Helping Victims of MARTA Bus Accidents Recover the Compensation They Need and Deserve
Traffic in Atlanta can be intense. For this reason, many people opt to use public transportation. MARTA, which stands for Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, is an extremely cost-effective and efficient means of transportation in and around the greater Atlanta area. MARTA was formed in 1971, and at first, only provided bus transportation. However, since then, the system has extended and currently consists of a tightly woven network of bus routes which link to rapid rail transit. The rail transit is made up of nearly 48 miles of railroad track, along with 38 train stations.
MARTA bus accidents can result from negligent bus drivers or other negligent motor vehicle drivers on the road. However, no matter who is ultimately deemed at fault, bus accidents can result in serious—and sometimes catastrophic—injuries. If you have been injured as a passenger on a MARTA bus, you should call the MARTA bus accident lawyers at Brauns Law, PC. Our experienced team of attorneys can investigate your case and may be able to help you recover compensation for your injuries.
Causes of MARTA Bus Accidents
Some of the most common causes of MARTA bus accidents include:
- Distracted driving – When a bus driver operates a bus in a distracted manner, this creates the perfect storm for an accident. Distractions may include the use of electronic devices, such as cell phones or GPS devices, while driving, as well as loud or disruptive bus patrons.
- DUI – Alcohol and drugs are depressants which slow down a driver’s central nervous system and reaction time. They also significantly impair a driver’s vision. When a bus driver operates a bus while intoxicated or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the risk of an accident increases significantly. Driving while under the influence may also cause a bus driver to swerve, change lanes abruptly, strike a tree or other object, or collide with another motor vehicle. All of these accidents can result in severe and potentially catastrophic injuries and damages to bus patrons.
- Speeding – Speeding may involve exceeding the posted speed limit or driving too fast for the current weather conditions. Buses are large vehicles, and when they move fast on wet surfaces, they have the potential to hydroplane. This can cause the bus driver to quickly lose control of the bus.
- Cutting curves too sharply – Due to their large size, buses can sometimes have difficulty navigating sharp turns. When this happens, the bus may collide with another vehicle or vehicles on the roadway or at a traffic intersection.
Sustaining Injuries in Bus Accident Cases
Most buses, unfortunately, are not equipped with seatbelts. Consequently, when an accident occurs, bus patrons are often thrust forward and backward in their seats, likely sustaining whiplash-type injuries. Patrons can also slam their heads into the seat in front of them—or on the back of their own headrests—resulting in serious head injuries. Finally, the collision may cause bus patrons to jam their knees or elbows into the row of seats in front of them, resulting in a soft tissue knee or elbow contusion, and in some cases, a more serious injury.
Proving Negligence in a MARTA Bus Accident Case
To demonstrate that a negligent MARTA bus driver caused the accident, you must be able to show that the driver violated the standard of care (i.e. by failing to drive reasonably, prudently, and carefully under the circumstances—or by driving while intoxicated). You must also be able to show that this violation of care resulted in the accident as well as your personal injuries and damages. If you are claiming permanent injuries and damages, a medical doctor or another specialist must be able to demonstrate that you will suffer from your injuries for the remainder of your life. A MARTA bus accident lawyer can help you retain the necessary experts to prove liability and damages in your case.
Permanency aside, MARTA bus accident victims may be able to recover monetary compensation for all related medical bills and treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering, lost earning capacity, related mental incapacity, loss of family or spousal support, and loss of enjoyment of life. A MARTA bus accident lawyer can be your advocate every step of the way and will work toward maximizing the damages in your case.
Potential Liability of Governmental Entities or Third Parties
In the case of MARTA buses, MARTA, the City of Atlanta, or some other governmental entity may be held indirectly responsible for bus accidents when they employ inexperienced drivers or drivers who have a history of causing accidents or engaging in reckless driving. Under those circumstances, the governmental entity could be liable for negligently hiring, supervising, or retaining a bus driver employee.
When bus accidents happen because of another motor vehicle driver’s negligence, the driver or owner of that other vehicle may be held responsible for the injuries and damages sustained in the accident. A MARTA bus accident lawyer can ensure that all legally responsible parties are brought into your personal injury case—and in a timely manner.
Gwinnett County Bus Accident FAQ
What types of buses are involved in accidents?
Individuals in the Gwinnett County area regularly rely upon bus transportation to get them to and from work and around various areas of the county. Tourists also rely upon bus transportation to travel from place to place throughout the region.
