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Utah Bus Accident Lawyers

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Whether you are traveling inside a bus or sharing the road with one, the sheer size of these vehicles often causes tremendous damage during an accident. If you’ve been injured in a bus accident due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve to know if you are owed compensation.

If you’re reading this page, you’ve probably suffered a serious injury in a bus accident. You may be in pain as you struggle to recover. You’ve probably lost wages due to missing work. You’re likely stressed about whether you’ll be able to pay the bills. And you are probably searching for someone you can trust to help you  with your bus accident claim.

We are here to help. Our firm offers free legal advice. Call our Utah bus injury lawyers today.

Don’t let worry over needing cash up-front stop you from calling. Reach out as soon as possible to schedule your free legal consultation.

Why do I Need a Utah Bus Accident Lawyer?

It’s not uncommon for people to mistakenly believe they’ll save money by handling their bus claim on their own without an attorney. In reality, most people who take on bus claims without a lawyer receive many times less in compensation than people who hire lawyers.

There are several reasons for this. Most of them involve the ways a lawyer helps protect the value of your bus accident claim.

  • Our Utah bus accident lawyers have the experience to conduct a thorough accident investigation that identifies all at-fault parties and connects their negligence to your injuries. Both things are necessary to successfully make your claim.
  • Our bus accident lawyers know how to correctly assess the value of your claim, to make sure you ask for all that you deserve.
  • Our attorneys know all the insurance companies tactics for saving themselves money. When you turn over all communications about your claim to our Utah bus accident lawyers, you avoid accidentally saying the wrong thing and damaging your claim’s value.
  • Hiring a seasoned bus accident lawyer lets the insurance company know that they can’t push you around and delay or deny your claim hoping you’ll give up and go away. When you hire a lawyer, the insurance company knows that if they don’t offer a fair settlement, they’ll could be sued.
  • Your Utah bus accident lawyers have the professional objectivity to help you evaluate settlement offers. They will let you know when an offer is too low to bother with and when an offer is worth considering. This is essential in preventing you from making the mistake of accepting a lowball offer out of fear it’s the only offer you’ll get.

Another extremely valuable reason to hire an experienced bus accident lawyer is that doing so allows you to focus on rest and recovery, knowing your claim is in the hands of a professional.

Mistakes You Can Avoid to Help Protect the Value of Your Bus Accident Claim

Even before you retain a lawyer, there are many things you can do to protect the value of your claim.

Get Checked Out by a Doctor

It’s important not to assume you’re fine if you don’t feel particularly injured at the scene of the accident. Remember that when traumatic events occur, the human body is flooded with adrenaline. This has the effect of boosting strength and stamina while suppressing pain. And while the effect is only temporary, it can last for as long as eighteen hours.

Even waiting until the next day to seek an exam could put your health at risk, because you may have internal bleeding or a head injury you can’t detect from outward appearances.

In addition to protecting your life, getting a medical exam will protect the value of your bus accident claim.

The longer you wait before finding out if you’ve sustained an internal injury you weren’t aware of right away, the more of an opportunity the insurance company will have to challenge your claim.

Don’t give them the chance to suggest that you mustn’t have been hurt all that badly in the accident because you didn’t go right to the doctor.

Don’t give them the chance to suggest that since you waited days — or even weeks — before seeking an exam, you could have been injured in an unrelated even that you’re now trying to “cash in” on by pinning it on the accident.

The sooner you get a medical exam, the stronger your proof will be that the accident caused your injuries.

Follow the Treatment Plan Your Doctor Gave You

When you are released from the hospital to continue your recovery at home, your medical team will provide you with a treatment plan. It may include a variety of ways you can support your recovery, such as medication, physical therapy appointments, stretching, icing, or another activity. It will also likely restrict you from activities you are not yet strong enough to participate in.

Whatever your treatment plan involves, be diligent in following it. Do the things you are told you must do, like take your prescriptions, and make sure you avoid the activities you are not yet cleared for. This will protect your health by helping you recover as efficiently as possible. It will also protect the value of your bus accident claim.

If the insurance company discovers you’ve been slacking off on your treatment plan, they’re probably going to try to drop the value of your claim. You’ll have given them the opportunity to suggest that any failure to improve is your fault, not due to the severity of the injury. They may suggest that if you had followed instructions, you probably would have healed completely.

