RHODE ISLAND BUS ACCIDENTS
Each day, Rhode Islanders rely on public and private mass transportation to travel or commute to work and school. Additionally, because Rhode Island is geographically positioned between Boston and New York City, many travelers from out of state utilize Rhode Island roads in private and public means of transportation. Buses are one such means of transportation that is very common for Rhode Islanders and for persons traveling through Rhode Island. Unfortunately, the prevalence of buses on Rhode Island roads and highways means the risk of bus collisions increases and injuries as a result of bus collisions with other vehicles and or stationary objects along the road.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU ARE INJURED IN A BUS ACCIDENT?
IMMEDIATELY OBTAIN MEDICAL ATTENTION
If you have suffered an injury stemming from a bus accident or collision, you should seek medical care immediately. For severe injuries, you should call an ambulance or go to an emergency room as quickly as possible.
CONTACT THE POLICE
The responding local police department will investigate the scene, determine who they believe is at fault for the accident, and file an accident report.
OBTAIN CONTACT INFORMATION
As soon as it is feasible, you should get the name and address of the driver, as well as any witnesses or passengers.
Write down anything you believe may be important (bus number, any accident details), or take photographs of the accident scene if possible.
CONTACT A REPUTABLE LOCAL RHODE ISLAND BUS ACCIDENT LAWYER
Given the sheer size and weight of buses, a bus accident can cause severe injuries to those involved. Additionally, many buses are not equipped with seatbelts or safety restraints, which can result in lengthy treatments and large medical bills. The chances of positively resolving your bus accident injury case with the monetary damage award that you deserve will increase substantially with a thorough and effective investigation and legal representation from a skilled bus accident attorney.
DO NOT GIVE AN INSURANCE COMPANY INFORMATION WITHOUT TALKING TO YOUR LAWYER FIRST
The first interest of every insurance company is to protect themselves from claims. Insurance companies typically seek to obtain adverse statements/evidence to the injured parties interests or they will look to settle the case quickly to avoid paying large settlements. Oftentimes bus accident cases can result in concussions that are accompanied by delayed symptoms. The economic value of these injuries and medical procedures can only be calculated by a skilled bus accident injury attorney, which is oftentimes accompanied by expert medical and economic witnesses.
Our injury team fights to get you justice. If you or someone you love has been injured in a bus accident in Rhode Island, you have the right to hold the negligent operator personally responsible. You have the legal right to demand compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We understand that being involved in a bus accident can be a traumatic experience and stand ready to help fight for your recovery.
BUSSES ARE COMMON CARRIERS IN RHODE ISLAND AND OWE A HIGHER DUTY TO OPERATE SAFELY
In Rhode Island, buses are classified as “common carriers.” A common carrier is a service that transports people from one place to another in exchange for compensation. As a common carrier, buses (including bus drivers, bus companies, and employers) have an elevated duty of care or responsibility. This means that that buses operating on Rhode Island roads have an obligation to exercise extreme caution and care to make sure that passengers are protected during their travels. Buses also have to exercise more care than others because the stake are higher. This makes sense; a bus driver transporting a bus full of schoolchildren should be held to a higher standard of care than a person driving themselves around town.
As common carriers, at a minimum, bus operators/companies must:
- Hire qualified and competent drivers
- Ensure the drivers are properly trained and that they are complying with safety laws
- Ensure the buses and equipment are fully functional
- Ensure that the buses are inspected regularly and maintained
When a bus driver or company fails to meet these minimum standards and live up to their elevated duty of care, the resulting consequences can be severe if not fatal for passengers, pedestrians, and/or other motorists.
WHAT ARE COMMON BUS ACCIDENT INJURIES?
The size and weight of buses and the lack of restraint devices on buses make injuries a foregone outcome as a result of being in a bus crash. These injuries may be permanent or require years of rehabilitation and medical care potentially costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. These injuries may often include:
TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (TBI)
The force generated by a bus crash can cause brain injuries extended beyond a mere concussion. Sometimes these injuries will not be symptomatic immediately, but the effects can be devastating.
NECK – BACK – SPINAL CORD INJURIES
Impact or whiplash to the neck and back can cause spinal cord injuries, potentially resulting in full or partial paralysis and respiratory problems.
With such a high degree of force broken bones and internal injuries and bleeding are commonplace in bus accident victims.
SOFT TISSUE INJURIES
Bus accidents can often lead to soft-tissue damage of muscles, ligaments, and tendons and the result can be pain, swelling, bruising, and damage.
Burn injuries in bus accidents can also be caused by contact with hot metal, hot water or steam escaping from a damaged radiator, or contact with other heated elements of the bus.
Bus accident amputation injuries are often divided into two, main categories – traumatic amputation and surgical amputation. Traumatic amputation injuries occur during the accident itself. Surgical amputation injuries involve amputating an arm, leg or another body part due to injuries sustained in the accident.
Unfortunately, a significant percentage of those injured in bus accidents do not survive the crash. If your loved one was killed in a bus accident you may have the option to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Contact a Providence bus accident lawyer with Marin and Barrett, Inc. if you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a bus accident in Rhode Island. We can help you recover the compensation you are entitled to and we are available 24/7 at 401-228-8271.
How Long Do I Have to File a Bus Accident Lawsuit in Rhode Island?
