Washington, D.C. Bus Accident Lawyers

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The Legal Experience You Need for a Serious Injury Claim

Metrobus has a fleet over 1,500 strong, and even that makes up only a percentage of the buses in Washington, D.C. As drivers, pedestrians, or bikers, we have gotten used to navigating our streets around them. However, when a negligent or reckless bus driver loses control, they can cause serious injury to many people.

Whether you were a bus passenger, an occupant of a passenger vehicle, or a nearby pedestrian, you likely have the right to file for compensation after being hurt in a bus accident. However, these cases can quickly become complex. Our lawyers are here to help you understand your rights and guide you through the process of starting your injury claim. You have a limited time to act, and we do not want you to miss your window for compensation—so call us today to see how we can help.


Understanding Complex Liability in Bus Accidents

Like anyone behind the wheel, a bus driver can make a mistake that causes an accident. However, they are typically not individually liable for the harm they cause. Their employer, whether that be the government or a private company, assumes the risk for most any accident that happens while a driver is on the job.

In some cases, these companies are liable even the bus driver is not at fault. Their vehicles travel hundreds of miles each day, meaning breakdowns are not only possible—they’re an inevitability. A bus company is required to keep its fleet road-safe, which means regular maintenance and repairs. If a worker overlooks a potential issue or, worse, outright ignores it, the bus driver could experience a breakdown that causes them to lose control in the middle of their route.

Faulty bus parts can also cause dangerous accidents. In 2019, over 50,000 school buses were recalled for having insufficient padding to protect children in case of a crash. Other times, the design or manufacturing flaws can be more dangerous.

Drivers may experience an accident if their bus suffers a catastrophic failure in its:

  • Steering
  • Engine
  • Brakes
  • Tires
  • Transmission

Proving a malfunctioning part was behind a bus accident may be difficult, but our lawyers are up to the challenge.

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How We Can Help Your Bus Accident Suit

No matter who is to blame in your case, our attorneys can provide essential services such as investigating your accident, gathering and preserving evidence, and negotiating with an insurer to help you receive a fair settlement. We also have skills and experience that are relevant to each type of suit.

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Claims Against a Bus Company

Whether self-insured or on a commercial policy, no bus company wants to pay an accident claim. They typically attempt to push blame onto someone else, hoping to decrease their percentage of fault and thus the amount they owe.

As an individual, you will likely have trouble doing the type of investigation our attorneys can compel. When negligence is involved in an accident, there are often internal records that pinpoint failures. For instance, a study done by the University of Michigan found over 1 in 4 charter bus drivers involved in accidents had been convicted, suspended, or involved in a crash in the past 3 years. For a company to knowingly hire a driver who has been in a crash, much less one who was disciplined for traffic violations, is a clear show of disregard for lives. This is the kind of data our attorneys often uncover in investigations and other pre-trial work.

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Claims Against a Government

All governments are protected by sovereign immunity, or the right to not be sued. This does not mean there’s no recourse if you were hit by a government-operated bus, but it does mean there are additional hoops to jump through and a tighter timeline in which you must do it. To file a claim against the District, you first have to submit an official letter notifying them you plan to do so, and you only have 6 months after the date of the accident to make this filing.

Especially for those recovering from serious injuries, this is not a lot of time, especially because the letter must include documentation like police or accident reports, medical bills, and other evidence to support your claim. Our attorneys can keep track of the deadlines and gather the various documents required to submit this first step. We can continue to do the same with each additional requirement involved in filing a case against the government.

Claims Against a Bus Parts Maker

They may not come with brand names, but buses are typically made by the same corporations that sell consumer cars and trucks. These companies all have well-funded in-house legal teams ready to defend against any claims of negligence. Simply put, there is no way for an individual to go up against them alone and win.

Ashcraft & Gerel has handled multiple high-profile cases against big companies backed by prestigious legal teams. We are not afraid to take these corporations on, and we have the resources to go toe-to-toe with them when they challenge a client’s right to compensation. If you believe the bus accident that injured you was caused by a malfunctioning part, it’s important you reach out to an experienced legal firm right away.

We’re Ready to Help You File

Our team wants to help you find justice against every party liable in the accident that injured you. We understand the thought of starting a legal claim may seem daunting, especially with all the other stressors caused by an accident, but you deserve compensation—and negligent companies should be held accountable for putting the public in danger. When you work with Ashcraft & Gerel, we take on most of the work associated with filing an injury claim, keeping you in the loop without adding to the demands on your time and energy.

You could be able to recover damages for everything ranging from medical bills to missed work to emotional distress if you were seriously injured. A settlement or verdict can give you the financial security you need as you heal and look to the rest of your life. Let us help you maximize the amount you ask for and fight any objections raised by the at-fault parties.