What Happens If I Get Injured in A SMART Bus in Southfield, MI?
Many Southfield, MI, residents and visitors enjoy the convenience of SMART buses because they provide an easy, inexpensive, and typically safe way to commute. As with any kind of motor vehicle, SMART buses can have accidents, and passengers can sustain injuries.
Accident claims involving buses are complex, and buses owned by government agencies add another layer of complications. Finding competent legal representation is crucial if you were injured in a SMART bus accident. Call the Mike Morse Law Firm to find out more.
Why Are SMART Bus Accident Claims Complicated?
Buses are commercial vehicles that are common carriers. SMART buses operate under the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation, which is a government agency. Both of those facts make SMART bus accident claims complex.
When commercial vehicles cause an accident, there’s the potential that one or more party is liable for damages. These parties include:
- The driver and employer
- The vehicle’s owner
- Vehicle or parts manufacturers
- Companies responsible for vehicle maintenance
Common carriers charge fees to transport passengers or goods and are available for the general public to use. Common carriers are held to higher safety standards than people who own passenger cars, for instance. They must:
- Maintain their vehicles inside and outside
- Ensure that boarding areas are safe and well-lit
- Hire experienced drivers
- Ensure that drivers follow traffic laws
- Use diligence, vigilance, and utmost care to be sure they transport their passengers safely
Any time you need to file a claim against a government agency, you’re subject to strict timelines, procedures, and guidelines. If you fail to meet them, you probably will lose your right to seek compensation for your damages.
Those facts hold true whether an accident involves a government-owned vehicle or government-maintained roads and traffic lights. You’ll need to act fast, so it’s vital to contact the Mike Morse Law Firm as soon as possible after your accident to ensure that you meet filing deadlines.
Michigan is a no-fault state, meaning that licensed drivers must obtain personal injury protection insurance. This coverage should pay for specific expenses regardless of who is at fault for causing a collision. However, it doesn’t cover some kinds of damages that you may be entitled to. Ask your attorney for more information.
Other vehicles can cause SMART bus accidents, and those drivers are potentially liable to compensate you for your damages. Pedestrians or animals can dart in front of moving buses. More bus accidents happen because of:
- Slick roads due to pooled water, ice, or snow
- Fog or heavy rain
- Poor visibility
Regardless of what caused your accident, Mike Morse and his legal team can help.
What Kinds of Injuries Do Bus Crashes Cause?
Bus passengers can sustain injuries for several reasons. The impact forces in a collision can throw people out of their seats, causing them to hit each other, seats, the ceiling, the floor, or walls. Loose personal belongings can strike and injure passengers also.
Buses don’t have to crash for passengers to sustain injuries. People can also be hurt if:
- The bus makes a sudden stop
- They fall on the bus steps or in the aisle
- Other passengers hurt them, whether intentionally or accidentally
Common passenger injuries include:
- Bruises, scrapes, and cuts
- Broken bones
- Head or brain injuries
The type of accident and impact speed can affect how serious the resulting injuries are.
If a SMART bus is in an accident, there will probably be other vehicles, cyclists, or pedestrians involved also. Buses are large and heavy, making the risk of severe injuries to others significant.
What Should You Do After a SMART Bus Accident?
Hopefully, your injuries aren’t severe. If you’re able, you should do a few things immediately after the crash:
- Try to assist others.
- Dial 911 to report the accident and give information about the number of people involved and their injuries.
- Use your phone to take videos and photos of accident details and use a voice recording app to record witness statements.
- Accept or seek medical attention, even if you think your injuries aren’t serious.
- Contact a competent bus accident lawyer.
Your attorney will provide you with more advice. We can also begin investigating the cause of your accident immediately.
What Kinds of Compensation Can You Obtain?
If you sustain injuries in a SMART bus accident, you can usually seek different types of damages. Ask your bus accident lawyer which you qualify for.
You’ll likely face several kinds of expenses as a result of your injuries. Economic damages intend to reimburse you for things like:
- Medical treatments, hospital stays, medications, rehabilitation, and necessary medical equipment
- Lost wages due to time missed from work
- Certain daily expenses, like the cost of hiring a caregiver
- Property damage
Save your bills, invoices, and receipts for these expenses. Your bus accident lawyer will need them to show how much the accident and your injuries have cost you monetarily.
Some injuries don’t have a corresponding monetary value, but they can still significantly impact your life. Non-economic damages compensate you for things like:
- Pain and suffering
- Losing your ability to enjoy life
- Damage to personal relationships
- PTSD, anxiety, and depression
- Permanent disfigurement or disability
The amount of compensation you may receive depends in part on how severely these things impact your life. Some of these conditions can be difficult to prove without the assistance of a competent bus accident lawyer.
Few cases qualify for exemplary damages. To be eligible, the responsible party must have acted in a reckless, aggressive, or willfully malicious manner. Some states use punitive damages as a way to punish the defendant further. Michigan uses exemplary damages to compensate injured accident victims further.
Why Do You Need a SMART Bus Accident Lawyer?
You can attempt to handle your insurance claims and potential civil lawsuit alone, but why would you? You need to focus on recovering from your injuries. We’ve already discussed the complications that may be involved in a SMART bus accident claim. A bus accident lawyer knows how to handle them. In addition, we can:
- Provide you with critical information
- Submit paperwork for you
- Investigate your accident
- Gather evidence
- Communicate with insurance companies and investigators on your behalf
- Negotiate a favorable settlement or file a civil lawsuit
You’ll need to accomplish these tasks on your own if you don’t hire an attorney to represent you.
Why Choose the Mike Morse Law Firm?
We are Michigan’s largest personal injury law firm. We have the power and resources associated with a big firm, but we are dedicated to giving each of our clients the personal attention they deserve. Our knowledge and experience have allowed us to win over $1.5 billion for our clients, and we have a five-star Google rating with over 2,500 reviews. Why would you choose anyone else?
You don’t have to decide right now. Let us assess your case for free and tell you what it’s worth and how we can help. If you hire the Mike Morse Law Firm, you won’t pay us unless we win compensation for you. Contact us 24/7 by calling 855-MIKE-WINS or (855) 645-3946, emailing us, using live chat, or submitting our case evaluation request form.