With gas prices at a near all-time high, more people in Seattle are traveling on public transportation, which, for many, means relying on buses to get around. Nationwide, 13,261 bus crashes injured 15,575 and killed 295 in 2011, according to the National Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Causes of bus accidents include driver negligence, equipment malfunctions, hazardous roads, weather conditions, and poor maintenance. Fifteen of every 19 bus accidents are caused by driver negligence.
WHAT TO DO FOLLOWING A BUS ACCIDENT
A person injured while riding a bus is often able to recover compensation from the company or municipality that owns the bus. If you’ve been hurt in a bus accident, get the names of the bus company and the driver and the route number and the plate number of the bus. Try to get names and contact information for any witnesses. If the accident involved another vehicle, get the driver’s insurance and contact information. Use your cell phone camera to take pictures of the accident scene. Get checked out by your doctor, and emergency room, or an urgent care clinic. Then call Wattel & York to schedule an appointment to discuss the accident.
YOU NEED AN EXPERIENCED BUS ACCIDENT LAWYER
While you may be tempted to settle directly with an insurance adjuster, it could work to your disadvantage. For the best outcome, you need an attorney on your side who is familiar with the complexities of a Washington bus accident case. . . an advocate who knows the law, understands the tactics insurance companies use to avoid paying, and is willing and able to take the case to a jury if necessary. You need the personal injury lawyers at Wattel & York on your side.
Our attorneys will investigate to determine who caused the accident. If the cause was negligent driving by the bus driver, you’ll seek damages from the owner of the bus. If it was caused by the driver of another vehicle, you’ll make a claim against that person. Or you may make a claim against the government entity that owned the bus or was responsible for maintaining the road, if a defect in the pavement, signage, or a traffic light caused the accident.
We’ll gather your medical records, employment records, and any information available to demonstrate the extent of your losses. Make sure your doctor is aware of all the problems you are having as a result of the accident. Keep a diary of the day-to-day limitations you’re experiencing and include a record of all your losses related to the injury. Include medical costs, time off from work, cost of prescriptions, transportation to the doctor’s office, braces and medical equipment, household help, and any other injury-related expenses.
AVOID THE INSURANCE ADJUSTER
If an insurance adjuster calls before you’ve retained a lawyer, avoid making a recorded statement, don’t discuss who was at fault or how you were injured, and don’t sign any paper such as medical authorizations or a general release. You could do irreversible harm to the value of your case.
DON’T FORFEIT YOUR RIGHTS
Some people never get the compensation they deserve because they think it costs a lot of money to hire a lawyer. But you can get top-notch, experienced legal representation for your bus accident from the Seattle law firm of Wattel & York without a penny out-of-pocket. That’s because we take cases on a contingency fee agreement, so all fees and expenses come out of the settlement or verdict and you pay nothing unless we win money for you.
Schedule your free consultation with Wattel & York today.