Phoenix Bus Accident Lawyer
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Phoenix Bus Accident Lawyer | Phillips Law Group
Bus accidents occur more often than people realize and they are inherently more dangerous than other types of motor vehicle accidents. Buses are larger and heavier vehicles, carrying dozens of passengers, often without seat belts. This creates a high risk of passengers and people in other vehicles suffering serious personal injuries when a bus is involved in an accident. Learn more about bus accidents in Arizona, including statistics about economic losses and the main causes of these crashes.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a bus accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages or losses. Consider contacting the Phoenix bus accident lawyers at Phillips Law Group to schedule a free consultation. We can review your case, determine your legal options, and put our resources toward obtaining a favorable outcome for you. We take cases involving many types of bus accidents, including those that occur on bus routes in the city and those on freeways.
Our trusted attorneys have recovered more than $500 million in compensation over the past 20 years. We work on a contingency fee basis. This means we do not charge any upfront costs or fees and only require payment if we recover compensation on your behalf. There is no risk in contacting our firm to discuss your accident and get the legal assistance you deserve.
Steps to Take After a Bus Crash
Many people rely on buses as a reliable form of public transportation to get from one place to another. However, as the use of bus travel increases, so does the number of serious and fatal accidents. Bus accidents can happen at any time for any number of reasons, causing devastating injuries and loss.
After a bus accident, you may be unsure about what to do next. There are five steps you can take to help protect your health and safety and preserve your claim for compensation. These include:
- Obtaining immediate medical attention ”“ You should consult with a doctor to document your injuries, even if you think they are minor.
- Contacting the police ”“ Take time to report the accident to the police to ensure that a police report is filed. Inform the police of what happened to have your side of the story on record.
- Gathering information from the accident scene ”“ Take pictures of the entire scene including any vehicle damage, personal injuries, skid marks, and any other helpful evidence to your case. Be sure to also write down a detailed account of what happened to avoid forgetting it later.
- Talking to people who witnessed the accident ”“ Try to get statements from witnesses who saw what happened and write down their contact information. Eyewitness statements can be invaluable for your case.
- Reaching out to a Phoenix bus accident lawyer ”“ A lawyer can protect your legal rights and keep your best interests in mind to help you obtain maximum compensation. The insurance company will try to reach out first to get a statement from you and use that information to either deny or reduce your compensation. Let a qualified attorney contact the insurance company on your behalf.
Causes of Bus Accidents
According to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), there were a total of 954 bus accidents in 2017 (765 commercial/noncommercial buses and 189 school buses).
While there are many reasons bus accidents can happen, some of the most common causes are:
- Bad weather
- Poor road conditions
- Driver error
- Defective or faulty parts
- Distracted driving
- Failure to obey traffic rules
- Driving under the influence
- Driving recklessly or aggressively
- Improper bus maintenance
- Dangerous roadways
- Inadequate training and experience
Determining the cause of a bus accident is important in order to define who is responsible for your injuries. This is one of the first things a dedicated Phoenix bus accident attorney will do when reviewing the validity of your case and whether you can pursue a lawsuit.
Types of Bus Crashes
Our bus accident lawyers in Phoenix have experience handling a variety of bus accident claims, including:
- Public/city bus accidents ”“ These types of crashes occur within the city limits alongside local community traffic. Many people who do not own a vehicle or do not want to use a vehicle take a public or city bus to commute for business or leisure. Typically, private/city buses are owned by bus companies that are hired by the city. City buses and their drivers drive extensively each day, which can cause wear and tear to the vehicle and cause drivers to get tired, potentially affecting their ability to operate these large vehicles safely.
- Tour bus collisions ”“ Similar to private/city buses, tour buses also carry a large group of people to several locations, however they operate outside the city limits. Tour buses can go across many city and state lines. If a tour bus is overloaded, it can be difficult for drivers to stop suddenly in the event of a collision.
- Private/charter bus accidents ”“ Charter buses are often used to transport public parties to a specific area or place within a certain period of time. These types of buses are generally owned by a charter company and can cause serious damage or injury when involved in a crash.
- School bus collisions ”“ These types of accidents involve buses transporting children to and from school. School buses are often provided by third-parties that enter into a contract with the school board. Poorly maintained buses or driver negligence can result in school bus accidents that injure passengers and other motorists.
- 15-passenger van accidents ”“ These vans are used for smaller groups of people looking to travel from one destination to another without the need for a large bus. Typically, 15-passenger vans are rented from a rental or leasing company. Crashes with these vehicles are still considered bus accidents because these vehicles are still bigger than most other motor vehicles on the road.
The damages from a bus accident can be traumatic and severe. If you or someone you loved has been involved in a bus accident, contact a bus accident attorney in Phoenix to learn more about filing a claim.
