St. Louis Bus Accident Lawyer

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St. Louis Bus Accident Attorney

When you are hurt in a vehicle accident due to another driver’s actions, you have the right to seek compensation for your damages from the responsible party. The same rule applies after a bus accident, but these accident cases tend to be more complex than cases involving standard passenger vehicles. A St. Louis bus accident attorney can be a valuable asset in helping an injured victim recover compensation from the party responsible for their damages.

Though a fairly safe method of travel, bus accidents aren’t rare. These collisions can be caused by many factors, and they often result in serious injuries for numerous people. Since bus accident cases are much different than regular car wrecks, your lawyer will need to understand the specifics that are unique to bus accident cases. Your St Louis bus accident lawyer will need to know how to navigate the highly technical details of your bus accident if you are to recover financial compensation for your injuries.

The St. Louis motor vehicle accident lawyers with The Cagle Law Firm have decades of experience helping those who have been injured in private and charter bus accidents. If you would like to speak with a Missouri bus accident lawyer, call our office today at (314) 276-1681 or submit the details online to schedule a free, initial consultation.

The Bus Industry is More Regulated Than Other Motor Vehicles

Federal and state governments recognize the increased potential for danger if buses are carelessly maintained and operated. Therefore, these vehicles are much more regulated than ordinary cars. While each state may have unique guidelines, the safety of the entire bus industry in the United States falls under the responsibility of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This administration works with bus operators and law enforcement agencies to establish safety requirements for all buses. Private buses must follow the FMCSA rules and regulations. As well, chartered and private buses must carry commercial insurance.

Regulations implemented by the FMCSA on the bus industry are meant to control numerous things such as:

  • The regular maintenance of vehicles
  • Bus registration and record keeping
  • Caps on driving hours of bus operators
  • Skills and drug testing of drivers
  • Procedures to take after an accident

Failure to comply with federal safety standards can cause a devastating accident. If you were the victim of a bus accident where the driver or operator did not comply with the laws governing their industry, your legal counsel can argue that you should be awarded the damages that you need for your recovery. However, your attorney must understand the complex details that come into play in a lawsuit for compensation after a bus accident. Be sure to call an attorney with significant experience in commercial bus accident cases if you find yourself in such a difficult situation.

Insurance Claims in Bus Accidents in St. Louis, MO

While private buses often carry insurance coverage with much higher premiums than personal cars, it is still possible to encounter unexpected problems during the insurance claim filing process. If you are injured in a bus accident involving a private coach, you may be able to make a claim on a policy that has higher limits. This gives you an opportunity to fully recover for all of your injuries from one policy.

Most insurance companies handle claims in good faith, but the insurance industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry. The chances are very good that they are not actually considering your best interests. There is always a chance for an insurance company to attempt tactics to avoid paying out on a claim. They are less likely to attempt such behavior when they see that a claimant has legal representation. Your St. Louis bus accident attorney can ensure the insurance company handles your claim in good faith and that you receive fair compensation.

Most Common Causes of Bus Accidents In Missouri

It’s uncertain exactly how many bus accidents happen during a year, but the FMCSA reports that while bus transportation is statistically one of the safer methods to travel, an average of over 30,000 people were injured in bus accidents annually over the past several years. This significant number makes clear that bus accidents happen every day, and that a single accident can hurt numerous people. Your accident may have happened on the highway as you traveled between cities, or in a city in heavy traffic. A charter bus crash can occur on any roadway. It is important to understand that there may be more than one party whose negligence contributed to your injuries.

Bus accidents can happen due to the same causes as other accidents, but these large vehicles are also vulnerable to additional unique risk factors. Of the many causes that we have seen for bus accidents, some of the most common include the following:

  • The bus driver was distracted with their phone or by a passenger. Distracted driving is one of the most frequently cited causes of all vehicle accidents in the United States each year. Drivers of private and charter buses have strict rules about driver engagement with smart devices according to FMCSA. Your St. Louis bus accident attorney will understand what evidence you will need to prove a driver was not paying attention when they caused your recent accident.
  • Another driver’s negligence caused an accident with the bus you were on. If a third party hit the bus you were riding, they could face liability for your damages as well as any damages suffered by other passengers on the bus.
  • Your driver did not have the proper training to use their vehicle. Bus companies face severe penalties and liability for civil damages if they do not properly train drivers who go on to cause serious accidents.
  • Your driver was overworked and suffering from fatigue. Bus companies must ensure their drivers have adequate meal and rest breaks. Drowsy and fatigued driving is just as dangerous as intoxicated driving. Transportation companies can impose unreasonable deadlines on drivers and should be held accountable when it results in injury.
  • The company or municipality that owns the bus failed to perform necessary maintenance. The party responsible for the care and maintenance of a bus could be liable for an accident resulting from a mechanical failure.
  • The roadway was not suited for a large bus, or it was improperly maintained. This type of accident could form grounds for legal recourse against the government agency responsible for maintaining the road. However, this type of claim will be very different from a claim against another private party’s insurance carrier.
  • Your bus driver, or the driver of another vehicle, was intoxicated. Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is a criminal offense punishable by fines, jail time, and driver’s license suspension. The liable driver faces harsher penalties in sentencing in addition to civil liability for the damage they cause if they cause an accident while under the influence.

You may require various forms of evidence to substantiate your bus accident injury claim. An experienced St. Louis bus accident attorney can help their client gather evidence, including physical materials from the scene of the crash, digital records such as an at-fault driver’s cell phone data, traffic camera footage, vehicle computer data downloads, and eyewitness testimony to support their claim.

