Millions of commuters involving workers, children, and the elderly rely on bus transportation each day in order to arrive at their destinations. Buses are very large commercial vehicles that are a necessary part of everyday life for many people. The sheer size of these vehicles, however, have the propensity to cause devastating injuries when an accident ensues. In the worst of cases, people can even lose their lives after a bus-related accident.
If you have suffered injuries after being involved in a collision involving a privately owned or public transit bus, school bus, or a long-distance carrier, you have the legal right to pursue legal action against the party that caused your injuries. This article will focus on important facts that can help you protect your rights after a bus accident has transpired.
Different Causes of Bus Accident
A majority of bus accidents will involve some type of negligence on the part of the bus conductor. Different types of negligence can involve:
- Speeding or aggressive driving
- Distracting driving such as texting, eating, or not paying attention to road conditions
- Driving while sleep deprived
- Driving while under the influence of a legal or illegal substance
- Lack of skill and training
- Failing to abide by maintenance schedules and other safety standards
It should be noted that bus accidents can be very complex. They can occur through a variety of reasons including, but not limited to:
- Bus agency negligence,
- Bus driver error,
- Another motorist’s carelessness,
- Bus failure,
- Other equipment failure, and/or
- Weather conditions
Depending on what agency caused the accident, separate filing procedures must be followed. This can include ensuring that the case is filed under the appropriate deadline. Based on California’s statute of limitations, a personal injury claim should be filed within two (2) years from the date the injury occurred. In the event that the incident occurred because of the negligence of a government agency, however, the claim must be filed within six (6) months of the time of the injury.
What To Do After an Accident
According to a report by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, large buses are heavy and distribute collision forces differently than a regular passenger vehicle. Because of this, a bus passenger could experience less crash force than a passenger in a regular vehicle. In spite of this many bus passengers are in fact injured each year. If you have been involved in a bus accident as a passenger, you will need to consider taking a series of steps in effort of protecting your interests. It should be noted that some steps demand immediate action.
- Seek medical attention – One of the primary steps to take after a bus accident is to seek medical attention. While some injuries could demand emergency medical attention, others will not. By seeking medical care, however, you will ensure that your injuries are not further aggravated. Additionally, you will also help to establish a medical record, a fundamental piece when seeking restitution.
Common injuries that can happen as a result of being involved in a bus accident include:
- Bumps and bruises,
- Cuts and abrasions,
- Severed limbs,
- Spine injuries,
- Broken bones,
- Traumatic head injuries,
- Permanent scarring, and/or
- Fatal injuries
When it comes to injuries and seeking medical attention, it should be noted that not every injury will be immediately recognizable. In fact, according to the Hormone Health Network, the human body releases a hormone medically known as adrenaline when undergoing stressful situations. Adrenaline is a vital part of the human body’s flight-or-fight response and with the release of this hormone, a person’s ability to feel certain pain can decrease.
This is important to know because after being involved in an accident as traumatic as a bus accident, injured victims can fail to recognize the need of seeking medical attention. Even if you believe that you have not suffered any injuries following a bus accident, you should continue to seek medical attention, just to be sure.
- Make a detailed account of the scene – If possible, attempt to make a written statement of the events that lead to the accident. You should make this statement as soon as possible, as it is known that facts surrounding a traumatic case can quickly be forgotten. Elements that should be included in your statement include:
- How you believe the accident happened
- Who was involved in the accident
- When and at what time the accident occured
- Where the accident occured
- Eyewitnesses’ contact information, such as name, phone number, and email
- Contact information of those involved, including name, phone number, and email
- The bus driver’s full name, bus identification number, and bus driver identification number
When it comes to making a claim, it can be very helpful if you can make a statement with a responding police officer at the scene. By obtaining a police report, you can help to fortify your version of events.
Furthermore, making a detailed account of the accident can also involve taking pictures of the scene. You can take pictures of the following:
- Street signs
- Road conditions
- Weather conditions
- Involved vehicles
- Your injuries
Receive Monetary Compensation For Your Injuries – Contact a Qualified Attorney
If you have been involved in bus accident in the State of California, you have the legal right to file a lawsuit in effort of obtaining monetary compensation for your injuries. A specialized personal injury attorney can help you fight for your right to compensation.
If you have been injured as a passenger on a bus, consulting with an experienced attorney can help you determine what party(s) can be held accountable for your grievances. Additionally, a skilled attorney will help you understand your legal options as well as help you file a lawsuit against the negligent party.
The Law Offices of Justin H. King are specialized in helping those who have suffered as a result of negligence. Attorney Justin H. King is highly skilled in the field of personal injury law involving bus accidents in California. He is dedicated to helping personal injury victims obtain the restitution they deserve after suffering injuries because of a negligent accident.