A bus accident is certainly a scary experience. It can also cause major injuries: A recent five-year average reveals 68,500 bus accidents on U.S. highways every year, according to the Bureau of Transportation.
If you or a loved one has suffered injury from a Harlingen bus accident, you need Kenny Perez Law by your side. Kenny is a personal injury attorney who has called South Texas his home all his life. His Harlingen bus accident lawyers are ready to help you right now.
The Legal Definition of a bus
Legally, today’s bus is a motor vehicle that can accommodate more than 10 passengers at a time. Known as common carriers, Texans use public transit to go to work, medical visits, shopping, and other types of errands. In Harlingen, residents are dependent upon Valley Metro and Valley Transit to get around town and other areas of the Rio Grande Valley.
Many Buses Lack Seat Belts
In 2016, a federal law came into effect requiring new buses that transport people between cities and tour buses to be equipped with seat belts. However, older model buses are not required to upgrade.
As such nationwide bus carriers, such as Greyhound, and tour bus companies are not required to retrofit their buses with seat belts for their passengers. The reasoning? It could cost too much money to install them. The results can be deadly.
Many of our children ride a school bus to and from school. And while newer buses, those produced in 2018 and after, must be fitted with three-point seat belts, according to Texas law, many older vehicles remain without. It is something that the National Transportation Safety Board would like to correct, yet, has not yet done, according to School Transportation News.
What to Do Following a Bus Accident
Of course, the first thing you need to do is tend to the injuries you may have suffered. If you were not taken to the hospital following the accident, you should have yourself checked out either in urgent care or by your own physician within 24 hours. If there has been any injury to your head, seek out medical attention immediately.
Avoid discussing the accident with anyone other than the police, medical personnel attending to your injuries, and close family. If you were in a car rather than the bus, contact your insurance company to inform them of the accident.
Do not speak with anyone from an insurance company other than your own or the bus company. Next, contact the office of an experienced bus accident lawyer such as Kenny Perez.
What Your Attorney Will Need From You
When you first meet with your lawyer, he will need a detailed description of what you recall from the accident. Also, you need to provide him the names and phone numbers of anyone else involved in the accident and any witnesses you were able to talk with at the scene.
Your lawyer will also need any photographs you may have taken of the accident scene and your injuries. Provide him with the name and contact information of your insurance company. He can then get to work on your case.
What Your Compensation May Include
If you suffered injury from a bus accident in which you had no fault, you should receive compensation for your injuries and personal losses.
Some of your compensation could include:
- Reimbursement of all medical costs for your injuries
- Lost wages
- Lifecare expenses
- Vocational rehab
- Pain and suffering
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Punitive damages
Just how much compensation you deserve will depend upon the extent of the accident and your injuries.
Who Can I Hold Accountable for My Bus Accident?
First, the cause of the accident must be determined. As with any other vehicle, a defective part can be to blame. In that case, the bus, or the part manufacturer may be liable for the accident and any injuries it caused.
If the bus driver is found at fault, he, or she, personally, may be held responsible. Financially, however, the driver’s employer and the company’s insurance provider are often held responsible.
Some of these may include:
- Private bus companies
- School districts and school boards
- City, county, or state governments
- Tour operators
- Bus maintenance companies
Of course, the accident may be due to the driver of another vehicle, or some other circumstance, in which case the bus driver, the company for whom he or she works, or the owner of the bus will not be held accountable. Instead, the other driver, his or her insurance company, or another entity may be responsible.
What an Experienced Bus Accident Lawyer Can Do for You
Once you agree upon legal representation, your attorney will gather the police report from the accident along with witness information and testimony. He will further track down the company that operates the bus, who owns it, and who is responsible for maintenance and repairs.
Hiring a legal firm, such as Kenny Perez Law, that will thoroughly investigate the accident is critical to your case. More than one party may be held accountable.
Along with you, your bus accident attorney will also be able to determine what damages you may deserve. Your settlement should consider the nature of your injuries, future medical expenses, impairment for earning capacity in the future, and your marital status and number of dependents.
How Long Do You Have to File a Claim?
In Texas, you have a two-year window in which to file a personal injury claim. But that may not always apply when it comes to a government entity.
If you were injured while riding on a municipal bus, the window to file a claim may close much quicker. One example could be Valley Metro, run by the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council.
These circumstances make enlisting the help of Kenny Perez’s legal firm so important. Kenny has spent his legal career serving the citizens of south Texas and knows how these claims work—but don’t delay in calling him.
Hire a Bus Accident Lawyer Who Knows Harlingen
When it comes to hiring the right bus accident attorney for you, look for someone who knows Texas and federal regulations for all types of bus service operators. Kenny Perez knows those laws and will determine if any of them were violated causing your accident or making injuries worse.
Whether you were in the bus, the driver of another motor vehicle, or an injured bystander, you need Kenny’s experience for your case. If you were in a bus accident, contact Kenny Perez Law today at (956) 544-9292.
Kenny Perez Law
513 E Jackson Ave # 304,
Harlingen, TX 78550
“Definitely a law firm that you can trust! Professional, reasonable, and knowledgeable. The legal team has great customer service skills. They were able to help and guide us every step of the way after our accident.” – Cynthia Barrera
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