It is also possible for an attorney to consult expert witnesses on their client’s behalf. These professionals can provide valuable insights into the most technical and complex aspects of a bus accident case. Their testimony may help the plaintiff prove fault for their damages, and/or substantiate a claim for compensation. For example, medical expert witness testimony may help justify a claim for a sizeable amount of pain and suffering compensation in a personal injury case.

How Your Lawyer Can Win Your Bus Accident Case

If you are to recover compensation in a bus accident case, your lawyer will have to demonstrate the negligent behavior of the responsible party, and then show how their actions directly resulted in your injuries. This is a simple concept, but there are many factors and technical details involved in a bus wreck. The defendant in your case will almost certainly be a large company. Large companies are often defended by numerous lawyers. The Cagle Law Firm has decades of experience handling devastating and highly complicated accidents, and we know how to build a strong case to help our clients secure what they deserve.

Of the many pieces of evidence that we may seek in your bus accident case, some would be:

  • Driver time logs and toxicology reports
  • Driver license and training records
  • Vehicle maintenance records
  • Cell phone data
  • Witness testimony, pictures, and video recordings
  • Police reports
  • State and federal commercial transportation records
  • Bus company records
  • Accident reconstruction data
  • Pertinent medical records

Bus companies tend to have significant resources and are usually prepared to go to court. For this reason, your lawyer must also be prepared to take your case to court if you are not offered a financial settlement that is sufficient to help you during your recovery. We have successfully taken many of our client’s cases all the way through the court process and know what it takes to succeed in a courtroom against any adversary.

Steps To Take After Being Injured in A Bus Accident

Bus accidents can be horrific, and you or your loved ones may be badly injured. The first thing you should do after an accident is to move to a safe place if possible. After this, be sure to call 911 for emergency medical help. Attorneys or representatives from the bus company may reach out to you very quickly, offering a financial settlement agreement.

However, accepting or signing anything may prohibit you from seeking financial compensation in the future. Therefore, we strongly urge you to not sign or accept payment before speaking with your lawyer In addition to seeking medical attention and calling your lawyer, steps you should take after a bus accident include:

  • Try and write down a timeline of exactly what happened as you remember it
  • Make a written list of all those who you remember being witnesses to the accident
  • Do not discuss the accident in any detail with those who are not your doctor or lawyer
  • Follow up with your doctor’s orders, and make sure that your medical professionals know that your injuries are the result of a bus accident

Do not delay in calling a skilled bus accident lawyer. The sooner you contact an attorney, the more likely critical evidence can be gathered. The statute of limitations in cases like these will prevent you from filing a lawsuit for damages after a certain amount of time following your injury or the wrongful death of your loved one. For lawsuits involving a private bus company, you must generally do so within two years in Illinois and five in Missouri. However, there are many additional factors involved.

Recovering Compensation for Your Bus Accident in St. Louis

A successful personal injury suit may yield more compensation than you initially expect. When an insurance company fails to deliver an acceptable settlement, your attorney can file a lawsuit against the party and their insurance carrier. State law allows the victim of a bus accident in St. Louis to claim compensation for:

  • All medical expenses resulting from the accident. The defendant who caused your injuries may be liable not only for immediate medical expenses like hospital bills but also for long-term medical treatment costs.
  • Lost wages, including lost earning capacity, if the accident has left the plaintiff disabled. Any income you are unable to earn due to your injuries can be cited as economic damages in your claim. Your St. Louis bus accident attorney can help calculate the full extent of your lost income and lost future earning capacity.
  • Pain and suffering. Missouri law does not limit pain and suffering compensation in most personal injury cases. You have the right to seek whatever amount you believe reasonably reflects the scope and severity of the harm you suffered.

Ultimately, the average plaintiff may not realize the full extent of the compensation they can claim until they secure trustworthy legal representation. When you choose The Cagle Law Firm to represent you in any civil suit, our team will do everything we can to help maximize your recovery in the most efficient manner.

Charter bus crashes may involve multiple parties depending on the facts of the crash. If it is a single-bus crash incident, multiple parties may have liability. You may have a claim against the driver, the charter bus transportation company and any third party responsible for maintenance and safety for the transportation company. Again, each crash is different so your attorney will look for any applicable policies for your recovery.

Remember that a pure comparative fault rule applies to personal injury cases in which multiple parties share fault for damages. If you were injured as a bus passenger, it is unlikely that you will be found partially at fault for your accident. However, if you were injured while driving your own vehicle, it is possible that the defendant may attempt to assert comparative fault.

A Lawyer From The Cagle Law Firm Can Help You

It is natural to be concerned about the potential cost of hiring legal representation for any type of civil suit in St. Louis, but this is no cause for concern if you choose The Cagle Law Firm to represent you. We accept personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis. This means our client only pays a percentage of their final case award as our fee, and only if we win their case. There is no fee if we are unable to obtain compensation for your damages.

Bus accidents injure thousands of Americans each year. If you are involved in a bus wreck, you can have serious physical damage that might take years to recover from. You may be out of work or be forever limited because of your injuries. But you can seek damages from a bus company or city government to set things right and aid in your recovery. The St Louis bus accident lawyers at The Cagle Law Firm have helped other people, who have found themselves in the same difficult situation, and we can help you too so that you can move on with your life.

To speak with a Missouri bus accident lawyer, contact our office today. Call The Cagle Law Firm at (314) 276-1681 or via our online form.

Contact Us Today

The Cagle Law Firm serves accident and injury clients throughout St. Louis and the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, including the eastern Missouri and southern Illinois communities. If you or a loved one needs legal assistance with your personal injury case, call The Cagle Law Firm at (314) 276-1681 or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.


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