Lafayette Bus Accidents Lawyers

City buses, school buses and commercial buses are relatively safe modes of transportation. Even though bus crashes are rare, they do occur, and they have the potential to cause serious injuries.

While there are many reasons for these crashes, they are often the result of negligence. Injured victims and their loved ones may be able to seek compensation from the negligent parties that caused the accident.

The Lafayette bus accident lawyers at Galloway Jefcoat are here to help you take legal action to secure justice and compensation for injuries and damages. We have been representing the injured in Louisiana for more than 25 years, securing millions on behalf of our clients.

We take bus crash cases on contingency, which means no upfront costs. The initial consultation is also free. Our lawyers only get paid if we secure compensation through a settlement or courtroom decision.

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Can I File a Lawsuit For My Bus Crash Injuries?

This is one of the most pressing questions for victims and families of those seriously injured in bus crashes. The answer depends on numerous factors specific to the accident, including:

  • How the crash occurred
  • The severity of your injuries
  • How your injuries occurred
  • Whether there was a mechanical issue with the bus that caused the crash
  • Whether the driver was negligent
  • When the crash happened, as there is limited time to pursue a lawsuit or insurance claim

Our Lafayette bus accident lawyers have detailed knowledge of the many factors involved in a bus crash case. When you meet with one of our attorneys in a free consultation, he or she can determine if you may have a valid case.

We are prepared to take on many types of bus accident cases, such as those involving:

  • School buses
  • City buses
  • Charter buses
  • Coaches
  • Motor coaches
  • Shuttle buses

Injury cases arise from many types of bus crashes, including:

  • Rollovers
  • Collisions with fixed objects
  • Collisions with smaller passenger vehicles
  • Interstate accidents
  • Highway accidents
  • Head-on collisions
  • And more

Whether you were a passenger on the bus or in another vehicle, we may be able to assist you. We can manage the legal process while you focus on your recovery. The insurance company and other liable parties will likely expend a lot of effort to avoid paying compensation. This is why you need an experienced legal advocate fighting for your best interests. Like you, our goal is to secure maximum compensation to help you get your life back.

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What Are My Bus Crash Injuries Worth?

This is an important question, because you cannot secure all the compensation you need unless you know the value of your case. There are online damages calculators that promise to tell you what your case is worth. The insurance company may also call you to offer compensation. However, you should not rely on the numbers provided by calculators or liable parties.

Galloway Jefcoat has secured millions for our clients in a wide variety of cases. We have evaluated countless claims, and we know how to determine the full value of victims’ damages.

Bus crash victims often need compensation for a wide variety of expenses, such as:

  • Medical bills you have already incurred
  • Future medical costs
  • Long-term care costs
  • Medical equipment such as wheelchairs, crutches and canes
  • Modifications you need to make to your home to accommodate a long-term disability
  • Modifications to your vehicle to accommodate a disability
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity if you cannot work as much as you did before

While many crash victims are focused on economic damages like these, they may also be eligible to seek compensation for the emotional toll of the crash. This may include compensation for:

At Galloway Jefcoat, we know bus crash injuries can affect many aspects of your life. We are deeply committed to securing full compensation for all your injuries and damages.

We know that compensation can never change what occurred. However, compensation helps to make victims and their families financially whole, or at least back in the position they were in prior to the accident.

Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Bus Accident Lawyer

Bus crashes are not the same as car accidents. Victims of these collisions need a lawyer who has extensive knowledge of the differences and how to build a robust bus accident case.

A dedicated bus accident lawyer will know what steps to take right away to preserve evidence and begin building a case. He or she will know what to look for in terms of state and federal laws and regulations that may apply to the bus involved in your accident.

For example, Louisiana’s Commercial Driver’s License Manual says drivers must make sure it is safe to drive the bus before going out on the road. They must make sure numerous components, like service brakes, lights and the steering mechanism are in proper working order.

The more severely you were injured, the more compensation you are likely to need, which is why you should seek a lawyer who knows how to identify all liable parties. More importantly, your lawyer needs to know how to assess whether these parties may have been negligent.

In general, hiring a lawyer for a bus accident case is an essential step for victims to take. The possibility of recovering more compensation is greater with a lawyer representing you. This is especially true if you hire a lawyer who takes cases to court.

If you have questions about the benefits of hiring a lawyer for your bus crash case, give us a call.

What Is the Deadline for Filing a Legal Claim?

You have limited time to take legal action after a bus crash in Louisiana. This is particularly true when pursuing a claim against a government entity, which may be possible if you were injured because of a public bus. Typically, you do not have much time after an accident to pursue this type of case.

