Buses are a great means of transportation when you do not have or want a car. Hundreds of thousands of people use the bus every day and it is something we do not normally think twice about doing. However, sometimes, like any other vehicle on the road, an accident can happen. If you are seriously injured in a bus accident, you may be able to bring a personal injury claim in civil court to collect compensation for your damages. The Jacksonville bus accident attorneys at Edwards & Ragatz have represented many cases like yours and we are determined to get you the best possible result. After you have read a little bit about your case, please do not hesitate to call our office to set up a free case evaluation where we will go over the details of your case and discuss your legal options.
Florida Statutes of Limitations
After your bus accident, you will have four years from the date of that accident to bring your claim in civil court. This amount of time is called the statute of limitations. You may think that, because four years is a long time, you can wait a little bit to talk to an attorney. That is not the wisest thing to do. After your accident, there will be evidence at the scene and witnesses who saw it happen. If you waited, let’s say a year, you would run the risk of that evidence completely vanishing and your witnesses forgetting the finer details surrounding the accident which might make or break your case. Strong cases are not built in a day, so if you are waiting until the very end of your statute of limitations to finally contact an attorney, they most likely will not be able to help you. The best option is to get an attorney on your case right away so that they can get the ball rolling immediately.
How Bus Accident Compensation Works
Fortunately, if your case is here in Florida, you get to reap the benefits of having lenient compensation laws. When you are awarded a compensation amount, you do not always get to collect the entire thing. The factor that decides that is the amount of fault you bear for your accident. The insurance companies will determine the amount of fault you have for the accident. If, for some unlikely reason, you were 100% at fault for the accident, you would be completely barred from compensation. You can collect a reduced compensation award up until 99% of fault is put on you. It will, however, be reduced by the percent of fault you are deemed to be. For example, a $10,000 award would become a $7,000 award if you are 30% at fault for the bus accident. We will work tirelessly to get you the fullest compensation award possible.
First Steps for Your Bus Accident Claim
The first most important step to your bus accident claim would be seeking medical attention. Your health is the main priority here and we encourage that you see a doctor, go to the emergency room, or an urgent care facility as soon as you possibly can. You do not want to try to brush off your injuries as it might worsen your condition. Also, if you wait, the liable party’s insurance company will try to claim that your injuries came from something other than your bus accident or that you couldn’t possibly be that badly injured.
With a bus accident, an important step that should never be forgotten is reporting your injury. If you were, for example, a passenger on the bus when it crashed, do not run off the bus and grab another to get to where you are going. If it turns out you are badly hurt and you did not report that you were on the bus when it crashed, it will make your mission of getting full compensation all that much more difficult.
Do Not Talk to the Insurance Company
When trying to avoid making mistakes that could ruin your chance at full and fair compensation, something that you should never do is give a recorded statement to the insurance company who represents the liable party. They will be reaching out to you shortly after the accident and will want to ask a few questions about your accident. They are not trying to help you. They are trying to reduce their responsibility to you and therefore owe you less money or better yet, be able to throw out your case altogether. When they call, you can tell them that your attorney will be taking over all communication with them.
Contact Our Jacksonville Bus Accident Attorneys Today
If you are looking for strong, dedicated, and experienced representation, please call our Jacksonville bus accident attorneys today to set up a free consultation.