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Bus Accident Lawyers Serving Maryland, Virginia And Washington D.C.

Bus Passenger Accidents

Those riding on a bus at the time of an accident have zero control over the factors leading to a collision. Additionally, most public transportation buses in Maryland and Virginia do not have seat belts. A great majority of serious bus injuries are caused when individuals are thrown about inside the vehicle upon the force of impact. The law typically holds the operators of commercial carriers (vehicles providing transport to the public) to the “highest standard of care.” Essentially, when you ride a bus being operated by another person (or any other commercial vehicle for that matter: airplane, boat etc.) you are essentially putting your life in the bus operator’s hands and trusting them to safely navigate you from point A to point B. The operator must thus act with the highest level of care to ensure your safety and often when an accident does occur, it is sometimes because this duty has been breached.

What’s the Cause of Your Accident?

The causes of bus accidents can vary. The most typical causes include but are not limited either to:

  • Speeding
  • Talking on the cell phone
  • Texting
  • Reckless Driving
  • Improper Lane Changes
  • Failing To Yield
  • Drug Use
  • Alcohol Use
  • Negligent Maintenance
  • Brake Failure
  • Failure of driver’s to comply with the legal standard of care

Every Second Counts

Because bus accidents often result in substantial injuries and substantial liability for the bus company, the bus companies are typically well prepared to respond to an accident scene and perform an internal accident investigation to determine the cause of the crash. These investigations often result in performing drug tests for the bus driver’s, capturing and preservation of video footage, interviewing witnesses and other kinds of evidentiary preservation. Not surprisingly, despite all of these efforts, it is very rare that the bus company or its insurer will voluntarily attribute the cause of the accident to their own bus driver’s negligence. Therefore, if you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a bus accident, you should obtain an attorney as soon as possible after the accident to aggressively conduct an independent investigation into the facts and to rapidly secure the evidence that you will need to prove whose fault the accident was.

Who Will be Held Responsible?

Bus collisions in Maryland and Virginia usually involve one of the following entities:

  • WMATA
  • Maryland Government Buses
  • DC Metro Buses
  • Transit Companies
  • Greyhound Lines
  • Metro Access Buses
  • School buses
  • Other Private Bus Companies
  • Medical Transport Companies
  • Tour Bus Companies

Again, because the operators of buses can face substantial liability after a collision, the companies who employ the operators typically are prepared to visit the accident scene immediately after an accident and obtain recorded statements, witness information, video recordings, photographic evidence, and otherwise secure whatever evidence they can. This is why it’s important to contact an attorney immediately to discuss the specific facts of your case. Your attorney will be able to promptly secure the evidence you need to prove your case and make sure actions are taken immediately to preserve your claim.

Our lawyers fight every day to help those who have been injured receive just compensation. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident in Maryland or Virginia, contact our Lawyers today for a free consultation! 1-888-540-2599

 

SCHOOL BUS ACCIDENTS INVOLVING CHILDREN/ Negligence Generally

Like many traffic-related incidents, bus accidents usually happen because of someone’s negligence. Frequently, these accidents occur because:

  • The responsible party had a duty to exercise reasonable care in operating the vehicle, so as to not cause a risk of harm to others on the road;
  • That person failed to comply with this legal obligation;
  • The breach of the legal duty of care caused an accident, and you or your child was injured; and,
  • You suffered losses as a result of the injuries, for which you are entitled to monetary compensation.

Different Standard of Care Around Children

This description of negligence in bus accident cases notwithstanding, incidents involving children deviate from this type of case in some ways. A person who encounters a child must exercise a degree of care that goes above and beyond reasonableness: The higher standard is extra or unusual care, and motorists must comply with it when driving around such areas as:

  • Schools;
  • Parks;
  • Pools;
  • Other recreational areas;
  • Bus stops;
  • Residential areas; and,
  • Other locations children tend to frequent.

This heightened standard of care does not mean a driver is automatically liable for striking a child. Maryland law also puts the focus on the child’s conduct in some cases.

Contributory Negligence Applies to Children

Maryland personal injury cases incorporate a harsh rule called “contributory negligence,” which looks at the actions of the injured victim. If his or her actions were a factor that caused the accident, including a bus accident, the victim is barred from recovering any compensation.

