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Seattle Bus Accident Lawyer

At Fang Law Firm, our Seattle bus accident lawyers advocate for your best interests through every phase of your claim from investigation to settlement or court award. Fang Law Firm of Seattle has a 98% success rate with a history of over 10,000 personal injury cases in Washington, including bus accidents. We are the Seattle bus accident attorneys to turn to when city transit goes wrong.

Seattle Bus Accident Lawyer

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How Can a Seattle Bus Accident Lawyer Help My Case?

The bus accident attorneys at Fang Law Firm have decades of combined experience in the unique circumstances associated with accidents involving city buses and school buses in the Seattle area. If you’ve been injured in an accident, our legal team will work diligently on your behalf to maximize your chances of recovering damages. We understand the devastating consequences of serious injuries that require ongoing medical care and time away from your work and your favorite activities.

Our compassionate bus accident lawyers let you focus on healing from your injuries while we work diligently to:

  • Evaluate your case, form an effective strategy, and draft a timeline for the recovery of your damages
  • Investigate the circumstances of your accident by examining the police report, reviewing traffic camera and dash cam videos, interviewing eyewitnesses, reviewing your medical report with prognosis and treatment recommendations, and identifying the at-fault party in the accident
  • Proving the elements of liability for the party at fault in the accident
  • Drafting a compelling demand letter to the insurance company of the at-fault party from a position of strength through clearly pointed evidence
  • Engaging in negotiations with the insurance company to maximize the compensation for your damages with an ample out-of-court settlement
  • Take the case into courtroom litigation and advocate aggressively for the maximum recovery of your damages should the insurance company fail to offer fair compensation for your claim
  • Keep you well-informed of the progress of your case with your input on every aspect from start to finish

After a Seattle initiative to reduce traffic accidents, authorities recommended that Seattle’s transit system expand the required training for bus operators to reduce the number of traffic accidents involving Metro Transit buses. If you’re recovering from an injury and a Seattle bus was involved in the accident, you deserve compensation for your economic and non-economic damages.

What Compensation Can I Recover?

Whether you were injured on a bus or involved in a collision with a bus, sustaining significant injuries in an accident can feel like your life has suddenly derailed. The emotional trauma of an accident combined with painful injuries, agonizing medical procedures, and the time taken away from focusing on family and career all have devastating impacts on injury victims and their families.

At Fang Law Firm, your Seattle accident attorneys understand the traumatic aftermath of bus accidents that cause physical injuries and economic damages. Our team won’t let you face powerful insurance companies whose profits depend on denying and undervaluing claims all on your own. Instead, we understand how to argue your case from a position of evidence-backed power so you can recover full compensation for the following damages:

  • The medical expenses related to your injury
  • Future medical expenses for any treatments or procedures your injury will require as you work through the recovery process
  • Lost wages and future lost earnings if you require ongoing treatment
  • Property damage
  • Diminished earning capacity if the accident resulted in disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish
  • Loss of consortium (the temporary or permanent loss of ability to fully enjoy your romantic relationship with a partner, and/or your ability to engage in active, supportive relationships with minor children)
  • Loss of enjoyment of life in cases of disability, disfigurement, or significant impairment related to the accident

Despite the lower incidence of bus accidents compared to private motor vehicle accidents, the results of a bus accident can have devastating consequences. If you’ve been injured in a bus accident, you deserve compensation for the damages you’ve suffered.

How Long Do I Have to File a Bus Accident Case?

Like all states, Washington sets a time limit for accident victims to file personal injury claims. This statute of limitations helps to preserve the quality of evidence and eyewitness testimony in lawsuits and also protects defendants from living indefinitely under the threat of legal action against them.

In Washington, bus accident victims have 3 years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. If you attempt to file a claim past the 3-year time limit, the court is likely to throw out your case and insurance companies won’t bother to negotiate on your claim. The only exceptions to the 3-year limit are the following:

  • If you later discover an injury that occurred in the accident—such as learning a nagging back problem was caused by a damaged disc or vertebrae from the accident—the 3-year clock begins on the date you discovered the injury or should reasonably have discovered it
  • If you were unconscious, comatose, or cognitively incapacitated by the accident, the statute of limitations begins when you recover your cognitive function
  • Minor children hurt in accidents have 3 years from their 18th birthday in which to file a claim

Who Can Be Held Liable in a Bus Accident?

