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Can I Sue the City If I Was Hit by a City Bus?

Can I Sue the City If I Was Hit by a City Bus?

If a city bus hits and injures you or a loved one, you typically have the right to receive financial compensation for your losses. You might have the option of suing the city for those damages. You could also have a claim against other parties, and you might not need to file a lawsuit or go to court to obtain the money you deserve.

Below is an explanation of your rights after a city bus injures you, the potential complications of suing the city (and why you might not need to do so), and the role an experienced Suwanee bus accident lawyer can play in getting you the maximum possible compensation.

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You Have Rights After a City Bus Accident

As the victim of a collision involving a city bus, you generally may seek compensation from anyone who injured you. Multiple parties could owe you compensation, not just the city. You may recover a range of monetary damages.

Who Might Have Liability After a Bus Hits You?

It might seem obvious that if a city bus hits you while a city employee is driving, the city should owe you damages, but other individuals, businesses, or entities could bear some or all of the liability for the accident.

You might file a claim for damages against the following parties in addition to (or in place of) the city:

Can I Sue the City If I Was Hit by a City Bus
  • A private company that operates public buses under contract with the city.
  • A bus driver whose actions behind the wheel were particularly negligent or reckless.
  • A bus passenger if their misconduct while riding the bus caused the conditions that led to the bus hitting you.
  • A bus manufacturer if defective components, systems, or parts led to the city bus failing to stop for you.
  • Other drivers who failed to share the road safely with a city bus, resulting in it losing control and hitting you.

These are just some examples, but they illustrate that a city bus hitting you does not automatically mean you only file a claim against the city. You could file claims against multiple parties. An experienced bus accident lawyer can review the facts and identify them.

You Could Claim a Wide Array of Damages

The compensation you may claim varies by case. In most situations, victims of a city bus accident can receive damages for the full scope of physical, emotional, and financial harm they suffered.

That may include payment for:

  • Medical and other expenses for your physical and emotional recovery or property damage the accident caused.
  • Lost income and job benefits if you have to miss work because of your injuries.
  • Loss of future earnings if the accident left you temporarily or permanently disabled.
  • Physical discomfort and emotional distress you have endured.
  • Loss of quality of life.
  • Scarring, disfigurement, or loss of bodily function the accident caused.

If a city bus hits you because someone engaged in particularly reckless or extreme misconduct, a court may award you punitive damages, which punish the defendant and deter others from acting in a similar manner.

The most reliable way to find out the types and amounts of compensation you could claim after a city bus hits you is to speak with an experienced lawyer today. In many cases, city bus accident victims learn that they can claim much more than they imagined.

Challenges of Suing the City

The city enjoys a legal protection called sovereign immunity, meaning there you and your lawyer may need to carefully navigate special procedures and rules to be successful in a personal injury lawsuit.

You cannot sue the government without its consent. To file a claim for damages against any government entity, a law must allow that sort of claim.

Most states have laws authorizing private citizens to sue government entities for personal injuries. Those laws, however, frequently impose conditions and limitations on when, how, and for how much you can sue—rules that don't apply when suing a private party.

State laws, for example, often impose far shorter time limits for filing a claim against a government entity than would apply in other cases. You may need to give formal notice to the city within just a few months of your accident to preserve your right to pursue a claim, and you may have to engage in pre-lawsuit negotiations with the city before going to court.

The law may also impose limits on the amount or types of compensation you can recover from the city. In some states, for instance, you cannot seek punitive damages from a government entity. In others, the law caps non-economic (pain and suffering) damages you can demand.

Because of these special conditions, the lawyer you hire needs significant experience in pursuing legal action against the government. Navigating a lawsuit against the city differs from an ordinary motor vehicle accident case, and you need a lawyer who knows how to protect your rights and get you the money you deserve.

Your Other Options for Getting Compensation

Although the idea of suing the city after a city bus hits you might seem daunting, your lawyer will explore other, perhaps better, options for receiving the compensation you deserve.

Many city bus accident cases reach a negotiated settlement before any legal action begins. Settlement is often faster, less expensive, and more predictable than a lawsuit, and parties often prefer to avoid the uncertainty, time commitment, and costs that come with a trial.

Do not assume you will have to sue the city and take it to court to receive compensation for your losses. The city (or its insurer) may offer a fair settlement to avoid the risk of having a jury award you more damages.

