Bus accidents could result in catastrophic injuries since buses have a higher carrying capacity and are heavier than the average vehicles. If you are a bus accident victim, you may need to spend a long time nursing the injuries; thus, affecting your work and your quality of life. In Nevada, you can claim compensation for the losses incurred in a bus accident by filing a lawsuit against the parties responsible for the accident.
The process of recovering compensation from a bus accident claim is complicated. First, the court requires that you establish liability and prove your case before awarding you the benefits. In addition, the moments following a bus accident can be traumatizing even when you are not severely injured.
Therefore, guidance from a competent attorney is vital in preparing for your lawsuit. At Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, you will receive top-notch legal advice and representation as you pursue a bus accident compensation lawsuit. Additionally, we serve clients seeking personal injury lawyers in Las Vegas, NV, and ensure they achieve the best outcomes in their claims.
Overview of Bus Accidents in Nevada
Las Vegas remains a favorite tourist destination for people from all over the world, and the residents have the opportunity to visit local attractions. Therefore, it is common for individuals to travel by bus. Bus accidents may not be prevalent, but they leave a trail of fatalities when they occur. Most individuals who survive bus accidents could live with severe and life-changing injuries. Additionally, involvement in a bus accident can be traumatizing.
Most bus accidents are a result of negligent behavior. Fortunately, if you are a bus accident victim, you can file a civil lawsuit against the negligent parties to seek compensation for your injuries. Finding out why the bus accident occurred is the first step in identifying liable parties and recovering compensation. Some of the common causes of bus accidents in Las Vegas Include:
Driver error is one of the leading causes of bus accidents. As they travel by bus, many people assume that the drivers are adequately trained to drive responsibly. While the drivers could have undergone thorough driving classes, errors could occur. Some of the driver errors that may contribute to an accident are:
- Excessive speed — Due to their large size, buses can be challenging to control. When a driver operates the vehicle over the speed limit, it can be difficult to stop when an emergency arises. This can result in a collision with other cars or obstacles.
- Distracted driving — A distracted driver is one whose physical or mental focus is not on the road. One of the primary sources of distraction for a driver is the use of a cellphone while driving. When a driver is distracted, they may end up crashing on other vehicles or pedestrians on the road.
- Drunk driving — An intoxicated driver lacks the necessary mental capacity to make decisions on the road. Also, they may find it difficult to control the vehicle, which increases the risk of a collision.
- Failure to yield the right of way — When a bus driver fails to yield the right of way for other drivers or pedestrians, the chances of a collision are increased.
Unfavorable Climatic Conditions
Sometimes, the driver may be operating a bus in good condition and following all traffic rules but still cause an accident. For example, when it is raining and the roads are foggy, the driver may have poor vision. This increases the risk of colliding with other vehicles and motorists. Also, vehicle tires may have a poor grip during the rainy season.
Poor Road Conditions
Roads can deteriorate to a point where they increase the risk of accident occurrence. Poorly maintained roads can be hazardous. Broken concrete, road cracks, and obstacles on the street could damage the bus and cause a catastrophic accident. For example, if the bus driver hits a large pothole, the tires could burst, causing the vehicle to move to another lane and crash with oncoming or stationary vehicles on the roadside.
The Condition of the Bus
Bus companies and drivers are expected to operate road-worthy vehicles and serve their cars regularly to reduce malfunction while on the road. However, auto defects are a cause of motor accidents that are often overlooked. The faulty parts will cause a crash and cause injuries to all parties involved in the accident. Some of the most common forms of part malfunction that can result in an accident include:
- Faulty brakes — When a bus braking system malfunctions, it can be difficult for the driver to control the vehicle. This can cause the car to collide with other vehicles or hit an obstacle while attempting to stop.
- Worn-out tires — Busses are heavy vehicles, which can cause the tires to wear out of time. The bus company has a responsibility to maintain the bus in good condition by changing the tires regularly. When the tires are worn out, bursting is higher, a risk factor for bus accidents.
- Steering wheel malfunction —The steering wheel helps the driver in controlling the vehicle. When the part is faulty, the driver can find it hard to control the vehicle and may not do much to avoid an accident.
Bus Accident Injuries
Bus travel is often a safe way to operate. However, when you are involved in a bus accident, you could face severe and life-changing injuries, including:
Whiplash is the pain caused by the damage of neck tissues. For example, if the bus hits an obstacle and stops suddenly, occupants could suffer a whiplash injury. Some of the symptoms of a whiplash injury include neck pain, swelling, and tenderness. Failure to diagnose and treat the whiplash injury on time can cause serious consequences. Therefore, it is vital to seek medical care immediately after an accident.
