When you’re waiting patiently for your bus to arrive, the possible risk of injury is likely the last thing on your mind. Unfortunately, however, bus stop accidents and other bus-related incidents are more common than you might think. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2018 alone there were 234 buses involved in fatal accidents across the U.S., with thousands more resulting in serious injury.
These figures aren’t meant to frighten would-be bus passengers, but rather to highlight the fact that these accidents are not outside the realm of possibility. In the event that things do go wrong, it helps to at least have an idea of what to do or what to expect. Luckily, Van Law Firm has helped numerous bus accident victims over the years, and we’ve picked up some tips along the way. Let’s take a look at the steps you should take in the event of a bus stop accident.
If I am Injured in a Bus Stop Accident, What Should I Do?
By and large, your physical health should be your main priority following an accident. No matter how minor your symptoms appear, you should definitely cooperate with first responders on site, in addition to going to an emergency room or urgent care immediately after the fact. There are two chief reasons for this: the first is simply to treat and diagnose any injuries you may have sustained, including those which may not be easily noticeable such as concussions and whiplash. The second benefit to seeking medical care right away is that it helps establish a foundation for your damages later on–in other words, the opposition cannot downplay your injuries if the records show that you sought care right after the accident.
Once you’ve received medical attention, the next steps will include:
- Talk with your car insurer, if applicable: If the accident occurred while you were in or around your vehicle, you may need to contact your insurer regarding the incident and your claim within a certain amount of time, but this depends largely on your individual policy. Also, if you happen to carry personal injury protection insurance, you may be able to use that coverage for the initial treatment and visit to the hospital.
- Save everything related to medical bills and records: The end goal of any personal injury claim is to recover sufficient compensation to cover your damages, and medical expenses are often the biggest point of contention. If you are able to keep track of your bills and communication, it will greatly improve your chances of having a successful claim.
- Request a copy of the police report: When an accident occurs on city streets, police will typically conduct an initial investigation at the scene and produce a report, and these are usually very influential pieces of evidence given the fact that they are recorded at the scene. Make sure that you receive a copy of the report for your own records.
- Retain an experienced attorney: This is perhaps the most important step, as an attorney will be able to compensate for other missteps. The quicker you retain your attorney, the quicker you can start on the path toward compensation, so it’s best to act quickly. If you wait too long, it will be much harder to gather evidence, reports, and everything else necessary to prove your case.
Can I File a Claim if I Was Injured as a Pedestrian?
The short answer to this question is yes, you can absolutely file a claim if you suffered damages as a pedestrian in a bus stop or other bus-related accident. In fact, your injuries will most likely be somewhat significant, so it’s in your best interest to find legal representation as quickly as possible.
There are multiple parties who may be found liable, including the individual bus driver, the bus company or owner, or even government entities if the crash was caused by road hazards or poorly designed bus stops. Most bus stops and shelters have a shockingly limited amount of protection for pedestrians, and all it takes is a little bit of negligence or driver error to cause a lot of damage.
Contact Experienced Bus Stop Accident Attorneys
If you’ve suffered injuries in a bus stop or other bus-related accident, you will need the help of a trusted bus stop accident attorney in order to protect your rights and recover the compensation you need to get your life back on track. Look no further than Van Law Firm–our award-winning team has decades of combined experience, and we’re standing by ready to help. Call our office nearest you today to learn more about how VLF can help.