How an Oklahoma City Bus Accident Lawyer Help With Your Case
If you’re in a bus accident, an Oklahoma City bus accident lawyer can assist you in protecting your claim and getting the most compensation for your injuries and damages. We’ll manage all the legal matters so you can have peace of mind to concentrate on your health and well-being.
Protect Your Bus Injury Claim: Beware of Deadlines
If you’re involved in a bus accident in Oklahoma City, there’s a good chance it was with an EMBARK or Oklahoma City Public Schools bus. Be aware of the Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claims Act filing deadlines if this happened.
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Oklahoma is generally two years. This means you must file a lawsuit within two years of the injury caused by someone else’s negligence or intentional actions. Please do so to avoid losing your right to seek compensation. However, there are exceptions to this rule. If you are a minor or mentally incompetent, the statute of limitations may be paused until you turn 18 or regain mental competency. Additionally, if the injury is not immediately apparent, the statute of limitations may start from when the damage was discovered or should have been discovered. You must consult a lawyer to understand the specific time limits for your personal injury case in Oklahoma.
Having a bus wreck attorney on your side can help make sure you get the maximum available for your claim:
- Assessing compensation options: Multiple insurance companies are often involved in bus accidents.
- Conducting an accident investigation: Your lawyer will collect evidence, talk to witnesses, and analyze the scene. This will help build a strong case for you. Obtaining evidence early on is the best way to ensure that it is accurate – and available.
- Negotiating with insurance companies: An attorney will handle all communication with insurance adjusters to ensure that you receive a fair settlement that covers your medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other damages you may have suffered.
- If a settlement can’t be reached, hold the insurance company accountable.
Piece of Mind: Focus on Your Health
After a bus accident, it’s essential to prioritize your recovery and get back to your everyday life. Having legal representation is crucial at this time. Insurance adjuster points to “lack of early treatment” or “gaps in treatment” to downplay a settlement offer.
What Should You Do if After a Bus Accident
Call 911 and Report the Accident
Call 911 right away if someone crashes into you or your vehicle. Try to remain calm and tell the officers what happened in detail. Get the medical treatment you need.
Start Gathering Evidence
Take a lot of photos on your cell phone. Carefully document the accident scene and gather evidence inside and outside your car.
- Eyewitness Testimony: Eyewitnesses can provide important information about the accident and help determine who’s at fault. Make sure to get their contact information.
- Surveillance Footage: If the accident happened near a business or intersection, there might be surveillance cameras that capture the incident.
- Accident Reconstruction: If necessary, your attorney can hire an accident reconstruction expert to show how the accident happened and who’s responsible. They can recreate the scene using evidence and data.
- Start Documenting Your Damages: Keep track of all medical expenses, like hospital bills, doctor visits, and rehabilitation costs. Also, document any property damage, such as repairs for your car or personal belongings damaged in the accident. Note any time you miss your job.
Get the Medical Treatment You Need
Your health and well-being should be your top priority after an accident. Seeking quick medical attention ensures you get the proper treatment and helps document your injuries for any potential legal claims. The rehabilitation and recovery process may be long and challenging, but early medical treatment can speed up your recovery.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Dealing with personal injury claims can be complicated, but having a lawyer can make the process easier. At the very least, talk with one for a free consultation. This will ensure you’re not harming your case if you decide to handle it alone.
A reasonable settlement offer begins with developing your bus accident case. So, gathering all the evidence available to document your injuries is essential. This involves collecting medical records, pictures of your injuries, and other proof supporting your claim.
Personal Injury Damages
Keep track of all your medical bills after a bus accident. If you have future medical treatment, estimate what this will cost.
Track your lost income and gather supporting documents of your missed work. To get proper compensation for your lost income, you need proof. This can include pay stubs, tax returns, and statements from your employer. Calculating lost wages means figuring out how much you would have earned if the accident didn’t happen.
Pain & Suffering
“Pain and suffering” refers to the physical and emotional distress caused by an accident or injury due to someone else’s negligence or intentional actions. It includes physical pain, mental anguish, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
This is difficult to measure compared to medical bills or lost wages, so it requires the most effort to prove. Review your case to see if you can show how the accident affected you by assessing:
- Medical records and expert testimony: Detailed medical records and expert testimony from healthcare professionals can provide evidence of pain and suffering.
- Pain diaries and journals: Some people already keep a diary or journal to document their daily experiences. This can serve as a credible account of the physical and emotional toll the victim has gone through.