Bus accidents in Washington may be caused by any number of factors. A Seattle bus accident attorney can investigate the unique circumstances of your accident to determine who is at fault and prove liability. While the bus driver may be liable in an accident, they are not always the at-fault party. The potential liable parties include:

  • The bus driver
  • The driver of another vehicle in a collision
  • A private employer or private bus company
  • The bus manufacturer
  • A bus maintenance or repair company
  • A state agency if the bus was a city transit bus or school bus
  • A city, county, or state agency if a faulty traffic signal or preventable road hazard caused the accident

A Seattle bus accident lawyer understands how to investigate all aspects of an accident to determine fault. Once they’ve identified the at-fault person or entity, a skilled lawyer can address the elements of legal liability which include showing the following:

  • That the person or entity at fault owed a duty of care to the injury victim, other passengers, and those on the road by driving/acting responsibly, following traffic laws, and practicing due diligence to keep others safe
  • That the at-fault party breached that duty of care through an act of negligence or reckless behavior
  • That the negligent or reckless act directly caused the accident and injury
  • That the injury victim suffered real economic and non-economic damages as a result of the injury

Insurance companies use common tactics to deny or undervalue claims. By thoroughly investigating an accident to show liability, you have an optimal chance to recover your damages.

Common Causes of Bus Accidents

Buses tend to drive slower than private vehicles but they are also large and unwieldy. Most bus accidents are caused by driver error. Long hours, driver fatigue, and inattention due to noisy passengers may all contribute to a driver making a mistake that causes an accident. Many causes of bus accidents result from types of negligence by the driver, bus company, bus maintenance company, or the state including:

  • Fatigued driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Speeding
  • Maintenance mistakes
  • Mechanical problems
  • Hazardous road conditions, malfunctioning traffic signals, and fallen road signs

Traffic accidents, including bus accidents, happen at intersections more than any other road location. Many bus accidents occur due to red-light runners or at unsignaled intersections. Because the average bus is over 35 feet long and weighs 36,000 pounds, buses make wider turns and require longer stopping distances compared to private vehicles.

Washington Common Carrier Laws

Washington includes buses under laws specific to common carriers, or any company or person responsible for transporting goods or people for compensation. Common carrier laws state that drivers are not always liable for injuries that occur on the bus through actions not within their control, but they are liable for injuries caused by negligence, recklessness, or wrongdoing.

Under Washington’s common carrier laws, bus companies have the following duties:

  • To provide safe and efficient equipment to transport people and their property
  • To promote their customers’ safety, health, and comfort

Washington holds bus companies to the highest duty of care for their passengers’ safety and the safety of others on the roads under the common carrier laws of the state. A Seattle bus accident attorney can help determine if negligence caused your bus accident injury so you can seek the compensation you’re owed for the damages you suffered through no fault of your own.

What to Do After a Bus Accident

All accidents are frightening, but the aftermath of a bus accident is particularly traumatic, often involving multiple injury victims. If you’ve been very badly injured in a bus accident, there may be little you can do except wait for help. If you’re able to safely move about without causing further injury, you can take some helpful actions to ensure your own safety and maximize your chance of recovering damages later. After a bus accident:

  • Move to the shoulder of the road and call 911 to report the accident
  • Offer reasonable aid and comfort to any other injured people
  • Use your phone to snap photos of the bus, any damaged vehicles, and the accident scene, including relevant details like traffic signals, signs, and intersections
  • Allow emergency services to transport you to a hospital and have a complete evaluation, telling the doctor about all of your symptoms
  • Ask for a detailed medical report documenting your injuries, recommended treatment, and prognosis
  • Keep all medical bills
  • Obtain a copy of the police report
  • Call a Seattle bus accident attorney before speaking to insurance representatives

Bus Accident Statistics

Many Seattle residents depend on buses for their basic community transportation needs. With 156 Metro Transit bus routes in the Seattle-Tacoma area, most King County residents feel safe, comfortable, and familiar with the local bus rides to work, school, and to complete errands in the downtown area and within the city’s outlying communities. Though bus travel on city buses and school buses is safer than traveling in privately owned and operated vehicles, it’s statistically less safe than traveling by rail or air. In 2019, 258 bus accidents resulted in fatalities in the United States, with 35.7% of the fatalities occurring from school bus crashes, 32.2% from transit bus accidents, and 7% from coach buses.

With King County’s Metro Transit system involved in 104 accidents in a four-year period, injury victims may wonder where to turn when an accident involving a bus causes them great injury.

Contact a Bus Accident Attorney in Seattle Today

If you’ve been injured in a bus accident or someone you love sustained injuries in a bus accident, and you believe the accident was caused by the negligence of the bus driver, the transit company, or a state agency that’s meant to prevent road hazards, the Seattle personal injury attorneys at Fang Law Firm of Seattle are ready to seek the maximum in compensation for your economic damages, like medical bills and lost wages as well as non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

Each accident is unique, and bus accidents are particularly complex, with different standards and laws to navigate. Our favorable community reputation, track record of success, and network of local resources are ready to work on your behalf. By diligently investigating to prove liability and arguing your case from a position of strength, the bus accident attorneys at Fang Law Firm will focus on recovering your damages while you focus on recovering from your injuries.

Contact Fang Law Firm today for a free evaluation of your case. Our contingency fee payment system means we don’t get paid unless we secure your settlement or court award, and you pay no money upfront for representation.

Fang Law Firm offers 100% remote and contactless meetings & representation.