Many Greenwood residents rely on buses to carry out their daily business. Whether riding an Access Johnson County or IndyGo mass transit bus or taking a charter or school bus, bus travel can be a convenient means of transportation in the Greenwood area – but it can sometimes be a dangerous one. An average of 13 bus passengers are killed in the United States every year, while many more are injured in the thousands of bus accidents that occur.
Victims of Indiana bus accidents may be eligible to seek compensation from the liable parties, but a favorable outcome is never a sure thing, especially when aggressive insurance companies or rigid government bureaucracies are involved.
To increase your chances of success, turn to the Greenwood bus accident attorneys at Hensley Legal Group, who have been fighting for the everyday people of Indiana for more than a quarter century.
To schedule a free case review with a Greenwood bus accident lawyer, call us at (317) 472-3333, chat with us online, or complete our contact form.
Who Is at Fault in a Bus Accident?
Bus accident cases can be more challenging than other types of claims because of the number of parties that may be involved.
In a single-vehicle bus accident, the bus driver is most likely at fault, but when another vehicle is involved, either driver could be blamed.
Sometimes a party that is not present at the crash could be liable. For example, if a bus accident is brought on by a vehicle malfunction resulting from poor servicing or a defective part, an outside servicing agent or part manufacturer may be culpable. Similarly, a public works department or construction crew could be at least partially responsible if poor road conditions contributed to the accident. In certain instances, multiple parties at the same time could share different degrees of blame for which they could have different degrees of financial exposure.
It is vital to locate and pursue everyone who may be at fault for a Greenwood bus accident within the time allotted by law, known as the Statute of Limitations. For most bus accidents in Indiana, the Statute is two years, though the window can be shorter when government entities are involved. Failing to file suit or resolve your claim before the Statute expires could prevent you from obtaining full compensation.
Our Greenwood bus accident attorneys have the attention to detail needed to meet all the deadlines and requirements for establishing a valid claim.
Common Causes of Greenwood Bus Accidents
A bus accident could occur for a variety of reasons. Common causes of bus accidents in the Greenwood area may include:
- Exceeding a safe speed – Speeding is the leading factor in traffic accidents, resulting in about 15,000 collisions in Indiana each year. The faster drivers go, the less time they have to respond and the more time they need to stop, all of which can make crashes more likely to happen and more destructive when they do.
- Distracted driving – Distraction is the second most frequent cause of collisions, with cellphone use being a major drain on driver attention. Though Indiana’s Hands-Free Law makes it illegal to hold a mobile device while driving, cellphones contribute to at least 12 percent of distraction accidents in the state.
- Passenger-related distraction – Approximately 3.55 percent of crashes are believed to be caused by driver interactions with passengers, which may play a larger role in bus accidents given the number of passengers being transported.
- Driver fatigue – Drowsy driving is a nationwide epidemic, causing as many as 100,000 accidents, 50,000 injuries, and 800 deaths annually. Bus operators spend more than eight times as many hours behind the wheel as the average driver, so they may be more susceptible to fatigue.
- Drunk driving – While bus drivers are statistically unlikely to be intoxicated, the same may not be true of anyone else on the road. Drunk driving remains a significant problem in Indiana, where law enforcement officers make an average of one DUI arrest every 11.98 hours.
- Insufficient training – Extensive training is required before someone can be licensed to operate a bus. When that training proves insufficient, a bus driver may be unable to control such a complex vehicle without incident.
- Improper interactions with buses – Even the best trained bus driver may run into trouble when other drivers do not know how to interact with buses in traffic, resulting in otherwise avoidable accidents such as rear-end collisions at scheduled stops.
- Inadequate bus maintenance – Because mass transit buses rack up nearly four times the yearly mileage of the average car or truck, they are at risk of a serious malfunction if they do not receive adequate maintenance.
Hensley’s bus accident lawyers will analyze the circumstances leading up to your collision and determine the best course of action.
What Should You Do After a Bus Accident?
A bus accident can be jarring, but there are steps you should remember to take to protect yourself, including:
- Call 911 – If the bus driver fails to alert the authorities following an accident, dial 911 to make sure that police and emergency personnel will be present.
- Seek treatment – Any delays in medical treatment could hinder your recovery and allow doubt to be cast on the causal relationship between the bus accident and your injuries.
- Obtain witness information – Try to get the names and numbers of everyone who witnessed the bus accident and encourage them to talk to the police, since their accounts could be beneficial to your case.
- Take pictures and videos – A visual record of the scene can help identify the causes of a crash and the parties responsible for it, so shoot pictures and videos with your phone when you have the opportunity.
- Avoid the insurance company – Insurance company representatives may reach out to you, but avoid them if you can. The simplest comment can be used against you, especially when you do not understand your legal rights.
- Speak with an attorney – To learn more about your rights, speak with an attorney who can answer your questions and explain what to expect if you initiate a claim.
What Our Bus Accident Attorneys Will Do for You
Your bus accident may have been over in a flash, but the injuries you suffered and the bills you have no idea how to pay won’t let you forget it. It can be difficult to know what to do next, especially when it feels like one false move will put your family on the road to disaster.
You need attorneys with the compassion to support you through your struggles and the skill to overcome them. You need the Greenwood bus accident attorneys at Hensley Legal Group, who are committed to making sure that the average Hoosier enjoys the same access to justice as the rich and powerful.
If you choose to retain our firm, we will launch a comprehensive investigation to uncover everyone who may be liable for your bus accident within the time permitted by law. We will also take action to secure the evidence needed for your claim, including:
- Police reports
- Citations and dispositions
- Eyewitness accounts
- Traffic light, dash cam, and surveillance footage
- Black box data
- Phone records
- Bus maintenance logs
- Accident reconstruction and forensic analysis
After we put together the strongest possible case against the at-fault parties, our Greenwood personal injury lawyers will attempt to negotiate a settlement that reflects the totality of your losses, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Psychological and emotional harm
- Diminished enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages
And if you do not receive an offer that is worthy of your case, we are more than willing to go to trial to obtain a verdict that is, unlike many of our competitors, who rarely, if ever, see the inside of a courtroom.
You Won’t Pay Unless We Win
You might be worried about spending more money at this moment, so you may be pleased to learn that our firm works on a contingency basis. You will not pay anything unless our Greenwood bus accident attorneys win your case.
What should have been a short bus trip may now feel like it will never end. Let Hensley shoulder all of the burdens necessary to bring your journey to a satisfying conclusion.
Contact a Greenwood Bus Accident Lawyer Today
Hensley Legal Group built its practice on defending the innocent victims of negligence. If you have been injured through no fault of your own, our Greenwood bus accident lawyers are ready to discuss your legal options.
Call (317) 472-3333, chat with us online, or fill out our contact form for a no-cost consultation with a knowledgeable bus accident attorney today.
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