I’ve Been in a Bus Accident. Now What?
Bus accidents, since they involve so many people as well as public transportation, are involved. Achieving the best possible outcome can take a significant amount of legwork. This is especially true if you happen to be driving a vehicle that collided with a bus or if you are a pedestrian that was hit by a bus. Though in those situations your loved ones may be the ones looking for answers.
Though buses are one of the safest modes of transportation for passengers, they are also involved in the most accidents per registered vehicle according to the NTSB. There can be several factors that determine how and why a bus would be involved in an accident- it could be a simple human error, an engineering flaw, or adverse conditions may play a part.
What You Must Do First
If you are ever involved in a bus accident, attend to your health and contact emergency services. Make sure you and anyone around you is as safe as they can be before you move on to any other steps. Verify that the police are on their way. This is, first and foremost, the job of the driver or any attendants, but they may be incapacitated.
If you can take photos and document the scene directly after an accident, do so. The sooner evidence is gathered, the better. Remember to get names and contact information from any other passengers if you are on the bus. Look for possible witnesses outside of the bus, too. Though the police will make a report and gather evidence, your first-hand account may contain critical information. Photographs taken just after an accident are also more compelling forms of evidence than witness testimony in some cases.
After you can leave the scene, make sure you and anyone that was with you is thoroughly checked over by a doctor and that their report mentions the accident and any injuries you may have sustained from it. That documentation needs to be in place for you to receive proper medical compensation. Don’t put this off. Though you may have up to a week to be checked over in most circumstances, waiting even a single day can cause doubt.
Before you sign or accept any form of payment, take your health into account. An immediate promise to pay your immediate health bills and add a little extra to compensate for pain or lost work can be appealing. However, if your injuries persist or an underlying condition comes to light, accepting such a deal will only lead to regret. If you were injured in a bus accident, the chances are that it was severe.
In the case of any injury compensation, it is best to consult an attorney immediately. They can handle all the paperwork for you and go over any possible settlement or payment offer with you. They may also be able to help you file any additional claims. They can also help you get the maximum possible compensation and identify what you are eligible to be compensated for.
If You Want to Sue
Consult an attorney. It’s not advisable that you pursue this route without one. Who you can sue depends on who is at fault. In cases of minor injuries, there is still cause for an attorney. If you were seriously injured or disabled, if a loved one was killed or severely injured, or the accident involved a pedestrian or child this is without a doubt a necessary course of action. ?
After an accident, you deserve appropriate care and compensation. While the bus company, insurers, and the local police will do their best to do just that any evidence you can collect as well as the help of an attorney can make the whole process smoother for all involved. It will also help you, and potentially the other passengers, achieve the best possible outcome.