Augusta Transit System Accident Lawyer

When you use public transportation, you do not expect an accident to occur, leaving you severely injured. If the unthinkable happens to you, our lawyers can assist you as you seek compensation in Augusta.

If you want to file a claim against the Augusta Transit System for a recent bus accident, you must first understand whether or not sovereign immunity is waived. Generally, county and government agencies can be liable for accidents caused by government workers while operating within the scope of their employment. If you have a claim, you must file it against Richmond County within one year of the accident, or you could be barred from recovery. Additionally, there are damage caps for accidents involving government vehicles in Augusta, which could factor into your case.

Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras for a free case review from our Augusta Transit System accident lawyers at (410) 694-7291.

What to Know About Recovering Compensation Following an Augusta Transit System Accident

Georgia only waives sovereign immunity from civil litigation for state and local government agencies in certain instances. That said, if you were hurt while riding an Augusta Transit System bus, you could have a claim. Since the Augusta Transit System is a government-operated public transportation system, your claim might be against Richmond County.

Understanding Sovereign Immunity

Sovereign immunity is the idea that a state or government cannot be used. According to O.C.G.A. § 50-21-23, Georgia waives sovereign immunity for lawsuits arising out of certain negligent government-employee acts. Furthermore, the government employee must have acted within the scope of their employment for the government entity to be liable for a victim’s damages.

Notably, local government employees are shielded from litigation for motor vehicle accidents, like bus accidents, unless they were not acting within the scope of their employment or other exceptions apply, according to O.C.G.A. § 36-92-3(a).

Learning the Shortened Filing Deadline

If you intend to pursue a compensation claim following an Augusta Transit System accident, you will do so against Richmond County. According to O.C.G.A. § 36-11-1, you have to file the claim within one year of the accident, despite the statute of limitations for most injury claims being two years in Georgia. You can continue with a trial if you cannot settle your claim with Richmond County for a bus accident out of court.

Our lawyers will prepare your complaint and make sure it contains the necessary information about the crash, your injuries, and your damages to initiate your claim in Augusta.

Maximum Waiver Amounts for Bus Accidents

Notably, sovereign immunity for bus and other motor vehicle accident claims is waived up to certain damage limits. According to O.C.G.A. § 36-92-2(a)(3), the maximum compensation for bus accidents is $500,000 for the injury or death of one victim, $700,000 for the injury or death of more than one victim, and $50,000 for property damage. In certain situations, compensation can increase for bus accident victims, such as if the government agency agrees to settle at a higher amount or has a liability insurance policy with higher payouts.

While keeping these damage caps in mind, our lawyers can track your losses from the accident and organize proof of your damages so you can recover the most compensation possible in your case.

Reporting Augusta Transit System Bus Accidents

You should report any accident involving an Augusta Transit System bus to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, as required by O.C.G.A. § 40-6-273. Reportable accidents include those that result in bodily injury, death, or more than $500 in property damage.

Although your future claim might be against a government agency, you should still call the police to report the accident. Law enforcement can process the scene by photographing evidence, talking to involved parties, and speaking with eyewitnesses. Our Augusta Transit System accident lawyers can obtain this report within several days of the accident and review it for accuracy and additional information.

Police reports might be admitted as evidence under an exception to the hearsay rule for public records, according to O.C.G.A. § 24-8-803(8). Regardless, reporting the accident to law enforcement can let you document the incident and result in a report our lawyers can refer to throughout your case.

If you are required by law to report the accident, do not wait for anyone else to do so, like the bus driver, other victims, or eyewitnesses.

Preparing Your Bus Accident Case Against the Augusta Transit System

To prepare your lawsuit for success, our attorneys will investigate the bus accident, examine the government agency’s negligence, and gather evidence to help you win your claim.

Much of the preparation for claims against local governments is done soon after an incident. Immediately afterward, victims can photograph their injuries and the cause of those injuries. For example, if you were hurt as an Augusta Transit System bus passenger, you should photograph your immediate injuries and position on the bus. If you are severely injured, do not try to leave the bus without help from emergency response personnel, as your injuries could get worse if you do.

If the bus hit your car while driving, photograph the property damage to your vehicle and any debris on the road.

Try to talk to anyone who witnessed the accident, including other victims. You do not have to discuss the accident in detail with them. Ask for their names and contact information, and our lawyers will reach out to interview them in the future.

Our lawyers will prepare your case as soon as possible so that you can file a claim with Richmond County for an Augusta Transit System bus accident before the one-year deadline. Because of the shortened deadline for these types of claims, urgency is paramount after an accident.

Call Our Accident and Injury Lawyers in Augusta

Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 for a free case review from our Augusta Transit System accident lawyers.