When the impact of a bus collision is high, passengers may be thrown off their seats. Also, if the bus collides with a motorcycle or hits a pedestrian, the victims could be thrown out. In these instances, the victims could suffer severe bruises and broken bones. Broken bones take a long time to recover, and this may result in expensive medical bills. Also, serious broken bone injuries could affect your ability to return to normal life. Therefore, if you have suffered broken bones from a bus accident, you are entitled to compensation.
Head and Brain Injury
When the impact from the accident causes a bus to stop suddenly, the passengers may strike their heads on a seat window or metal on the bus. Blunt trauma to your head can result in severe charge and brain injury. Head injury is one of the most catastrophic injuries you can suffer from a crash. The brain controls many functions in your body, and damage to this part can result in permanent mental disability. Head injury is characterized by severe headache, insomnia, blurred vision, unconsciousness, and seizures, among others.
Cuts and Lacerations
Buses are designed with multiple breakable parts like glass windows. Therefore, when a severe bus accident occurs, there is a high risk that the passengers will suffer lacerations and cuts from the broken glass. Cuts may not be serious injuries but, when left untreated, could result in severe infections.
Establishing Liability in a Bus Accident Compensation Claim
Before you can recover compensation for the damages in a bus accident lawsuit, you must establish liability for the accident. Establishing liability is an essential part of the claim where you prove the relationship between another person’s conduct and your injuries. In Nevada, liability is based on negligence.
Negligence is a reckless disregard for the safety of other people and is a common cause of traffic collisions. The State of Nevada follows a comparative negligence rule to determine the amount you can recover from the liable parties. Your actions before and during the crash are compared to other parties to determine the percentage of fault.
However, it can be challenging to prove negligence in a bus accident claim without legal guidance. Therefore, it is crucial to enlist the help of a competent car accident attorney. Proving negligence in your bus accident lawsuit requires that you establish the following elements:
Duty of Care
The first step to establishing negligence in a bus accident claim is proving that the defendant owed you a duty of care. The duty of care is a responsibility that each person has to ensure the safety of other road users. Drivers should always ensure that they follow traffic rules and operate roadworthy vehicles to avoid causing accidents. Also, vehicle manufacturers must produce good-quality vehicle parts. Finally, all road users must act in a way that does not put other people’s lives in danger.
Breach of Duty
Having a duty of care towards you is not enough to prove that a defendant is liable for the accident and your injuries. After establishing that the fault party had a duty towards you, you must prove that they breached the duty. An individual breaches their duty towards you by acting in a manner that puts you in harm’s way. The legal standard used to compare the defendant’s actions is the behavior of a reasonable person in a similar situation.
One of the ways you can prove a breach of duty is by showing that a driver was reckless on the road or failed to adhere to traffic rules. If your accident resulted from faulty vehicle parts, you could establish liability by proving that the manufacturer produced substandard parts.
The Defendant’s Actions Caused Your Injuries
Even after establishing a breach of duty, you must prove that your injury directly consequences the defendant’s actions. Causation is one of the most challenging elements of negligence to prove. First, it should be clear that the alleged injury did not exist before the accident and was only a result of the liable parties’ conduct.
Damages Caused to You
A bus accident claim is always aimed at recovering compensation for damages suffered from the accident. Therefore, you must prove that you suffered an injury or loss. When you file the lawsuit, you will need to include damages such as lost wages, medical expenses you incurred and lost earning capacity, among others.
Compensation Benefits from a Bus Accident Lawsuit
If you win in a personal injury claim against liable parties in a bus accident, you may be entitled to compensatory damages to cover:
If you can prove that a party is responsible for the accident, the court will hold them accountable for your medical bills. Unfortunately, most individuals often deny liability for an accident until you can prove it in a lawsuit. Therefore, you will need to cover your medical bills using your insurance cover or government Medicare. Also, you can seek treatment from doctors who operate on a line basis.
When your lawsuit is settled, the liable party’s insurance must pay you for the amounts you used to cover your medical expenses. First, however, you must prove your injuries and treatment when you visit a doctor after a bus accident. In addition, you must mention all the damages you suffered. Also, you should ensure that your injuries are a document for use in your claim.
Lost Wages and Salary
Since bus accident injuries are often severe, you may be unable to return to work for some time. Lost wages are the amount you lose for failing to go to work while you nurse your injuries. Before you can recover compensation for lost wages, you must prove the amount you lost.
A letter from your employer is one of the most effective ways of proving lost wages in a personal injury claim. The letter will include the nature of your employment, the amount you earn per hour, and your lost amount. If you do not have a regular employer or are self-employed, you can use your past tax returns or billing statements to establish the lost wages.
Lost Future Earnings
Lost earning capacity is an amount you would have made in the future if you were not injured. For example, a bus accident injury can incapacitate you and prevent you from returning to your job, resulting in lost future earnings. It is crucial to understand that permanent injury is not necessary for you to recover these damages. The amount you can recover for lost future wages will depend on these factors:
- Duration within which your injuries are expected to recover.
