The Florida Bus Accident Guide was created by Paul Boone Law to help residents who have been injured in a bus accident obtain maximum compensation for their claim.
With Injury Law Offices in Fernandina Beach, FL and Jacksonville, FL
We use public transportation all the time without thinking that something will go wrong. If you are here reading this today, you’ve likely experienced something traumatic involving public transportation. Bus accidents can be awful for those involved and can cause serious damage. Our Nassau County bus accident attorney want to stand by your side while you fight for justice. We deal with all the challenging parts of your case so you can rest assured that you are being taken care of. If you want strong and dependable legal representation, please get in contact with our office today to set up your free initial consultation.
How a Typical Bus Accident Claim Works
A bus accident can happen for a variety of reasons. You might have been getting on or off the bus when you suffered some sort of accident. Those are considered bus accidents just as much as it would be if you were in the bus itself when a collision occurred. Regardless of the cause of your case, the legal proceedings that follow tend to be pretty similar.
You as the plaintiff in this case are likely seriously injured. You are going to get the medical treatment that you need and then get in contact with our Nassau County bus accident attorney to handle your case. Ideally, at the scene of the bus accident, a report will be made and evidence will be collected either by you or someone on your behalf. From here, you and your attorney who you hire are going to build a strong case to defend your rights to justice.
You will be bringing a claim against the liable party. This liable party can be an individual who caused the accident. It might also have to do with a municipality. Either way, your Nassau County bus accident attorney working on your case will fully investigate the cause of your accident. For any given personal injury case, a few things need to happen: you need to prove that the incident was caused by the alleged liable party’s negligence and had they acted differently the accident would not have occurred, and you also have to prove that because of negligence, you were harmed.
Once a liable party is determined, you should understand that they are not going to necessarily be the ones directly covering your damages through compensation. You are going to be holding the insurance party responsible for compensating you for your damages.
Getting the insurance company to provide you with compensation that is full and fair is going to be a challenge for your Nassau County bus accident attorney, but they will fight tooth and nail to get you everything that you deserve. If that means taking your case all the way to trial, then so be it. We will prepare your case from the very beginning to get you ready for trial, if need be. We are prepared for anything and we know what to expect in terms of the challenges and obstacles with most bus accident cases. Give us a call right away to set up a free consultation. There we will get started on the path to justice.
Tips for a Successful Bus Accident Claim
The following are important tips for you to follow after you are involved in a bus accident:
Perhaps the most important thing that you need to know is that when the insurance company calls you seeking a recorded statement you have no legal obligation to give them one. They ask you to give a recorded statement in the hopes that they can back you into a corner and use your words against you to either throw away your case or decrease the value of your case, which saves them money. At the end of the day, they want to save themselves money, which sometimes means not helping you the way you deserve to be helped. Let your Nassau County bus accident attorney handle communications with them so that your rights are protected.
Act with urgency in everything that you do. Get to a doctor as soon as you physically can. Call a attorney as soon as you possibly can. Collect evidence at the scene or have someone do it for you at the scene before it gets cleaned up and before it all disappears. Bus accident cases in Florida are time-sensitive. You have four years from the date of your accident to file your claim, but that does not mean that you should wait to talk to a attorney. The sooner you talk to Paul the stronger your case will likely be because your attorney will have more time to build a foundation for your case.
Why You Need the Help of Nassau County Bus Accident Attorneys
The odds of you knowing the state and federal laws regarding bus accidents, having experience with litigation for bus accidents in Florida, or having the time to learn the aforementioned facts are not likely. We understand that having been involved in a bus accident means that you are adjusting to a new normal. A lot of injured victims typically don’t have a background in personal injury litigation so they don’t know what is coming next when fighting for their justice.
Having a Nassau County bus accident attorney by your side during this time takes the pressure off of you having to know everything about the law and litigation. We will keep you informed every step of the way about what is happening with your case but you won’t have to bog yourself down trying to learn how to be a attorney overnight. Leaning on someone who does this professionally on a daily basis will decrease your stress so you can focus on your recovery.
We know all the tricks the insurance company is going to use to throw away your case or decrease what they owe you. We have been through tricky cases like this before. We know how to get the results that you deserve.
There are common misconceptions about attorneys. Mostly people assume that hiring a attorney is going to cost you a lot of money. When you have a bus accident case and you hire a Nassau County bus accident attorney you are not going to be paying them even a penny unless and until they win your case. Even then you will not be paying them out of pocket. Their fees come from a percentage of your winnings. You are also far more likely to get a larger and fairer compensation award when you have a attorney by your side.
How a Bus Accident Claim is Valued
If you look at how your life has changed since your bus accident, your compensation should fully and fairly reflect all of those changes. For example, if I were to be in a bus accident tonight and I suffered a traumatic brain injury and several broken bones, it would take some time for me to be back to maximum medical recovery. The time in which I was suffering and in pain is going to be factored into my compensation. I might also need to take time off of work to fully recover. Let’s say I need surgery and physical therapy. The cost of all of those treatments will be factored into my compensation as well.
