Las Vegas promotes public transportation as a way to save money and reduce pollution while avoiding the stress of driving. Along with these benefits, public transportation also brings risks, such as bus accidents.
If you were in a Las Vegas bus accident, you know the physical and financial toll involved in recovery. You may be in pain, unable to work, and facing significant medical bills.
You shouldn’t have to worry about paying your bills while trying to heal from your accident injuries. If the insurance company isn’t paying you fairly, you may need to take legal action. At Morris Injury Law, we help victims of Las Vegas bus accidents. We are ready and willing to discuss your claim, answer your questions, and pursue a legal strategy to get you maximum compensation.
How Common Are Bus Accidents?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) gathers statistics on large truck and bus accidents. Their data shows that between 1975 and 2019, the number of large trucks and buses on the road increased from 5.8 million to 14 million. Of course, more large vehicles on the road increases the potential for terrible accidents. In fact, 2019 statistics show how dangerous these vehicles are:
- There were 4,696 fatal large truck and bus crashes in 2019;
- There were 5,244 fatalities from these crashes in 2019;
- School bus crashes killed 54 people in 2020;
- From 2011 to 2020, about 70% of the school bus crash deaths were occupants not in the school bus; and
- Over half of the people injured in school bus crashes were not on the school bus.
Sadly, these bus accidents can lead to lifelong injuries or deaths that impact entire families. When a tragic bus accident occurs, victims deserve justice and access to adequate compensation to provide for their needs.
What Types of Buses Are in Las Vegas?
Las Vegas hosts tourists from all over the world. All these tourists create demand for bus transportation. The following types of buses frequent Las Vegas streets.
Regional Transportation Commission
The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) provides bus and other public transportation along the Las Vegas Strip and throughout Clark County.
Most Las Vegas hotels operate shuttles to drive guests to and from the airport and attractions around Las Vegas.
Many private transportation companies shuttle guests in vehicles ranging from limousines to buses. In addition, tour buses from other states, with drivers who may be unfamiliar with Las Vegas roadways, bring groups of passengers to the events and attractions of the city.
What Causes Bus Accidents?
Buses can cause significant injuries or even death if drivers neglect to exercise caution or if weather or mechanical conditions interfere. Bus accidents occur for many reasons, including the following:
- Distracted driver,
- Bad weather conditions,
- Inadequate maintenance,
- Passenger disturbance,
- Reckless driving, and
- Hazards on the bus.
No matter the reason for the bus accident, it leaves people injured and in need of compensation. A bus accident attorney in Las Vegas can help you investigate and determine what caused the bus accident that injured you.
What Should You Do After a Bus Accident?
After you experience an accident, you should take these steps to aid your physical and financial recovery.
Get Immediate Medical Care
A bus accident can cause serious injuries. You should seek urgent medical attention for serious injuries. Follow medical advice, and don’t engage in any activities that could make your injury worse. Even if you don’t think you were injured, it is wise to get checked out because some injuries are not readily apparent. Save all medical records to support your bus accident claim.
Call the Police to the Scene
You or a bystander should immediately call the police to the scene of the accident. Cooperate with police to the extent you are able and ask them to file an accident report. If you need urgent medical attention, you can follow up with the police later. Never flee the scene of an accident.
You will need evidence to support your accident claim. The police should take photographs of the accident scene, but if you are able, take photos yourself as well. Get the names and contact information of witnesses.
Consult a Las Vegas Bus Accident Lawyer
If you aren’t sure how to proceed with your bus accident claim, an injury attorney can answer your questions, advise you on legal strategy, and help you file a claim.
Who Is Responsible for Bus Accident Injuries?
Nevada requires the party who caused an accident to pay for accident damages.
To prove the bus driver was negligent, you must show:
- The bus driver had a duty to drive safely and protect others from harm;
- The bus driver breached that duty by doing something irresponsible, like speeding, texting, or running a stoplight;
- The bus driver’s action caused you harm; and
- Your harm is substantial enough to be worth compensation.
Bus drivers are held to a higher standard than other drivers. This means that they must be especially careful when driving such a large vehicle because even slight negligence can cause substantial harm to others. Since bus drivers are held to a higher standard of responsibility, proving their negligence is easier than in other car accident cases.
As mentioned, gathering evidence to support your allegations of negligence can help your claim. When you have enough evidence to decisively prove negligence, the insurance company is more likely to offer you a fair settlement.
Even if you were partially responsible for the bus accident, you might still be able to recover compensation. Nevada has a legal standard of modified comparative negligence that says if you are 50% or less responsible for your accident, you can recover damages. However, your damages may be reduced by your percentage of responsibility.