- Your age and life expectancy.
- Your likelihood of returning to the job position you held before the accident.
- Your long-term employment goals.
- Your health before the collision.
Pain and Suffering
Even though the court cannot value the pain, trauma, and suffering you experienced in a bus accident. You can still recover compensation. It is essential to understand that a physical injury is not required to establish pain and suffering.
Bus Accidents Wrongful Death Claim
Nevada law defines wrongful death as a death caused by wrongful acts or negligence of another person. Bus accidents are often a result of negligence from one or more road users. If your loved one died due to bus accident injuries in Las Vegas, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit against the parties responsible for the accident.
Unlike criminal prosecutions, wrongful death lawsuits are solely based on financial compensation for losses you incurred from the death of your loved one. Seeking compensation for wrongful death can be challenging, especially since the victim is not alive to offer their testimony. Therefore, it is vital to seek legal insight.
In Nevada, the following individuals can legally seek wrongful death compensation in the Civil Court:
- The executor of the deceased's estate.
- Biological and adopted children of the deceased.
- A spouse or domestic partner.
- Parents of the deceased, if there are no surviving children.
- The siblings of the deceased, if there is no surviving parent, child, or sibling.
In Nevada, you have up to two years to file a wrongful death claim after a bus accident. If the statute of limitations elapses, your chances to recover compensation in the wrongful death lawsuit will be slim. However, if you are successful in your wrongful death suit, the court may order the defendant to compensate you for:
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- Medical expenses accumulated by the deceased for injuries resulting from the accident.
- Punitive damages are intended to penalize the defendant for their negligent behavior.
- Lost wages that the deceased were expected to earn if they survived the accident.
- Loss of love, affection, and companionship of the deceased.
- Compensation for pain or suffering experienced by your loved one before death.
Frequently Asked Questions on Bus Accident Claims in Nevada
Involvement in a bus accident can be a devastating experience for the victims and their families. Filing a compensation claim as soon as possible is critical in recovering the damages for your accident. The following are some of the frequently asked questions about bus accidents in Las Vegas:
What Qualifies As A “Bus”?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a bus is any vehicle designed to accommodate up to ten individuals, the driver included. You can file a bus accident claim if you were injured in an accident involving:
- A school bus
- Charter bus
- Church vans and buses
- Tour bus
Who Is Likely To Be Injured In A Bus Accident?
Buses can be involved in various accidents, including rear-end collisions, head-on collisions, pedestrian accidents, and rollover crashes. Different road users, including pedestrians, bus passengers, and occupants of other vehicles, can suffer injuries depending on the type of accident. Busses crash less compared to other cars. However, due to their large size, multiple victims can result from the accident.
What Steps Should I Take If I Am Involved In A Bus Accident?
The steps you take and how you act after a bus accident may significantly affect your ability to recover compensation in a personal injury crime. Therefore, if you are a victim of a bus accident in Las Vegas, you should:
- Seek immediate medical care. The injuries resulting from a bus accident are often severe. Even when you do not feel immediate pain, it is crucial to seek medical attention. This will help in the early detection and treatment of your injuries. Also, visiting a doctor helps keep a record of your injuries. Evidence of injuries and medical bills is a crucial piece of evidence in your compensation claim.
- Avoid signing agreements with insurance providers. Insurance companies do not always have your best interests. For example, after an accident, the company may send an agent to try and convince you to settle for compensation which is often less than what you deserve. Therefore, it would be advisable to avoid signing any document until you seek legal guidance.
- Contact your attorney. The moments following an accident can be confusing. The decisions you make at this time may affect your claim. After offering your account of the events to the police, you should not discuss the accident with another person until your attorney arrives.
How Much Can I Recover From A Bus Accident Claim?
Since every case is different, there is no guarantee on the amount you can recover from your claim. Settlement in a bus accident lawsuit varies depending on the severity of your injuries and the value of economic damages.
Find a Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Near Me
Bus accidents often result in fatalities or severe injuries to the victims. In addition, the damages that result from these accidents can affect you and your family emotionally and financially. Most bus accidents are a result of negligence from one or multiple parties.
Fortunately, you can recover compensation for your injuries and losses that result from a bus accident by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the liable parties. Also, if your loved one lost their life during the accident, you can recover wrongful death benefits. However, the process of filing a bus accident lawsuit can be complicated, especially when you are nursing physical injuries and emotional trauma.
Therefore, it would be wise to proceed with your claim with competent legal guidance from the Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm. Our group of skilled attorneys works hard to ensure that all our clients in Las Vegas, NV, recover the compensation they deserve from the bus accident lawsuit. Contact us today at 702-576-0010 and allow us to guide you through the claim.