Due to their size, crashes involving buses often have especially tragic results. The consequential medical expenses, life changes, and stress victims feel is often too much to deal with on their own. Fortunately, the law provides a means for victims to recover compensation to address their injuries.
A Michigan City bus accident lawyer might be able to assist you if you or a loved one were involved in a bus crash resulting in personal injury. A compassionate personal injury attorney could help you recover from the incident, fight for your legal rights, and seek compensation from the responsible party.
The process for obtaining compensation after a bus accident starts outside of court. The first step is most likely dealing with insurance companies as state law requires drivers to carry automobile insurance, likewise for bus carriers.
Indiana is a “fault” state, meaning that an injured party could seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance first. Depending on the circumstances, this may not be advisable. On a case-by-case basis, a Michigan City bus accident attorney could counsel clients on whose insurance to approach first to have the opportunity to maximize recovery.
Seeking compensation from an insurance company means that a claims adjuster would investigate the accident to determine fault. The claim adjuster may consider witness statements, police reports and conclusions, video or photographic evidence, and medical records.
After the claim adjuster has assessed the accident, they make a fault determination and either deny the claim or offer the claimant a settlement. However, these settlement offers made by insurance companies are rarely fair.
If the insurance company and victim cannot compromise, it may be time to consider filing a lawsuit for injuries and property damage sustained in the accident. There are intermediate steps, such as appealing the insurance company’s decision or filing a complaint with the Indiana Department of Insurance. An experienced Michigan City bus accident attorney could help determine which option may be strategic towards achieving a swift and satisfactory result for a victim’s injuries.
If the process does require a lawsuit filing, plaintiffs may be able to recover two types of damages, economic and non-economic damages. Easily measurable costs such as medical bills and lost wages are considered economic damages.
Non-economic damages are harder to calculate because they measure subjective costs like pain and suffering. Bus accident victims experience physical pain and handle emotional hardship differently, so it is difficult to put a single monetary value on them.
Some criteria for ascribing value to non-economic damages include:
Negotiating insurance claims, dealing with medical treatment, bills, and disruption to normal life could be overwhelming. An attorney could empathize with your situation and help you understand what options are available to you for pursuing monetary recovery for harms stemming from the accident.
The advantage of hiring an attorney is not only their knowledge of the law but also the ability to negotiate with stingy insurance companies tactfully. Reach out to a Michigan City bus accident lawyer today to schedule a consultation on your case.