Common Injuries from Bus Accidents
Public transportation buses, charter buses and school buses often do not have seat belts which can significantly increase the risk of injury after an accident. Bus accident victims can sustain many different types of injuries, such as:
- Internal bleeding
- Brain injuries
- Severe skin burns
- Spinal cord injuries
- Sprained and torn ligaments
- Broken bones
- Herniated disks
- Severed limbs
Bus accidents can cause serious injuries that may require ongoing medical care and treatment and time away from work, along with severe pain and suffering. Our Phoenix bus accident lawyers understand that these injuries can have a negative effect on many aspects of your life. Contact us to today to schedule a free consultation. We can help provide knowledgeable legal counsel and representation to hold any at-fault party liable for your injuries.
Who Is Liable in a Bus Accident?
Determining who is liable in a bus accident can be a complicated process because there are multiple parties that could be held liable. This is why it can help to have a Phoenix bus accident attorney working for you. An experienced lawyer will know how to review the situation to determine the parties who could potentially be at-fault. Some of these parties could include:
The bus driver can be held legally liable if he or she acted in a negligent or reckless manner. Negligence includes violating traffic laws such as speeding, running a red light, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving while drowsy or distracted, or not paying attention to other vehicles on the road.
Bus Company or Owner of the Bus
The bus company can be held responsible for the negligent actions of its bus drivers. The company has an obligation to ensure that its drivers are adequately trained and certified to do the job. The company also has an obligation to make sure that buses are routinely checked to ensure it is safe for them to be on the road.
Manufacturer of the Bus or Components
The manufacturer of the bus or its components can also be held liable for your injuries if a defect in the design or manufacturing of the bus or a component of the bus contributed to the accident.
Tour Company or Operator
Tour companies may be held liable for bus accidents if the operator owns a bus that was negligently maintained or driven. Typically, tour operators have contracts with bus companies who rely on them to keep a clean record free of safety violations.
School Districts and School Boards
If a school board or school district employs the driver or owns the bus, they could be held legally responsible for any negligent behavior. This includes not properly maintaining the bus in a safe operating condition, lack of daily bus inspections and failing to create and enforce safety guidelines.
Drivers of Other Vehicles
Some bus accidents were caused by another motorist’s negligence. If a driver of another vehicle was negligent, you may be able to pursue a claim against the driver and his or her insurance company.
Our bus accident attorneys in Phoenix can review your case to determine all parties who could potentially be held liable for your injuries. This will help us as we pursue fair compensation for all damages or losses.
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Do I Have a Valid Bus Accident Case?
When you meet with an attorney, he or she will determine if you have grounds for pursuing compensation. Your Phoenix bus accident lawyer must prove that all four elements of negligence are present to have a valid case. These four elements include:
- Duty of care ”“ The at-fault party had a duty to take reasonable care to help ensure your safety, as any reasonable person in the same situation would do. For example, a bus driver has a duty of care to follow the rules of the road and bus manufacturers have a duty to ensure their vehicles are safe to operate.
- Breach of duty ”“ You must also prove the at-fault party breached his or her duty of care. For example, a bus company could be held liable for failing to properly maintain a bus or hiring a bus driver without adequate training.
- Causation ”“ This means that the at-fault party’s negligent actions directly caused your injuries. For example, if the accident was caused by the driver failing to stop at a red light, you must prove your injuries would not have occurred unless the bus driver failed to stop.
- Damages ”“ Your injuries must have resulted in an actual financial loss. This can include any medical expenses or lost wages as a result of the accident.
Proving these four things is very difficult and requires an in-depth investigation. This is why you could benefit from working with a Phoenix bus accident lawyer who understands these cases and knows how to build a strong case.
You should contact an attorney as soon as possible because there is a limited amount of time to pursue a case. In Arizona, there is a two-year statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit over a personal injury caused by negligence. This means that you have two years from the date the accident occurred to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. If you fail to file within the deadline, you will lose the right to do so.
Our firm understands the time limits that apply to your situation. We know it takes time to build a strong case to pursue the compensation you deserve. We also know how to deal with the insurance claims process while being prepared to file a lawsuit if we are unsuccessful.
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Claiming Compensation for a Bus Accident
After being injured in a bus accident, you have the legal right to pursue compensation for a personal injury caused by a negligent party. Our bus accident attorneys in Phoenix can help you pursue compensation for a number of damages, including:
- Medical expenses for treatments, surgeries and medications
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Any vehicle property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
At Phillips Law Group, we understand how complex bus accident cases can be. Numerous parties may be held responsible, including bus drivers, bus owners, manufacturers and drivers of other vehicles. We know that suffering from a bus crash injury can prevent you from working and providing for your family, which is why we will work hard to help you seek the maximum compensation you are entitled.
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Contact a Phoenix Bus Accident Lawyer
Bus accidents can happen unexpectedly, causing devastating results. If you or someone you love has been injured in a bus accident, it is in your best interest to contact a skilled Phoenix personal injury lawyer who understands what you are going through. You need an attorney who is committed to investigating and building a strong case on your behalf.
The Phoenix bus accident attorneys at Phillips Law Group will actively review the details of your case to identify the cause of the accident and hold any parties liable for your injuries and other damages. Contact us today to schedule a risk-free, no obligation legal consultation to discuss your claim. There are no fees or upfront costs unless we help you recover compensation.
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