Bus and truck accidents happen more often than most people realize. The U.S. Department of Transportation has reported that in 2010 over 500,000 large trucks crashed occurred in the United States, of which roughly 13,000 were bus accidents. These accidents, called commercial vehicle accidents, can be devastating to those involved due to the large size of the vehicles. If you’ve been involved in a truck or bus accident, you have rights under the law for the compensation of medical bills, lost wages, property damages, and possibly more.
To recover compensation, you must have experienced injuries or property damage from the accident and not be identified as the at-fault party. North Carolina is a state that recognizes what is known as pure contributory negligence, which can make the issue of who is at-fault for an accident unclear. In laymen’s terms, NC law states that if you are found to be even 1% at fault, you can be denied compensation entirely. So, even if a truck hit you from behind, if the other driver can prove that you were texting and that it caused you to make an abrupt stop, your claim might be denied.
If you’re injured on a bus, subway, or another form of public transportation, the rules can sometimes be different. Buses and other public transportation systems that are property of state or local government have different rules regarding who can sue them, for what, and how they can sue them. Each state has different time limits for filing formal claims against a government entity, so be sure to check these time limits if you have a claim. Some of these time limits are as short as 30 days. Furthermore, commercial vehicles, including buses and tractor trailer trucks, are required to carry higher liability insurance coverage than privately owned vehicles.
If you’ve been involved in a bus or truck accident, here are some important tips to remember:
- Stay at the scene until the police arrive so you can properly document your claim and make sure those who are injured receive proper care.
- Do not move anything from the scene and try to disturb the scene as little as possible. This may be important later on down the road for your claim.
- Mark down any license plate numbers involved to help the police with their investigation. If you have a camera, take pictures.
- Go to the doctor for any injuries you may have suffered.
Bus and Truck accidents can be complicated. Talk to an attorney today to make sure your rights are protected.