Albuquerque Bus Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love has serious injuries from a bus accident, contact our Albuquerque accident attorneys at the Fine Law Firm. We can review your bus accident case for free during an initial consultation. Our attorneys use one-on-one care and attention with clients to aid in financial recovery. Learn more about your case when you contact us.
Why Choose Us?
The Fine Law Firm has decades of experience handling auto, truck, and bus accident claims throughout New Mexico. Our attorneys know precisely how to litigate these cases. We put our clients’ best interests first. Several prominent organizations have recognized our talents and success, but our goal isn’t to strive for excellence for publications. Our mission is to benefit our clients with unparalleled legal representation. Clients choose us for many reasons.
- Our history of success. We have a 99% success rate and an impressive record of results.
- Our reputation in the legal field. Judges and adjusters refer their friends and family to us when they believe they have personal injury claims.
- Our fee setup. We never charge a dime unless we win, and we never take more than 33% of the final settlement. We’ll reduce our fees to ensure we always receive less than our clients.
Why Do You Need a Bus Accident Lawyer?
Insurance companies can take advantage of claimants during bus accident claims. Insurers are notorious for offering low settlements, unfairly delaying claims, and even denying legitimate claims altogether. Your odds of this happening to you are higher without an attorney. Hiring a lawyer to represent your case sends the message to insurance companies that you won’t let them take advantage of you. Our bus accident lawyer in Albuquerque have the courtroom experience and track record of success you seek.
Injuries From Bus Accidents
A bus accident can cause many injuries to several passengers at once. Bus passengers could suffer contusions, fractures, lacerations, burns, soft-tissue injuries, organ damage, spinal cord injuries, neck/back injuries, or head and brain injuries. Other drivers, bicyclists, or pedestrians involved could suffer the same damages. Passengers may also experience emotional distress or psychological trauma from the events of the collision. If you have serious injuries from a bus accident, contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Types of Bus Accidents
Bus accidents can take many forms. The unique size and shape of a bus can make the vehicle rollover in a single-vehicle accident, for example, or a bus may collide with another motor vehicle or fixed object. Two buses could also collide with one another. At the Fine Law Firm, we have the knowledge and experience to handle any type of bus accident case in Albuquerque. Our attorneys will customize a legal strategy for your unique type of crash to achieve optimal case results.
Our lawyers can handle all of the following types of bus accidents:
- Bus-car crash
- Bus-motorcycle crash
- Bus-pedestrian crash
- Bus-bicycle crash
- Shuttle bus accident
- Party bus accident
- Private or public school bus accident
- City bus accident
- Charter bus accident
- Commercial bus accident
- Freight bus accident
- Bus collision with a fixed object
- Bus rollover accident
- Bus veering off the road
- Bus equipment breakdown
No matter what circumstances surround your Albuquerque bus accident, our lawyers can help you understand your legal rights and take action to seek justice. As an injured bus passenger, bicyclist, pedestrian or third-party driver, we can help you pursue financial compensation for your medical expenses and property repairs under New Mexico law. Our lawyers can help you overcome any challenge you may face during your claim.
Most Common Causes of Bus Accidents
Almost all bus accidents in Albuquerque are preventable. They often occur due to careless mistakes and human errors, such as a bus driver failing to pay attention to the road. In personal injury law, this is referred to as negligence. Someone is negligent if he or she fails to use an ordinary level of care for the situation. Negligence can result in liability for a related bus accident that causes injuries or deaths. Understanding your right to file a bus accident claim starts with identifying the cause of your crash.
Common causes of bus accidents in Albuquerque include:
- Bus driver error. Bus drivers can make the same mistakes as other drivers, despite being responsible for a greater number of lives. Speeding, texting while driving, driving drowsy, reckless driving, drinking and driving, and tailgating are all examples of bus driver errors. In most cases, a bus company can be held vicariously liable for the negligence of its drivers and other employees.
- Bus company negligence. A bus company may also have to pay for an accident that was caused by its own negligence. If a bus company fails to adhere to state and federal laws, for example, it can be held liable for a related crash. Examples include breaching bus safety regulations, ignoring maintenance requirements and failing to properly train its bus drivers.
- Third-party driver negligence. Some bus accidents are caused by the negligence of another driver, referred to as a third party. If a driver outside of the bus caused your crash, such as by failing to yield the right-of-way to the bus, that driver’s car insurance company may have to pay for your injuries.
- Part malfunction. Faulty and defective buses can cause accidents if a part malfunctions in transit, such as brake failure or a tire blowout. A part breakdown may occur due to negligent maintenance by the bus company or a bus part that contains a defect. If there is a defective bus part, you may have grounds to file a product liability claim against the manufacturing company.
- Dangerous roadway defect. If the City of Albuquerque failed to maintain one of its roadways and a pothole, missing guardrail, malfunctioning traffic light or another type of road defect caused your bus accident, you may have grounds to file a claim against the government for negligence. These cases come with unique rules and regulations in New Mexico, so contact an attorney for assistance.