For instance, imagine that you are texting while driving in Las Vegas. Suddenly, a bus runs a red light and hits you, causing you serious injuries. Because you were texting and not paying attention to your surroundings, you might be held partially responsible for the accident. Perhaps you could have avoided the bus if you had been aware of it hurtling toward you. However, the bus ran a red light and crashed into you. The bus driver is mostly responsible for your injuries. In this case, if the court found you 20% responsible and the bus driver 80% responsible for the accident, you could recover compensation. If you sustained $500,000 in medical expenses and property damages, you could recover $400,000 from the bus driver’s or bus company’s insurance. If you are 51% or more responsible for the accident, you cannot recover compensation.
Who Should You Sue?
While a bus driver may have caused your accident, they don’t usually have sufficient assets for you to recover in a lawsuit. This means that you will usually sue the bus company for your accident injuries. Bus companies have extensive commercial insurance policies, providing the possibility of significant compensation when a driver for the bus company causes harm. If the bus had a mechanical failure that caused the accident, you might also sue the manufacturer or the company that maintained the bus.
What Compensation Can You Recover?
When a bus causes you harm, you can recover compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial damages you suffer, including the following:
- Medical bills,
- Physical therapy expenses,
- Counseling costs,
- Pain and suffering,
- Vehicle repairs, and
- Lost wages.
In some bus accident cases that go to trial, where there is particularly terrible behavior, you may be able to recover punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish particularly bad behavior and deter others from acting in a similar manner.
Show your attorney any documents that prove the extent of your harm. This includes medical bills, medical reports, car repair receipts, paystubs, and other documentation of expenses related to your accident recovery.
When Should You File a Claim?
You should file a claim with your insurance company or the driver’s or bus company’s insurance company soon after the accident. Insurance companies usually require you to notify them within days or weeks of the accident.
Personal Injury Claims
If you do not receive enough compensation from the insurance company, you may wish to file a personal injury lawsuit. In that case, you should be aware of the Nevada statute of limitations for personal injury claims. Nevada allows you to file a personal injury lawsuit for only two years following the accident. So, if you wait more than two years to file a lawsuit, a judge will probably throw out your case.
Wrongful Death Claims
If someone died from their accident injuries and you want to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you must file that claim within two years of the date the person died. If the person died from their injuries months or years after the accident, the limitation period starts from the date of their death.
If you’re filing a lawsuit to recover compensation for vehicle or property damage, you have three years from the date of the accident to file this claim.
These brief limitations on your time to file a lawsuit mean that you should promptly file with your insurance company. Even if you don’t intend to sue, you should leave that option open. It increases your negotiating power in settlement discussions. An insurance company is more likely to offer a fair settlement if they know that you still have time to sue.
What Does a Las Vegas Bus Accident Attorney Do?
A Las Vegas bus accident attorney helps accident victims during a very stressful time in their lives. Victims recovering from accident injuries may be in pain, facing financial stress, and unsure of how to navigate the complicated Nevada legal system. A bus accident attorney can explain the law, answer the victim’s questions, and pursue a legal strategy that is likely to recover maximum compensation. Also, bus accident attorneys have access to legal resources like investigators who can find key evidence to support your claim.
Insurance company attorneys can be intimidating. After all, their job is to protect their client—the bus company—and lose as little money as possible. This means that insurance company attorneys will usually offer you much less than your claim is worth, hoping to intimidate you into accepting a quick, low settlement. When you bring your own attorney to the negotiating table, you level the playing field. A bus accident attorney isn’t intimidated by big insurance lawyers, and they understand the common tactics insurance companies use to deny or undervalue your claim. Hiring someone with experience to represent you in insurance company negotiations gives you the best chance of reaching a fair settlement.
Contact a Las Vegas Bus Accident Attorney
If you were involved in a Nevada bus accident, you need an experienced bus accident lawyer in Las Vegas to fight for your rights. At Morris Injury Law, we represent clients who have been harmed by others, working to get them the compensation they deserve. Our law office is fully committed to providing excellent customer service by frequently communicating with you on the status of your case, answering your questions, and treating you with respect. This is the personalized representation we can provide, and it sets us apart from the big firms that treat clients as file numbers rather than humans in need of help.
Attorney Scott Morris is from Las Vegas, and he is deeply invested in this community and connected to area doctors, lawyers, and other experts who can assist your claim. He leads an office of legal professionals who believe our mission is to serve our neighbors and help them achieve justice for the harm they have suffered.
We make it easy for you to access skilled legal representation—we don’t charge you anything until we win your claim. That means you don’t pay anything to meet with us. If we fail to win your claim, you owe us nothing.
To get started on your bus accident claim, contact us for a free consultation. We’ll give you a chance to get to know us and ask questions before you decide to hire us. Once you hire us, we’ll advocate passionately for your maximum compensation so that you can provide for yourself and your family while you work to heal.