RICHMOND BUS ACCIDENT LAWYERS
Bus accidents happen all the time in Richmond, and all over Virginia. Blaszkow Legal is experienced at representing people injured in bus accidents from Richmond to Reston, to help you get the compensation that you deserve for your injuries. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a bus accident, then call us today for a free consultation. Whether you're on a School Bus, City Bus, or Charter Bus, the team at Blaszkow Legal can help you to get the justice that you deserve!
In 2022, there were over 480 bus crashes in the Commonwealth of Virginia, according to the DMV. Buses are complicated vehicles, and require considerable care and regard to operate safely on the roadway. Bus accidents often seriously injure the passengers on the bus, and if the bus driver is negligent, these crashes can demolish a smaller car! Finding out who is responsible for the accident is vital to pursuing your claim, and getting you the compensation that you are entitled to.
Get Justice with Joe Blaszkow - call our Richmond Office at 804-273-8929
7824 Shrader Road, Richmond, Va. 23294
Common Injuries in Richmond Bus Accidents
Buses of their high centers of gravity, in the event of accidents, some buses will actually roll onto their sides, or even onto their roofs! This can cause a large number of injuries from the passengers aboard, since they are unprotected by seat belts or other safety devices. Some of the more common injuries in bus accidents include:
Spinal cord injuries. Fractures, and sprains or strains are very common of the back and the neck for passengers and other people in other vehicles in collisions. These injuries come not only from the actual impact, but also from being thrown around the bus in the event of a rollover.
Broken bones and fractures. The most common injuries that we see are broken arms, and a broken legs. However, all sorts of fractures are possible. Fractures have to be diagnosed with x-rays, and other religion techniques.
Bruises and contusions. Bruises are very common, as often in a collision people will be thrown around the bus, and may hit poles and seats. This often leaves residual markings on the body.
Traumatic brain injuries. Brain injuries, or TBI's, happen when the head is struck, or strike something else after an accident. Often times, people are originally diagnosed with concussions, which can make people extremely sensitive to light, and give them lasting headaches.
Whiplash injuries. This is very frequently found in car accident victims, as the head is throwed forward and backwards from the accident
Establishing Fault in Richmond Bus Accidents
Any number of conditions or incidents can cause Richmond bus accidents. After the accident, however, it is the job of the claimant, and the claimant's attorneys, to prove who was at fault. It is not enough to simply say that this person or that person was at fault. Bear in mind that the plaintiff, or the person bringing the claim, always has the burden to prove the case. We do this through a competent and thorough investigation immediately after the accident. The sooner you engage an experienced Richmond personal injury law firm, the sooner we can begin that investigation, and the sooner we can develop the evidence necessary to prove your case
Certain evidence will be lost if it is not immediately preserved. Specifically, we are referring to camera footage. Camera footage on most buses, interior and exterior, will be saved for a period of time after an accident, by the bus company itself. However, other sources of camera footage include banks, atms, surveillance cameras, traffic cameras, Ring doorbell devices, and more. This footage will not be saved forever, and we have to identify it, and then preserve it so that it will be of use to you and making your claim.
Also, remember that witness testimony can be forgotten over time as well. Think about itL do you remember what you were doing on March 3rd, 2022 at 4:15 p.m.? You probably don't, and most people don't either. It is important that we speak to witnesses right away so that we can take statements and preserve their memory in writing for use in your claim.
Who is at Fault For a Bus Accident in Richmond?
Depending on the facts of the accident, fault can lie with a wide range of people and companies or entities. It all depends on how the accident happened. Some of the commonly identified at fault parties include:
Negligent car drivers
Negligent truck drivers
Negligent bus drivers
Drivers experiencing fatigue
Dispatching companies and services
Maintenance companies and personnel who fail to keep a bus up to proper safety standards
Bus companies through policies or procedures
Municipalities depending on the ownership of the bus in question
What You Can Claim After a Richmond Bus Accident
After you have been injured in a Virginia bus accident, you have the right to fight for financial compensation from the person, persons, or entities that have caused or otherwise been responsible for the accident itself. Your damages are broken down into two categories, known as economic damages and non economic damages.
