Buses are important cogs in the transportation infrastructure, but sharing the roads with them can be dangerous. They are unwieldy, slow to respond, and can be hard to handle. It is impossible to see around a bus, and their large blind spots mean they might not see you.
A Baton Rouge bus accident lawyer can advise you about your rights if you have been hurt in a wreck. If negligence was involved, a personal injury attorney could help you seek damages that would cover your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Statute of Limitations in Baton Rouge
The Louisiana Civil Code 3492 offers injured people little time to file a lawsuit. In most Baton Rouge cases, you must file a lawsuit seeking damages within one year of the crash, so it’s important to reach out quickly to an experienced lawyer.
To initiate a lawsuit, your attorney could file a document called a complaint with the court that has jurisdiction. The more time your representation has to work on a case before filing the complaint, the more compelling it is likely to be.
Most accident cases settle before the injured person initiates a lawsuit. The insurers for the responsible parties often try to begin negotiations soon after an accident, sometimes before the victim has even been discharged from the hospital. It’s critically important for you to have professional representation when negotiating with the insurance companies.
Proving Negligence in a Bus Wreck
Negligence is a failure to exercise reasonable care for the safety and well-being of others. To prove negligence, you must show:
- Defendant had a duty to the plaintiff
- Defendant breached the duty
- Breach was the cause of the accident that injured the plaintiff
- Plaintiff suffered actual losses due to the breach
There often are multiple potentially responsible parties involved in a bus crash. The bus driver and their employer could be liable if the crash was due to driver error. The bus owner also might be responsible if poor vehicle maintenance was part of the cause. Even the companies that manufactured the bus or its components could be liable if mechanical failure was an issue.
A Baton Rouge bus wreck attorney could investigate for you to identify all the potentially negligent parties. Negotiating settlements with multiple parties at the table can be complicated but having legal assistance can help your case.
Damages Could Help You Get Back on Your Feet
Damages in these types of cases compensate a plaintiff for their losses. Damages fall into two categories: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages have a cost that’s easy to calculate. These damages can include monetary awards for items like medical care, lost wages, incidental expenses associated with the injury, and diminished future earning power. Ways to prove most of economic damages include showing invoices, tax records, and receipts.
Non-economic damages relate to your diminished quality of life after the accident. Disability, disfigurement, emotional anguish, and lost ability to enjoy life’s pleasures could all be elements of a non-economic damages award. A local attorney could prove your damages by showing photographs of you before and after an accident, introducing diaries or journals that describe your life before and after the accident, and presenting testimony from you and your loved ones.
If a drunk driver had a significant role in causing the bus crash, punitive damages might also be available. State law allows punitive damages if you can prove the driver was legally intoxicated and your injuries are attributed to the driver’s intoxication.
Seek a Capable Baton Rouge Bus Crash Attorney
If you are recovering from injuries you sustained in a bus accident, you shouldn’t be trying to negotiate a fair settlement. You should concentrate on getting better and allow a seasoned professional to handle the business end of recovery.
A Baton Rouge bus accident lawyer could help you and your family plan for the future by pursuing fair compensation from the responsible parties. Schedule a consultation today.