San Clemente Personal Injury Attorneys | Accident Lawyers
San Clemente Bus Accident Attorneys
Bus accidents happen for a number of reasons. Speeding, fatigue, distracted driving, poor vehicle maintenance—the list goes on. What these factors have in common is that they’re all entirely preventable. If you were hurt or lost a family member in a preventable crash, our bus accident attorneys in San Clemente can review your case for free and help you plot the way forward.
You may be entitled to compensation for both economic and non-economic damages; however, the insurance company will want to pay you as little as possible. Our lawyers can make sure you are treated fairly, and we will relish the opportunity to go to trial if a settlement cannot be reached. To speak with a member of our team in a free consultation, call 1-800-GO-HARRIS.
What Must Be Proven to Win My Bus Accident Case?
Because there are many ways a bus crash can happen, there can be drastic differences in the types of evidence needed to win two different cases. That said, in all such cases, the plaintiff must be able to prove liability, causation, and damages in order to recover a settlement or trial verdict.
- Liability: To prove liability, your San Clemente bus accident lawyer will have to show that the defendant was legally responsible for the crash. In the vast majority of cases, liability is established by proving “negligence”—i.e. proving how the defendant breached the duty of care owed to the injured person. All drivers owe an implied duty of care to other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. They have a duty to follow all traffic laws and to avoid careless behaviors that put other people at risk. Therefore, a breach of duty might involve speeding, making an illegal turn, running a stop sign, or driving while drunk or distracted. There are, however, some circumstances when none of the drivers involved is entirely responsible for a bus accident. For example, a mechanic might be held liable if negligent maintenance played a role. If an auto part manufacturing defect was a proximate cause of the crash, the manufacturer might be strictly liable for the resulting damages. At Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, we have many decades of experience investigating auto accident claims, and we know what it takes to prove liability in even the most complex cases.
- Causation: Proving causation after an auto accident is usually straightforward unless the plaintiff delayed seeking medical care or had a pre-existing medical condition. Simply put, a causation dispute might arise if the defense has reason to assert that the damages would have been incurred even if the accident did not happen, or that the plaintiff’s own negligence was a proximate cause of the damages. If you delayed seeking a medical evaluation, the defense might say that your own negligence has prolonged your recovery or allowed your condition to worsen. If you had a pre-existing injury or illness, the defense might say that your damages were not caused by the accident. At Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, we have a track record of success in cases that involve causation disputes. We know how to anticipate these disputes and avoid them or prepare to counter them.
- Damages: All successful bus accident cases yield some form of compensatory damages, which encompass both economic and non-economic damages. If the defendant acted with malice, oppression, or fraud, it may also be possible to obtain a punitive award.
What Mistakes Must I Avoid During the Proceedings?
There are dozens of mistakes a claimant can make that would derail the proceedings. Even if you have strong evidence to support your case, a single error or oversight could be all it takes to cause an unnecessary delay or even to reduce your potential payout. Below are a few common mistakes you must avoid while your case is pending:
- Speaking Directly to the Claims Adjuster: Bus companies often have liability insurance policies with high coverage limits. Even if you do not bring a claim against the bus company, it is likely (and hopefully the case) that an insurance company will still play a role in your claim. The insurance adjuster will want to gather statements from the people involved in the accident to find out what happened and to identify reasons to deny claims or reduce their value. If you provide a recorded statement, your own words might be used to dispute your claim.
- Posting on Social Media: Do not mention your injuries or case online, and do not post any photos of you taken after the accident. Also, ask friends and family not to post anything about you or photos of you until your case has been resolved.
- Ignoring Your Doctor’s Orders: Do not deviate from your treatment program in any way; otherwise, you might be faced with a dispute over a failure to mitigate damages.
Call 1-800-GO-HARRIS to Speak with a San Clemente Bus Accident Lawyer
We are available 24 hours a day to take your call, and the consultation is free of charge. Dial 1-800-GO-HARRIS or send us a message to speak with a member of our team.