Smyrna, GA Bus Accident Lawyer

Buses are much larger and heavier than many motor vehicles on the road. Unfortunately, this means that bus accidents are particularly destructive and can cause lots of damage and hurt many people at once. Victims of bus accidents often suffer severe injuries that require extensive medical care, both right away and long after the accident has taken place. Such care can be very expensive and create an unwanted financial burden on plaintiffs who were injured simply by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

If you suspect that you were injured during a bus accident because someone else was negligent, contact our office as soon as you can. Our attorneys have handled many bus accident cases, so we know what to do to give you the best shot at getting you the financial companion you deserve.

Get a free analysis of your claim by calling our bus accident attorneys with Rice, Murtha & Psoras by dialing (470) 287-3070.

What Causes Bus Crashes in Smyrna, GA

Early on in building your claim, our bus accident attorneys will spend a lot of time determining the cause of your accident. This may seem odd, as what looks immediately more important is that a bus hit you and you got hurt. While that is true, you also have to know who to sue in order to be successful in court, and determining the cause of your particular bus accident can help reveal potential defendants to include in your claim.

Negligent Bus Drivers

Negligent driving is the cause of many bus collisions. A driver is negligent when they disobey traffic laws or do something else that a reasonable driver would not do under the circumstances. For example, a bus driver driving drunk would be considered negligent because driving drunk is against the law. Finding that a bus driver is negligent because they were unreasonable is more nebulous, as the jury determines reasonableness on a case-by-case basis.

Bus drivers can also be negligent if they are not properly trained to operate a large vehicle like a bus, or if they are properly trained and elect to do something that they should not under the circumstances.

Negligent Drivers of Other Vehicles

Bus accidents are not always caused by bus drivers. Sometimes, a different driver’s actions cause a crash. Regular drivers are negligent in the same ways bus drivers are—by acting unreasonably or disobeying traffic laws.

Defective Vehicles

Problems with buses and other vehicles also cause accidents. When there are problems with a vehicle that makes it dangerous to operate in a normal fashion, it is considered “defective.” Defects can arise at many points. Some problems may be inherent in a vehicle’s design. For example, a bus that is overly top-heavy and likely to tip over in a turn can be said to have a design defect. Other problems happen because people make mistakes. For example, if a bus gets worked on by a mechanic and that mechanic installs the brakes incorrectly, that bus can also be said to be defective.

Poor Road Conditions

Things like potholes and defective guardrails can also cause crashes. Government entities and contractors are generally responsible for maintaining roads and highways, so you can sue these parties if poor road conditions played a role in your bus crash.

Damages in Smyrna, GA Bus Accident Lawsuits

When you go to court, the goal is to get awarded financial compensation in the form of damages. Damages are how courts try to “turn back the clock” on plaintiffs and undo the effects of their injuries. Of course, literally rewinding things is impossible, so financial compensation is used as a substitute.

Economic Damages

Economic damages refer to damages that can have their value shown relatively easily. This category includes things like medical expenses, property damage, and lost opportunity to earn income both in the past and future.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are harder to quantify than economic damages. This category includes things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish. There is not going to be a receipt for something like “pain” or the emotional toll of injuries brought on by a serious accident. Therefore, you will have to work with our attorneys to show the value of these things to the jury.

Punitive Damages

The damages discussed previously can be collectively called “compensatory damages.” There is another kind of damages called “punitive damages,” which are not meant to compensate you for what has happened. Instead, these damages are intended to punish defendants who have acted especially badly. Under O.G.C.A. § 51-12-5.1, you need to prove that the defendant did something more than just act negligently. For example, you can seek punitive damages if the defendant hurt you maliciously.

Seeking punitive damages will not make sense in every claim, so you should discuss with our attorneys if it makes sense in yours.

Calculating Damages

You also have to specify in your filings the amount of compensation you are seeking in damages. There is no mandated way to do this, but two commonly employed methods are the multiplier method and the per diem method.

The multiplier method is arguably the simplest of the two. This method takes your economic damages and multiplies them by a reasonable amount to determine your economic damages. For example, if you have $100,000 in economic damages and our lawyers determine that multiplying it by 3 makes sense, you would be requesting $300,000 in non-economic damages and $400,000 in damages total. The per diem method calculates a value of the effects of your injuries for each day you experience those effects and then adds that value up to determine your non-economic damages.

The method that makes sense for you will largely be dependent on your situation. For example, a defendant who will never fully recover from their injuries may favor the multiplier method, while the per diem method may be better suited for plaintiffs who will fully recover at some point in the future.

Talk to Our Smyrna, GA Bus Accident Attorneys Now

The bus accident attorneys from Rice, Murtha & Psoras are just a phone call away when you dial (470) 287-3070.