How Much Can You Get From a Bus Accident Settlement?
Feb 09, 2023
Bus accidents happen less often than car accidents, but when they do, people often sustain severe injuries. Typically, private and public bus operators have higher insurance policy coverage than passenger car insurance policies. Settlements and jury awards in bus accident cases can reach hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars, depending on the facts of the case, the extent of injuries, and the degree of negligence involved.
If you have been injured in a bus accident due to someone else's negligence, you may wonder how much a bus accident settlement may be. Unfortunately, there is no single, straightforward answer to this. Consulting experienced bus accident lawyers is the best option for injured victims to understand the average settlement for bus accidents and how such personal injury claims work.
How Does a Bus Accident Lawsuit Process Work?
You've probably never been to a courtroom proceeding. So it is understandable to be confused about what goes on before and during a bus accident lawsuit. If you find yourself in this situation, consult an experienced personal injury lawyer for legal advice on how the process works. You can also learn about important deadlines like the statute of limitations and notice of claim.
Notice of Claim
If you are suing a bus driver, a third-party driver, a bus company, or a manufacturer, you can file the usual personal injury claim. However, if a government agency operates or owns the bus that caused your accident, you may need to file a notice of claim. This notice informs the bus operator and the courts of your intent to sue.
Please keep in mind that these notices must be filed within a short period of time, and each state provides a specific time limit to do so. If you fail to file a notice of claim, you may lose your right to sue.
If the government agency accepts your claim, there may be no need to file a bus crash lawsuit.
Statute of Limitations
Once you file a notice of claim, your injury suit doesn't have to begin immediately. Nonetheless, statutes of limitations exist in every state and may bar you from filing a lawsuit. These laws vary greatly depending on the jurisdiction of the crash and whether the bus company is privately or publicly owned.
In Wyoming, for example, you have four years from the date of the crash to file a bus accident lawsuit. In New Mexico, you have three years to file your claim.
Once you have satisfied the above requirements, your attorney may file your bus accident lawsuit, which will proceed to the investigation and discovery stages. Discovery is a pre-trial procedure where all involved parties exchange information. Your lawyer will also handle all communications with other involved parties, like the insurance company and defense lawyers.
Out-of-Court Settlement or Trial
Most personal injury cases end up in out-of-court settlements. Such settlement negotiations ensure many cases don't end up in civil courts.
However, if none of the parties can reach an agreement, you may proceed to file a bus accident lawsuit. Since many government agencies self-insure, you may have to file an appeal if they deny your claim.
Factors That Influence a Bus Accident Settlement Calculation
There is no straightforward way to determine how much your bus accident injury compensation claim is worth. Many variables come into play when determining the settlement for such cases. Given that each bus accident is unique, it's impossible to put a specific value on bus accident compensation claims.
Still, at-fault and no-fault state laws, as well as insurance policy limits, play a crucial role in these types of cases. Here are some factors that may also affect your bus wreck settlement calculation:
Bus accidents can lead to a host of serious injuries. The severity of such injuries is important when calculating the potential settlement. For example, bus passengers who sustain minor flesh wounds may not receive the same compensation as a passenger who is paralyzed due to the crash.
Some of the injuries in bus accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal cord damage
- Internal bleeding
- Severe burns
- Facial injuries
- Crushing injuries
- Wrongful death
- Loss of limbs
Current and Future Medical Bills
Depending on the type and severity of your injury, medical bills may significantly pile up after an accident. Take, for example, high tetraplegia — a severe injury to the spine. According to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, treatment costs for this injury within the first year are around $1.1 million and $200,000 every subsequent year. This demonstrates how expensive these medical bills can be.
When filing a personal injury claim, your lawyer should consider all your past, present, and future expenses when calculating your bus accident compensation. They may include:
- Hospital bills
- Prescription medications
- Surgery costs
- Pain management treatment
- Ambulance fees
- Assisted living costs
- Follow-up care
Loss of Wages
You could be entitled to compensation for the hours you missed at work during your recovery period. If you cannot return to your job, you may also receive compensation for switching to a lower-paying job or switching careers.
If your car was wrecked during the crash, you might receive compensation to repair or replace it. The insurance company will assess the damage and determine if it's worth repairing or replacing your car with one of the same value. You may also receive compensation for damaged items like prescription glasses and your phone.
Damages for Pain and Emotional Distress
A bus accident may also lead to emotional trauma. If you are in a difficult mental state months after the traumatic event, you may file a claim to recover these damages in your bus accident settlement.
Been in a Bus Crash? Speak With Us About Potential Compensation
Victims of bus accidents have the right to file lawsuits if they are injured due to the negligent actions of bus drivers. If you were hurt in a bus accident, the experienced bus accident lawyers at The Spence Law Firm could help you understand your legal options. We know how to calculate the values of bus accident settlements and are ready to fight for your rights.
Reach out to us today for a free case review. Our legal team will discuss your bus accident claim and will be willing to answer your questions objectively. Let us help you make informed decisions throughout this process.
Contact us now to learn more about your case.
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If you are struggling with a serious injury, or are fighting against seemingly impossible odds against big corporations, insurance companies or the government, call us to speak with our team of trial lawyers who will fight for you. We take no fee unless we earn it by winning your case.