Chattanooga Bus Accident Attorneys
Representing Bus Accident Victims in Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama
Buses are long and large commercial vehicles that often cannot execute turns without encroaching into another lane or even crossing over into oncoming traffic. Bus drivers should be highly trained professionals, especially those transporting children, but this is not always the case, resulting in avoidable accidents that cause serious, life-altering injuries.
At The Hamilton Firm, we have nearly a century of experience helping injured clients hold responsible parties accountable for accidents involving buses, trucks, and other commercial vehicles in Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. With over $100 million recovered in judgments and settlements, our case results speak for themselves, and our Chattanooga bus accident lawyers are ready to put our extensive knowledge, resources, and meticulous attention to detail to work for you. Our aggressive, effective, and ethical representation includes a personal touch, meaning you will work closely and directly with one of our attorneys from beginning to end. No matter the complexity of your circumstances, our mission is to secure the maximum recovery possible.
You pay nothing upfront and owe no legal fees unless we prevail, so contact us online or call (423) 454-3288 to request a free case evaluation today. If your injuries prevent you from coming to us, one of our attorneys will come to you.
Trucking and car accidents can take a toll on your life. Our attorneys are here to help you get the compensation you deserve.Get Started Today
Common Causes of Bus Accidents
Bus accidents can be caused by a variety of factors, some of which are not necessarily in the driver’s control. They can occur in all kinds of environments, from busy metro areas to highways like the I-75 to quieter, rural roadways.
Many bus accidents that occur in Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama are the result of:
- Driver negligence. Even properly licensed and trained bus drivers are not infallible. Making critical mistakes or failing to observe traffic laws can easily cause a collision in the wrong circumstances.
- Driver fatigue. Bus driving can be a monotonous, exhausting profession, but drivers have a duty to stay alert and follow any applicable rules governing how long they can operate a vehicle before resting.
- Driver intoxication. No motorist may operate a vehicle when under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and this is especially true of professional bus drivers who are entrusted with the safety of their passengers.
- Poor maintenance. State and federal regulations require bus companies to regularly inspect their fleets and conduct routine maintenance. Failing to meet these requirements can result in mechanical failures while on the road, potentially causing a devastating accident.
- Defective vehicle components. A single component failure can result in a capable driver being unable to control their vehicle or worsen the outcome of a crash if key safety features do not deploy.
- Weather and road conditions. Bus drivers must exercise extreme caution when forced to navigate hazardous weather and road conditions, as overconfidence or recklessness can lead to tragic outcomes.
- Road design. Buses are inherently cumbersome vehicles that sometimes have difficulty navigating even basic roadways. Poorly designed roadways can create scenarios where a bus driver will be forced to engage in especially dangerous maneuvers with even less room for error.
Who Is Liable for a Bus Accident?
Determining who is responsible for a bus accident tends to be more complex than ascertaining liability in a typical car accident, as multiple parties may be liable. Our Chattanooga bus accident attorneys are prepared to conduct a prompt, thorough investigation into the accident and identify all liable parties you may be able to take legal action against.
Depending on the circumstances of the collision, some of the possible liable parties in a bus accident may include:
- The bus driver
- The bus company
- The parties responsible for maintaining, repairing, and inspecting the bus
- A state, city, or local municipality
- The manufacturer of the bus or a defective vehicle component
Many buses you see on the road are “public,” meaning they are owned and operated by a government agency. There are also “private” buses run by companies like Greyhound and Megabus. Whether the bus involved in your case is private or public will play a role in determining who can be held accountable for your injuries.
If your accident involved a public transit bus or school bus, the local and/or state government that employed the negligent driver can potentially be sued under certain circumstances. Note that you cannot typically sue an individual driver employed by a government municipality in Tennessee, and the damages you can recover are capped.
A private bus company may also become liable for the actions of its employees. They are also responsible for sufficiently training their employees, verifying their drivers are qualified and properly licensed, and maintaining their vehicles. If a company fails to live up to any of these legal responsibilities or otherwise acts negligently, they often become liable for an accident one of their drivers causes.
How Long Do I Have to File a Bus Accident Lawsuit?
Each state enforces time limits for filing personal injury lawsuits. The deadlines that apply to your case will usually depend on where the bus accident took place and whether the bus was privately or publicly owned.
In Tennessee, you typically only have one year to take legal action against parties liable for a bus accident, including the government or a government agency. In Georgia and Alabama, you have two years to file a lawsuit against private individuals, private entities, or government entities.
In each of these states, you may have even less time to start the legal process if your bus accident involved a local municipal government that enforces a shorter time limit, sometimes as brief as six months after the crash takes place. You may also need to provide a notice of your claim to the pertinent government agency, often within twelve months (or fewer) from the date of the accident. Consequently, you should get in touch with The Hamilton Firm as soon as you can after the collision to ensure you do not miss a deadline.
What Damages Can I Recover for Bus Accident Injuries?
A bus accident lawsuit is intended to get you the monetary compensation needed to restore the financial position you were in before the crash. However, damages are capped in many cases involving government employees or agencies. Damages are not generally capped in cases involving private bus drivers, private bus companies, or other private individuals or entities. When you meet with our team, we will help you understand what the law allows you to recover.
Our Chattanooga bus accident lawyers will fight to get you the maximum damages available in your case, including compensation for:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Lost income and earning potential
- Vehicle and property damage
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Long-term impairment and disability
If you suffered injuries in a bus accident, do not hesitate to discuss your rights and legal options with our compassionate legal professionals. Contact us online or call (423) 454-3288 today.
To Our Clients
To exhibit the highest degree of ethical conduct in accordance with the Code of Professional Responsibility.
To preserve the client’s confidences learned during the lawyer-client relationship.
To work with other participants in the legal system to make it more accessible and responsive.
To respect the client’s decision on the objectives to be pursued in their case, as permitted by law and the rules of professiona
To keep clients informed and provide them with copies of important papers.
To return phone calls promptly.
To charge a reasonable contingency fee and to explain in advance how that fee will be determined and how expenses will be paid.
To handle their legal matters competently and diligently, in accordance with the highest standards of the legal profession.
To treat clients with respect and courtesy.
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Where you’re not a number, you are our priority.