In addition, under Maryland case law, children are capable of contributory negligence. You may not be able to recover any compensation for your child if he or she was also negligent in a bus accident. The standard for applying contributory negligence depends on age, as courts have determined that children under 5 are incapable of acting negligently. For older children, the key question is what a prudent child would have done under the circumstances. When a child of the same age, mental capacity, intelligence, and training would have acted differently, your child may be held accountable.

Note that the question of contributory negligence for children is generally one for the jury in a bus accident case. Still, you can be sure an insurance company claims adjuster will rely on it to reject your claim.

How to File a Claim if Your Child Suffers Bus Accident Injuries 

Filing a claim for your child’s bus accident injuries involves a special process because of his or her age: Officially, a person under age 18 years does not have capacity to act with respect to legal matters. Still, you do have options as a parent or guardian:

  • Settlements Under $5,000: Maryland law allows you to settle a claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company if the amount is less than $5,000. Attorneys’ fees and costs do not apply to this ceiling. The insurance company would issue the check in your name in the parent’s name as payee. You can deposit the check in the child’s account or your own, but the funds must be used for your child’s benefit.
  • Settlements $5,000 or More: You will need court approval to be the child’s official guardian to act on your child’s behalf. Guardianship proceedings are entirely different from the claim itself; this part of the process is only necessary so that your child has legal status.
  • Filing a Lawsuit: If you are unable to reach a settlement with the insurance company, regardless of amount, it may be necessary to resort to litigation. Only a guardian can file a personal injury lawsuit from a bus accident, so you must go through guardianship under these circumstances, as well.

Get Legal Help from a Bus Accident Attorney in Maryland

The contributory negligence rule in Maryland can be tough, but there are arguments against its application in some cases. The key is retaining an experienced lawyer who knows the laws and can develop legal strategies that can help you avoid such a harsh result. Additionally, in most cases, where you would initiate a personal injury or wrongful death case by filing a claim with an insurance company, you should expect considerable hurdles in working with a claims adjuster, since these employees are trained to find reasons to avoid paying out compensation. They will intensely scrutinize your forms and supporting documentation, looking for ways to reject your claim or offer a low amount to settle it. An adjuster may try to blame the bus accident on the victim and will usually contest the severity of the injuries. Sometimes negotiations fail and a lawsuit must be filed against the at-fault party. For more information on your rights as a bus accident victim, please contact the Baltimore law office of Bob Katz. We can set up a free consultation for you to review your circumstances and advise you on legal remedies that may be available to you and your family.

 

Read Some of Our Recent Client Reviews!