Compensation is broken up into two distinct categories: economic damages and non-economic damages. The economic damage would be the cost of medical care— past, present, and future. It would also mean lost wages and lost earning capacity if I am unable to return to the same kind of work I used to do before my bus accident.
Non-economic damages would be my pain and suffering. It would also be mental anguish, if I have experienced that since the bus accident.
Our Nassau County bus accident attorney will fight to get you the compensation that you deserve for any of the ways the accident has negatively impacted your life. If you are no longer able to pick up your kids and play with them like you used to because you suffer from back injury, we will factor that into your compensation. If you have to quit a beloved activity due to the injuries suffered in your bus accident, we will also factor that into your compensation. We want your compensation award to fully and fairly reflect the suffering you have had to endure and we will not settle until it does.
After Being Injured as a Bus Passenger
We’ve represented people who have been hurt as passengers on buses in cases. We tell those clients the very first thing that they should be doing is getting medical care. Take care of your injuries. Even if you don’t think you’re hurt, go get medical care because many times you’re hurt and you don’t know it. Head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and soft tissue injuries sometimes don’t show up right away. You don’t see the symptoms or the effects of them for days or weeks on end. If you don’t get treated, you lose a lot of your ability to maximize your recovery. Not only that, if you don’t get treated and these symptoms come up later, a lot of times the jury is not going to believe you’re hurt. It makes it difficult to maximize the value of your case. That’s the very first thing that you should do— go seek medical treatment.
The next thing is call a lawyer. Lawyers can help with preservation of evidence. They can help with directing you through the maze of questions that you have because many times it’s the first time you’ve been hurt in a situation like this and you don’t know what to do. We’ve handled cases like these for decades. We’ve represented passengers in bus cases many times. We know what to do and how to direct you so that you get your medical care and the value of your case is preserved as best we can. If you’ve been involved in a bus accident case as a passenger in Nassau County and Duval County and the areas surrounding that, call us. We’ll sit down. We’ll go over all of those things. We’ll figure out how best to help you.
After a Bus Hits Your Car
In Jacksonville, we have a pretty thorough bus system. In Nassau County, we have a little less of a system. That’s been privatized up here with different kinds of buses. If you’ve been involved in a collision with a bus, the first thing you should do is get treated. The second thing to do is call a lawyer. Many times, you’ve not been involved in a situation like this before. You don’t know what to do. If you get a hold of a lawyer early on, we can direct you. There are insurance questions that might be missed. Ironically, you’re responsible for paying your medical bills through your PIP insurance, if you have it. There are also wage issues to consider. There are a multitude of issues that we deal with as attorneys every day that are complicated to someone who’s not been involved with them before. If you’ve been involved in a bus accident, call us so we can help you.
Bus Accident Case Value
Eventually, we speak with our clients about the value of their cases. It comes later in the life of your case, however. We do not discuss it with clients at the beginning because we don’t know yet what the value of the case is at that point.
There are many variables in determining the value of your case when you’ve been hurt in a bus accident scenario. A lot of it is driven by the nature and the extent of your injuries, including whether your injuries are permanent and whether they impair your ability to do the normal things that you do. Whether you were employed outside the home or not impacts that, whether you were responsible or partly responsible and whether somebody else, separate apart from the bus operator or you, was responsible. These are things that get factored into the value of your case. These are things that we typically don’t know and don’t have in our hands until later on. Sooner or later, we get to the point where we have that discussion and then we discuss the value of your case. If you’ve been hurt in a bus accident case in Duval County, Nassau County, or the surrounding areas, call us. We’ll sit down and we’ll talk about that as well as a host of other issues related to your case.
Bus Accident Case Timeline
How long will a case last? Bus accident cases will last longer than other types of roadway accidents, typically because if we’re dealing with a municipality we have to put them on notice. There is a long waiting period before we can do anything with regard to the entity that’s responsible for your injuries. If we’re dealing with commercial buses, there are other considerations. These are complicated cases more so than regular automobile cases and need someone to handle them who’s had experience. They’re going to last in excess of a year. If we get into litigation, you can add another year and a half to the process. Of course, systems are getting clogged up again, as well. We’re not getting to trial as soon as we would like to. They will last longer than a typical auto case. If you’ve been hurt in a bus accident case, call us. We can sit down and discuss that with you as well as all the other issues surrounding your case and see how best we can help you.
Bus Accident Insurance Investigation
People ask often if it’s a wise thing to talk to the insurance companies after they’ve been involved in a bus accident case in Nassau County, or Duval County, or any of the surrounding areas. With your own insurance company, yes, talk to them. You’re obligated to talk to them. You have a responsibility to put them on notice as soon as you can after the accident that you’ve been involved in an accident. That triggers their responsibilities. You have a duty to cooperate with them, give them a statement if they ask for it. They will ask for it. There’s a host of other things that you have to do with your own insurance company.
Now, however, with regards to the insurance company for the bus company, the answer is no. Do not talk to them. They are the experts in their field and you are not. You are no match for them. That’s why we recommend that you contact a lawyer early on so that they can guide you. One of the things we tell clients in the first conference is do not talk to the insurance company. Have them contact your attorney. They call us and the flow of information will go through our office, which is the way it should be. That’s how we do things with that kind of claim in Nassau County and Duval County. If you’ve been involved in a bus accident case, call us. We’ll sit down, go over things, and see how best we can help you.
