Suffering from a bus accident injury could be a challenging experience. Aside from the physical and mental obstacles, there are also legal and financial issues that must be dealt with.
If you were injured in a bus crash, you might benefit from the support of a personal injury attorney. Tackling your recovery alone could be counterproductive without a legal professional guiding you through the complicated process of seeking relief. A Columbus bus accident lawyer could review your case and take you through the steps necessary to recover compensation.
Auto insurance systems dictate how claimants may recover damages in the event of an accident. The two main systems are no-fault insurance and fault insurance. Georgia follows a fault-based insurance system. Under fault insurance, those injured in a bus crash in Columbus have three options. First, they could file a claim with their own insurance company, the same as in no-fault insurance. Second, they have the option of filing a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. And third, they could file a lawsuit to recover damages in court without having to meet a threshold requirement.
When more than one party are at fault for causing an auto accident, states normally refer to rules known as a comparative fault or comparative negligence. Georgia follows the 50 percent bar rule, a subset of the modified comparative fault rule.
Under the rule, if both the plaintiff and the defendant were at fault in the accident, the plaintiff is barred from recovering if they are found to be 50 percent or more at fault. A plaintiff may still recover damages if the court finds that they are 49 percent or less at fault. However, under the rule, a plaintiff’s damages would be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if a defendant is 70 percent at fault for causing a bus accident injury in Columbus, but the plaintiff 30 percent at fault, the plaintiff would only receive 70 percent of their overall damages.
Plaintiffs that are seeking damages related to a bus collision in Columbus may have an opportunity to seek recovery against a bus driver’s employer under a theory of vicarious liability. Many buses are driven by employees of the government or private institutions. Vicarious liability allows plaintiffs to seek damages against employers when their employees commit negligent acts. Employers are only responsible for an employee’s negligent conduct when:
A detour is a minor deviation from work-related duties, while a frolic is a major departure from employment activities, such as an employee getting a haircut during their lunch break. Employers are not often held liable for negligent acts committed during a frolic. Those seeking to file a personal injury case and recover damages must file their case within two years of suffering their injury under Georgia Code §9-3-33.
Bus drivers and their employers should be held accountable when they fail to keep their passengers and others around them safe. A bus could easily cause large amounts of damage and injury due to their massive size. A Columbus bus accident lawyer could help you stand up to the bus companies and insurance carriers. Call now and get started on your case today.