Macon, GA Bus Accident Lawyer

Pursuing claims for bus accidents can be complicated in Macon, and our lawyers are prepared to help victims get the compensation they need for serious injuries.

Generally, the government agency, not the bus driver who caused the accident, is responsible for accidents involving Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority buses. This leads to a shortened filing deadline as well. Victims must file claims against counties within 12 months in Georgia or else get barred from recovery entirely. You must build medical evidence of your injuries to successfully file on time. You can start doing this right after the accident by taking pictures and accepting care from emergency medical services at the scene. While you can take pictures to document your injuries, you can also photograph the crash site to preserve physical evidence that might otherwise get lost or destroyed.

Call our Macon, GA bus accident lawyers for a free case review from Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (470) 287-3070.

Liability for Macon, GA Bus Accidents

Understanding liability for bus accidents in Macon is tricky, as typically, the public transportation agency, Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority, is legally responsible for victims’ damages, not individual bus negligent drivers.

Under O.C.G.A. § 36-92-3(a), a government employee who acts negligently while operating a covered vehicle, like a Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority bus, is not legally liable for damages due to negligence. Instead, the government entity that employs the worker would be liable, generally speaking.

According to O.C.G.A. § 36-92-2(c), local government entities are not liable for claims due to negligent use of a covered vehicle if the accident occurred outside the scope of employment. For example, if a bus driver took a bus from the Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority without authorization and injured a victim, the Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority would not be liable. Instead, the victim could sue the driver who caused the accident.

Furthermore, local government agencies only waive sovereign immunity for damages due to covered motor accidents up to certain amounts. According to O.C.G.A. § 36-92-2(a)(3), the maximum waiver amount for bus accidents is $500,000 for the death or injury of any one person, $700,000 for the death or injury of two or more persons, and $50,000 for property damage.

If a deeper investigation into the accident reveals that a passenger car driver initiated the bus accident, you could file a claim against them in Macon.

Shortened Filing Deadlines for Bus Accident Lawsuits in Macon, GA

Victims with claims against local governments are subject to shorter filing deadlines in Georgia. If you are unaware of this, you could miss the statute of limitations for your claim, barring yourself from recovery in Macon.

O.C.G.A. § 36-11-1 sets the filing deadline for claims against counties at 12 months. For other personal injury claims not against government entities, the statute of limitations is double that, two years. Since you have half the time to initiate your claim, you should prioritize investigating the accident.

If you miss the filing deadline and do not have a valid reason to toll the statute of limitations for your case, which is allowed when victims are minors or have disabilities that prevent them from filing, the court could dismiss your case. Should that happen, you might not have a pathway to recovery for bus accident injuries in Macon.

Building Medical Evidence of Bus Accident Injuries in Macon, GA

Regardless of whether you were a passenger on the bus or driving a passenger car during the accident, you could sustain life-altering injuries. To get compensation for those injuries, you must prove they exist, which is where medical evidence will factor into your case.

You can start documenting your physical injuries at the accident scene by photographing them. Tell law enforcement officers if you are hurt, even if you do not yet know the full extent of your injuries. If you need emergency medical care, request it when you call 911. Police officers may describe your injuries and any treatment you received at the scene in the accident report.

Next, go to the emergency room, where doctors can efficiently assess and diagnose you. You might need emergency surgery or other urgent care, so do not skip this step.

Common injuries from bus accidents, like head, neck, and back injuries, typically require long-term treatment. Do not neglect your physical recovery at any point, as doing so might jeopardize your financial one in Macon.

Request copies of your medical records from all medical facilities, doctors, and specialists who treat you following the accident. Keep track of bills from treatment as well, as we will need copies of them to prove your financial damages from the accident.

Preserving Physical Evidence Left from Bus Crashes in Macon, GA

You cannot preserve a crash site indefinitely, as it could endanger others on the road. However, you can take useful pictures and videos of the scene to record pertinent information.

If you were hurt as a bus passenger, take pictures of the bus’s interior after the crash. If there are broken windows and glass on the floor or seats, photograph it. If you collided with a fixed object in the bus during the accident, like a handrail, take pictures of that as well. You can take sweeping videos of the accident site to capture property damage to the bus or any other involved vehicles.

Photograph any visible injuries to your person as well. If you see other victims or eyewitnesses taking pictures, ask for their contact information so our bus accident lawyers can obtain those images. We may also interview eyewitnesses, as their testimony and statements can help establish negligence in your claim.

Although your lawsuit may not be against the individual bus driver, and cannot even name the bus driver specifically for that matter under O.C.G.A. § 36-92-3(b), you should still get their name and employment information immediately after the crash. Police officers can also help you preserve physical evidence from the bus accident when you call 911 to report the crash in Macon.

Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras About Your Bus Crash in Macon, GA

To get help with your case from Rice, Murtha & Psoras’ bus accident lawyers, call (470) 287-3070.