There are many different types of buses that travel around Gwinnett County. These buses include charter buses, school buses, municipal (county) buses, commuter buses, and city buses. Unfortunately, any of these types of buses can become involved in an accident. The bus accident may occur because of bus driver negligence, or it may occur because some other motor vehicle driver behaved negligently.
If you suffered an injury in a bus accident that involved a school bus, municipal bus, or commuter bus, you may file a legal claim or cause of action. The defendant or defendants that an accident victim (or the accident victim’s attorney) names in a bus accident case typically depends upon the type of bus involved in the accident. For example, in the case of a charter bus accident, you may file a claim or lawsuit against not just the driver, but also the bus company.
If you or a person you care about has suffered an injury in a bus accident, hire experienced legal counsel to protect your right to recover the compensation you need. A knowledgeable Gwinnett County bus accident attorney at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can assist you with filing your claim or lawsuit, as well as pursuing the monetary compensation you deserve.
What are the most common injuries suffered in bus accidents?
Passengers on a bus are at a greater risk of injury in an accident than are other types of motor vehicle passengers. Although more modern buses are currently equipped with seatbelts, many older buses do not have this technology. Therefore, in the event the bus is involved in an accident, passengers may be thrown by the force of impact, possibly making contact with the back of a seat or a headrest, and causing them to sustain an injury. Moreover, due to the lack of restraint on many buses, an accident victim may fall out of his or her seat and onto the floor, suffering a serious head, neck, or back injury.
Some bus accident injuries are more serious than others. While some are soft tissue injuries, others involve broken bones and fractures.
Some of the most common injuries that an accident victim may suffer in a Gwinnett County bus accident include:
- Traumatic head and brain injuries – A bus accident victim can suffer a traumatic brain or head injury by striking his or her head on the bus floor or on the headrest in front or behind.
- Broken bones – A bone fracture can occur when a bus accident victim is suddenly thrown to the floor due to a forceful collision. These types of injuries typically require surgery to correct.
- Soft tissue injuries – A soft tissue injury typically refers to a contusion or a muscular sprain/strain. Bus accident victims can suffer these injuries when their heads and necks jerk forward and backward in an abrupt motion, causing a whiplash-type injury. Although these injuries may not always require surgery to correct, they often require physical therapy, depending upon the extent of the injury sustained.
- Back and spinal cord injuries – A back or spinal cord injury typically happens when an accident victim suffers a forceful impact on his or her back or neck. In a bus accident, this may occur when a passenger falls out of his or her seat at the time of the collision, striking the neck or back on the bus floor. In the worst cases, back and spinal cord injuries can lead to partial or full paralysis, preventing the accident victim from moving and functioning.
If you or a person you love has sustained one or more of these injury types during a bus accident, the experienced team of Gwinnett County bus accident lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can assist you with pursuing monetary compensation for your injuries.
What are the most common causes of bus accidents in Gwinnett County?
Bus accidents in and around Gwinnett County can occur in a variety of circumstances. One of the most common causes of bus accidents is driver negligence. Driver negligence can take on a variety of forms. It may include not giving proper care and attention to the road by engaging in distracted driving, such as by using a cellphone, tablet, or other electronic device while operating a bus.
At other times, driver negligence may include violating a traffic law, such as by failing to stop at a red traffic light or stop sign. Finally, although it is relatively rare, a bus accident may occur because of a bus driver’s intoxication. For example, the driver may choose to get behind the wheel while he or she is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, resulting in the bus accident.
Gwinnett County accidents that involve buses can also occur when another motor vehicle driver behaves negligently. In these accident cases, the bus driver may have operated the bus carefully and safely, and he or she could not have avoided the accident. On the other hand, the other motor vehicle driver may have operated his or her vehicle carelessly or negligently, colliding with the bus and causing the accident.
A bus accident may also result from improper repair work or improper maintenance on the bus. Bus drivers and bus companies are responsible for making sure that their equipment is in a safe, working, and operable order at all times. When the bus company places a bus into service, it should be in a safe operating condition. For example, tires must be properly inflated and all other components of the bus should be in working order when the bus is in operation. When bus drivers and bus companies fail to properly maintain their buses, breakdowns can occur that can lead to serious accidents on the road.
Finally, injuries in Gwinnett County bus accidents may occur when bus parts are improperly manufactured or distributed. For example, seatbelts, as well as the seats themselves, can malfunction in the event of an accident, leading to passenger injuries. When that happens, the injured bus passenger may assert a claim or lawsuit against the parts manufacturer.
If you or a person you love has suffered an injury in a bus accident that you suspect resulted from negligence, an experienced Gwinnett County bus accident attorney at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can help you nail down the responsible individual or entity.