Sticking to your treatment plan will spare you from needing to prove that any difficulties you encounter in recovering are not your own fault. You deserve compensation for your damages. Do everything you can to help your attorney achieve this for you.

Do Not Speak to the Insurance Company Yourself

One of the standard ways insurance companies try to save money is by getting you to agree to recording a statement about the accident. They will scrutinize this recording for anything you’ve said that they can use to deflect blame away from them and onto you.

One of the great benefits of hiring a Utah bus accident lawyer is they know all the tricks of the insurance trade. They’ll know just what to say and what not to say to the insurance company to protect the value of your claim.

You have the right to allow your attorney to handle your claim communications on your behalf, so don’t let the insurance company intimidate you about doing so. Channeling all communications with the insurance company through your bus accident lawyer will provide a united front that prevents any confusion caused by contradictory information coming at them from multiple sources.

Hire an Attorney as Soon as You Can

People who’ve suffered from a serious bus accident injury are often far from feeling up to the search for an attorney. They often put it off, assuming they have until the statute of limitations deadline to get it going.

The problem is, any available evidence will be gone long before the filing deadline rolls around. Your lawyer will need access to all available evidence and witnesses while they are still available.

Accident scene cleanup is prioritized when an accident is jamming up public roads. Your Utah bus accident lawyer will want to conduct their own investigation as soon as possible to make sure all at-fault parties are identified. They will also need to connect the negligent behavior of those at-fault for your injuries.

Visiting the scene of the accident as soon as possible will help ensure no evidence has been overlooked. It will also enable an accident recreation specialist to see “the lay of the land” before anything is changed.

For instance, what if a faulty guard rail was partially to blame in the severity of your accident injury? If this fact is missed by the on scene investigating police officer and you don’t hire a lawyer before that guardrail is replaced, your claim may be missing an at-fault party — namely the state, local, or federal government entity responsible for maintenance of guardrails.

The longer you wait to retain a bus accident lawyer, the less likely your attorney will be to find any additional evidence to support your claim, and the less time they will have to build your claim.

In another example, your lawyer will want to learn what information is available from the black box on the bus. This is data they will want to access as quickly as possible to ensure you’ve got as much supporting information for your claim as possible.

Black box information usually includes engine speed, brake statues, throttle position, time from maximum deceleration to impact, and much more. Any on-board camera will also likely be integrated into the black box, which can be extremely helpful in supporting a legal claim. The sooner your attorney can request access to this data, the less chance there is of it being lost.

Your lawyer will also want to speak with witnesses to gather testimony. The more time that passes, the higher the possibility a witness may relocate and become impossible to find.

Even if witnesses are located, their memories will only get less clear with the passage of time. Help your lawyer build you a strong claim by seeking out an attorney as soon as you are able.

If you are too injured to look for a lawyer yourself, ask a loved one to do it for you. Chances are, they’ll be more than happy to have some way to help. They can read through the websites of local attorneys and check out reviews and ratings online.

You can discuss their recommendations and have them set up consultations with the lawyers you are interested in. Most personal injury lawyers will come to you if you are too injured to go to them.

Hire the Right Lawyer for the Job

When you do retain an attorney, make sure it’s one who’s skill set matches the needs of your claim. People sometimes make the mistake of turning to a lawyer who’s not at all a good fit, simply because they’ve been recommended by a well-meaning but uninformed person. That lawyer may have been fantastic in handling your sister’s divorce, but that doesn’t mean he’s the right attorney to take on your personal injury claim.

The best attorney for your claim is going to be a personal injury trial attorney with experience winning bus accident claims both in— and out of court. The trial attorney experience is important, because though most claims are resolved via settlement, some must go to trial to be won. If your claim turns out to be one of these, you’ll need an attorney who is ready and able to make your case to a jury.

Utah Bus Accident Story

The client story that follows will give you a better idea of what to expect in your own bus accident claim. Though we’ve changed names and details to protect the privacy of our clients, the value of the information remains. Please read it through and contact us to get your questions answered about your specific bus accident claim.

On a cloudy December afternoon in Salt Lake City not so long ago, Morgan Baker got a call.

