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Buses play a vital role in our public transportation system. Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) buses carry commuters into the city every day, and other buses take school children, tourists, and others along the local highways. These vehicles are essential for transporting groups of riders, but people can get severely hurt when buses have accidents.
Those who own and operate buses must use the utmost care to prevent injuries to motorists. When a bus driver or the company that owns or operates it fails to meet this standard, you may be eligible to pursue legal action against those responsible. A local Mount Pleasant bus accident lawyer from Geel & Gentry, LLC could explain whether a personal injury lawsuit is viable in your case. During a complimentary consultation, you can discuss your unique situation and learn your legal options without obligation.
Bus accidents often produce devastating injuries. Fractures, internal injuries, brain damage, and spinal cord injuries could result from a collision with a bus. Even relatively minor injuries may entitle you to compensation for your losses.
Court-awarded economic damages can reimburse you for losses such as property damage, medical expenses, and missed time at work. When your condition requires ongoing medical treatment or you cannot return to your job, economic damages can cover these future expenses. Non-economic damages can compensate you for your physical pain, emotional trauma, and the lost ability to enjoy life—anything you could do before the injury that brought you pleasure but you can no longer do because of the crash.
In rare circumstances, you could claim punitive damages, as well. South Carolina allows punitive damages only when the willful, wanton, or reckless actions of a responsible party cause an accident. For example, a bus crash victim might claim punitive damages if the bus driver was drunk or if deferred maintenance on the bus caused the accident. Our attorneys serving Mount Pleasant could advise whether seeking punitive damages is appropriate in your specific case.
While South Carolina allows three years from the date of injury for someone to file a lawsuit seeking damages, waiting that long is unwise for several reasons.
Insurers for the bus company could approach you soon after the crash, asking you to make a statement about the incident. They may record this statement and use anything you say against you if you later bring a claim. A Mount Pleasant attorney from our firm could advise you whether to speak with the insurer and oftentimes could speak for you.
Bus company insurers frequently offer settlements soon after an accident. These settlement offers are typically woefully inadequate, but you might be tempted to accept one if you are severely injured and concerned about paying your bills. A skilled attorney from Geel & Gentry, LLC could handle all communication with the insurer and pursue good faith negotiations and reasonable settlement offers. If the insurer does not make an adequate offer, our attorneys are not afraid to take cases to court.
Local bus accidents could involve a CARTA bus, school bus, or another bus owned or operated by a government agency. South Carolina Code of Laws § 15-78-80 requires an injured person to notify the responsible government agency of their claim within one year of the date of the accident. The agency then has 180 days to accept or reject the claim. If it does not respond within six months, you are free to file a lawsuit.
Should you miss the one-year notification deadline, you cannot sue for damages. After a crash, consulting a seasoned legal professional from our firm could preserve your rights and prevent this harsh result.
When you are hurt in a bus accident, you need time to recover physically without worrying about financial and legal issues. A Mount Pleasant bus accident lawyer from Geel & Gentry, LLC could handle all communications with insurance companies and, if necessary, negotiate with healthcare providers to keep them from hounding you about your bills.
Let us handle the legal aspects of your case while you focus on healing. We take no money until you win your case, so you have everything to gain and nothing to lose by calling us today.