Greenville, SC Bus Accident Lawyer

Bus crashes where the bus is actually hit and the passengers are injured are quite rare.  However, it is much more common for a pedestrian or cyclist to be hit by a bus, or for a bus to hit another car, causing more harm to that driver than to anyone on the bus.

In any case, our lawyers help injured victims recover compensation from the responsible parties after a bus accident.  If you were hurt in a bus crash, we can fight for you and seek to have your damages paid in full, including lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering damages.

For a free review of your case, call the bus accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (803) 219-4906.

Getting Damages for Injured Bus Passengers in Greenville, SC

When you are hurt as a bus passenger, you can often file a claim against the at-fault party – with some restrictions.  However, the party that is actually at fault might not be the bus company.

If someone else hit the bus, then the passengers on the bus as well as the driver are all victims of that accident.  In these cases, claims for injuries would usually be filed directly against the driver who hit the bus.  However, their insurance might be state minimum and might cover only some damages for each person, given that the minimum insurance is $50,000 per accident for injuries.  This coverage gets divided among however many passengers were hurt.

In some cases, our bus accident attorneys might have to seek compensation from the bus company’s insurance, even if the other driver was at fault.  Bus companies often have coverage for their passengers that kicks in even when the other driver was at fault, especially if the bus company travels outside of the state and needs to follow federal insurance requirements.

You might also have some driver’s insurance that could cover you even if you were not driving, such as medpay benefits.

If the accident was the bus driver’s fault, then you would usually seek compensation for your injuries in the same way that other people injured outside the bus would: you would sue the bus driver and the company they work for.  When the bus company is a private company – like Greyhound – the claim can often be filed without restrictions.  When the bus company is a part of the government – like Greenlink – there might be restrictions on when you have to give notice of the claim and caps on how much you can recover.

Suing After Being Hit by a Bus in Greenville, SC

When the bus driver is at fault for your crash, there are some additional considerations that make your bus accident case a bit different from normal car accident cases.

First and foremost, the bus company should have additional insurance that covers more people, as the expectation is they could have a bus full of people get injured on their watch.  While normal driver’s insurance is usually only going to cover $50,000 in injuries per accident if the driver has state minimum insurance, bus companies should have higher insurance since they know they could get into a crash with a bus full of passengers who would need coverage.  This should also cover pedestrians, cyclists, and occupants in other cars that the bus might hit.

Second, unlike normal crashes where a single person is responsible, bus crashes often allow you to sue the bus company rather than just the driver.  This opens up the bus company’s money to help pay for the crash, whereas a lone bus driver might not be able to afford your damages.

However, we also run into some issues that could arise because the bus company is a public entity.  Suing the government is harder than suing a regular person or a private business and comes with notice requirements, damage caps, and other restrictions.  If you are suing a tour bus company or another private bus company like Greyhound, your claim should move forward as usual.  However, if your suit is against Greenlink or another public entity, our lawyers might need to adapt to this and take extra precautions in bringing your case.

Damages for Injured Bus Accident Victims in Greenville, SC

In most bus accident cases, your actual injuries might vary, but the areas of damages you can claim will be pretty consistent across cases.  Most injury claims involve at least some level of pain and suffering – damages paid to you directly for your injuries, mental anguish, emotional distress, etc.  These damages are considered “non-economic” damages in that they have no price tag or economic value readily attached.  “Economic” damages instead cover things like medical bills and lost wages that have a clear value, whether it was a value of income that you missed out on or money that you had to lay out.

While we can also help you recover compensation for property damage – such as your car or bike damaged in the bus crash – the focus is always on the expenses you need paid for your injuries and the effects of those injuries.

One area of damages we can also claim actually does not pay you back for the harm you faced, but instead is paid to punish the at-fault driver: punitive damages.  These damages are only available in cases where there is “clear and convincing evidence” that the defendant caused the injuries through “wilful, wanton, or reckless” actions.  This is a high standard and only gets met in cases where the defendant did something very bad like driving drunk or violating regulations that govern licensure, driving hours, or other issues.

Before you can get damages paid though, you actually have to prove that the defendant was at fault, which requires evidence.  You will also need evidence of the value of any damages you claim, including bills, financial statements, pay stubs, receipts, and other records.  The value of your pain and suffering can be calculated through multiple methods, and we can guide you on how this is best done in your case.

Call Our Greenville Bus Accident Lawyers Today

If you were hurt in a crash, call (803) 219-4906 to speak with the bus accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras.