Portland Bus Accident Lawyer
Buses are a common form of transportation used by thousands of people in Portland every day. However, when negligence occurs, dangerous accidents can happen. Bus accidents threaten the lives and wellbeing of passengers, which often include young children, and endanger other motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians on the road. There is a higher risk of passengers suffering serious injuries due to the lack of on-board safety features such as seatbelts and airbags. If you or someone you love has been harmed in a bus accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The Portland bus accident lawyers at Rizk Law have years of experience fighting to protect the rights of accident victims. We have taken cases involving different types of bus accidents, including those that occur on bus routes in the Portland metro area and those on interstates and highways.
Our reputable attorneys have helped our clients obtain millions of dollars in compensation for injured victims over the years, and we will devote our time and resources to get you the best results possible. We work on contingency, so there are no upfront costs or fees. You only pay us if we help you recover compensation. Schedule a free, no obligation consultation with our Portland car accident attorneys to review the details of your case and learn more about the legal options available to you.
What to Do After a Bus Accident
Bus accidents can occur unexpectedly, so it is important to know what you should do if you are involved in an accident. Protect your well-being and preserve your claim by taking these necessary steps after a bus accident:
- Call 9-1-1 – Call the police and inform them that you have been in a bus accident. Do not assume the bus driver will take the initiative to call 9-1-1.
- Seek medical care – Get immediate medical attention even if you have minor pain or do not have any visible injuries. The shock and adrenaline rush experienced after an accident can mask the pain of injuries for several days or weeks. Let a doctor evaluate your injuries and rule out trauma to the head, spine or back as these areas can cause serious complications if left untreated.
- Report the accident – Having an official report of your injury can help support your case and possibly improve your chances of recovering compensation. Tell the police everything that happened. The Portland Police Bureau will investigate your case to determine all the facts.
- Gather information – Obtain the contact information, phone numbers and addresses of everyone involved in the accident. This includes the full name of the bus driver and his or her insurance information, the license plate number and the bus company’s name. If any eyewitnesses were present, get their names and phone numbers to possibly contact later on.
- Take pictures – Use your cellphone and take pictures of the accident scene, including your injuries, the position of the bus, any other vehicles involved, property damage or anything else you think can be used as a critical piece of evidence in your case.
- Do not accept a settlement – Do not agree to a settlement with the insurance company. Insurers often give a low-ball offer to settle your claim quickly and save money. Never give a statement without first speaking with a lawyer because if you sound like you are admitting fault or wrongdoing, the insurance company can use your statement against you and try to deny or reduce the compensation you are entitled.
- Speak with an attorney – Contact an experienced bus accident attorney in Portland who can protect your rights and work hard to get you the maximum compensation you deserve by filing your claim within the appropriate deadline.
Oregon has a two-year statute of limitations, which means you have only two years to file a personal injury lawsuit against the party that caused your bus accident (ORS 12.110(1)). The two-year deadline generally starts on the date of the accident. If you fail to file a lawsuit within the deadline, you will lose the right to pursue compensation.
Contact Rizk Law today by calling 503.245.5677.
Common Causes of Bus Accidents
There are several reasons bus accidents can happen. According to the Oregon Department of Transportation’s (DOT) latest traffic statistics, there were 98 bus accidents in 2016 resulting in 42 injuries and two fatalities.
Some of the most common causes of bus accidents include:
- Driver error
- Fatigued drivers
- Bad weather conditions
- Aggressive or reckless driving
- Dangerous roadways
- Distracted drivers
- Poor bus maintenance
- Failing to follow traffic laws
- Defective parts or mechanical failure
- Impaired drivers
- Inadequate hiring and training practices
Other drivers on the road can also drive carelessly, resulting in a bus accident. No matter who should be held accountable, a Portland bus accident lawyer at our firm will work hard to ensure that you obtain the compensation you need. We understand the physical, mental and financial hardships that comes after an accident, which is why we are dedicated to helping the injured.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now.
Bus Accident Injuries
Due to their larger size and weight, bus accidents often cause serious and catastrophic injuries for everyone involved. Public transportation buses, charter buses and school buses usually do not have seat belts, which can significantly increase the risk of injury as well. Bus accident injuries may include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Back injuries
- Shattered or fractured bones
- Severe skin burns
- Soft tissue tears and strains
- Internal bleeding
- Loss of bodily functions
It is important to seek immediate medical attention to treat your injuries and prevent a worsening medical condition. Failure to see a doctor could hurt your chances of making a full recovery and prevent you from obtaining compensation in a bus accident claim. Let our Portland bus accident attorneys fight on your behalf to hold any negligent party liable for your injury.
Call 503.245.5677 to schedule a free, no obligation case evaluation.
Types of Bus Accident Claims
At Rizk Law, our Portland bus accident lawyers have experience dealing with numerous bus accident claims, including those involving:
Buses used for public transportation within the city limits are typically owned by private bus companies hired by the city. Many people take a public or city bus to commute for work or leisure. These types of buses ride alongside local community traffic with drivers putting in long hours each day. This can cause fatigue and wear and tear to the bus, potentially increasing the risk of an accident.
Charter or Tour Buses
Charter or tour buses are often used to transport a large group of people to and from specific locations within a designated period of time. These types of buses go across city and state lines and are generally owned by a private bus company. It can be difficult for drivers to stop in enough time to prevent an accident if the bus is overloaded.
Children are transported back and forth to school every weekday on school buses. These types of buses are often owned by independent contractors hired by the county or school district. It is the owner’s responsibility to make sure the bus has the proper repairs, maintenance and qualified drivers to ensure the safety of student passengers. Poorly inspected buses or driver negligence can lead to a crash.
If you have been injured in a bus accident, contact a bus accident lawyer in Portland for legal help. He or she can determine if you are entitled to compensation.
Fill out our Free Case Evaluation form to get started.
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Bus Accident?
Determining liability for a bus accident can be difficult because there are often several parties that could potentially be held responsible for the accident, including:
- Bus driver – A bus driver may face liability because of negligent actions on the road. Driver negligence often includes distracted driving, driving under the influence and reckless operation. The driver is also responsible for safely loading and unloading the vehicle, driving unimpaired by drugs or alcohol, avoiding driving while sick or injured, and maintaining a safe driving schedule.
- Employer – A school system or a private transportation company may employ a bus driver. Employers bear responsibility for a driver’s actions in the course of the driver’s employment.
- Bus inspectors – Bus inspectors may share responsibility for a bus accident when they miss a dangerous condition during an inspection. State bus inspectors must ensure school buses meet the minimum standards under the law. Oregon DOT inspectors must also make sure that commercial buses comply with federal standards for inspection, repair, and maintenance.
- Bus owner – If a school or transportation company leases a bus, the owner may share liability for accidents caused by maintenance issues or defects.
- Maintenance contractor – A maintenance contractor who cares for a bus may face responsibility for accidents and injuries resulting from maintenance errors and omissions.
- Bus manufacturer – A manufacturer may face liability when a bus or defect causes an accident.
Our Portland bus accident lawyers will carefully review the details of your accident to identify its cause and who should be held liable for your injuries and other damages. We will work diligently to get you the compensation you deserve from the at-fault party.
Our team is here for you. Call 503.245.5677 right now.
Damages Available for Bus Accident Victims
After a bus accident, you have the right to pursue compensation for an injury caused by someone else’s negligent or careless actions. A bus accident attorney in Portland can help you recover damages based on two broad categories: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include items calculable based on their dollar values. These include current and projected future losses.
- Lost income
- Medical expenses
- Prosthetics and mobility devices
- Physical therapy
- Transportation costs to medical care
- Necessary household and personal services
Non-economic or general damages are more complicated because they require evaluating an injured client’s feelings and emotions concerning injuries and disabilities. Our law firm typically includes these and other elements when evaluating a client’s general damages.
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional issues
- Changes to a spousal relationship
- Child care issues
- Loss of bodily functions
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Permanent disabilities
An Oregon judge or jury may also award punitive damages if clear and convincing evidence proves malice, outrageous indifference, or conscious indifference.
Contact Our Bus Accident Lawyers for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one was injured in a bus accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. Our knowledgeable Portland bus accident lawyers understand what you are going through after an accident. We can obtain accident reports, driving records, medical records and other supportive evidence to help you build a strong case. We have helped many injured victims recover the maximum compensation owed to them.
Our firm will provide you a free consultation to discuss your case and determine if we can help you. We take cases on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no fees to worry about unless we recover compensation on your behalf.
Call 503.245.5677 today to see how we might be able to help you.