- Testimony from friends, family, and coworkers. Testimony from loved ones or witnesses who can attest to changes in the injured party’s behavior or relationships can be compelling evidence.
- Impact on daily activities: Common examples are hiring someone to mow your lawn over the summer or if you have young kids and have trouble picking them up after the accident.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: Evidence showing the injured party’s inability to engage in activities they once enjoyed or their decreased quality of life can also indicate pain and suffering. This includes hobbies, social activities, or other recreational pursuits the injury negatively impacts.
- Duration and permanence of injuries: The time the injured party has suffered and the permanence of their injuries can factor into pain and suffering damage calculations.
Some of the leading causes we see include:
Negligent Bus Driver
The leading cause of bus wrecks is negligent bus drivers.
- Liability claims: All personal injury cases involved proving liability. Talk with your attorney to determine if the claim is against the driver, their employer, or both.
- Proving negligence: To successfully prove bus driver negligence, you must show that the driver didn’t fulfill their “duty of care,” which directly caused your injuries. This can be done by gathering evidence like eyewitness testimonies, surveillance footage, and expert opinions. In standard English, “What did the bus driver do wrong to cause the wreck?”
Irresponsible Bus Companies
Some common reasons for bus accidents caused by bus company negligence include not training drivers properly, not taking good care of the buses, and not following safety rules. Some bus companies don’t have enough drivers and require their drivers to spend too many hours on the road. If this is the case, consider adding punitive damages to your claim.
Improper Bus Maintenance
The bus company may be held responsible for accidents in cases of inadequate bus maintenance. The most common maintenance issue we see is faulty brakes.
If the case concerns a bus driver’s inability to stop quickly, expect the defense attorney to raise a “comparative negligence issue.” Comparative fault looks at a shared responsibility for the accident. The plaintiff can still recover if they were less than 50% at fault in the lawsuit. For example, if the plaintiff is found to be 25% at fault for the accident and is awarded $100,000 in damages, their recovery will be reduced by 25% to $75,000. However, if the plaintiff’s fault is 51% or more, they are barred from recovering damages.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Oklahoma Bus Accident Attorneys
Schedule a free consultation today with our experienced Oklahoma bus accident attorneys. If you or a loved one has been in a bus accident in Oklahoma, it’s essential to get legal help quickly. Our skilled attorneys will guide you through the complex legal process and protect your rights.
Our attorneys will listen to your story during the consultation and give you expert legal advice. We know every bus accident case differs, so we’ll work closely with you to understand your situation. Our goal is to help you understand your legal options and assist you in filing a compensation claim.
Our Oklahoma bus accident lawyers have extensive experience in handling these cases. We fight for accident victims and have a proven track record of achieving positive outcomes for our clients. We’ll conduct a thorough accident investigation to gather all the evidence needed to build a strong case on your behalf.
With our representation, you can trust that your best interests will be protected. We’ll negotiate with insurance companies and other parties to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
Don’t delay seeking legal help after a bus accident. Schedule a free consultation with our Oklahoma bus accident attorneys today. We’re here to offer guidance and support during this challenging time.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Oklahoma City Bus Accident Lawyer?
Personal injury attorneys work on a “contingency fee.” This means they charge a percentage of whatever they recover for the plaintiff. The “industry standard” is 33%.
Are Any Time Limits for Filing a Bus Accident Claim in Oklahoma City?
Yes! Your claim is barred forever if the time limit lapses. This is referred to as the statute of limitations. In general, the statute of limitations for Oklahoma personal injury cases is two years from the accident date. If the case is against a governmental entity, such as a city or school bus, then the Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claims Act requirements will control. If this is the case, the claim must be presented within one year of the wreck before a lawsuit can be filed. The city would then have up to 90 days to settle the claim, or it is “deemed denied” after 90 days. The plaintiff then only has 180 days to file the lawsuit.
What Questions Should I Ask When Interviewing an Oklahoma City Bus Accident Lawyer?
Here are some key topics to consider during your interview:
1) Experience and track record: Find out how long the attorney has been practicing law and their experience with bus accident cases. A lawyer with a proven track record is more likely to handle your case effectively and achieve favorable outcomes.
2) Legal fees and payment arrangements: Discuss the attorney’s fee structure and payment arrangements upfront to avoid any surprises later.
3) Communication and updates: Clarify how the attorney will communicate with you and how often you can expect to receive updates about your case. Effective communication is essential for a successful attorney-client relationship.
4) Case strategy and approach: Ask the attorney about their approach to handling bus accident cases. Understanding their strategy will help you determine if it aligns with your goals and expectations for the case.