Bus driving in traffic

West Virginia Bus Accidents: When Should You File an Injury Claim?

Buses are essential to a smooth-running society. They help prevent those nasty traffic jams, and they provide regular and on-the-spot transportation for millions of people every day. However, despite their importance, they can sometimes cause injuries.

Fortunately, if a bus has injured you in some way, you may have a valid legal claim for compensation for your injuries. 

Common Bus Accident Situations

Like car wrecks, bus accidents can occur in countless different ways, and there are a few types of buses that may be involved, including:

  • Local buses
  • Charter buses
  • School buses
  • Greyhound and other long-distance buses 
  • Airport shuttle buses

Bus drivers who drive these heavy pieces of machinery have heightened responsibilities compared to other drivers. Before getting behind the wheel of a bus, these drivers must seek training and obtain commercial driver’s licenses, which means they are held to a higher standard than regular everyday drivers. 

On top of that, bus drivers and fleet workers have the duty to inspect and service their buses regularly. Failing to do so can lead to vehicle issues and crashes.

Sometimes, a bus accident will happen because the driver has worked too many hours or didn’t have the proper training. And in some instances, bus drivers have caused accidents because they were buzzed or even drunk or under the influence of some other intoxicant.

Regardless of the reason for your injury, you may have the right to compensation if a bus has injured you. A seasoned attorney will review your case and determine the best way forward.

Why You Should File a Claim Soon After an Accident

Speaking to an attorney shortly after a bus injury is a good idea for many reasons. 

Witness Reliability

You may need witnesses to prove your claim. However, witnesses can become unreliable or even disappear. It’s better to get them on the record before too much time goes by and while their statements are fresh.

Loss of Evidence

Evidence is often delicate and needs to be preserved to prevent it from degrading. Evidence also disappears unless it is collected and cataloged. If you have a valid claim, you need a skilled West Virginia bus accident attorney out gathering and logging evidence while it is still available.  

Statute of Limitations 

Once you are injured by a bus, a clock starts counting down. When it has run out, you no longer have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. This clock, also known as the statute of limitations, gives you two years to file a personal injury claim in West Virginia.

There are exceptions to the statute of limitations, but they are limited and strict. During a consultation with an experienced West Virginia bus accident lawyer, you can find out whether your case is still viable, even if two years have elapsed.

Type of Bus Injury Victims

Buses can cause injury in a variety of fashions. Most victims, however, tend to fall into one of the following categories:

Bus Passenger

Poor driving and passenger equipment can cause serious injury to passengers. 

Pedestrian and Bicyclists

Pedestrians and bicycles are small enough to disappear in drivers’ blind spots. Bus drivers need a higher level of vigilance on the road than normal drivers. 

Other Vehicle Passengers

The force of a bus can cause considerable damage to another vehicle and significant injury to its passengers. 

Need to File an Injury Claim?

At Hewitt & Salvatore, PLLC, we handle bus injury cases as well as lemon law, workplace injury, and creditor harassment claims. For a free consultation, contact us anytime in Fayetteville and the surrounding areas.