There are no guarantees your case will settle, however. That is why you need a lawyer prepared tol sue and go to trial on your behalf if necessary. That prepares you for any contingency.

Steps to Take After a City Bus Hits You

After a city bus accident, hire a lawyer to protect yourself. Prioritize your physical and emotional well-being, deliberate insurance settlement offers cautiously, and seek legal help.

Prioritize Your Healing and Well-Being

The first thing you should do after an accident is seek immediate medical attention, even if you believe your injuries are minor. Some injuries may not appear immediately after the impact, and a delay in seeking medical care could harm your health and your potential injury claim.

Follow your medical treatment plan as closely as possible.

Go to follow-up appointments, take your medication, and avoid activities as your medical professional directs you. Your health and the value of your claim for compensation can depend on taking these steps and showing you tried your best to heal.

Beware of Quick Insurance Settlement Offers

An at-fault party's liability insurance company may offer you a settlement soon after the accident with a city bus. While the prospect of quick financial relief can feel tempting, the first offer any insurer makes is often a low-ball figure that may not adequately cover your future medical expenses or other damages.

By accepting an initial insurance offer, especially before you have had the chance to hire a lawyer, you could sign away your right to pursue any future claims related to the accident. Before responding, talk to an experienced attorney about your rights and the potential value of your claim. A lawyer can negotiate with the insurer on your behalf and get you far more than the insurance company offers.

Get help from personal injury attorney immediately

Get in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. The sooner you have a skilled lawyer on your side, the better your chances of receiving the maximum compensation for your losses.

Quick action allows your attorney to gather and preserve crucial evidence before you lose access to it or forget about it, immediately begin engaging with at-fault parties and their representatives, and navigate the complex legal procedures and time limitations that apply in city bus accident cases. Hiring a lawyer also gives you access to a knowledgeable advisor who can guide you through this difficult time of your life.

Frequently Asked Questions About City Bus Accident Cases

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about city bus accident cases. If you have additional questions, reaching out to a skilled personal injury lawyer can provide the personalized guidance you need.

What Is My City Bus Accident Claim Worth?

The value of a city bus accident claim can vary significantly based on your injuries, the strength of your case, your lawyer's skill and level of experience, your lawyer's reputation for getting results in and out of the courtroom, the identity of the party (or parties) liable for damages, the financial resources available to pay for your losses, and any laws that place conditions on your potential recovery (if you have to sue the city).

The most reliable way to find out the types and amounts of compensation you could reasonably expect to receive is to speak with an experienced attorney about your case as soon as possible.

How Long Will It Take to Get Compensation?

The timeline for resolving your city bus accident claim can vary based on numerous factors. Payment is not a guarantee when you start your claim, which is why you should hire an experienced lawyer who can advocate for you to give you the strongest possible chance of success.

The duration of cases that end favorably depends on particulars such as the number of parties, whether you have a claim against the city, the amount of investigation necessary to build your case, and the willingness of the at-fault parties and insurers to negotiate a settlement. Some cases settle within a few months of the accident. Others, especially those that end up going to trial, can take a year or more to resolve.

In all cases, the best way to ensure your claim moves as quickly as possible is to hire an experienced lawyer as soon as you can.

How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Lawyer To Handle My Claim?

It will not cost you anything unless a lawyer gets you results. You can speak with a lawyer about your case in a free consultation. Attorneys who represent city bus accident victims work on a contingent fee basis, which means you only pay them if they successfully recover money on your behalf. You pay nothing upfront or while your case is underway.

Contact an Experienced City Bus Accident Lawyer Today

You may sue the city and others for the injuries you suffered when a city bus hit you. Obtaining the compensation you deserve is not a guarantee or always straightforward. To maximize your chances of obtaining the money you need to cover your expenses and plan for the future, contact an experienced city bus accident lawyer today for your free consultation.

Jennifer Gore-Cuthbert - Owner & Attorney

Attorney Jennifer Gore-Cuthbert was seriously injured in a collision and experienced firsthand dealing with uncooperative insurance companies. She knows what it is like to feel overwhelmed and under-educated about your rights after a collision. That is why she has dedicated this firm to fighting for accident victims and their loved ones. The goal of The Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group – Gore LLC is to provide you with excellent legal advice, based on our experience in representing injured automobile drivers and passengers from all across the State of Georgia.

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