Oklahoma City Bus Accident Lawyer
If you suffered an injury in a bus accident, contacting an Oklahoma City bus accident lawyer may be the best way for you to receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Buses are large, heavy vehicles, so accidents involving them can result in catastrophic injuries and even death. When these accidents happen, a compassionate personal injury attorney could help you achieve justice and proper compensation to recover from the pain you endured.
Liability in a Bus Accident Case
Bus accident cases can feature many different at-fault parties that may be liable for damages. The most common is the bus driver, but other parties that may be found liable include the company that owns the bus and the manufacturer that designed the bus.
Factors that may influence which party is liable, include negligent driving, negligence related to inadequate maintenance or background checks, and manufacturing defects. An Oklahoma City bus accident lawyer can help individuals figure out which party or parties may be responsible for the accident.
A central topic of a bus accident case is the concept of modified comparative negligence. This means that an injured person may have to be less than 50 percent responsible for their injuries to receive compensation from the at-fault party. If the injured person is deemed to be equally responsible—or more responsible—than the opposing party, they may not be able to recover any compensation.
However, it also means that the injured party may be able to recover compensation even if they were partially responsible. In Oklahoma, an injured party who is considered partially responsible for their injuries may be able to an amount that is proportional to their degree of fault.
Working with an Oklahoma City bus accident attorney can help present an organized argument to the court explaining the liability of the opposing party. This can maximize the chances a claim has of success.
Damages Available in Claims in Oklahoma City
Both economic and non-economic damages may be recoverable in Oklahoma. The more easily understood type of damages is economic damages, which often come with a clear price tag. These include expenses such as doctor’s visits, ongoing medical care costs, and lost wages.
However, non-economic damages can be more difficult to pin down and may include losses such as the injured person’s pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment in life, loss of consortium, and similar deprivations.
It is important to note that Oklahoma places a cap on non-economic damages in most personal injury cases. Unless the at-fault party was willfully malicious, incredibly reckless, or engaged in fraud that led to the injury, the injured person may be able to receive a maximum of $350,000 for their non-economic damages.
Potential Bus Accident Injuries
Oklahoma City bus collision injuries could have long-term implications for an individual. There are a variety of injuries that a person could sustain. The different types of injuries a person could sustain are as follows:
Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)
Physical trauma to the neck or back can damage the spinal cord, a bundle of nerve fibers which links the brain to the body, enabling movement and sensation. The portion of the spinal cord housed in the neck is called the “cervical” spine, while the back contains the “thoracic” and “lumbar” portions of the spine. The higher along the spine an injury occurs, the greater the scope and severity of the resulting impairment. SCI can cause:
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Chronic Pain
- Muscle Spasms
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of TBI, accounting for more than 14% of TBI cases from 2006 to 2010. TBI can cause severe cognitive impairment that makes employment and full independence impossible, creating problems with basic mental functions like communication, focus, learning, logic, and memory.
Bone fractures are extremely common in automotive accidents, especially in children and elderly victims. While some fractures will heal with minimal treatment, others require extensive surgical repair. If childhood bone fractures damage growth plates, the growth of the affected limb may be permanently stunted.
Hot debris, melted plastic, flaming gasoline, and caustic substances like battery acid can cause burns or chemical burns. Severe burns are extremely painful to recover from, often require skin graft surgery, and tend to cause extensive disfigurement in the affected area. This can cause extreme depression and emotional distress, especially in children, who might be bullied or excluded by their peers.
Types of Compensation
Depending on the nature of an accident and its consequences, the victim may be entitled to various damages or forms of bus collision compensation in Oklahoma City, including:
- Compensatory Damages — Compensatory damages compensate the victim for his or her costs and losses, such as the bill for a surgical procedure
- Punitive Damages — Punitive damages may be awarded as a punishment/deterrent in cases where the defendant engaged in exceptionally unacceptable and dangerous behavior
- Economic Damages — Economic damages encompass calculable financial losses, such as medical bills and lost wages. Medical costs include surgery, wheelchairs, oxygen tanks, physical rehabilitation, prescription medications, doctor’s appointments, necessary in-home care, ambulance rides, and more
- Non-Economic Damages — Non-economic damages encompass non-calculable, non-financial losses, such as mental anguish, pain and suffering, the loss of enjoyment of life, and the loss of a marital relationship (“loss of consortium”)
Caps on Damages
Oklahoma law generally caps non-economic damages at $350,000. However, there are certain situations under which these limits do not apply. For example, the cap may be lifted if the plaintiff is able to demonstrate that the actions of the defendant were either fraudulent, malicious/intentional, grossly negligent, or undertaken with reckless disregard for the health and safety of others. Economic damages for Oklahoma City bus collision injuries, such as hospital bills and income losses, are not capped in Oklahoma.
Let an Oklahoma City Bus Accident Attorney Help
If you suffered an injury in a bus accident, there is ample help available to you. An Oklahoma City bus accident lawyer can help you figure out who may be responsible for your injuries, how to gather evidence, and which experts to bring into the case to boost your argument. A seasoned attorney may be able to help give you the greatest chance of a positive outcome.
Time is of the essence in bus accident cases, which means you should contact an Oklahoma City bus accident lawyer as soon as possible so that they can begin working on your case.