She was walking to her car after working the lunch shift at the restaurant she’d waitressed in for the past six months when an unfamiliar number lit up her phone. She was tempted to ignore it, but something told her not to.

“Yes?” she asked, resisting providing her name.

“Mrs. Baker?” an unfamiliar voice asked tentatively.

“This is she; can I help you?” Morgan asked, her finger poised to disconnect a solicitor.

“My name is Lena. I’m calling from the thrift store. Your mom called yesterday and asked if we happened to have a particular toy — ‘Peanut the Pig?’  I was just unpacking a new delivery, and we got one in. Everything goes to the distribution center to be logged and cleaned before being distributed, but I thought, ‘what are the chances?’

“Anyway, she gave me your number to call if I found one,”

Morgan’s eyes filled with tears. “Really?” She couldn’t believe it. “Can you hold it, by chance? I’m just leaving work now. I definitely want to come check it out.”

“We aren’t supposed to hold anything past close of business, with Christmas coming and all… I can hold it to the end of tomorrow, since we close in half an hour, but that’s really all I can do,” Lena said apologetically.

Morgan closed her eyes, pinching the bridge of her nose. A headache was hovering behind her eyes. “I’ve got to work again mid-day tomorrow, so that won’t help, unfortunately.” she said, sighing. “I can head over now, but it will take me half an hour to get there.”

“I’ll wait for you if you don’t think you’ll be much later than four.”

“That should work, give or take five minutes,” said Morgan. Thank you so much for calling me and helping with this.”

“I get it, I have ‘little ones,’ too. What are you driving?” Lena asked. “I’ll unlock the door when you pull up and let you in.”

“White Chevy Aveo,” said Morgan. She thanked Lena again and ended the call, heading for the car.

It had been a tough year for her, having to sell the house in the divorce and move into a tiny apartment with her two children. But it had been even tougher for her kids. They were still reeling from having to leave their friends and start new schools.

At least sixteen-year-old Josh could take the bus across town to meet his friends. And, he’d be driving soon — all the more motivation to save his money from his job at the gas station.

But seven-year-old Haley was having “sad blue days,” as she called them. Losing her doll in the move had made the transition all the more painful.

They’d had to pack everything so quickly when they’d left Taylorsville; there were boxes everywhere. Morgan had been sure she’d gotten everything when her daughter’s favorite toy and coping mechanism, Mr. Pig, turned up missing.

A call to her ex revealed that he’d taken some boxes in the garage to the thrift store. Honest mistake, but he should have asked.

To anyone looking in from the outside, Morgan’s quest to replace her daughter lost pig doll probably seemed insignificant. But Morgan knew that for the seven-year-old, it was anything but.

Morgan had called around in hopes of locating the toy or one like it. She hadn’t had any luck finding a replacement on Amazon or eBay. She enlisted her mom to help her call thrift shops within a thirty-mile radius of Salt Lake City in a last-ditch effort to find Mr. Pig. With so much loss this past year, she needed to be able to tell Hayley she’d done all she could.

With the prospect of recovering Haley’s Mr. Pig or a potential replacement on the horizon, Morgan allowed herself to hope.

She texted Josh telling him she’d be half an hour late and asking that he give his sister an after-school snack that wouldn’t ruin her appetite for dinner. Getting back a “thumbs up,” she clicked the phone into its dashboard charging dock and pulled out of the parking lot.

Traffic was growing more congested as Morgan headed north on State Street, but she could tell she was on track to make it by 4:05 p.m. She relaxed her shoulders and focused on the road, carefully navigating the rush hour traffic and making sure she didn’t speed. Safety first. Besides, getting pulled over now would definitely blow her time window for picking up her treasure.

Morgan was crossing East 900 when a municipal bus heading west slipped the red light and rammed into her car, plowing it almost fifty feet laterally across the intersection.

Morgan woke up in the hospital with whiplash, a badly broken leg, and two herniated disks that could take weeks to heal–if she was lucky. More likely, her back would need months.

She was in a lot of pain but tried to focus on gratitude that she could feel her legs and move her toes. She shifted her arm to better accommodate her IV line and realized something soft but bulky was lodged between her elbow and her hip.