Common Mistakes in a Bus Accident Case
Clients often make mistakes before they come to see us. One of the most common mistakes is they don’t get treated for their injuries. In a bus accident case, many times you don’t realize you’re hurt. You’re in the adrenaline of the moment and that will mask pain many times. The pain doesn’t surface for several days, maybe a week or two. If you’re not careful, if you don’t get treated, your recovery won’t be as good. Your primary responsibility is to take care of yourself. Go get treated. Get back on your feet.
Other mistakes we see clients make is that they don’t do what their doctor tells them to do. The doctor is the quarterback. Do what your doctor says. The worst thing that you could do to your case from a medical perspective is being noncompliant. If you are noncompliant that means you’re not doing what the doctor tells you to do. Do what the doctor tells you to do. That will enhance your chances of getting as well as you can be.
The other mistake we see people make is they don’t retain a lawyer early on for whatever reason. Getting a lawyer early on in the process allows a lawyer to collect evidence, including photographing damage to the bus, to your automobile, and to the accident scene. These things go away after time. If we don’t get involved early on, then we lose valuable evidence that will enhance the value of your case.
If you’ve been hurt in a busing case in Nassau County, Duval County, call us early on. We can help you through the process and maximize the value of the case.
How Bus Accidents and Car Accidents Differ
People don’t know this but a claim against a busing company is different than a claim brought in an ordinary automobile collision case. Many times, buses are operated by private companies that have a relationship with a governmental entity. This impacts how you begin the case, which is different from a lot of regular auto cases. If, for example, you miss a notice requirement, then you have no case. Your case, if you file the lawsuit, will be dismissed. If you don’t have a lawyer who’s experienced in handling bus claims, then the lawyer might miss it. We’ve been handling cases like these for years. We know where to go and how to go about handling a bus claim because it is different from an ordinary auto claim. If you’ve been hurt in Jacksonville, in Yulee, in Callahan, Hilliard, Bryceville, Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach, or the beaches in Duval County, call us today. We’ll go over your case and do the things necessary to maximize your claim.
Suing the School For a School Bus Injury
We had a client once who was involved in an accident on the bus. The bus was going to the girl’s school and she wanted to know if we could sue the school. Typically, that answer is no. Schools do not control the buses. Many times, buses are owned by what are independent contractors. They are responsible for their conduct. The schools are not. Oftentimes, too, the school board is brought in. It’s hard to keep them in these kinds of cases in Duval County particularly, Nassau County as well. We typically do not look at the school. We look at the school bus driver and the school bus owner for the recovery. They are required to maintain a good bit of insurance because they are contracted by the school board or the school. They are required to carry liability insurance that would protect that little girl under those circumstances. These are things that come with experience in handling school bus accident cases. If you have a situation like this, call us. We’ll sit down with you, go over things, and see how best we could help you.
Initial Offer in a Bus Accident Case
Sooner or later, all clients ask about the value of a case. It usually comes up when we are dealing with settlement offers connected with the case. In bus accident cases, that will come up later on in the case, as it does in most cases. Typically, we tell people we’re not going to take the first offer. Insurance companies are like most companies that are in the negotiation business. They will try to get away for as little as possible. They will send out a minimal offer to see if you will bite. If you have a lawyer who’s not experienced in this kind of a case, they may not understand fully that they should turn that down.
We’ve been handling cases like these for decades. We know that the first offer is not the offer to take. If we’re trying to resolve the case, then we’ll get their best dollar on the table, which means going back several different times, maybe discontinuing conversations until we get a case postured in the stronger position. We don’t take the first offer typically because we know that there’s more money in their pockets. If you’ve got this kind of question in your bus accident case, call us if you’ve been hurt in Nassau County or Duval County, and we’ll see how best we can help you.
Choosing The Right Bus Accident Lawyer
If you are looking for the right bus accident attorney, get an experienced lawyer, one who has handled bus accident cases in Duval County, Nassau County, or the surrounding areas. Bus accident cases are different from automobile accident cases where you have two automobiles colliding with one another. Frequently, these buses are operated by agencies of the municipality. You have to understand how that works— the agencies you can sue, the agencies you cannot sue, if you’re dealing with agencies. There are other requirements before you can even get to the point of filing a lawsuit. You need someone who’s been down that road before.
We have handled bus accident cases from almost the very beginning of our law firm. These cases are different and you need someone who knows how to handle them. If you’ve been involved in a bus accident case, call us right away. We’ll sit down. We’ll figure out how best to help you.
Call Our Nassau County Bus Accident Attorney Today
If you’ve suffered serious injuries from a bus accident please get in touch with our Nassau County bus accident attorney as soon as you possibly can. You deserve justice and we know how to fight to get it for you. We will sit down with you during a free consultation to go over the details of your case and give you guidance on what your legal steps should be. We take care of all the hard parts of your case so you can focus on yourself and your recovery. Don’t hesitate to get in contact with our office today and we will set up your free first consultation. Justice is waiting for you to call.