What To Expect After a Bus Accident

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1) Mistakes During a Bus Accident Case

What To Expect After a Bus AccidentWhen it comes to claims for bus accidents, some of the common mistakes that people make that I see here in my practice in Mississippi, are not getting treatment or following up on medical treatment if it’s situation where it’s less than a catastrophic injury. When buses are involved in wrecks, unfortunately the injuries involved are typically more severe – catastrophic injury, death, or pretty severe injury – so most folks in that situation are going to get emergency medical treatment. Common across all personal injury claims, just a mistake that people frequently make is not getting follow-up treatment and not following doctor’s directions. I have to raise that point as something that you don’t want a victim to do. Not getting the medical treatment that you need is a mistake you want to avoid.

Secondly, I think probably the biggest mistake people make, in terms of bus wreck claims or bus accident claims, is that, invariably, when a bus wreck happens, it makes the news, and there are lawyers out there – and I’ll say without commenting on the practice, but there are lawyers out there who show up at the doorstep or send people knocking on the door of victims and their families trying to sign up the case. To the other extreme, victims and their families sometimes look to attorneys with whom they have an existing relationship— maybe they’ve done a will for them or they’ve done some real estate deeds, or handled a bankruptcy or handled their divorce. The reality is what a victim of a bus wreck really needs is competent legal representation by an attorney and firm that litigates personal injury cases every day and that hopefully doesn’t have to go knocking on doors to get them. I think a common mistake is either putting trust into an attorney or representation that is a complete stranger that just shows up or, on the other hand, trusting in an attorney and representation that you may have a relationship with, that may be very effective counsel on other matters for you, but who just doesn’t have experience and doesn’t work daily in personal injury litigation.

Bus wrecks tend to be complex cases involving multiple parties. Most often, more than one person is injured, there are multiple high-value claims, and there are typically significant amounts of money at stake, both in terms of the personal injury claims and potentially punitive claims, etc. Bus cases, just by nature, are complex cases on litigation because there’s multiple angles on showing liability, both from a corporate perspective, driver perspective, other vehicles involved, and proving the case in terms of liability is just a different animal than a run-of-the-mill car wreck and is certainly very different from other areas of practice like bankruptcy, divorce, or criminal law.

Working up a complex personal injury litigation, specifically a bus wreck case, is going to involve certain types of experts, too, so it’s complex litigation that you just don’t want attorneys who are learning it on the fly. You need representation from an attorney who has been involved in complex litigation, who regularly litigates personal injury cases, who is not afraid to work up the case the right way and make the investment for the experts that you need and the investigations, and who will dig in and demand fair value for the claim on behalf of that client. That’s probably the single biggest mistake – rushing into representation or not putting some time and thought into who you choose to represent on the claim.

A bus wreck claim is not a claim anyone should try to handle themselves or have a family member just deal directly with the bus carrier or the company or their insurance company or that adjuster. It doesn’t matter how big or small the claim is, that’s just a claim that you can’t do on your own. You need legal representation, and you need to put some thought and consideration into who you hire to do that.

Those are the biggest mistakes I see people make with regards to these types of claims, be they a bus wreck or an 18-wheeler wreck. To the extent that you can avoid those mistakes, you’re doing yourself or your loved one a favor.

Here at Brad Morris Law Firm, we will do our best to answer your questions. We don’t charge anything for consults. The personal injury cases that we work on are strictly on a contingency fee basis, so you have nothing to lose reaching out to us. We will do everything in our power to try to get you pointed in the right direction and make sure you get the help that you need.

2) Bus Accident Insurance Investigation

I’ve been asked the question whether I think it’s a good idea, if you’ve been involved in a bus crash in Mississippi, to try to talk to the insurance company of the bus carrier on your own. Let me just tell you, whether you are in Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, or wherever, anywhere in the country, it is never a good idea, if you’ve been injured in a bus wreck, a car wreck, any other kind of wreck or injury, to try to talk to the insurance company for the responsible party on your own. Please, just don’t do it.

You start out that conversation at a disadvantage. What I mean by that is that insurance adjuster you’re going to be talking to spends every day working on claims like that. They spend every day adjusting claims, and they come into that conversation with a lot more knowledge than people who don’t work on claims like that every day. They have special training. They have policies and procedures in their organization that are all built around investigating that claim and looking for ways to reduce the value of your claim or to figure out a way to deny liability on that claim altogether. They’re good at their jobs because they have training, and they have practice, and if you don’t do it on a daily basis, you’re automatically starting out at a disadvantage with them. Please, for your own sake, don’t do that.

