The Differences Between Car and Bus Accidents
Litigating bus accidents can be very different from litigating car accidents, which is why it’s a good idea to hire a top bus accident lawyer Lanham MD has to offer. The attorneys at Cohen and Cohen, P.C. have extensive experience in handling accident claims and lawsuits for almost every type of vehicular accident. We offer prospective clients a free case evaluation with one of our attorneys on staff. If you have been injured in a bus accident, we encourage you to contact us to find out exactly how our firm can help you recover compensatory damages. Not every bus accident lawyer in Lanham MD is familiar with bus accident litigation.
The Complexities of Bus Accidents
Bus accident cases can be more complex than those involving only cars. As a top bus accident lawyer Lanham MD might agree, there are several reasons for this. Common carriers, or vehicles for hire that transport passengers on a scheduled basis, are held to higher standards than owners and drivers of personal automobiles. Some of the major differences are:
- Insurance coverage. Insurance policies for common carriers will usually include more coverage than personal insurance policies. This is because buses hold more passengers than cars and therefore have more liability.
- Payment caps. When bus accidents occur, there are often multiple victims and their combined medical costs can exceed the maximum payout of the bus company’s insurance policy. A Lanham MD bus accident lawyer may have to consider whether a class action lawsuit is in your best interest in order to reclaim as much compensation for you as possible.
- Settlements. The bus company’s insurance will probably offer you the lowest settlement possible to minimize their losses. An attorney from Cohen and Cohen, P.C. will analyze all options when negotiating a settlement on your behalf to make sure you’re not being taken advantage of.
- Lawsuits. If a fair settlement is not possible, a bus accident lawyer Lanham MD victim’s trust should be prepared to pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault party or parties. Cohen and Cohen, P.C. attorneys prepare every case in the event that trying it in court might be necessary.
Government regulation. Bus companies and their drivers are governed by federal laws intended to make passengers safer. Not every bus accident lawyer Lanham MD offers is familiar with these laws and how they might apply to your personal injury case. Cohen and Cohen, P.C. attorneys have successfully negotiated more than $50 million for our clients, in large part because they successfully understand how to pursue a case under the relevant, governing regulations.
Licensing. Bus drivers are required to fulfill additional licensing requirements that are not necessary for non-commercial drivers. An experienced bus accident lawyer Lanham MD accident victims hire will be familiar with licensing requirements and should be able to establish whether or not the bus driver was qualified to be on the road.
Vehicle inspections. Commercial passenger vehicles such as buses are required to undergo regular inspections. Failure to do so, or failure to meet guidelines for safe operations can be grounds for negligence and liability. A bus accident lawyer Lanham MD respects will know how to determine if inspections were completed and if the bus involved in the accident was deemed safe for operation.
Driver conduct. Because commercial bus drivers are responsible for the safety of their passengers, they are held to higher standards than non-commercial drivers. Rules for driver conduct include the following:
- Consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs or misuse of legal drugs is prohibited. Following a bus accident, if your attorney suspects that the bus driver was under the influence of a narcotic or alcohol which led to the accident, he or she may request that the driver undergo tests to confirm this.
- Use of cellphones while driving is not permissible. This includes hands-free devices as they’re still considered a distraction to drivers who use them.
- They must take mandatory rest breaks. The number of breaks and duration of each varies by industry and location. Your personal injury lawyer may try to determine if the driver took their required breaks or was not sufficiently rested for any other reason.
A Bus Accident Lawyer Lanham MD Turns to
Personal injury cases involving bus accidents can be much more complicated than cases involving only personal vehicles. As a victim in a commercial bus accident, you may be up against the deep pockets of a privately held bus company or government operated bus for hire. You may also find yourself competing against other victims from the same accident in getting compensated from a limited pool of resources and funds. For these reasons, you may want to consider hiring an experienced law firm with attorneys who have handled numerous vehicle accident cases. Call Cohen and Cohen, P.C. today to discover how we can help you, and why we are a top choice for many victims who need a bus accident lawyer Lanham MD is proud to call their own.