What to Do if You are a Pedestrian Hit by a Bus in Georgia?
- posted: Sep. 29, 2020
In Georgia as elsewhere, buses are a common form of transportation. There are hundreds of public bus lines, with tour and airport buses adding to the stream. But in densely populated areas, buses pose a significant danger to people on foot, including those in the act of catching or getting on or off a bus.
Bus accidents involving pedestrians can be caused by many factors, including the following:
- A distracted driver not paying full attention to circumstances around him
- Mechanical failure or lack of proper maintenance of the bus or a component
- Traffic violations, such as running a red light or failing to yield
- Violation of regulations, such as prohibitions against driving or stopping in certain lanes
Pedestrian injuries can range in seriousness from a twisted ankle from a trip and fall to broken and fractured bones, head injuries and spinal cord injuries from getting hit or run over by a bus. Beside the immediate harm, there is the possibility of lasting pain and suffering and the need for long-term therapeutic care.
The first thing to if you are injured in a bus-related accident is to ask for medical help. Do not leave the scene until the accident has been reported. If you are able, gather information about the bus, the driver and the site of the accident. Take pictures and if possible get the names of witnesses. If a police officer has responded, obtain his identification and contact information. Next, get transported to an emergency or trauma center for a full diagnosis of your injuries. Then, hire a personal injury lawyer who is experienced in bus accident cases.
Bus companies and their drivers are required to have insurance to compensate pedestrians and others injured in accidents for their medical bills, loss of past and future earnings and pain and suffering. But compensation isn’t automatic. You must show that the bus driver’s or bus company’s negligence amounted to more than 50 percent of the cause of the accident. Even then, your recoverable damages will be reduced by your percentage of negligence. Allocating fault among the parties is critical not only in court but in pretrial discovery and negotiations.
The sooner you start building a case, the better the chances that crucial forensic evidence and witness testimony can be gathered and preserved. It is also important to begin documenting, as soon as possible, the injuries you have suffered and the prognosis for recovery of your health. Also, be aware that a personal injury lawsuit in Georgia must be brought within two years of the accident date. Shorter deadlines apply when the claim is against a public entity.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a pedestrian in a bus accident, the skilled attorneys at Jason & Bradley, LLC in Stone Mountain, Georgia can fight for your rights. To schedule your free initial consultation, call 404-297-9933 or contact us online.