Wrongful DeathBus Crash Wrongful Death Claims: What Families Need to Know

April 30, 2024

There were 101 fatal bus crashes in 2021, which caused the deaths of 108 people. Most of the victims were in other vehicles, with 19.4% of them pedestrians.

A bus crash can be extremely traumatic, especially if a school bus is involved. In addition to the immense emotional toll, families often face significant financial burdens as a result of medical expenses, lost income, and funeral costs. In these situations, you are entitled to seek justice and compensation via a wrongful death claim. However, the legal process can be complex and overwhelming.

This article will provide an overview of what you need to know about bus crash wrongful death claims.

Understanding Wrongful Death Claims

A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit filed by the surviving family members of a person who died as a result of another party’s negligence or intentional misconduct. In the context of a bus crash, common grounds for a wrongful death claim include:

  • Negligence on the part of the bus driver, such as distracted or impaired driving
  • Mechanical failures or defects in the bus
  • Inadequate safety protocols or training for the bus company
  • Hazardous road conditions that the bus company or municipality failed to address

To succeed in a wrongful death claim, the family must be able to demonstrate that the defendant’s actions or inactions directly led to the victim’s death and that the family has suffered quantifiable damages as a result.

Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim

Families who pursue a wrongful death claim may be entitled to recover several types of damages, including:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income and benefits the victim would have earned if they had lived
  • Loss of the victim’s companionship, care, and support for their surviving family members
  • Punitive damages in cases of egregious misconduct

The specific damages available and the potential value of the claim will depend on the circumstances of the case, the age and earning potential of the victim, and the impact of their death on their family.

Navigating the Legal Process

Filing a wrongful death claim can be a complex and lengthy process. Families will typically need to work with an experienced personal injury law firm like ours that specializes in bus accident cases. We will be responsible for:

  • Investigating the crash to determine the cause and identify all liable parties
  • Gathering evidence, such as police reports, witness statements, and maintenance records
  • Calculating the full extent of the family’s damages
  • Negotiating with the bus company’s insurance provider or filing a lawsuit
  • Representing the family’s interests in court if the case goes to trial

It’s important for you to understand that the legal process can take months or even years to resolve. During this time, you may need to rely on the guidance and support of us to navigate the system and make informed decisions.

The Role of the Bus Company and Insurance

Bus companies are required to maintain liability insurance coverage to protect themselves and their passengers in the event of an accident. When a fatal bus crash occurs, the bus company’s insurance provider will typically take the lead in investigating the incident and defending against any wrongful death claims.

You should be aware that the bus company and its insurance provider may attempt to minimize their liability and the amount of compensation they are willing to pay. This is why it’s crucial to have an experienced attorney from our firm who can advocate for your best interests and ensure you receive the full compensation they are entitled to.

Seeking Support and Resources

In addition to the legal process, families coping with the loss of a loved one in a bus crash may also need access to various support services and resources, including:

  • Grief counseling and mental health services
  • Financial planning and assistance with managing expenses
  • Support groups for individuals who have lost a loved one in a tragic accident
  • Victim compensation funds or other government programs that provide financial assistance

By seeking out these resources, you can begin the process of healing and rebuilding your life while also pursuing justice through the legal system.

It’s important to know that you have legal options for seeking justice and compensation. By understanding the wrongful death claims process, the types of damages available, and the role of the bus company and its insurance provider, you can make informed decisions and increase your chances of a successful outcome. With the guidance of an experienced attorney from Glober + Glober and access to supportive resources, you and your family can navigate this challenging time and work towards achieving a sense of closure and financial stability.

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Call us today for a free consultation on (904) 633-9999.

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