Protect your legal rights to get the compensation you deserve
The bus company will have highly trained attorneys and insurance adjusters at the scene of the accident working to reduce the potential costs against the company. Their response can be so immediate that some victims end up accidentally giving up their rights while they are still in shock from the accident. Don’t lose your right to a fair recovery. After a serious bus accident, it’s important for victims to do the following:
1. Seek medical attention.
Don’t wait to see a doctor. Your health is a priority, and you will need the initial documentation of your injury if you pursue compensation for your medical bills later on. If it’s determined that the bus company is liable, they will be responsible for paying your doctors and other health care providers for your treatment costs, and there is no limit on how much the bus company must pay to your doctors. You are entitled to receive compensation for future medical treatment needed to address your injuries.
2. Do not agree to give a recorded statement.
Bus companies frequently send their claims investigators to a bus crash site or to the hospital where bus passengers have been transported in an attempt to get the victims to give a “recorded statement.” The bus company investigators act like this will benefit the injured passengers, but that is far from the truth. The only purpose of the recorded statement is so the bus company can try to eliminate or minimize the injured victim’s claim. You are not required to provide a recorded statement for any purpose. If you are asked to give one, simply refuse.
3. Do not agree to sign any forms.
Bus company representatives often ask injured passengers to “sign a few forms” to pull every medical, employment, or other record from their lifetime. Or, even worse, they may ask you to sign a “release” in which you will sign away your legal rights forever. Nothing good can come from signing forms provided by the bus company. If they ask you to sign forms, simply refuse.
You need an experienced bus accident attorney on your side
If you have questions and need answers about how to handle bus company representatives or insurance adjusters after a bus accident, don’t wait another minute to receive clear and accurate information about your rights from an attorney who really knows this business. Our founding partners, Vuk Vujasinovic and Brian Beckcom, have handled many high-profile injury cases against Greyhound. We can help you analyze the evidence related to the crash and better understand your legal options.
Bus accident lawsuits are complex
You have several options when filing a lawsuit after being seriously injured in a bus crash. The safety rules that bus drivers and bus companies are required to follow allow you to name nearly everyone who contributed to your injury. Any person or business that violated these rules can, and should, be held accountable.
In Texas and most other states, bus drivers and bus companies are held to a very high standard of care because they are “common carriers” who typically transport passengers over long distances. This is called the common carrier rule and is a higher standard of care than “negligence,” which is the standard in most vehicle accident cases.
- If the bus driver was at fault for any reason, then you can name the driver in your lawsuit.
- If the bus driver was at fault, you can typically sue the driver’s employer. It was the employer’s responsibility to ensure that the vehicle was maintained properly and your driver was qualified to operate the bus safely.
- Sometimes, the owner of the bus will be different from the management company or the driver’s employer. Depending on the factors in your case, you might name multiple people and companies as defendants in your lawsuit.
- Other vehicles or companies may also be involved in an incident. For example, if a Greyhound bus is rear-ended by a FedEx truck, deciding who is responsible for passenger injuries can be complex.
There are many more potential contributing factors that are taken into consideration after a serious bus accident. You can learn more by discussing your case with an experienced attorney who can investigate your case and tell you who is responsible for your injuries.
Did Greyhound say they would pay your hospital bills after the bus wreck? Texas is the best place for Greyhound lawsuits
We’ve had clients be told by hospital employees that Greyhound would “take care of” their bills in prior bus accident cases. They will make you think they’re going to pay all of your medical bills, no matter what. This gets your guard down and makes you think you may not need to hire a lawyer—and this is when Greyhound pounces.
They will claim the prices are too high, that some of the services were unnecessary, and find a ton of other excuses to avoid paying your full hospital bills. At the end of the day, you are left owing perhaps half of your hospital bill—which could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars—and Greyhound walks away with ammunition to destroy your claim once you hire an attorney and file suit.
Bus crash cases present unique scenarios in terms of where the injured passengers may file their lawsuits. This is because most of the time, many of the passengers don’t live in the county or state where the bus accident occurs, and they see doctors in several different states.
This situation plays out in the aftermath of every bus crash. Greyhound is a corporate citizen of the State of Texas, and generally if a defendant company is not a citizen of the state where it is sued, Greyhound may move the case to federal court. Federal court is not the best venue for bus accident victims, so it is in your best interest to file your case in state court in Texas.
What company tricks to watch out for after you’ve been hurt in a bus wreck
The first thing Greyhound does after one of its buses crash is make all of the passengers fill out a card called a “C-4.” The card calls for information as to how and why the bus crashed, and whether passengers were injured. In a lawsuit about the accident, if the cards contain information helpful to Greyhound, then its lawyers will disclose the documents. However, if the C-4 statements are not beneficial to Greyhound, their attorneys will try to hide the statements.
For those passengers indicating an injury on the C-4 form, Greyhound insurance specialists will ask for a “recorded statement,” This is usually a lengthy question/answer session designed to make passengers give statements that will hurt their case. We advise those injured in vehicle accidents to not give a recorded statement.
Soon after the wreck, Greyhound will approach any passengers claiming an injury and offer them a very low amount of money to settle their case. If any passengers accept this money, they will be forever barred from trying to collect any more money from Greyhound. It is always a good idea to at least talk to an injury lawyer or two before deciding whether to accept a settlement offer from Greyhound.
Once the lawsuit is under way, Greyhound and its lawyers resort to many typical tactics used by insurance companies involved in litigation:
- Greyhound will delay the case every way it can. Greyhound’s lawyers will hire paid experts to say the crash was not the bus driver’s fault — regardless of the evidence — even if the independent investigating officer cites the Greyhound bus driver at fault.
- Greyhound will hire paid experts to say none of the passengers were injured—no matter what the evidence is — even if independent doctors report otherwise.
If you have suffered a serious injury in a Greyhound bus accident, you should consult with an experienced injury lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve.
How to hire the right attorney for your bus accident claim
If you have been hurt in a bus accident, you will need an experienced attorney on your side. The driver will likely be protected by company lawyers, who are paid vast sums to keep the company from paying out settlements.
So how can you choose an attorney with the best chance of getting you the help you need?
- Check case results. See what kind of cases the attorney has handled before. Do they have experience winning complex injury cases? Have they ever taken on larger law firms?
- Call for a consultation. You can learn a lot about an attorney from the first phone call. Before you make a face-to-face appointment, set up a consultation call with one of the firm’s attorneys. They should listen intently, answer your questions, give an honest legal opinion, and both the call and the consultation should be free.
- Read testimonials. Attorneys should value their clients’ opinions and welcome their input on their legal services. Check for client testimonials to find out your attorney’s strengths and weaknesses, and do an Internet search for any additional ratings.
- Make sure the firm takes a contingency fee. A good injury attorney won’t take any money from you unless he or she wins your case. Contingency fees are legal fees that are paid with a percentage of your settlement, so if you don’t win your case, you don’t pay the attorney anything.
You may be afraid that hiring a lawyer will be just another hassle, but we know how much of a hassle trying to settle your bus injury claim on your own will be. From the moment you become a client, we work to get you the best result possible in the shortest amount of time.