What to Do if You’re a Passenger in a Bus Accident
Sep 06, 2023
Thousands of bus accidents happen each year. Some may only be minor accidents, but many lead to serious injuries or even the death of passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers. What you do after a bus accident directly impacts your ability to recover bus accident compensation to pay for the injuries.
Knowing the steps to take — as well as what not to do — after a bus accident can help ensure your health and finances are protected and you’re eligible to receive the injury compensation money you deserve.
Move Away From Potential Hazards
When a bus accident happens, your immediate concern should be safety. If you’re able to move and can safely exit the bus, move away from oncoming traffic. Once you’re safe, call for an ambulance and let the responders know about any injured individuals on the bus who need emergency medical attention.
In some cases, you might be too severely injured to move. In this case, it might be best to wait for the emergency response team to arrive. Attempting to move while seriously injured could make your injuries worse.
Seek Medical Attention
You should always seek medical attention after a bus accident. Serious injuries mean that medical care is usually not optional.
If you’re transported by ambulance to a hospital, it’s important to fully follow the medical advice you receive. This includes not leaving until you are discharged and carefully following the discharge instructions you’re given, including attending any follow-up appointments.
One mistake people often make after bus accidents is not seeing a doctor because they think they’re not injured or their minor injuries don’t merit medical care.
However, a crash can cause adrenaline to surge and emotions to run high. You might not realize you’re experiencing injury signs like concussion symptoms or neck pain until the excitement dies down.
It’s also possible to sustain a bus accident injury with delayed symptoms. Organ damage or a spinal injury are two types of injuries that you might not immediately experience symptoms of.
Seeing a doctor immediately protects your health by increasing the chance of an injury being discovered quickly. It also establishes proof that the bus accident was the source of any injuries. If you end up needing to seek bus accident compensation to pay for your medical bills, this documentation helps support your case.
Contact Law Enforcement
You should always call the police after a bus accident. A police report establishes official documentation regarding the events of the accident, how it happened, and who was at fault. Insurance companies sometimes require a copy of the police report during the claims process, so not having one available can be an issue down the road.
If the police speak with you, you should stick to the facts you remember. It’s generally good to refrain from sharing opinions about who caused the crash. Don’t discuss the accident with other people or newscasters, and don’t post about it on social media. If the police ask if you’re injured, simply say that you’re going to be checked by a doctor.
Document the Accident and Collect Witness Information
Recovering bus accident compensation doesn’t happen without a lot of legal work behind the scenes. Insurance companies need proof of who caused the accident before they pay for injuries. The more documentation proving liability, the better your chance of recovering injury compensation.
In addition to making sure the police come and take a police report, you can take photos of the accident and collect contact information from the other witnesses. If you end up working with a bus accident lawyer, your lawyer may want to communicate with witnesses to see if their testimony can help your case.
You should also keep copies of any documentation related to the accident. This includes paperwork from any insurance companies, notices from the bus company, and medical paperwork, as well as bills, receipts, and pay stubs showing lost wages and benefits.
Get Legal Representation Before Negotiating With Insurance Companies
The final step you should always take after a bus accident is to consult a bus accident lawyer before communicating with an insurance agent. Insurance company employees seem friendly, but they have one job — save the company money by keeping payouts small.
The statements you make to an insurance agent can be used against you to reduce the amount of money they have to pay for your injuries. Furthermore, if you don’t consult with a bus accident lawyer about your possible case value, you might not realize that your claim is worth much more than you think.
Many bus accident lawyers offer free consultations, so you don’t have anything to lose by taking the time to ask for legal advice. Based on what a lawyer has to say about your case, you might end up walking away with a much higher settlement amount than you initially expected to receive.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bus Accident Compensation
How Much Money Can a Bus Accident Lawyer Help Me Recover?
A bus accident lawyer needs to look at the facts of the case to determine your case value. They’ll consider factors like your medical bills, time missed at work, and the long-term impact of the injury during the process of identifying your case value.
How Much Does a Bus Accident Lawyer Cost?
Most bus accident lawyers only expect you to pay for their legal services if they win your case. This is called a contingency fee arrangement, and it’s how most personal injury lawyers take payment from clients.
Who Pays for Bus Accident Injuries?
Bus accident compensation usually comes from the insurance policy of whichever driver caused the crash. Bus companies carry insurance policies designed to cover injury payments if passengers are injured.
Don’t Wait to Consult a Bus Accident Attorney
Knowing the steps to take after a bus accident helps ensure you’re protected if you need to work with a lawyer to recover the injury compensation you need.
To learn more, call The Spence Law Firm to schedule a consultation with an experienced bus accident lawyer in Wyoming.
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If you are struggling with a serious injury, or are fighting against seemingly impossible odds against big corporations, insurance companies or the government, call us to speak with our team of trial lawyers who will fight for you. We take no fee unless we earn it by winning your case.