Buses protect the environment, decrease traffic congestion, and help passengers save money! But with the increase of buses on the roads, it’s important to understand what to do if you’re injured in a bus accident, and the possible causes and effects of bus involved. Around 63,000 traffic accidents involve buses every year, reports Nolo.
First Steps to Take After a Bus Accident
- Document the scene – take photos, record statements from witnesses, write notes.
- Don’t sign anything or give any statements without advice from an attorney.
- Get proper medical attention as soon as possible, even if you’re not sure that you’re injured.
- Get legal help immediately! Call a personal injury attorney experienced in bus accident cases.
Risks and Injuries Connected to Bus Accidents
As with car accidents, injuries resulting from bus accidents can range from whiplash-type soft tissue injuries to serious head trauma and broken bones.
While bus accidents might not be as common as car accidents, the risk of serious injury in a bus accident is actually much higher due to lack of safety features in busses and also the general instability of a bus compared to a car.
The risk of a tip-over or rollover accident is higher for buses than it is for standard passenger vehicles. In addition, Nolo reports that many buses don’t feature any form of safety restraint or supplemental safety device such as seat belts or airbags.
How Does Compensation Work After a Bus Accident?
When you’re in a car accident, you usually file for compensation from your insurance and sometimes from the at-fault driver. But bus accidents can be more complicated because of the involvement of large bus companies.
In some situations, the crash will be caused by the driver of another car or truck on the road. In that case, if you’re injured as a passenger on the bus, you can make a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer, seeking compensation for losses like medical expenses and lost income, plus “pain and suffering.”
If the bus driver is at fault, however, your case might become more complicated. That’s because many buses are owned or operated by government entities like school districts and public transportation bureaus, and filing injury claims with the government or large corporations is much more complex. The timetable for filing a personal injury claim can be very demanding, and meeting the timetable becomes even more difficult with there is special investigation needed to prove that the bus driver was at fault.
Common Causes of Bus Accidents
Nolo identifies a number of factors that may cause or contribute to a bus accident, including:
- Bus driver fatigue – Metro Magazine reports a 48% correlation between driver fatigue and crash occurrence among commercial driver accidents.
- Bus drivers who have not been adequately trained or properly screened for employment
- Bus drivers who are under the influence of intoxicants
- Buses that are overloaded or improperly loaded
- Buses and equipment that is not properly maintained
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