Arizona

Phoenix Bus Accident Attorney

Public transportation agencies have a legal duty to keep their passengers safe, as well as the public. When accidents do happen, involving a large bus or train, the resulting injuries can be catastrophic or even fatal. These types of cases, however, can be complicated and challenging to investigate then pursue. It is critical to promptly contact an experienced Phoenix bus accident lawyer to discuss your case. Our attorneys at Torgenson Law have more than 20 years of experience advocating for injured clients, and the skill to recover the compensation you are entitled to. Call (602) 759-0012 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation today.

Why Hire Our Bus Accident Lawyers?

  • At Torgenson Law, our attorneys will not stop fighting until we uncover every detail about our clients’ cases. We are dedicated to helping clients throughout their entire case.
  • We have more than 20 years of experience representing injured clients throughout the state of Arizona, and we focus solely on personal injury law. This gives us a deep understanding of the laws and processes necessary to ensure our clients’ success.
  • We believe that communication is a vital part of the attorney-client relationship. We strive to keep open lines of communication with every client so they are updated at every step along the way with their case.
  • We take Phoenix bus and public transportation accidents on a contingency fee basis, which means that our clients will not have to worry about paying any legal fees until after we obtain the compensation they are entitled to.

Phoenix Bus Accident Resources & FAQs

When Do You Need a Bus Accident Lawyer?

The absolute most important thing for any person to do after being involved in a bus accident is to seek medical care. However, bus accident victims also need to consider speaking to an attorney as soon as possible after the incident occurs. Please understand that most bus accident victims in Phoenix do not have the resources necessary to handle every aspect of these cases. Victims are often left going against well-funded bus companies or government agencies, as well as their insurance carriers and legal teams.

When a Phoenix bus accident lawyer gets involved, they can begin obtaining and preserving evidence almost immediately. An attorney will take over all communication with other parties involved so their client can focus on recovering from their injuries and spending time with their family.

If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a bus accident in Arizona, you need to consider consulting an attorney immediately. Most personal injury lawyers will offer free consultations for these particular situations, so you have nothing to lose by calling our offices today.

What To Do After a Bus Accident

If you or somebody you care about is involved in a bus accident, there are various steps that you can take both immediately following the incident as well as in the days and weeks to follow to help ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to.

We understand that no two bus accidents are exactly alike, and individuals involved in these collisions may not be able to follow every single step or follow the steps in this exact order. That is okay. However, please understand that it is important to complete as many of these steps as possible to help ensure that you receive the coverage you are entitled to:

  • Call 911. Somebody needs to call emergency services so they can come to the scene to conduct an investigation and help treat any medical emergencies.
  • Seek medical care. The number one priority of any Arizona bus accident victim must be to seek medical care. Even if the injuries do not seem severe or if there is no pain at all, victims still need to be evaluated by a health care professional. This not only ensures a victim’s well-being, particularly if there are unseen injuries, but it also establishes a direct link between the bus accident and any possible injuries.
  • Gather evidence. If it is safe to do so at the scene of a bus crash, those involved can begin gathering evidence. This can include using a smartphone or another type of camera to take photographs of any vehicles involved, damages, debris, skid marks, causes of the crash, weather and traffic conditions, and more. Additionally, those involved should get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses or other passengers.
  • Contact an attorney. A skilled Phoenix bus accident lawyer should be contacted as soon as possible so that they can begin working on the case.

We understand that the aftermath of a bus accident will likely be incredibly chaotic. If you have followed the steps mentioned above, you have done a good job in taking steps to ensure that you are adequately compensated for what happened. However, there are still other steps that you and your attorney will need to take in these situations. Do not worry about keeping up with all of this if you have secured an attorney. Your bus accident lawyer in Phoenix will be responsible for handling the majority of these steps:

  • Obtaining additional evidence. There are various other types of evidence that will be very difficult for accident victims to gather, but an attorney can work to obtain. This can include any video surveillance from nearby businesses or homes that captured the incident on footage. This can also include maintenance records related to the bus involved as well as driver safety records of the driver.
  • Working with trusted medical and economic professionals. An attorney will also ensure that their client is continually evaluated by trusted medical and economic professionals to help calculate the total losses they have sustained.
  • Handling all communication with insurance carriers. All communication after a bus accident should be routed through a person’s attorney. Insurance carriers will use various tactics to try to limit how much money they payout, and it is best to let an attorney handle communication with them.
  • Preparing your case for trial. An attorney will negotiate with all insurance carriers involved to reach a fair settlement on behalf of their client. However, if a fair settlement cannot be reached or if the insurance carrier denies the claim, it may be necessary for an attorney to file a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of their client.

Types of Public Transportation Accidents

Types of Public Transportation Accidents

With more than a million people sharing the road and railways daily in Phoenix, transportation accidents are a serious risk. Here are some of the most common types that occur:

Train or Valley Metro Light Rail Accidents

Derailments or collisions with other vehicles or objects can have disastrous effects.

