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Most people think of buses as safe – they are large, driven by a paid and trained professional, and generally, we don’t hear about bus accidents as often as car or motorcycle accidents (or even pedestrian accidents for that matter). But the unfortunate fact is that bus accidents do happen, and because they are so rare many people do not know how to respond to them.
In fact, they may be less rare than you think – in 2019, there were 4,696 fatal large truck and bus accidents in the United States. Learn more about what you should do if you have sustained injuries in a bus accident by reading this Florida bus accident guide. Here are a few other things to keep in mind:
If you are a bus passenger:
1) Know What You’re Up Against
Buses are usually owned by a municipal (city) government or authority, or at minimum a large private corporation. Dealing with a bus accident is not the same as an accident where another individual is involved. Because there are many passengers on a bus, the potential for damage claims are higher and the corporation operating the bus has much more to lose. They also have more resources to deal with the fall-out, making it even more important that you pay attention and protect your interests.
2) Nail Down Your Facts
The bus operator will likely have lawyers to pick holes in a version of events that reflects badly on them, so your facts must be airtight. Use your smartphone to take photos at the time of the accident and exchange contact information with other passengers affected by the accident. If you retain a lawyer, consider suggesting that they communicate with the lawyers of the other passengers involved in the bus accident.
3) Get An Immediate Diagnosis
This is one of the most important steps. An aggressive corporate lawyer will go after any delay in between the time of the accident and when you seek medical treatment. They will claim the accident did not cause your injuries or that you only saw a doctor to boost your legal claims against the bus operator. A diagnosis as soon as the accident happens – ideally the same day or the day immediately after – will document your injuries and strengthen your case.
If you are a vehicle passenger struck by a bus:
1) Take Immediate Action
This is a very special circumstance and it is different from a collision with another regular automobile. The bus operator and ownership company will leave no stone unturned to prove you were at fault and you need to hire appropriate legal representation to stand up for your rights. Additionally, some jurisdictions have different and unusual rules around reporting requirements for collisions involving buses, such as for the purposes of making insurance claims. Having an expert familiar with bus accidents on your side is an essential first step you cannot overlook.
A bus accident is a shocking and unexpected disruption to your day, week – and life. In order to best protect yourself and ensure you are in a good position to deal with the legal and medical fall-out of a bus accident, keep the steps outlined above the top of mind if you find yourself unlucky enough to need them.