Bus accidents occur more frequently than you might realize, therefore North Carolina has adopted laws pertaining specifically to bus accidents. Buses, whether they are school buses or public transportation buses, are cumbersome and unwieldy to handle on the road. If drivers of buses are not properly trained, they may cause serious injuries to the property and persons of other motorists. If you or your loved one was the victim of a serious bus accident, you should seek immediate medical attention and consider speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer serving Charlotte, North Carolina.
The Charlotte bus accident lawyers at Dewey, Ramsay & Hunt, P.A. are ready to fight for compensation for your injuries. Our injury lawyers have decades of experience dealing with various kinds of commercial vehicle accidents that we will diligently put to work for you. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at (704) 377-3737 or contact us online.
Do I Have a Bus Accident Case?
If you were injured in a bus accident, you may be considering filing a personal injury lawsuit. Before you file that injury claim, you should ensure that you have properly built and preserved your case. If you were hit by a bus in Charlotte, the first thing you should do is seek medical treatment for yourself or any passengers if you were in a vehicle. Next, you should ensure that any other people that were injured also receive medical treatment.
If you can, you should now try to get vital information from the driver of the bus. Examples include:
- The bus driver’s name and commercial driver’s license (CDL)
- The license plate of the bus, the route it takes, and insurance policy number for the bus
- The name of the company employing the driver
This information will help you determine who is liable for your injuries or damage to your vehicle. You should also note any adverse weather conditions that may have been present at the time of the accident and take pictures of the accident site. Next, you should speak with any people that witnessed the accident and are willing to provide you with a statement.
You should also call the police to the scene, despite any beliefs that you may have been partly responsible for the accident. The names and badge numbers of the officers who process the scene of the accident is also good information to have. Once they are done at the scene, you should ask to receive a copy of the police report.
In accidents where a commercial vehicle like a bus crashes into other vehicles or property, the insurance company is likely to deploy an investigator to the scene. This purpose of this investigator is to minimize liability to the insurance company and any interactions with them should be kept brief. They may try to use your story against you for the benefit of the insurance company.
Finally, you should contact your insurance company to inform them of the collision and consider retaining a bus accident attorney. Whether the owner of the bus is a private company or a governmental body like a city, county, or state will play an important role in determining how to proceed with your case.
Who is Liable for Injuries in a Bus Crash?
The owner of the bus and employer of the driver who crashed into you is essential information needed to file your injury case. Under North Carolina law, a bus owned by a private company may be liable for injuries caused by the bus driver’s negligent act through the doctrine of vicarious liability. The doctrine of vicarious liability states that the actions of a principle’s agent (the driver) are treated the same as if the principle (owner of bus) had acted.
If the case involves a school bus accident, the doctrine of vicarious liability could also expose the school district to liability for the bus driver’s negligent actions. However, there is one obstacle to overcome before you can file suit against any government entity in North Carolina: sovereign immunity. Sovereign immunity originally barred citizens from filing lawsuits against a government entity. However, North Carolina has provided for a means to sue a government entity if your child was injured in a school bus accident.
The North Carolina Tort Claims Act deals with personal injury lawsuits against the State of North Carolina. For example, if your son or daughter was hurt in a school bus accident, the Act will provide you with an opportunity to file an injury claim for issues arising out of:
- Mechanical or other defects that affected the safe operation of the bus
- Negligent acts by a maintenance personnel
- Negligent actions or omissions of the driver
There are various factors that could be considered to give you the right to sue a government entity that are not listed above. If you need more information concerning bus accidents and how to file an injury claim, you should speak with an experienced bus crash attorney in Charlotte.
Charlotte, NC Bus Accident Injury Attorneys Fighting for Crash Victims
If you or a loved one was injured in a bus accident in Charlotte and you wish to file a personal injury claim, you should contact an accident attorney immediately. The Charlotte bus crash lawyers at Dewey, Ramsay & Hunt, P.A. can provide you with essential legal advice that you need to handle your bus accident case. Our dedicated injury attorneys have represented clients in Charlotte and across North Carolina and would be proud to represent you. To schedule a free consultation to speak about your bus crash case, call us at (704) 377-3737 today.