Lafayette Bus Accident Lawyer

Tourist bus

Lafayette, Louisiana, is a wonderful place to live, but driving here can be dangerous. In Lafayette, police respond to about 24 motor vehicle accidents per day – with nearly half of those due to distracted driving. Injuries and property damage are significantly compounded when the accident involves a bus.

While buses are a relatively safe mode of transportation, broad-sweeping statistics are little consolation when you are one of the unfortunate people severely injured or suffering the loss of a loved one resulting from a bus accident. Experienced attorneys tasked with conducting diligent investigations into the crash evidence often turn up liability issues where one or more parties legally owe compensation to injury victims to cover different types of loss.

Lafayette Bus Accident Lawyer Bart Bernard offers free case evaluations for bus accident victims and their families. Recognized for his exceptional results, Bart Bernard is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, the Elite Lawyers of America, and the American Association of Justice. Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers will pursue maximum compensation for your losses and keep you apprised of the progress of your case every step of the way. You have nothing to lose by working with us, and everything to gain, as we charge no fees at all unless your case is successful.

Get it Done Right™ with Bart Bernard!

Bus accident statistics

  • Are buses really safe? On average, school buses are 7 times’ safer than passenger cars, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety AdministrationSix annual deaths out of 23.5 million children traveling by bus may not seem like a lot – until it’s your child.
  • School bus crashes have been a continuing problem in Lafayette Parish. In 2015, The Daily Advertiser reported the 250 crashes from 2010-2015 represented 25 percent of the school bus crashes in the state. Bus drivers were ticketed in 113 crashes.
  • Are bus drivers held accountable? A 2012 study published in the Journal of Safety Research found that only 4% of bus drivers are charged with serious offenses like speeding, driving under the influence, drowsiness, distracted driving, or recklessness. A legal team can help you get to the bottom of all the factors leading up to the accident.

Who is liable for a bus crash?

The Common Carrier Doctrine of Louisiana states that bus, plane, train, and taxi drivers have an obligation to the people they are transporting to exercise “reasonable care” and avoid taking unnecessary risks while making decisions on the road so as not to put their passengers in harm’s way. Common carriers who transport strangers for money need to be held to the highest standard of care because of the great trust we place in drivers to take us where we need to go safely.

  • Bus Drivers – Bus drivers can be charged with liability when they are driving intoxicated, tired, distracted, driving without a proper license, or driving with a known, undisclosed medical condition that may interfere with their ability to operate the vehicle safely. Though rare, speeding, recklessness, or aggression can be factors leading up to a crash.
  • Other Motorists – Other drivers can be guilty of side-swiping a bus in an attempt to pass, pulling out into traffic too quickly, tail-gaiting, driving drunk, or failing to signal a lane change — just to name a few offenses.
  • Transportation Companies – Transportation companies may fail to have adequate hiring, training, or supervisory practices. Attorneys look at past history of safety violations, tickets, maintenance issues, and accidents.
  • Vehicle Maintenance Providers – Occasionally, those tasked with bus maintenance pass vehicles they know do not meet the inspection standards.
  • Bus Manufacturers – Brake and tire manufacturers can be culprits behind a malfunction that leads to a crash.
  • Local Municipalities – Local governments are responsible for keeping roadways clear of debris and view obstructions, and with providing working signs and signals to warn drivers of danger.

Types of bus accident compensation awarded in Louisiana

Bus accident victims in Louisiana may be able to recover money for:

  • Past, present and future medical bills
  • The cost of rehabilitation therapies
  • Home modifications and assistive devices related to disability
  • Economic losses from time off work due to injury or caregiving responsibilities
  • Funeral expenses and wrongful death (in fatal crashes)
  • Emotional pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of companionship, loss of support, loss of guidance

If the accident was partly my fault, can I still recover damages?

Few accidents boil down to one person “to blame” and one person “100% innocent.” The cause of a crash is not always readily apparent, and both parties may share fault to some degree. Louisiana’s pure comparative negligence doctrine still allows you to collect compensation, even if you were partially at fault, though the total amount will be reduced based on how much liability is ascribed to you. With legal representation, you can ensure that you are not unfairly shouldered with the lion’s share of fault, which would affect how much compensation you are eligible to collect.

What should I do if my child is in a school bus accident?

School buses owe parents a special duty of care to adequately supervise and reasonably protect their children from harm during transportation to and from a place of education. A Lafayette bus accident lawyer should be your first call after seeking medical attention for your child’s injuries. You should not be held responsible for any costs incurred in your child’s medical treatment and long-term recovery. A lawyer will investigate the facts surrounding the accident thoroughly to advocate for maximum compensation. You may have a valid claim against the bus driver, the school district, the bus company, or another motorist.

How to win a bus accident lawsuit

To win a bus accident lawsuit, you must:

  • Contact an experienced Baton Rouge, LA, or Lafayette, LA bus accident lawyer to help prepare the necessary paperwork and crucial evidence. Knowing the local laws will affect which legal argument your attorney pursues to make a case for compensation owed to you. This is where winning experience matters!
  • Compile information regarding time off work and wages, medical expenses, and funeral costs (if applicable).
  • You must be able to provide proof of physical injury and be able to rule out pre-existing conditions.
  • Your attorney will construct an argument establishing common carrier duty of care.
  • File within Louisiana’s statute of limitations, which is generally one year from the time of the accident.

Be Smart. Get Bart.™

Contact the Law Office of Bart Bernard for a free case review. As a contingency fee attorney, Bart Bernard only collects a fair legal fee out of the settlement or verdict award. We offer two convenient nearby locations, so call our Lafayette law office on Camelia Boulevard or our Lafayette law office on Caillouet Place for a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer specializing in bus accidents.

Last modified: January 13, 2020

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