Some of the common elements of Damages include:
Medical expenses such as ambulance transport, emergency room evaluation, radiology services, Orthopedic evaluation, Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation, and prescription costs
Time lost from work. This includes any sick or vacation leave that you have had to use, even if your pay rate stay the same
Future medical expenses, if a doctor states that you will not be able to return to work for a certain period of time
Future medical expenses, if further treatment is deemed necessary. This usually requires a doctor to be willing to generate a report, or to testify
Pain and suffering
Loss of enjoyment of life
Permanent injuries, if any
Scarring if any
Settlement and Negotiation: How the Claims Process Works
Once your medical treatment is complete, and we are able to fully evaluate your case, we will generate a settlement demand package that is sent off to the insurance company. This package includes a compendium of all of the medical records and medical treatment that you have incurred as a result of the injuries caused by the negligent party. Generally, we receive a response back from the at-fault company's insurance carrier within 30 to 60 days of submitting that package.
The negotiation phase of a case begins at this point. After the insurance companies have reviewed the settlement package, the insurance company will let us know their position in the case. They will make an initial offer, which is usually small, and in the case of some unscrupulous insurance companies, is under the amount of our client's medical expenses. As soon as we have this offer, we speak to the client, and we give you the benefit of our expertise and make recommends on whether to take it, to leave it, or make a revised demand amount.
The negotiation phase can go back and forth several times, as there is no set limit. However, it is vital to negotiate in good faith. Some insurance companies will play games, and will not want to give our clients fair value for their cases. Ultimately, if an insurance company does not get to where we believe they need to be to properly compensate our client, or they have simply denied liability completely, we will discuss with our client how to prosecute our clients' rights. This means the filing of a lawsuit.
If the potential recovery is $50,000 or lower, then the lawsuit will be filed in the General District Court. If the case's demanded amount exceeds $50,000, it will be filed in the Circuit Court.
Normally, a General District Court case will be heard in 6 to 8 months after we file the lawsuit itself. A Circuit Court case is far more complex, and has many more intricate steps, and thus will sometimes go to trial in 18 to 24 months time. These estimates vary from County to County.
Statute of Limitations for Bus Accidents in Virginia
According to Virginia Code 8.01-243, you have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit in a court of competent jurisdiction. Bus accidents are considered personal injury claims (as are car accidents, truck accidents, slips and falls, etc). This 2-year period begins to run from the day of the accident.
If the injured party is a minor, then the two years does not begin to run until the minor's 18th birthday.
In the event of a wrongful death claim, the two-year period begins to run from the date of death, not the date of the accident.
Warning! The two-year period is not the only time line that you need to worry about! If the negligence that caused the bus accidents lies with a government authority, then there are other timelines that are much shorter that have to be monitored. These are called notice deadlines under the various tort claims act at the local, state, and Federal level. Some deadlines run as early as 6 months, and some are a year. You need to speak to an experienced Richmond bus accident lawyer right away, to make sure that you do not miss any of these deadlines, and potentially impair your ability to seek compensation.
Contact our Richmond Bus Accident Lawyers Today!
If you have been injured in a bus accident, you need to speak to an attorney right away. Whether you've been injured on a Greyhound bus, a City bus, or a shuttle bus, the insurance companies are going to work tirelessly to devalue your case. They are going to use every trick in their book to minimize your claim, or deny it out right. Never let them take advantage of you! Contact the experienced lawyers at Blaszkow Legal now for a free consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis, so we don't get paid unless you collect money.
Get Justice with Joe Blaszkow, and call 804-273-8929 today!
Get Justice with Joe!
If you or a loved one have been hurt in a bus accident, car accident, truck accident, or any other personal injury matter in the Richmond area, then call us today for a free consultation.
Speak to the Attorneys who aren't afraid to fight for your compensation!
Richmond Area: 804-273-8929
Northern Virginia: 703-879-5910