Washington DC Bus Accident Lawyer
The streets of Washington, D.C. are chock full of buses. In addition to the Metro buses that thousands of locals use to get around the city, school buses, privately operated tour buses, and motorcoaches can be found on any block, almost every day.
Buses provide an essential service, but it comes at a cost. Buses are unwieldy, they have large blind spots, and their size means that collisions can cause devastating injuries.
If you have been hurt in a bus accident and negligence was a factor, you might be able to seek money damages for your personal injuries and other losses. It is a good idea to consult with a Washington D.C. bus accident lawyer as soon as possible to assess whether pursuing a claim for damages is the right next step for you. Roger Gelb could review the facts of your case and help you get compensation for the full value of your injuries.
Establishing the Cause of Bus Accidents
It can be difficult for a layperson to pinpoint the cause of a bus accident. It could be driver error, mechanical failure, or the accident might have been caused by the actions of another driver, a pedestrian, or a cyclist.
An accident attorney could demand records that might shed light on the cause of the accident. The bus driver’s training and safe driving record, the bus maintenance logs, and the safety record of the make and model of the bus all could provide useful evidence in determining the cause of the accident.
Proving Negligence in Bus Accidents
An injured person has the right to seek damages from anyone whose negligence caused the accident that led to their injury. The burden of proving negligence rests on the injured person, or plaintiff.
Buses are common carriers, which means that bus owners, operators, and drivers have a heightened obligation to protect passengers and other roadway users from danger. A plaintiff’s attorney could use the evidence they collected to show that the bus company, driver, or other party did not use reasonable care to protect others.
Sometimes mechanical failure causes a bus accident. Poor maintenance is often the root cause of mechanical failure, but sometimes a defective part is responsible for an accident. In that case, the manufacturer might be liable to anyone injured in an accident resulting from the defective part.
Delay Risks Right to Sue
A plaintiff has three years from the date of an accident to file a lawsuit seeking damages for personal injury. However, it behooves an injured person to begin working with a legal professional as soon as possible after an accident. Delay could mean that valuable evidence is no longer available.
Prompt action is even more important if the vehicle involved is owned or operated by the city of Washington, DC, such as Metro buses or school buses. If the city owns the bus or the driver is a municipal employee or contractor, the city is a potential defendant in any negligence case arising out of the accident. According to the Code of the District of Columbia §12-309, a person who has a potential claim against the city must notify the Mayor in writing within six months of the incident that forms the basis of the claim.
So, someone who was injured in an accident involving a city-owned or operated bus has six months from the date of the accident to notify the city of their potential claim. However, although the plaintiff must give prompt notice of their potential claim, they still have three years from the accident date to file a lawsuit.
Assert Your Rights With an Experienced Attorney
People who can establish that someone else’s negligence caused their injuries could collect compensation for their medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. A savvy advocate could help an injured person make their case.
To increase your chances of obtaining an appropriate settlement, get a skilled Washington DC bus accident lawyer working for you as soon after your accident as possible. Contact the office to schedule a consultation.