When you ride a bus, whether it is a private coach company, a JTA bus, or any other commercial bus, you are putting your trust into the bus driver, the company that hired them, and the safety and licensing standards that go into keeping our roadways safe. However, no matter how experienced and responsible a bus driver is, there is no guarantee that you will safely make it to your destination. In fact, a total of 823 bus accidents in Florida in 2012, as reported by the National Center for Transit Research (NCTR) at the University of South Florida
Injuries of any severity can cause serious impacts on a victim’s life, and many of them are financial. Fortunately, you are able to seek compensation from the insurance company that the bus driver has a commercial policy through. Typically, commercial insurance policies have limits in excess of $1 million of liability coverage. While this is great news in regards to the amount of money available for you, the process of getting this money is even more complicated than when you are dealing with a personal vehicle insurance claim.
Hire a Bus Accident Attorney Today
The team at Fasig | Brooks is here to help as soon as you reach out to us. We offer a free initial consultation to anyone who has been injured in a bus accident in or around Jacksonville, where we will be able to discuss your accident in detail. During our consultation, we will be happy to talk about your injuries, the impacts that your accident has had on your life, the steps that you have already taken, as well as how we can help you get what you deserve.
In addition to the confidence that we know you will have in our work once we have our initial conversation, we will be happy to discuss past cases similar to your own. While no two accident is alike, it can be comforting to know that we have provided legal help and support to other people who suffered similar situations to yours and that there is a path forward for you.
Read more below for some general information about filing insurance claims after a bus accident, as well as a few frequently asked questions and information about calculating damages after an accident.
Filing an Insurance Claim After a Bus Accident
Filing an insurance claim is simple enough, but insurance companies make sure that this step is simple so that you do not immediately think that you need the help of a personal injury attorney. The reality, though, is much different and more complicated. When an insurance company handles a claim, the adjuster assigned to the case is researching all of the details of the case, but not on behalf of the victim; instead, they are looking for every possible way to save the insurance company as much money as they can.
When you are working with an attorney from the moment you submit a claim, you can be confident that there is someone taking steps to ensure that regardless of how the insurance company attempts to arbitrarily limit your award, there is a rebuttal for why you deserve more. When you are focusing on recovering from your injuries, the last thing that you should need to be focusing on is advocating for yourself against a company motivated to pay you less.
Calculating Damages Following a Bus Accident in Orlando
In order to calculate damages after an accident, there are many different factors that will need to be considered. The following are just a few different things that we will work through as we are attempting to understand the entirety of your impacts during our own investigations.
Economic damages are the most straightforward aspects of a personal injury case and include all of your expenses, costs, and losses that are directly the result of your accident. Typically the most expensive piece of these claims is your medical bills, which will vary greatly depending on the level of care you received, the extent of your injuries, and any ongoing treatment that you will need to receive.
Another major piece of your economic damages will be the income-based effects of the accident and your injuries. If you are unable to return to work in your normal capacity, then you will be able to seek compensation for any decreases to your earnings. In addition, if you use any paid time off or sick leave to cover for your time away from work, you deserve to be compensated for these aspects of your income, as well.
There are many other issues that we will consider as well. For example, if you are required to hire any services that you would have otherwise performed on your own, such as groceries, laundry, house cleaning, or driving, then we will be able to request compensation for these services since you would not have needed them had you not been injured.
Non-economic damages cover a wide range of impacts of an accident that do not have specific and measurable financial values. They include things like the actual pain and suffering of your injuries, the emotional trauma of experiencing a bus accident, and impacts on your quality of life after the crash. The reality of these damages is that although they are just as important as your economic damages, the insurance company will push back much more aggressively on these, simply because of their abstract nature.
We will fight hard to make sure that you are compensated for these damages as well as your economic damages because your suffering goes beyond the impacts to your financial security. When you are working with the team at Fasig | Brooks, you can be confident that we are looking out for your best interests at every step of the way.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bus Accidents in Orlando
Do I need a lawyer to help me file a claim after a bus accident?
Technically, you do not need an attorney for any of the steps of a personal injury case. However, choosing to attempt this process on your own is highly discouraged, considering the fact that you will need to juggle the emotional and physical stress of your injuries with the stress of navigating the complex world of tort law. Stress is proven to have a major negative impact on wound recovery, so by working with an attorney, you are giving yourself a better chance of recovering.
How much is my bus accident case worth?
As mentioned above, calculating the total damages that a personal injury victim is entitled to require extensive research into the impacts on your life. What is important to note here is that your case is almost certainly worth more than what the insurance company will offer you as a settlement, which is why it is so important to work with an experienced and aggressive personal injury attorney throughout the entire process.
Will I need to go to trial to get a fair award after my bus accident?
Many people worry that if they do not accept the insurance company’s initial offer that they will need to take on a long and complicated legal process through the Florida courts, but this is not the case at all. Once the insurance company makes the initial offer, you will initiate a series of aggressive negotiations to reach a settlement that works for you.