Bus Accident Lawyer in Columbia, SC
Driving a bus requires considerable care and skill because buses are larger and more challenging to handle than passenger vehicles. This form of transportation is also meant to carry dozens of passengers, some of whom may be rowdy and distracting. A bus driver’s or operator’s carelessness or recklessness can potentially cause serious accidents, which can result in severe injuries to passengers, motorists, and bystanders. With that said, even when bus drivers are operating their vehicles safely, other forces can lead to serious bus accidents.
If you have recently been hurt in an accident involving a bus, a Columbia bus accident lawyer from the Law Offices of S. Chris Davis can help you hold the at-fault parties liable for their actions and demand maximum compensation for your injuries. Our firm is dedicated to providing compassionate, personalized legal representation to injury victims in Columbia and across South Carolina. We have the experience and resources to investigate your case thoroughly, negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf, and take your case to trial if necessary – and we’re not afraid to take on government entities, either.
Contact the Law Offices of S. Chris Davis today to speak with a skilled Columbia bus accident lawyer from our firm. During a free consultation, you can ask any questions that are weighing on your mind and receive personalized legal guidance designed to help you make informed decisions about your options.
Types of Bus Accident Cases Our Firm Handles
At the Law Offices of S. Chris Davis, our experienced Columbia bus accident attorney handles cases that involve seeking compensation from government entities, companies, individuals, and other parties who may be liable for a bus accident. We are prepared to take on all kinds of bus accident cases, including those that involve:
- School buses – We can help you pursue compensation if you or your child was injured in an accident involving a school bus, whether the bus is operated by a public school district, is owned by a private school, or is operated by a third-party transportation company contracted by a school or school district.
- COMET buses – We can handle the process of seeking compensation if you have been injured in an accident involving COMET buses, which are operated by a government entity called the Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority. Our firm can take legal action on your behalf and ensure that your case complies with state government rules and is filed before strict deadlines.
- Other public transit buses – We can seek compensation for accidents involving other public transit buses, including Dial-a-Ride Transit (DART) buses that serve residents with disabilities and the Soda Cap Connector, which serves locals and tourists.
- Tour buses – If you are involved in a tour bus accident in South Carolina, we can identify all the parties who may be liable for your injuries, including the tour company and any third-party contractor that operates the bus for the tour company.
- Greyhound and other intercity buses – Our firm can assist you if you were injured in an accident involving an intercity bus such as a Greyhound or Southeastern Stages while in South Carolina.
- Charter buses – We can help you pursue compensation from charter bus companies, which often means navigating complex insurance coverages.
- Church buses – Our firm can handle the complicated process of seeking compensation from a charitable organization that operates a bus, such as a church or other religious organization.
- Airport, hotel, and rental car shuttles – We are skilled in pursuing compensation from shuttle bus operators such as airports, hotels, or corporate and medical campuses.
Why Bus Accident Claims Tend to Be Particularly Complicated
Pursuing compensation for a bus accident is often more complicated than doing so for a typical motor vehicle collision. Here are some of the reasons bus accident cases tend to be complex:
Victims often suffer serious injuries
Bus accidents often cause severe injuries, both to bus passengers and occupants of other vehicles involved in the crash. Bus passengers may suffer particularly serious injuries in an accident because they are not protected like occupants in passenger vehicles. Many buses do not have seat belts on passenger seats, and passengers often stand or sit laterally to traffic while riding a bus or shuttle. Drivers and passengers in other vehicles face a risk of catastrophic injuries in a bus accident due to the size and weight of a bus, which can impart much greater force in a collision.
Often, more serious injuries mean more costly medical expenses and more lost wages. This matters because seeking significant compensation raises the stakes of settlement negotiations and usually leads to a contentious resolution process.
There are likely multiple victims involved
Bus accidents can injure dozens of people at once, including the passengers on the bus and the occupants of other vehicles involved in the crash. This can increase the number of people who seek compensation for their injuries. If multiple victims seek compensation from an at-fault bus company, the company’s insurance coverage and other financial resources could be exhausted before every injury victim is fully compensated. Companies sometimes prefer to negotiate a “global” settlement that includes all the victims at once, which can be complicated if the victims have different needs or priorities.
Multiple vehicles are usually involved
A bus accident can involve multiple vehicles, complicating the investigation into the accident, including the determinization of who was liable. In these cases, multiple drivers may be responsible for causing the accident.
More parties may be liable
Several companies and organizations may be involved in the operation of any given bus, including the transportation company that owns the bus or employs the bus driver, the municipal agency responsible for its operation, and entities that contract the transportation company for bus services, such as school districts, hotels, or office parks. All these parties may share in the liability for a bus accident, which can complicate a subsequent case. These parties may fight over who is liable and attempt to shift fault onto other potentially liable parties.
Complexities involving insurance coverage
Finally, bus accident cases can become complicated if the bus operator has layered insurance coverage and excess coverage policies. This can make it difficult to determine the full amount of a liable bus operator’s insurance coverage and to evaluate whether a settlement offers the “full” amount of available insurance coverage.