If you aren’t sure who or what caused your bus accident, the Fine Law Firm can investigate. We can send someone to the scene of the crash to search for evidence of fault, such as nearby traffic surveillance cameras or vehicle debris in the road. Our lawyers can also interview eyewitnesses, gather records, communicate with your doctors and take other steps to obtain evidence to prove liability and support your bus accident claim.
Who Is at Fault? Who Can I Pursue for Damages?
New Mexico is a fault-based car insurance state. This means that after a traffic accident, the party most at fault for the crash has to pay. A party other than the bus company might be liable if that party caused or contributed to your injuries. For example, if an outside motorist crashed into the bus and caused your injuries, that driver may be liable for damages. Other potential defendants include property owners, product manufacturers, and the city for an unsafe roadway. If the bus accident involves a commercial vehicle, more than one person or company may be held liable. For more information, contact our New Mexico truck accident lawyers for a free consultation.
How We Can Help You Prove Negligence
To identify the defendant in your bus accident lawsuit, a lawyer can investigate and may reconstruct the crash to determine its cause. Establishing a case requires proving that the defendant more likely than not caused your bus accident due to an act of negligence. This burden of proof is known as a “preponderance of the evidence,” and it rests with the plaintiff in a personal injury case. It is the plaintiff’s job to establish that the defendant was negligent and responsible for the bus accident with at least a 51 percent certainty.
Establishing negligence takes clear and convincing evidence of four key elements:
- Duty of care – a legal or ethical obligation to exercise reasonable care. What is reasonable depends on the circumstances. A bus driver, for example, has a duty to pay attention to the road, obey traffic laws and prevent accidents.
- Breach of duty – any violation of the defendant’s duty of care. A breach can refer to an act or omission that a reasonably prudent party would not have committed under the same or similar circumstances, such as a bus driver running a red light.
- Causation – a causal link between the defendant’s breach of the duty of care and the plaintiff’s accident or injury. The “but for” test is often used to establish causation: if the plaintiff’s injury would not have happened but for the defendant’s negligent act or omission, the defendant will be held liable.
- Damages – real, specific losses suffered by the plaintiff because of the defendant’s negligence. The plaintiff must have proof of losses directly associated with the accident, such as physical injuries or medical bills, to qualify for financial compensation.
Proving negligence by establishing these four elements requires sufficient evidence. The lawyers at the Fine Law Firm can take steps to preserve and collect evidence on your behalf during a bus accident claim, such as filing Letters of Preservation and subpoenaing evidence from the defendant’s side of the case. We can also hire experts to testify and explain the technical aspects of your case to a jury, such as the mechanics of your injuries. As your attorneys and advocates, we will work tirelessly to prove negligence and hold wrongdoers accountable for their actions.
What Damages Can You Recover?
A bus accident in Albuquerque may cause thousands of dollars in health care costs, money lost from missed days at work, and significant pain and suffering for an injured victim. A civil lawsuit in New Mexico can reimburse you for all of these economic (tangible) and noneconomic (intangible) losses. The financial compensation, or damages, received in a successful claim can help you and your family pay for necessary care and move forward from your accident.
At the Fine Law Firm, we can fight to recover many types of damages for a bus accident on your behalf, including:
- Economic damages. The monetary losses connected to a traffic accident, such as the bills and expenses incurred by the victim. These are also referred to as tangible or special damages. They often include present and future medical bills, losses of income, lost capacity to earn, disability costs, transportation and travel, various out-of-pocket costs, attorney’s fees, and court costs.
- Noneconomic damages. The intangible or general losses suffered by the victim, such as physical pain, discomfort, emotional distress, mental anguish, psychological trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, lost quality of life, loss of consortium, and permanent scarring or disfigurement.
- Punitive damages. An amount that may be awarded in some bus accident claims to penalize the defendant for gross negligence, reckless behaviors, a wanton disregard for the safety of others or malicious intent to harm. A judge may award punitive damages to set an example for others in the community and warn them not to commit the same egregious acts in the future.
The value of a bus accident claim is calculated by adding up the victim’s past and future economic losses, typically using bills and receipts. Noneconomic damages are assigned by a jury based on the severity of the victim’s injuries and losses. If desired, the jury may use an equation such as the Multiplier Method to calculate noneconomic damages. This multiplies the victim’s total economic damages by a number chosen based on the extent of the injury suffered.
It is common for an insurance company to undervalue claims to try to protect its profits. Before you accept a fast settlement offer from an insurance company, speak to an attorney at the Fine Law Firm for an analysis of what your case is worth.
Contact Us Today
Navigating a bus accident claim is easier with help from an attorney. A bus accident lawyer can go up against major bus company insurers in pursuit of full compensation, demanding a fair settlement. If settlement negotiations don’t work, a lawyer can take your case to court in Albuquerque. Contact us if you sustained injuries or a loved one died in a bus accident in New Mexico. We will review the facts of your case during a free initial consultation. Call (505) 889-FINE now.