your claim, including:
- Police reports
- Traffic citations and dispositions
- Witness statements
- Dash cam, traffic light, and surveillance footage
- Black box data
- Cellphone records
- Vehicle maintenance histories
After constructing an airtight case against all the liable parties, we will work to negotiate a settlement that takes the entirety of your losses into consideration, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Psychological and emotional trauma
- Punitive and wrongful death damages
And unlike many of our competitors, who rarely see the inside of a courtroom, we are more than willing to go to trial if we do not receive an offer that is worthy of your case.
We understand that you may be concerned about additional costs at this moment, so you may be pleased to know that our firm works on a contingency basis. You will not pay anything until our Evansville bus accident lawyers win your case.
You have enough to worry about simply trying to recover from your injuries. Let Hensley worry about recovering the compensation you need to do so.
Speaks with an Evansville Bus Accident Lawyer Today
No matter how unsteady the future seems right now, just know that the Evansville bus accidents lawyers at Hensley Legal Group will do everything possible to keep you and your family afloat.
Call (317) 472-3333, chat with us online, or fill out our contact form to schedule a case review with a seasoned bus accident attorney today.