If a government entity is not involved, there is a one-year statute of limitations, which is set by Louisiana law. That means a lawsuit must be filed within one year of the accident, otherwise, you lose the right to file a lawsuit.

The bottom line is you do not have much time to pursue a claim. That is why it is important to call a lawyer right away to determine if you have a case. You want to give him or her sufficient time to build a strong case on your behalf.

Who Could Be Liable For Your Bus Accident?

One of the main differences between bus crash claims and car accident claims is the number of liable parties. Most car crashes are caused by the negligent actions of one driver. However, two or more parties could potentially be at fault for a bus accident in Lafayette.

Bus Driver

Many bus crashes are a result of driver negligence. Bus drivers engage in some of the same forms of negligence as drivers of smaller passenger vehicles, including:

  • Distracted driving
  • Drowsy driving
  • Speeding
  • Violating right-of-way rules
  • Failing to maintain a lane
  • Running red lights or stop signs
  • Following other cars too closely
  • Drunk driving
  • Reckless driving in bad weather (taking turns too quickly, speeding, etc.)

While these actions are risky no matter the size of your vehicle, they are especially dangerous when you are operating a bus. Speeding could increase the risk of a rollover. Buses are much larger than most other vehicles on the road. This means they are more likely to cause extensive damage to other vehicles if a collision occurs.

Drivers of commercial touring buses often travel long distances and work long shifts, increasing the risk of drowsy driving. These drivers may also have tight schedules, which pressures them to drive when they are tired or not in the best shape to safely operate the bus.

Bus Companies

Bus companies may be vicariously liable for the actions of their drivers. For example, the bus driver may not have been qualified to drive a commercial vehicle. The bus driver’s employer may bear fault for allowing this person to drive the bus. The bus company may have known the driver had a history of substance abuse or had previously caused accidents.

Bus companies could also be liable for failing to properly train drivers or allowing them to operate poorly maintained vehicles.

Governments or School Districts

If the driver was an employee of the local or state government, you may have grounds for a liability claim.

However, governments sometimes contract bus services out to third parties. In these situations, the government that hired the third party might not be at fault. However, you might have a claim against the third party.

While it may be possible to hold government entities liable for damages from a bus crash, government entities have legal protection from many liability claims. An experienced lawyer can determine if you may have a valid claim against a government entity.

If the accident involved a school bus, the school district might bear liability. They may have failed to maintain the bus or allowed an unqualified or dangerous driver to operate the vehicle.

For example, the school district could be vicariously liable for driver negligence while loading or unloading children from the bus. Drivers must use extreme caution when approaching a bus stop. They need to count the number of students at the stop and make sure all of them board the bus. Drivers must make sure all students are seated before leaving the stop.

Other parties that may bear fault for bus crashes include:

  • Bus maintenance companies if they failed to perform required maintenance, fix problems or recommend that the bus be taken out of service
  • Manufacturers of bus components if a defective part contributed to a crash
  • Charter companies
  • Drivers of passenger vehicles if their negligence caused the crash

Injuries Often Suffered by Bus Crash Victims

Bus crashes have the potential to cause severe, life-changing injuries, such as:

  • Paralysis
  • Amputation of a limb
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Brain stem injury
  • Severe broken bone injuries, such as broken legs or hips
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Back injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Torn ligaments
  • Dislocated joints
  • Lacerations and severe bruising
  • Internal injuries
  • Crush injuries

While some victims may regain a significant amount of the mobility or function that they lost because of their injuries, others may be significantly disabled. Still others may not survive their injuries.

Given the potential for severe injuries in a bus crash, victims should contact a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss whether they can take legal action.

Contact the Lafayette bus crash lawyers at Galloway Jefcoat today:

Call Our Lafayette Bus Accident Lawyers Today

Bus accident cases can be complicated, as there may be multiple liable parties and injuries can be severe and costly to treat. During this difficult time, victims need a trusted advocate fighting for their best interests. Insurers and liable parties will be looking for any way to avoid accountability.

Galloway Jefcoat’s experienced attorneys have been fighting for the injured for decades and have established a proven track record of success.

There is no financial risk in contacting our firm because there are no upfront fees. We do not get paid unless you receive compensation for the injuries and damages you or your loved one have suffered.

Our office is located at 1925 Dulles Drive in Lafayette, just a few minutes north of Acadiana High School.

Galloway Jefcoat. Turning Wrong Into Right. Contact us: