You’ve been in a serious Greyhound bus accident. Your injuries are severe, and you’re facing mountains of medical bills and lost wages.
The bus company is offering you a settlement, but it seems low considering everything you’ve been through. You need an experienced Greyhound accident lawyer to fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.
This blog post explores the strategies your lawyer can use to get you every penny you deserve.
Proving Liability and Negligence
The first step is proving the bus company is liable for your injuries.
Your lawyer will gather evidence showing the company’s driver acted negligently. This could include getting data from the bus’s black box recorder, interviewing witnesses, reviewing police reports, and more.
Your lawyer will build a rock-solid case by proving the elements of negligence and showing that the bus company’s negligence directly caused the crash and your injuries. This establishes their duty to compensate you fairly.
Documenting Your Injuries and Expenses
Next, your Greyhound accident lawyer will meticulously document the full extent of your injuries, treatment costs, lost income, and other expenses.
This includes gathering all medical records, billing statements, pay stubs, and other documentation.
Your lawyer will have medical experts thoroughly review your records to substantiate your injuries and treatment needs. Vocational experts can assess how the injuries impact your earning capacity.
Accountants can calculate present and future lost wages. The better your lawyer documents your damages, the higher your potential compensation.
Your Greyhound Accident Lawyer Will Negotiate Effectively with the Insurance Company
Once liability is clear and damages are calculated, your lawyer will negotiate assertively with the bus company’s insurance provider.
They have experience maximizing settlements from insurance companies. They’ll point out all the ways the company was negligent and the full extent of your losses.
If the insurer lowballs you, your lawyer won’t hesitate to threaten litigation. The insurer will often pay more to avoid a costly lawsuit. Your lawyer’s negotiating skills can result in a far better settlement offer.
The Greyhound Accident Lawyer Will File a Lawsuit If Necessary
If the insurer won’t offer fair compensation through negotiation, your lawyer will file a personal injury lawsuit. Lawsuits give your lawyer powerful tools to gather evidence and force a reasonable settlement or trial verdict.
During discovery, they’ll depose company officials and drivers under oath, subpoena maintenance records, and more. If the company refuses to settle reasonably, your lawyer will take the case to trial and present your evidence to a jury.
Juries frequently award accident victims higher sums than insurers offer. Your lawyer’s willingness to take the case all the way often motivates higher settlements pre-trial.
Structuring the Compensation Wisely
Maximizing compensation involves not just getting the largest possible sum, but structuring it wisely. Your lawyer will consider things like:
Getting sufficient money upfront to cover immediate medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, etc.
Setting aside funds to pay for predicted future medical expenses and lost earning capacity.
Investing settlements wisely so lump sums can fund these future costs.
Exploring structured settlements or annuities to fund long-term needs.
Your Greyhound accident lawyer will likely have the financial expertise to structure your settlement money for maximum benefit.
Your Greyhound Accident Lawyer Will Fight Liens and Subrogation
Other parties like health insurers may try to take part of your settlement through subrogation liens.
The best law firms in the state, like Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers, can easily fight these liens and negotiate discounts so you keep more of your compensation. They know how to maximize your recovery in light of these liens.
Negotiating Reductions in Medicare/Medicaid Liens
If Medicare or Medicaid paid any of your medical bills, they may assert a lien on your settlement. This lets them get reimbursed from the settlement for what they paid.
Your lawyer will negotiate firmly with Medicare and Medicaid to reduce these liens so you keep more compensation. Skilled lawyers can often get substantial reductions in these government liens.
Checking for Additional Coverage and Assets
Your Greyhound accident lawyer will dig deep to identify all possible sources of compensation.
This includes checking if the bus company has excess liability coverage beyond its primary policy limits and filing claims with those excess carriers.
Your lawyer will also determine if the driver or company has other assets not covered by insurance. If so, they can pursue compensation from those assets. Identifying all coverage and assets results in a higher payout.
Your Greyhound Accident Lawyer Will File Claims Quickly
Time limits apply for filing injury claims, so your lawyer will act fast to file claims, lawsuits, and liens before deadlines expire.
Missing deadlines could ruin your chances of getting full compensation for your accident-related injuries, so speed is critical. Your lawyer knows these deadlines and meticulously files claims on time.
Aggressively Negotiating Reductions in Medical Bills
Even after getting your settlement or verdict, your lawyer can work to reduce your outstanding medical bills. Many hospitals and providers will lower bills substantially if pressed by an attorney.
Your lawyer will negotiate firmly with each entity to discount what you owe. This stretches your compensation even further.
Choosing the Ideal Jurisdiction
Different states have different laws about negligence, liability caps, contributory negligence, statutes of limitations, and more.
An experienced Greyhound accident lawyer will identify the most favorable jurisdictions for your claim and pursue compensation there. This jurisdiction shopping can result in a substantially larger settlement or verdict.
Gathering Critical Evidence Before It Disappears
After a crash, evidence can disappear quickly. Your lawyer will act fast to gather critical data before it’s altered or destroyed.
This could include cell phone records, security camera footage, weather reports, bus maintenance records, driveway sight line measurements, and other info that could prove liability. Acting quickly often makes or breaks a case.
The right experts can produce game-changing evidence and testimony. Your lawyer will retain highly credentialed experts in areas like accident reconstruction, biomechanics, medical injuries, vocational assessments, economics, and more.
Credible expert testimony carries tremendous weight. The right experts can convince insurers and juries to award maximum compensation.
Capitalizing on Prior Case Experience
An experienced Greyhound accident attorney has handled many similar cases before yours. They’ll capitalize on lessons and strategies from those prior cases to maximize your compensation.
An experienced lawyer knows what works and how to craft the strongest case possible. Their expertise translates directly into higher compensation for you.
Conveying the Full Human Impact
Your lawyer’s legal arguments and evidence tell only part of the story.
They’ll also humanize you through evidence like day-in-the-life videos depicting how the accident forever altered your mobility, independence, career, hobbies, family life, and emotional well-being.
Documenting your devasting personal losses sways insurers and juries to fully compensate your real-world damages. Your lawyer gives you a voice.
Portraying Defendants as Uncaring
Juries dislike negligent defendants, especially big corporations. Your lawyer will strategically highlight ways Greyhound acted carelessly, dangerously, or indifferently.
Evidence showing the company put profits over passenger safety portrays the defendant negatively. This makes the jury want to rule against them and award you more money. Your lawyer plays to the jury’s sympathies.
Asking Juries to “Send a Message”
If a jury hears your case, your lawyer will ask them to “send a message” with their verdict that unsafe bus companies must pay.
Juries want to deter future negligence, so asking them to send a message often results in a larger award. Your lawyer channels the jury’s desire to punish wrongdoing into maximum compensation for you.
Being Willing to Go to Trial
Insurers pay bigger settlements if they know the plaintiff’s lawyer is fully prepared and willing to go to trial if necessary.
When your lawyer demonstrates they’re ready and not afraid to try your case, the insurer will offer more not to risk a trial verdict. Your lawyer’s willingness to fight tooth and nail for you at trial increases your leverage enormously.
Offering Insurers a High-Low Arrangement
To incentivize settlements, your lawyer may propose a high-low deal to the insurer. This sets an agreed range the insurer will pay regardless of the trial outcome.
Your lawyer establishes a high figure if they win at trial, but a guaranteed minimum even if they lose. This motivates insurers to settle near the high figure to avoid uncertainty.
It’s a creative way to maximize compensation while protecting against getting nothing if the trial is lost.
Staying Organized and Attention to Detail
Maximizing compensation requires assembling overwhelming evidence from many sources. Your lawyer will stay highly organized so no stone goes unturned.
Meticulous attention to detail ensures the strongest possible case presentation. This organization and attention produces results for their clients.
Lawyers try to handle cases efficiently and avoid unnecessary work to keep costs down. Less money spent on legal costs means more compensation ends up in your pocket.
An experienced lawyer identifies what’s truly needed for a strong case and manages costs prudently.
Explaining Complex Legal Processes
The claims process involves many complex laws, procedures, filings, and terminology. Your lawyer will explain each step in plain English.
You’ll understand your options, strategy, and why your lawyer pursues certain actions. Understanding the process means you can make informed choices to maximize your compensation.
By leveraging these and other proven strategies, an experienced Greyhound accident lawyer can typically obtain far greater compensation compared to negotiating on your own directly with insurers.
Having an excellent lawyer’s expertise in your corner after suffering devastating injuries can translate into hundreds of thousands of extra dollars in your pocket.
While no lawyer can guarantee a specific outcome, they can guarantee to work tirelessly in your best interest. With maximum legal representation, you improve your odds of getting generously compensated for your losses.