Madison Bus Accidents

Metro Transit and other bus services play a vital role in many of our lives. They provide an affordable, dependable, and environmentally friendly way to get around Madison. However, when a bus is involved in a traffic accident, the consequences can be disastrous. These large, cumbersome vehicles can cause serious damage in the event of a collision, resulting in painful injuries that require costly medical treatment and lead to significant emotional trauma.

Were you injured on a city bus or because one hit your vehicle? If so, a Wisconsin bus accident law firm can help you demand compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and other losses. We at LawtonCates can pursue this compensation on your behalf while you focus on resting and recovering.

Since 1958, our law firm has fought for the rights of injured people in South Central Wisconsin. Our track record demonstrates our commitment to securing maximum compensation for our clients, and we are ready to do the same for you. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation with a bus accident lawyer in Madison.

Benefits of Hiring a Madison, WI, Bus Accident Attorney

Ideally, pursuing compensation after an accident that wasn’t your fault would be a simple process. Unfortunately, that might not be the case in reality. There are tight deadlines to contend with, especially if a government service is involved, and it’s likely that insurance adjusters or government bureaucrats are standing between you and the money you deserve. Add to that the pain of your injuries and the treatment they require, and asserting your rights could quickly become an uphill battle.

Fortunately, it’s not a battle you have to fight yourself. When you work with a Madison bus accident attorney at LawtonCates, we will handle every aspect of your claim, including:

  • Investigating the accident
  • Identifying all liable parties
  • Calculating the value of your claim
  • Negotiating aggressively with the insurance company
  • Taking the at-fault party to court if the insurer is unwilling to offer the settlement you deserve

With our legal knowledge and trial-tested skills on your side, you can rest assured that your claim is in good hands while you focus on healing.

Why Are Bus Accident Injury Claims So Complex?

Bus accident claims tend to be more complex than regular auto accident claims for a few key reasons:

  • Multiple parties could often be at fault, such as the bus driver, bus company, manufacturer, or municipality. Determining the liability of each party takes extensive investigation.
  • Buses are large vehicles that require special driving skills and maintenance. Negligence related to the driver’s actions or failure to properly maintain the bus can be difficult to prove.
  • A bus may carry dozens of passengers, so the injuries and damages in a bus crash can be extensive. Documenting each individual’s losses and connecting them to the crash requires a lot of resources.
  • Government agencies are often involved in bus accident claims, either because they own the bus, employ the driver, or are responsible for road design and maintenance. There are strict deadlines and claim requirements when making claims against government entities.

What to Do After a Bus Accident

If you have been involved in a Metro Transit accident or another Madison bus crash, taking the following steps can help you safeguard your injury claim:

  • Seek medical attention, even if your injuries seem minor. Symptoms of certain injuries can take time to manifest. Getting checked out creates a record of your condition.
  • Report the crash to the police so there is official documentation of the accident. Make sure to get a copy of the report.
  • Document the scene with photos and video if possible. Capture images of property damage, skid marks, and weather conditions.
  • Get contact information and insurance details from the bus driver.
  • Write down your recollection of how the crash happened while it’s still fresh.
  • Consult a bus accident attorney as soon as possible so they can start investigating. Let your attorney handle communication with insurers.

Who Could Be Held Responsible for a Bus Accident?

Several different parties could share fault for a bus accident, including the following:

  • The bus driver, if driver negligence such as speeding, distraction, impairment, or erratic maneuvering contributed to the crash
  • The bus company that employed the driver, particularly if it failed to properly train, supervise, or screen the driver
  • Vehicle manufacturers, if a defect in the bus caused or worsened the crash
  • Municipalities or contractors responsible for maintaining the roadways, if hazardous conditions like potholes contributed to the collision
  • Other drivers on the road who caused the bus accident through negligent or reckless driving

What Compensation Can I Expect to Recover in a Bus Accident Claim?

The potential compensation in your Madison bus accident case will depend on a number of factors. These include the extent of your injuries, the severity of the accident, and the available sources of insurance and other coverage.

A Madison bus accident attorney from LawtonCates can help you seek compensation for losses such as:

  • Past and future medical expenses, such as ambulance rides, E.R. visits, doctor’s appointments and follow-ups, specialist consults, surgical procedures, assistive devices, and medications
  • Lost income from missed time at work, whether due to disability or medical appointments
  • Reduced earning capacity if your injuries prevent you from returning to your former line of work
  • Physical and psychological pain and suffering
  • Disability or disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Property damage

If you have lost a loved one in a bus accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. The compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit is meant for funeral and burial expenses, medical expenses before your loved one passed, pain and suffering, and loss of income for the decedent’s dependents.

Consult a knowledgeable Wisconsin attorney to learn more about how much bus accident compensation you might be able to recover in your claim.

What If I Am Partly at Fault in a Bus Accident?

Wisconsin personal injury law works on a modified comparative negligence basis. This means that an injured individual can seek compensation as long as they bear a smaller percentage of fault than the party they are claiming against. However, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if a court determines that you bear 15 percent of the fault for an accident where a bus collided with your car, you will be able to recover a maximum of 85 percent of the compensation for your losses.

Comparative negligence can complicate a bus accident claim because liable parties often try to shift as much of the blame onto victims as possible in an attempt to save themselves money. This is one reason why having a skilled bus accident attorney on your side is so crucial. They can use the evidence they collect in their investigation to craft a solid case demonstrating why you deserve maximum compensation.

How Long Do I Have to File a Bus Accident Claim in Wisconsin?

The amount of time you have to file a bus accident lawsuit in Wisconsin depends on the circumstances. If your injuries occurred in a school bus accident or due to city bus driver negligence, you may need to file a claim against a government agency. The deadline for these types of claims is typically 120 days. Speak with a knowledgeable Wisconsin bus accident attorney from LawtonCates immediately to avoid missing your window of opportunity.

If the at-fault party is not an employee of a government agency, Wisconsin’s personal injury statute of limitations generally stipulates that you must initiate legal action within three years. It’s best to contact an attorney at LawtonCates to get the filing date specific to your case. While you may think you have a generous amount of time, key evidence can go missing over time, and memories fade quickly. Consulting with a Madison bus accident lawyer from LawtonCates as soon as possible is the most effective way of maximizing your chances of success.

What Are Common Types of Bus Accidents?

Some typical types of bus crashes include:

  • Rollover Accidents – Often caused by speeding around curves
  • Sideswipe/Side-Impact Crashes – These can happen during unsafe lane changes
  • Rear-End Collisions – Usually due to tailgating or distracted driving
  • Intersection Accidents – Often due to running red lights or stop signs
  • Pedestrian Accidents – Result of failure to yield the right-of-way
  • Jackknife Accidents – Can occur when trying to stop too quickly

What Injuries Can Someone Sustain in a Bus Accident?

Due to the large size and weight of buses, the injuries they cause can be severe. Common bus injury types include:

  • Whiplash
  • Broken bones
  • Spinal cord injuries like paralysis
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Internal organ damage
  • Lacerations and abrasions
  • PTSD and other psychological trauma

The extent of injuries depends on factors like whether passengers were ejected, whether the bus rolled over, and if crush injuries occurred. An experienced bus accident attorney from LawtonCates can help document all crash-related injuries.

Contact a Madison, WI, Bus Accident Lawyer Today

The aftermath of a Madison bus crash can leave you feeling overwhelmed, distraught, and worried about your future. At LawtonCates, our compassionate bus accident attorneys understand the challenges you are facing, and we want to do everything we can to support and advocate for you in your time of need. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case review to learn more about how we can help you.