Whom can I sue in a Gwinnett County bus accident case?
If you or a person you love has suffered an injury in a bus accident that occurred in or around Gwinnett County, you may assert a legal claim or file a lawsuit against the at-fault individual or entity. If bus driver negligence caused or contributed to the bus accident, then you may file a claim or lawsuit directly against the bus driver.
Moreover, because the bus driver was acting within the scope of his or her employment and was on the job at the time that the accident occurred, you may have a valid cause of action against the bus owner. This potential defendant may be one of several entities, depending upon the type of bus involved. For example, the owner of the bus may be a county, city, school board, or charter bus company.
If the bus driver behaved negligently or irresponsibly while he or she was on the job, then the bus company may be vicariously liable for that driver’s negligence. In addition, bus companies are responsible for hiring, retaining, and supervising their bus drivers. If the bus driver who caused your accident had a history of moving violations, then you may bring a cause of action against the bus company for negligent hiring, retention, or supervision of the problematic bus driver.
Bus companies are also responsible for maintaining all of their equipment so that it is safe and operable at all times. If you can demonstrate that the bus accident resulted from negligent maintenance, then you may assert a legal cause of action against the bus company—or even against a repair facility, in some cases.
Finally, bus part manufacturers are responsible for making sure that the products that they manufacture and distribute into the chain of commerce are reasonably safe for use by consumers. When they fail to do this, they can be responsible for any personal injuries and damages that a consumer suffers. Bus accident injuries sometimes occur because of defective products, including bus seats and seatbelts. If you can demonstrate that the bus seat collapsed or a seatbelt failed, resulting in the injuries that you suffered, then you may assert a products liability claim against the bus part manufacturer or distributor.
An experienced Gwinnett County bus accident lawyer at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can assist you with filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit against all potentially responsible individuals or entities in your bus accident case. We can also help you litigate the case and pursue the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit arising from a Gwinnett County bus accident?
Bus accident victims who suffer injuries in Gwinnett County have two years from the date of their accident in which to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit for damages. If they do not file a claim or lawsuit within that time period, they cannot recover monetary compensation for their injuries. Therefore, if you are considering filing a claim arising out of injuries that you suffered in a bus accident, retain legal counsel as soon as possible.
The knowledgeable team of Gwinnett County bus accident lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will make sure to promptly file your claim or lawsuit in the proper court.
Even after your lawyer files a lawsuit on your behalf, you can still settle your case. The knowledgeable legal team at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will strongly advocate for your interests and pursue the compensation you deserve for the injuries that you suffered in your bus accident.
How much can I recover in monetary compensation from a Gwinnett County bus accident?
The amounts and types of monetary compensation that you can recover for injuries suffered in a bus accident depend upon a variety of factors. One of the most important is the extent and severity of your injuries, as well as the amount of treatment you received following your injuries. Generally speaking, the more serious the injuries you suffer in your accident, the more damages will be available. Moreover, if you incurred high medical bills and lost wages, you will likely be eligible to recover more compensation than if you did not.
Following a bus accident, your lawyer may pursue monetary compensation in the form of damages. You may pursue compensation for all of your medical bills and treatment, as well as for any medical procedures that you underwent following your accident. In addition, many individuals who suffer significant injuries cannot work for a long period of time after their accident. Consequently, you may pursue and recover monetary compensation in the amount of your lost earnings.
If you sustained a significant injury in a bus accident and cannot work into the future (or can only perform lighter duty work), then you may recover monetary compensation for loss of earning capacity. In addition, you can recover compensation for all of the pain, inconvenience, and suffering that you had to endure as a result of your bus accident injuries. Finally, you may file a claim for loss of consortium and recover monetary compensation for loss of spousal companionship and family support.
The experienced team of Gwinnett County bus accident attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will do everything possible to help you pursue the compensation you need following your bus accident.
Call a MARTA Bus Accident Lawyer Today for a Free Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation
Bus accidents are common when bus drivers—and other roadway drivers—are negligent. In either case, innocent bus patrons can sustain serious injuries and damages. No matter who is at fault, if you have been involved in a serious bus accident, you need an experienced team of attorneys on your side who can advocate for all of your legal interests.
The bus accident lawyers at Brauns Law, PC can examine the circumstances of your case and ensure that every potentially responsible party is brought into it. Our attorneys can also fight for your right to recover monetary compensation in your case and can assist you with paying all related medical bills, as well as recovering compensation for missed time from work and pain and suffering experienced as a result of the accident.
To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a MARTA bus accident lawyer, please call us at (404) 348-0889. or contact us online.