Ashley Poole
Ashley Poole
01:05 08 Nov 18
Attorney Bob Katz and his staff are highly recommend. Customer Service was impeccable. Every phone call and email was responded to in a timely manner. Natalie Ulrich was very professional, helpful and thorough every step of the way, which resulted in a stress free experience. I will recommend this law firm to family and friends!
Tania Jefferson
Tania Jefferson
17:51 06 Nov 18
Customer service was A+. All questions were answered promptly and information was shared appropriately. Concerns were addressed and I was made aware of all updates on my case. I would whole heartedly recommend this firm.
edward Robinson
edward Robinson
03:00 06 Nov 18
I highly recommend Mr. Katz and his staff. They were friendly, compassionate and really showed they had their clients best interest at heart. There was never a time you called them they didn't respond or returned your calls and answer your questions.They took the worry, and stress and turn it into reassurance. They were diligent and just down right professional. My wife and I really thank God for allowing us to cross paths on a professional business experience. Ms. Rebecca Slatery is the most courteous, compassionate soul. We wish you all peace, love and blessings. Thank you for your service.
J JR
J JR
20:11 31 Oct 18
I decided to use this firm again for an accident I was involved in. As always they were professional and caring. Rebecca slattery was the paralegal assigned to my case and she was professional and kept me up to date with everything. I would recommend this firm to friends and family!
Cedric Jones
Cedric Jones
19:04 23 Oct 18
Erica Z is amazing with keeping you to date and staying communication with you during the entire process. Meghan Young was a wonderful lawyer made me feel extremely comfortable in the courtroom and she also fights for the best possible outcome for you..GREAT LAW FIRM
Nguyen Le
Nguyen Le
16:44 23 Oct 18
It was a great experience being taken care of by Rebecca Slattery and Meghan Young, they helped me resolve my case and were very courteous and professional. Highly recommend working with this law firm
Soun Gil
Soun Gil
21:35 17 Oct 18
Ms. Park helped me out through my whole accident process. She took her time with me and made sure I understood everything. I would recommend to her all of my friends if they were to get into any accident.
Yejin Chung
Yejin Chung
15:40 12 Oct 18
I highly recommend. My family’s experience with this office was great. Christina Franetovich was very helpful throughout the whole process, which made this experience less stressful. She responded to my questions immediately and made sure that I understood everything.
Claudette Pope
Claudette Pope
13:18 30 Aug 18
I was referred to Gordon & feindblatt in 2014 when my family was in an accident, Mr. Katz personally consulted with me by phone and he was very polite and professional, Mr. Carpuso, one of the litigation attorneys even came out to our home and went over our case with us, he made sure all of our needs was addressed and before he left our home that day I felt like we were old friends. that case was settled and I was very pleased, I have used this law firm twice since then and the results are always the same, I have nothing but great experiences with Gordon & Feindblatt the staff are courteous and professional and they get the job done but the one in particular that really stood out for me is Rebecca Slattery, she is truly a gem, she is so compassionate, she walked me through the entire process, she even checked up on me from time to time just to see how I was feeling and I really appreciated her kindness. I will use this law firm again and again for any future legal issue that may arise and I would highly recommend Gordon & Fiendblatt to friends, family and co-workers.
UniversalSniping
UniversalSniping
02:32 04 Aug 18
The lawyer who was initially handling my case parted ways with the company and I was assigned a new lawyer. This new lawyer was amazing! Christina Franetovich made me feel secure by double checking all the facts and notes in my case so that I was not worried during this transition. I was on disability from an a different accident while she was finalizing my case, and I had called and hounded her about the time frame of my settlement very frequently to the point that I felt guilty for calling so much. Christina was very sympathetic to my situation and assured me that she would do everything in her power to make sure the situation would be resolved quickly. She actually finalized my case before the time frame she had given me, was always very courteous and knowledgable on the phone, and I feel extremely lucky that she ended up handling my case because the previous lawyer was not as amazing with customer service as Christina. She also has a way of making you feel comfortable and builds incredible rapport quickly. I am going to highly recommend her to my friends and family. Thank you Christina!!!
Richard Hose
Richard Hose
02:26 27 Jun 18
On Feb 23, 2017 I was in a bad accident on the JFX. I had been rear end by another driver. Almost immediately I felt pressured by the other drivers insurance. Everything from wanting a recorded statement; to failing to acknowledge responsibility. No one would answer my questions, nor would anyone take responsibility. I was frustrated and overwhelmed with everyone from the towing company, to the repair shop, to the insurance company nightmare I just entered. I reached out to Attorney Robert Katz and I was assured they were here to help. He provided with some much needed information, and told me not to worry, Sarah his Paralegal would be in touch to help get things moving. Sarah reached out as expected and explained their process and walked me through what my expectations would be. She as well assured me they were here to help me navigate the obstacles. What Sarah really did was so much more than help. She took the stress and burden off my shoulders and assumed ownership for handling everything on my behalf. I knew what to expect, and I received regular updates throughout the entire process. Honestly, I received so much more than I anticipated. Some of the most frustrating items to chase after are medical records and hospital charges. While I was trying to recall events and timelines, she had already obtained my records and information. She made this process so painless. I truly cannot say enough about the exceptional service she provided. Many thanks for all your help. Sincerely, Richard Hose
Andrea Barajas
Andrea Barajas
15:13 16 May 18
My husband and I were in a car accident in August 2017. We contacted Bob Katz team for legal representation in our case. Kristen A. Turner was our paralegal and she was excellent. It took 9 months for us to receive our settlement and Kristen kept us updated throughout this entire process. She was very kind and patient as I happened to have several questions. She always answered my questions promptly and thoroughly. I would highly recommend this firm and Kristen if you are in need of legal assistance.
TheOfficalCeeandDee
TheOfficalCeeandDee
15:24 09 Feb 18
My experience here was great. My lawyer Rebecca was so professional and I love her personality. She handled my case well and kept me updated and made the process easy and always made me feel comfortable to call whenever I needed to know anything.
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