Bus Accidents

These can involve transit buses, school buses, charter buses, airport buses, and trolleys.

Taxi / Limo / Shuttle Accidents

Similar to any other car crash, a taxi, limo, or shuttle accident can cause serious injuries.

Not all public transportation accidents are horrific. In some cases, for example, passengers may suffer an injury due to an abrupt stop, a failure of the doors to close properly, broken steps, loose railings, a slip and fall, etc. Injuries that are commonly caused, include whiplash, sprained ligaments, broken bones, back injuries, and lacerations.

Common Carrier Law

Methods of public transportation are regulated under both federal and state common carrier laws. In addition, common carriers are expected to exercise a high degree of caution when it comes to the safety of passengers. Therefore, passengers may file a claim of carrier negligence if they are injured. For a negligence claim to succeed against any defendant, the victim must show that his or her injury was caused by the defendant’s breach of a duty of care that is owed to that claimant. Since common carriers owe a very high standard of care to their passengers, injury claims often succeed. That elevated standard, however, does not impose absolute liability on the carrier. There must also be an act, or a failure to act on the part of the carrier which caused the injury.

Why You Need a Public Transportation Accident Lawyer

Public transportation accidents often involve multiple parties that could potentially be liable, including the driver or operator, the transit authority, third-party maintenance providers, and others. A Phoenix bus accident attorney that regularly handles these types of cases will know how to determine who can be held responsible for your damages. When it comes to navigating the legal system, a personal injury lawyer can advise you on how long you have to file a claim, and whether it must go through an insurance company, or be filed with other parties such as local government or a school district.

Additionally, some claims can be more difficult to prove, when needing to establish negligence to obtain damages. Take, for example, an abrupt stop injury. The victim will need to demonstrate that it was not a typical stop, but unexpected and not necessary. When that is the case, the resources that an attorney has to investigate and collect the essential evidence will be vital. You shouldn’t have to worry about how you’ll support yourself or your family after a mass transit accident. Hiring a bus accident attorney will guarantee you receive the settlement you deserve.

Common Carriers vs. Public Transportation and Government Entities

There are various types of buses that you will see throughout the state of Arizona. In some cases, these buses are controlled by government entities and are considered public transportation. However, there are also several private bus companies that provide services to visitors and residents throughout this state. Some of the terms that you should be aware of in these situations include “common carrier” and “public transportation.”

We can think of common carriers as the private companies that provide bus services to Arizona residents and visitors. Common carriers have a legal duty to take reasonable steps to prevent occupants from sustaining injuries. If an accident occurs involving a common carrier, injury victims typically have various legal options when it comes to recovery and compensation. In some cases, this will include injury victims filing lawsuits against the common carrier related to any negligent or intentional actions that caused the accident.

There are also several types of public transportation buses controlled by government entities throughout Arizona. For example, Valley Metro is a public transportation bus system provided by the city of Phoenix. These buses are controlled by a government entity, and this does change how injury victims secure compensation after an accident. Injury victims can still recover compensation, though their options are more restrictive. Filing a lawsuit against government agencies is typically more challenging, and there is usually a shorter statute of limitations involved.

Determining Fault in a Bus Crash

Determining fault in the aftermath of a bus accident will be crucial when it comes to securing compensation. As we went through the steps to take after a bus accident above, you will notice that there or several bullet points mentioning obtaining evidence. This evidence will be used by insurance carriers and personal injury juries when working to determine fault.

Evidence such as photographs and video surveillance can help show exactly what happened, as can bus maintenance records and driver safety histories. Additionally, because bus accidents often become mass casualty incidents, it is not uncommon for accident reconstruction experts to be called in to help. These experts may be used by law enforcement officials, or an attorney choose to bring in an accident reconstruction expert to help determine liability so their client can secure the compensation they deserve.

Damages and Compensation in a Bus Accident Lawsuit

Damages and Compensation in a Bus Accident Lawsuit

Anybody involved in a bus accident in Phoenix caused by the careless or negligent actions of another individual or company may be entitled to various types of compensation for their losses. The reality is that there is no set amount of money available in these situations, and every bus accident is different. A skilled Phoenix bus accident attorney will examine the facts of the case and help determine how much compensation to seek on your behalf. In general, the goal is to obtain enough compensation to help make a person “whole” after the incident. This will usually include both economic and non-economic types of compensation, such as the following:

  • Complete coverage of medical bills related to the bus accident
  • Coverage of any physical therapy or rehabilitation
  • The cost of prescription medications or medical devices
  • General household out-of-pocket expenses
  • Lost income if a victim cannot work
  • Loss of enjoyment of life damages
  • Pain and suffering damages

Contact Us for Help

Our Phoenix public transportation accident attorneys offer free case evaluations, call Torgenson Law at (602) 759-0012 to discuss your rights today.