I really do truly believe, and it is sound advice, if you have been in a bus crash in Mississippi or anywhere else, that’s just not a claim that you need to even for a moment entertain handling on your own. You need legal representation. The things that you should look for in seeking out an attorney to represent you on a claim is someone who does personal injury litigation on a daily basis, has experience litigating claims, and has experience litigating complex personal injury claims like bus crashes and 18-wheeler wrecks. These bigger catastrophic injury and death claims are very different than than other cases. By hiring an attorney with the right experience, the likelihood of you getting a fair settlement is going to be much better, much higher. The likelihood of you saying or doing something inadvertently that gives the insurance company or that defendant’s company an advantage over you in your claim, is going to be much lower, as well, because you will have someone involved from day one who knows how to litigate the claim, avoid the pitfalls and can help you maximize the value of your claim and get fair value.

Whether you’re in Mississippi or anywhere else, know that if you’ve been in a bus accident, you should not be dealing with the insurance company or the bus carrier on your own. At the Brad Morris Law Firm, we have had a good deal of success for clients on these cases, representing them in catastrophic injury and death litigation, including complex litigation involving commercial vehicles. If you or a loved one have been involved in a bus crash and you have questions, or you just want to sit down for a free consult to discuss your case, reach out to us by our website or give us a call. We will do our best to get you the help that you need.

3) Initial Offer For a Bus Accident Case

I’ve been asked, in the context of a bus accident, whether I think it’s a good idea to take the insurance company’s first offer here in Mississippi. Really, whether you’re in Mississippi or anywhere else, first and foremost, I want to encourage you, if you or a loved one have been involved in a bus crash and have been injured, to not try to do that on your own. If you’re not an attorney doing claims adjusting on a daily basis, there are just so many pitfalls that people can fall into trying to talk to an insurance adjuster for the other side and handle the claim themselves, particularly on complex commercial vehicle litigation, which a bus crash would fall into.

When there are catastrophic injuries or potentially death involved, and there are multiple parties involved, there are also high stakes, in terms of the amount of money involved. That’s not a situation where anybody should be trying to do it on their own and represent themselves. Don’t do that. The reason I’m going through and explaining that is because most of the time, if that question is coming up – should I take the first offer from the insurance – it’s within the context of someone trying to do it on their own. That’s why it’s worth explaining why you should not be trying to negotiate on your own.

Without getting into any kind of trade secrets or how we do business or what have you, in any negotiation there are a lot of factors and strategy that go into it. I guess the point I want to make is, if you’re involved in a claim that’s arising from a bus crash or some other form of complex commercial vehicle litigation, you can rest assured the insurance adjuster on the other side and the risk manager of that company aren’t newcomers to these cases. These are the folks who do it on a regular basis, have been doing it awhile, and are used to dealing in big claims. A lot of times, once they realize they have liability and they’re going to be on the hook for that wreck and for the injuries that are arising from it, their next immediate strategy is to just try to get it resolved fast and cheap. Part of that strategy is, if they can swoop in and talk directly to the family, they know can probably get it resolved for a fraction of what the claim is worth. Just knowing that alone should give you ammunition and reason not to do it yourself or try to do it on your own.

For any claim, whether it’s a car wreck claim or medical malpractice, there is some truth to the notion that you never get the best offer upfront. You don’t get that on a car lot when you’re going to buy a car. They never make you the best offer as the first thing out of their mouth. You don’t do it in any other context of negotiation, so it’s pretty fair to say you’re probably not going to get that in legal negotiation, either. Again, without going into great detail of how we negotiate, I will tell you the secret that’s not really a secret. The people, the victims, the claimants, the plaintiffs who bring claims who get fair value and who get maximum value for their claims are the people who, one, have the facts on their side and liability, but, two, have counsel who work up that claim and prepare for trial and prepare for litigation in a way where the other side knows, and there’s no question about it, that they’ve done the work, done the preparation, and they’re prepared to get top dollar for that claim, whether it be through negotiation or whether it be at trial.

Again, this is the reason why seeking out the right representation that’s a fit for your claim is important, and why looking to someone who has a track record of experience litigating personal injury claims, track record of success with complex commercial injury claims such as bus accidents is important. You need to have the confidence that they’re going to work up that claim for you and be prepared so that the other side will see that and you will be more likely to get full value and fair value for that claim.

We’ve had success with complex commercial vehicle injury litigation here at the Brad Morris Law Firm. If you or a family member have been injured in a bus crash or some similar type of commercial vehicle incident, we’re here to answer your questions. Our goal is to get maximum value for our clients, to make sure that our clients get fair value, and what we have learned is the way to do that is to put in the hard work, invest in the cases, investigate the cases, do discovery, and to work up those cases in a way where we’re prepared to get full value and where the other side sees that we’re prepared. If you have a case rising out of a bus crash or a similar incident and want to discuss it, we offer free consults. If you just have questions, if you just need some questions answered about your bus wreck case, reach out to us on our website or give us a call. Our goal is to get you pointed in the right direction, to try to get you the help that you need.

Were you or a loved one injured on a bus in Mississippi and have questions about what to expect after a bus accident? Contact the experienced Mississippi bus accident attorney, Brad Morris, today for a free consultation and case evaluation.

We can help get your life back on track.

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