She instinctively tried to look down to see what it was, and was rewarded by searing pain in her injured neck. Groping, she closed her hand around it and slowly rolled the thing onto her lap.

Mr. Pig.

“How…?”

“Lena left him at the nurse’s station for you,” she heard her mother’s melodious voice say. She closed her eyes, soaking in the sound. She’d always loved the gentle, optimistic sound of her mother’s voice.

“A bystander posted photos of the accident scene on Facebook. When Lena saw your white Aveo in a crash that occurred so close to the store and about the time she was expecting you, she put it together and called me back.”

“Huh,” said Morgan

“I hope you don’t mind; we gave him to Hayley without waiting for you. She was pretty distraught by the accident. She left him to comfort you.”

Morgan was still getting her bearings. “How long have I been out?”

Well, technically not that long, but they gave you some pain meds, so you’ve been here but “Out of it,’ so to speak, since they set your leg and stabilized you yesterday afternoon. It’s been twenty-four hours since the accident.”

Morgan really was very tired. Her mom didn’t try to keep her awake as she slid back to sleep.

Morgan spent the next two weeks in the hospital, with daily visits from her parents and the kids. Her ex even came by and left flowers and a nice card.

We met Morgan Baker the day before her parents brought her home from the hospital. Her father Bob had suggested she pursue a bus accident claim, since the driver ran the light and  two passengers on the scene reported seeing him nodding off behind the wheel.

Morgan had felt far from up to finding an attorney, but agreed to let her dad look into it for her if he wanted to. When Bob suggested she speak to the personal injury lawyers at Parker & McConkie, she agreed, so long as he made all the arrangements and sat in on the interview.

When bus accident lawyer Steven Jensen sat down with Morgan and Bob the afternoon before her discharge, she was still unsure she could handle dealing with an accident claim. Attorney Jensen acknowledged that this is a common apprehension when people are dealing with a serious injury.

“Consider this, though. You are a newly divorced parent and finances are strained, right?” Jensen asked.

“Correct,” said Morgan, thinking he must be making her point for her.

“And you are probably going to be out of work for a bit of time due to your injuries?” Jensen asked.

“Probably,” Morgan answered wryly, rolling her eyes in Jensen’s general direction. “Everyone’s a comedian.”

Bob chuckled, “I like this guy.”

“Your regular expenses are going to keep coming in. It’s safe to say you are not looking at medical bills on top of the regular bills. And we don’t yet know to what degree your injuries may interfere with your future earning capacity or quality of life,” Attorney Jensen continued gently.

“That’s about right,” Morgan acknowledged.

“And the bus driver that the city paid to transport its citizens fell asleep instead and plowed right into your car,” Jensen said, eyebrows climbing upward.

How much does it cost to hire an attorney?

“Okay, I’ll admit you make a point. But how much would it cost if I were to retain your firm?” Morgan asked.

“There are no up-front costs,” Jensen replied. “Our firm operates on a contingency-fee model, which means we cover all case expenses from start to finish. We cover the investigation and research, the administration of your claim, the negotiations with the insurance company, and, if necessary, litigation, including expert witnesses.

“In the end, we only get paid when we bring your claim to a successful resolution.”

“So, no out-of-pocket cost — really?” Morgan asked.

“That’s right,” Jensen smiled. “And this consultation is absolutely free, so ask away, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

What is my bus accident claim worth?

“Okay, let’s start with, ‘What is the value of a claim like this?’” Morgan said.

“Great question,” said Attorney Jensen. “Your claim falls into the category of a bus accident claim, but beyond that, every claim is unique. It’s unique to the circumstances of the crash, your age and health at the time of the accident, and the damages caused in your life because of the injuries you’ve suffered.

“All of these factors mean we are going to need more answers before we can give you any kind of value amount that you can hang your hat on,” said Attorney Jensen.

“To give you a reliable idea of your claim’s value, we’ll first need to conduct our own accident investigation, reviewing accident reports, confirming what transpired, gathering evidence, and speaking to witnesses. We may also engage the services of an accident recreation specialist, to firmly establish the fault of the driver who hit you and connect his negligence to your injuries.

