Dana Point Bus Accident Attorneys
Dana Point Bus Accident Attorneys
Whether it’s to get to work, set out on excursions, or a stress-free trip into town, you may take the bus on a day-to-day basis. And even if you aren’t a regular user, it’s likely you encounter numerous buses on the road. Whether as a passenger or motorist, you may find yourself hurt in a bus accident or left picking up the pieces after losing a loved one in a fatal collision. Our Dana Point bus accident attorneys are here to help. We can assist you by investigating the accident, collecting evidence, and preparing your claim. Through the years, we’ve helped many road accident victims gain access to the compensation they need to get their lives back on track. Contact us today at 1-800-GO-HARRIS to speak to one of our attorneys. Your initial consultation is free.
Common Mistakes That Could Harm Your Bus Accident Claim
With your financial future at stake, the last thing you want to do is jeopardize your chances of obtaining a favorable settlement or verdict. While you may have been diligent about collecting evidence from the scene and tracking your damages, there are many errors and oversights that could undo all of your hard work. At Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, we can guide you through the days following the accident and advise you on common mistakes and how to avoid them. Below are a few errors claimants make when pursuing compensation:
- You Filed Your Claim Too Late: Every state has its own Statute of Limitations for personal injury cases which dictate when—and when not—you can bring a case against a liable party. Typically, you will have three years from the date of the accident to bring a lawsuit (your attorney can advise you on which statutes and/or exceptions may apply). File a lawsuit after this deadline has elapsed and it’s likely your case will be dismissed. Many claimants underestimate the time it takes to prepare and negotiate a claim. In fact, lawyers will often only handle a new claim if they have adequate time to investigate the incident and construct a convincing case. Ultimately, the sooner you act, the lower your risk of overshooting these deadlines.
- You Discussed Your Case on Social Media: In the digital age, many of us turn to social media in times of need. Our online circles can be a great source of advice and emotional support. However, if you’re planning to file a personal injury claim, sharing the details of the accident or discussing your injuries online could have dire consequences for your case. Anything you publish—from pictures to comments to reviews—could be used as evidence to dispute aspects of your claim. For instance, if you posted a picture of yourself exercising in the days following the accident, the insurance company could use this as evidence to assert that you ignored your doctor’s instructions to rest. As such, our attorneys may advise you to deactivate your social media profiles until your case is resolved.
- You Took Too Long to Seek Medical Treatment: If you walked away from the accident with just a few cuts and bruises or other minor symptoms, scheduling a doctor’s appointment may seem unnecessary. However, delaying a diagnosis could cause your condition to deteriorate and may even result in disputes when you file your claim. As a claimant, you have a duty to take sufficient steps to mitigate damages. Part of that responsibility involves seeking medical attention within a reasonable timeframe after the accident. Fail to do so, and the insurer may assert that you failed in this duty and are thus liable for some or all of the resulting damages. Alternatively, opposing parties may argue that your injuries can’t be that serious if you didn’t require urgent medical attention which could result in reductions to your financial award.
Common Terms You’ll Hear in a Personal Injury Case
Comparative negligence, tort, burden of proof; personal injury law is a world of indecipherable jargon and arcane terms. When confronted by this confusing glossary, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed. It takes lawyers years to get to grips with all facets of just one area of the law, so you can’t be expected to make sense of this “second language” overnight. Our legal team takes great pride in simplifying these complex proceedings for our clients. Our goal is to keep you informed and manage your stress levels as we assist you in your fight for a fair settlement. While you can happily ignore this jargon until your case has concluded, it may give you some peace of mind to get a better understanding of what you’re facing before you sit down with an attorney to discuss your case. Below are a few common terms you may encounter during your case:
- Plaintiff: This term is used to refer to the individual or group filing a lawsuit. If you were injured by a reckless bus driver and are seeking compensation from the at-fault party, you would be the plaintiff in the lawsuit.
- Defendant: The subject of a lawsuit—i.e. the at-fault party—is known as the defendant. Simply put, the defendant is the individual or group that is allegedly liable for your injuries. For instance, using the prior example, the bus driver and potentially their employer would be the defendants in your case.
- Negligence: When someone’s failure to act with reasonable care causes harm to another person or property, this is referred to as negligence. To prove negligence, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant had an obligation or duty to the plaintiff, the defendant breached or violated that duty, that violation caused harm to the plaintiff, and there is sufficient evidence to show existence of such damages. A bus driver has a duty to drive safely and to avoid endangering the lives of their passengers and others on the road. If the driver in this example was driving under the influence or breaking traffic laws and this caused the accident that led to your injuries, the driver was negligent.
- Damages: This term refers to the losses a plaintiff is seeking to recover as part of a claim or lawsuit. In a personal injury case, damages are typically awarded in the form of a financial award. Damages are divided into three distinct categories: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. Economic damages are quantifiable losses such as your medical costs, lost income, repair bills, and alternative transportation. Non-economic damages cover the impact of your injuries on your life, and include pain, suffering, mental anguish, loss of life enjoyment, humiliation, and other psychological effects. Punitive damages are awarded if it’s deemed that the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious or extreme. If the bus driver in the prior example was intoxicated, punitive damages may be awarded to deter others from engaging in similar behavior.
Discuss Your Claim with a Bus Accident Attorney in Dana Point
If you or a loved one was injured on the road, you can turn to our team of compassionate attorneys for guidance, advice, and legal representation. Call 1-800-GO-HARRIS or use our Contact Form to schedule your free initial consultation.