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Our Experienced Bus Accident Lawyers Can Help
As former insurance defense counsel attorneys, we have the insider knowledge on what it takes to win these types of cases. Therefore, we will use all possible resources at our disposal to get results, including our insider knowledge of insurance companies. Since we have formerly served as defense counsel for these insurers, we know how the “other side” thinks. This is a huge asset when handling a bus accident case – we know exactly what questions to ask, and the right steps to take in order to get the compensation you deserve.
After a bus crash, every single detail can make or break a case. Once we take on your case, we conduct our own independent examinations of the site, interviewing witnesses and consulting with medical professionals and law enforcement to get a better sense of the situation. We can use every possible opportunity to improve your case.
We also understand that your legal fight is just one part of your journey to recovery. Our friendly staff is there to make the legal process as smooth and comfortable as possible, and we help our clients consult with specialists to determine the care they need.
What Should You Do When Involved in a Bus Accident
Las Vegas may not be known for its bus system, but bus accidents happen more often here than people expect. We want to trust our bus drivers, and when we board a bus, like our local RTC Transit buses or a hotel shuttle, we expect to be transported safely to our intended destinations. As fellow motorists, we also expect that bus operators can drive safely and carefully as well. However, there are many ways a bus driver can be negligent, and it takes just one bad decision or moment of inattention to cause an accident or serious injury. If you or a loved one have been injured while riding a bus in Las Vegas, or injured by a bus as a pedestrian on the road, you have the right to take legal action and demand rightful compensation.
The attorneys of Gazda and Tadayon have been recognized by the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for winning millions in compensation for our clients. Our ethical standards have also been highlighted by the law directory Martindale-Hubbard. When you work with Gazda and Tadayon on your bus accident case, you will receive proven representation with full integrity.
Negligent Drivers: The Aftermath of a Bus Accident
Legally, a bus is any vehicle that transports 10 people or more, including the driver. Thus, there are many vehicles that can qualify as a bus in Las Vegas. This could be a school bus, a charter bus for an organization, a public RTC transit bus, or a private shuttle for a hotel or convention center.
In most bus accidents, the victim files a claim against the bus company rather than the bus driver, since it’s the company that covers the operators through insurance. If these companies call and attempt to settle, it can be tempting to take the settlement. There are immediate medical costs to cover, and the victim can already be overwhelmed physically, emotionally, and financially. But often, this initial settlement is not the best option, no matter how patient and understanding the other party may sound on the phone.
At the end of the day, both the bus company and their insurance companies will defend their own interests. They are focused on the numbers, and that means that their agenda is to minimize the amount of money they award to any injured parties if they can’t avoid the claim altogether. They can be difficult to negotiate with, and even when they do accept blame, they can attempt to lower the payout by low-balling the cost of medical treatment, rehabilitation, and emotional damages to the victim. For example, if a pedestrian suffers a serious spine injury after the accident, the company may agree to cover the costs of the first few hospital visits, but they may neglect to cover the costs of long-term rehabilitation and lost wages, which can span years. Once a victim accepts a settlement, there’s no going back to ask for additional compensation, no matter how justified.
Indeed, as a traveler, you do have special securities that others harmed by transports don’t. A transport is viewed as a “typical transporter” and consequently owe the most extreme obligation of care to you.
Investigation is extremely important, especially if it involves government agencies. Law enforcement and government agencies do their best to ensure safety to everyone but sometimes they can make mistakes. For that reason, conducting a proper investigation is crucial for your case.
Depending on the specifics of the case, you can sue the operator and owner of the bus as well as any other person or entity who is responsible for the accident, provided you did not cause the accident.
Do not agree to make a recorded statement to the bus company’s insurance carrier. Do not sign any forms sent to you by the bus company and their insurance carrier. Immediately contact an experienced Bus Law Firm such as Gazda & Tadayon.
Bus drivers are only human, and while they are professionals, they are also subject to the many mistakes and indiscretions that other motorists can be guilty of. The same goes for the bus company’s maintenance team, who could have missed something critical during their routine checks of the bus and its operating devices. Some of the most common causes for bus injuries are:
wide, sharp turns
intoxicated bus driver (DUI)
general disregard for traffic laws
poorly marked bus lanes
improperly maintained brakes, tires, or safety equipment
The at-fault bus driver might also be fatigued. Bus drivers can sometimes drive hours and hours on a shift, and although laws prevent overtime to prevent driver fatigue, these laws can go undeeded. They may have fallen asleep for a few moments at the wheel after deciding to drive while fatigued, or they may have been driving under the influence. Nevada has one of the highest rates of DUI in the nation, so unfortunately a lot of these bus traffic accidents involve alcohol or other forms of intoxication.
After the bus accident, the bus driver’s condition is usually noted by law enforcement. This record can be used to determine the bus driver’s level of fault in the accident.
Regardless of the cause, the bus company and its operators are liable for the safety of their passsengers, and are responsible for preventing these types of accidents. Many injuries sustained by bus riders are avoidable and attributable to human error, and even in cases where the bus driver may not be 100% liable for the accident, they can still be held responsible for the injury as long as they are found liable for majority of the accident. Thus, even if another motorist on the road was involved, the responsibility is still on the company to provide compensation.
No one wants to be injured in a car accident or traffic accident, let alone one involving a bus. Buses are much bigger and heavier than passenger vehicles, and they need to take wide turns that can seriously injure pedestrians, cyclists, and other motorists. As for bus riders, they rely heavily on the maintenance of the bus and its safety equipment, which can fail catastrophically without proper maintenance. Almost anything can cause a bus injury.
Some of the most common injures in bus accidents are:
At first, the full extent of an injury may not be obvious. It is critical that victims seek medical assistance regardless of their initial condition, since a medical professional will be able to take full inventory of any issues. This medical record also helps build the case later on, especially for injuries that require long term rehabilitation, like orthopedic care or chronic pain management.
If injury from the bus crash can be demonstrated, the victim can be entitled to substantial compensation. They can claim for a number of damages including:
cost of medical treatment
cost of long-term rehabilitation services, including physical therapy
medication for chronic pain and suffering
post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
One more important thing to note: it’s critical that you speak to a lawyer and potentially file for damages as soon as possible. Our state law limits the amount of time after a personal injury that a victim can claim damages and demand compensation. Contact us today to talk about your individual case in a timely manner.
If you are injured in a bus accident in Las Vegas, it is important to seek legal counsel before speaking to any representative from the bus company, since anything you say is on the record and can be used against you when you attempt to file against them. Many private buses are operated by powerful companies and they have ways to minimize their liability. Be sure to speak to your own attorney first.
With almost 30 years of experience, Attorney Lewis Gazda is one of the most respected lawyers in the Las Vegas community. Attorney Gazda specializes in both personal injury and wrongful death cases. He is recognized by his peers for his superior negotiation skills and extensive legal knowledge, earning the highest possible rating of AV Pre-eminent from Martindale-Hubbell.
Attorney Afshin Tadayon has more than 20 years of experience as an attorney in Las Vegas, with a diverse range of practice areas including personal injury, premises liability, wrongful death, criminal law, and mass tort litigation. Attorney Tadayon formerly served as a defense lawyer for insurance companies; his insider knowledge of their legal tactics makes him a potent advocate for clients seeking the compensation they deserve after an accident.
Attorney Tadayon is ranked AV Pre-eminent by Martindale-Hubbell, a rating reserved for only the top 10% of attorneys as designated by their peers.
Personal injury and accident cases can be complicated, our attorneys are here to help you through the process. Please fill out the form to request a free legal consultation to discuss the details of your case or to get your questions answered.