“After that, the value of your claim is going to depend upon you reaching maximum medical improvement. This is the point at which you will have recovered back to the health you enjoyed before the accident.

“If you are unable to recover back to that point, then you will reach maximum medical improvement when you’ve recovered as close to ‘back to normal’ as you can get.

“Your doctors will help us determine when you’ve reached this point. I can tell you that it won’t be until you are through with surgeries and your doctors are confident of your future looks like regarding the injuries. For example, whether you’ll have any limitations or need any ongoing care.

“When you reach maximum medical improvement, we’ll know what your damages are and the value of your claim,” said Attorney Jensen. “Until then, your only job is to rest and follow your treatment plan. Take your meds, go to your physical therapy appointments, and do not ‘over do it.’ Our firm can take are of everything related to your claim.”

“Wow,” said Morgan, “That actually sounds pretty good.”

How long will my bus accident claim take?”

“It does sound good,” Bob, chimed in, scanning the notes he’d taken. “So, how long do you estimate Morgan’s claim will take? I mean, if we have to wait until she reaches maximum medical improvement before you know her damages, the claim has to take at least that long, right?”

“That’s correct,” said Jensen. “We won’t know the timeline of your claim until we know about two factors. The first is your damages, which, as you’ve confirmed we won’t know until Morgan gets to maximum medical improvement. We can’t move faster than the speed of her recovery. So that’s ‘thing one.’

“Once we know your damages and the value of your claim, Morgan, we’ll send a demand letter to the insurance company requesting compensation.”

“Thing two’ in determining your claim’s timeline is how the insurance company responds to our demand letter. If they’re reasonable in offering fair compensation for your damages, we’ll be all set to wrap up your claim. If they fight us, however, we’ll sue them in court.

“As you may imagine, going to trial will extend the timeline of your claim. Right from the start, we’re going to be at the mercy of the court’s scheduling availability.

“Please don’t let this deter you, though. Our firm is comprised of seasoned trial attorneys. We have a long record of successful claims resolution both through negotiated settlements and trial wins. Either way, we’ll be ready,” Jensen said.

Bob smiled over the top of his notepad. “You see, Mo, that’s why I picked them for you.”

“And, the insurance company has most likely heard of us,” Attorney Jensen continued. “They may settle to avoid the risk of a trial. There are no guarantees as to how your claim will go, however, so we always recommend you retain a personal injury trial lawyer, just in case. That way, you’re ready for either contingency.”

Morgan and her dad thanked Attorney Jensen and told him they’d discuss what they’d learned and call the firm the next day.

“Sounds good,” Jensen said as he stood to leave, adding, “You were smart to get started speaking with attorneys so soon. Many people fail to realize that when a municipality is involved, as in your case involving the Utah Transit Authority, there are specific regulations that must be followed and usually much shorter deadlines for filing — it’s not uncommon for claimants to have one year to file instead of four.

“When you retain an experienced Utah bus accident lawyer, you get the peace of mind of knowing they’ll make sure that your claim adheres to all rules, regulations, and deadlines that must be followed.”

“Wow, I guess you were right to nudge me, Dad,” Morgan admitted, surprised. Bob enthusiastically nodded, still very pleased with the quality of his fatherly guidance.

As Attorney Jensen went out the door, Morgan’s mom arrived with a bouncing seven-year-old.

“Mommy!” Haley jumped up and down and spun in a circle before as her grandmother gently reminded her to be careful with her mom right now. Nodding somberly, Haley tiptoed to the side of Morgan’s bed and reached over to pat Mr. Pig’s head.

“Mommy, Mr. Pig came home!” Haley said in an awe-filled whisper.

“Wonders never cease,” Morgan answered, smiling.

Morgan and her dad were satisfied with the answers they received during the free legal consultation. They retained Parker & McConkie, and Attorney Jensen got Morgan over five times the amount the insurance company initially offered.

Contact Our Utah Bus Accident Lawyers Today

We hope the information on this page has answered some of your questions about your bus accident claim. Every claim is unique, so we urge you to call our Utah bus accident lawyers as soon as possible to talk about your own claim. Let us help you recover full and fair compensation so you can focus on healing and getting back to living your life.

Call 801-845-0440 to get in touch with a member of our firm after your accident. We can review your case for free!

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