If you have been injured in a bus accident, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit for damages. However, Rhode Island limits the amount of time you have to take legal action. Generally speaking, Rhode Island General Law Section 9-1-36 provides that you must file your personal injury claim within three years of the bus accident. If you don’t file before the statute of limitations expires you will be permanently prohibited from pursuing legal action for your injuries
The best way to ensure that your bus accident case is filed on-time is to seek legal representation from a skilled local Rhode Island personal injury attorney. At Marin and Barrett, Inc., we are committed to helping you recover the money you deserve. Call us today at 401-228-8271 to schedule your no-obligation case evaluation.
HOW MUCH IS MY BUS ACCIDENT CASE WORTH? WHAT DAMAGES AM I ENTITLED TO?
Injuries from bus accidents can be catastrophic at worst and at a minimum the injuries can be painful. Additionally, seeking treatment afterwards can be overwhelming and can require extensive medical treatment and lead the injured to miss time at work. Fortunately, Rhode Island law provides a way for you to hold the negligent person or company financially responsible for your injuries and damages.
Damages for injuries to bus accident victims in Rhode Island can include payment for:
ECONOMIC DAMAGE – such as tangible out of pocket costs which are often established with bills and invoices
- Medical expenses, including past, present, and future bills
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation costs
- Transportation costs
- Costs of medical devices and modifications and accommodations to your home or vehicle
- Costs of assistive devices
- Expenses for in-home healthcare and household services
- Lost wages, both from missed work and missed future earning potential
- Household bills
NON-ECONOMIC DAMAGES – which include general intangible damages. These damages affect quality of life, but are oftentimes more significant, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Anxiety and post-traumatic stress (emotional distress)
- Loss of companionship or consortium
- Lifestyle Impairment
PUNITIVE DAMAGES – In some instances the responsible party’s conduct is so egregious, that punitive damages are appropriate as a means of punishment and a deterrent to future bad conduct.
In the event that loved one has died in a bus accident you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim for those left behind. Of course no amount of money can bring your loved on back or provide adequate compensation, but you nevertheless may be able to recover for funeral and burial costs, loss of income, and loss of companionship.
At Marin and Barrett, Inc., our Rhode Island bus accident lawyers will fight for every dollar you deserve. On these types of cases it is often helpful to work closely with expert witnesses to ensure that your injuries and damages are valued fully. This extra effort makes sure that you recover all you deserve for your bus accident injuries.
HOW IS FAULT DETERMINED AFTER A BUS ACCIDENT IN RHODE ISLAND?
How is responsibility for a bus accident determined? Although at first glance it seems obvious, the responsible party isn’t always so clear. Following a bus accident, the local or state police will initiate an investigation; if there is a bus accident with multiple fatalities, the National Transportation and Safety Board will initiate an investigation. However, in most cases, eyewitness reports and available video footage that captures the accident are what becomes the official record. Additionally, our skilled team of Rhode Island bus accident attorneys will conduct our own investigation into the cause of a bus accident. Our team of bus accident attorneys will determine who is responsible for the accident, including whether the:
- Bus driver caused the accident and whether the bus company who employs the driver is also liable
- The bus company is responsible for failing to maintain the bus or ensuring that the bus is operating safely/is inspected properly
- The company that manufactured the bus or bus parts is responsible
- A negligent driver collides with the bus – in this instance it may be difficult to recover damages if the negligent driver of the car that hit the bus is carrying minimum liability coverage and it is determined that the bus driver and bus company aren’t at fault
CHILDREN ARE MOST LIKELY TO BE INJURED IN BUS ACCIDENTS
When you get in your car, you buckle up for safety, and if you are a parent, you ensure that your children are safely buckled up, as well. But if you are a parent, do you wonder about your children as they board their bus to go to school and return home each day? How safe are they aboard the bus, particularly if the bus – like most – has no seat belts for its passengers?
According to School Transportation News, during the average school year, nearly 23.5 million elementary and secondary school children ride a bus to and from school each day. Add in extracurricular activities, and the school bus system is the largest public transportation system in the United States.
Like any form of vehicular transportation, accidents involving school buses are inevitable. Based on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, the National Safety Council (NSC) reported that there were 3,000 injuries to school bus passengers and 1,000 injuries to school bus drivers in 2017.
Sadly, from 2007 to 2016 there have been 1,282 people killed in school bus crashes – an average of 128 fatalities per year. Within the same time period, 98 school-age pedestrians (18 and younger) have died in school bus related crashes.
RHODE ISLAND BUS ACCIDENT LAWYERS
Have you or someone you love been injured in a bus accident in Rhode Island? At Marin and Barrett, Inc., our Rhode Island bus accident lawyers understand that a bus accident can have catastrophic and long-lasting complications from injuries. You have the legal right to seek compensation from the negligent/responsible driver and or company and we can help to make sure that you are fully compensated. Call our office at 401-228-8271 to schedule your free, no obligation Rhode Island bus accident case evaluation today.
To Learn More About Your Rights and Receive a Free Initial Consultation from local
Providence Bus Accident Attorneys, Contact us 24/7 at 401-228-8271
YOU ONLY PAY IF WE WIN
HOW DO I GET STARTED WITH MY BUS ACCIDENT CASE?
First thing is first, be sure to get the medical attention you need. Once you do that, the bills will start pouring in and the expenses add up in a hurry. Realistically you’ll want to contact an attorney as soon as possible. The evidence you may need is often the freshest shortly after the accident, and you can rest assured that the party or parties responsible for your injuries will be gearing up for their own legal fight and you will not want to be left behind.