After a bus crash, ensuring your safety and protecting your rights can spell the difference between life and death. This article outlines what you should do in the aftermath of a bus accident.

Each year, there are thousands of car and bus collisions. In 2019, there was a 2-percent increase from 2018 as 5,237 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes.

Meanwhile, passenger cars accounted for the highest number of fatal accidents and injury-causing accidents on the roadways—most likely because of the prevalence of these vehicles on American roads.

A staggering 20,868 fatal accidents involved passenger cars, while 50,735 car crashes caused injuries. These statistics can be attributed to the prevalence of passenger cars on the roadways.

In the aftermath of a car-bus collision, understanding your rights and the necessary actions to take is key to getting fair compensation.

Legal representation can help you navigate the complexities of dealing with insurance companies and other parties involved in the accident.

These are two crucial things to know when colliding between a car and a bus. Let’s dive deeper into the steps you should take after a bus crash.

Immediate Actions Post-Collision

In the immediate aftermath of a collision, ensure everyone’s safety—especially yours.

Move away from traffic and to a safe location if possible. If you can’t move your vehicle, stay inside with your seatbelt fastened until help arrives.

Once you’re safe, contact emergency services and local law enforcement. Call 911 to report the accident.

Police officers will document the scene and write a report—make sure you get a copy of this, as it is crucial for insurance claims and any potential legal proceedings.

Always seek medical attention after a collision. Even if you feel fine, think your injuries are minor, or believe you have none.

Some injuries, like whiplash or internal bleeding, may not be immediately apparent. Let a medical professional evaluate your condition and provide treatment if necessary.

Most importantly, a medical evaluation records your injuries, which can be essential when filing an insurance claim or a lawsuit.

Documenting the Accident Scene

Detailed documentation of the accident is important for determining fault and playing a vital role in legal proceedings. It can significantly improve your chances of obtaining a fair settlement if you file a personal injury claim.

Document the scene of the accident and its immediate surroundings. It can serve as essential evidence in determining liability and fault as it provides a detailed account of what happened, how, and why.

Gather as much evidence as possible. Take photos and videos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, road conditions, traffic signs, and any visible injuries you’ve sustained.

Remember to capture the license plates and the bus company.

If there are any witnesses to the accident, try your best to collect their names and contact information. Their statements could corroborate your account of the accident and provide additional evidence of who the liable parties are.

How to Report the Accident Accurately to Authorities

Provide an accurate and detailed account of the events. Stick to the facts and avoid speculating about fault or cause. Avoid seemingly innocent statements like “I didn’t see the bus” or “I’m sorry.” They can be easily misconstrued as an admission of fault.

Make sure to include any critical details, such as weather conditions, traffic signals and signs, road obstructions, etc. If you believe the bus driver behaved recklessly, mention it to the authorities.

Get a copy of the police report. It’s an official incident record and can be crucial evidence in insurance claims and legal proceedings.

Understanding Liability and Fault

Fault refers to the party who caused the accident. Sometimes, the fault is easier to assign, especially when a driver breaks traffic laws, directly causing the collision. But in many cases, we’ve seen, determining fault can be more complex.

Liability can fall on different parties depending on the circumstances of the accident. This can include the car or bus driver, the bus company, the city, council, state agencies, or even the bus manufacturer.

For example, city, council, and state agencies can be liable for injuries if they design faulty roadways or use unclear lanes or turns.

A bus manufacturer could be at fault if a mechanical failure occurred immediately before the accident.

They could be held responsible if the car or bus driver was negligent (for instance, driving under the influence, speeding, or driving recklessly).

Bus companies can also be held accountable if they fail to maintain their vehicles properly or decide to hire a driver with a poor driving record.

Insurance companies typically determine who is at fault according to the state laws where the incident occurred, alongside information from the police report, witness statements, and physical evidence from the accident scene.

Comparative Negligence Laws in Different States

Many states use comparative negligence laws to determine fault in car-bus accidents. These laws allow for damages to be awarded based on the percentage of fault each party holds.

For instance, if you are found to be 20% at fault for an accident, you may still recover 80% of your damages from the other party.

However, laws can vary greatly by state, with some adhering to a “pure comparative negligence” model and others following a “modified comparative negligence” model.

Pure comparative negligence is where a party can still recover damages even if they are mostly at fault for the accident. For instance, if the bus driver is found 99% at fault, they can still claim 1% compensation.

Pure comparative negligence applies in states like California and Florida.

Modified comparative negligence is where a party can only recover damages if deemed less than 50% at fault for the accident. This means that if you are found to be equally or more at fault than the other party, you may not be able to receive any compensation.

States that adhere to this model include Texas, New York, and Missouri.

Consult a legal professional to understand how these laws apply to your case and know your legal options.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

Effective communication is key to a smooth insurance claim process. Here are some tips to communicate effectively:

If your claim is denied, or if you believe the settlement offer is too low, you have the right to dispute the decision. Here’s what you can do:

Remember, insurance companies are businesses looking to minimize costs. Being proactive, thorough, and persistent can make the difference in getting the compensation you deserve.

It’s better to go for a free case evaluation and get legal advice from a personal injury law firm at the onset to avoid any denial of the claim and increase your chances of getting fair compensation.

Legal Rights and Compensation Claims

As a victim of a bus-car collision, you have several rights:

Victims of bus-car collisions can seek various types of compensation, including:

Navigating the legal and insurance landscape after a bus-car collision can be complex and challenging. Legal representation is crucial in these personal injury cases for several reasons:

Selecting the Right Personal Injury Lawyers

When choosing a lawyer for a bus accident case, consider the following factors:

Remember, it’s best to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible after a bus accident. Deadlines (known as statutes of limitations) exist for filing a lawsuit. Additionally, it’s easier to gather evidence and witness testimonies soon after the incident, as it’s still fresh in everyone’s memory.

Frantz Law Group is a team of experienced personal injury lawyers with a successful track record in car and bus accident cases. Our experienced attorneys have been under their belt dealing with car and bus crashes for decades. They will guide you through the legal process and handle all communication with insurance companies to ensure you get the best possible outcome.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

Long-Term Considerations

Bus accidents can have significant long-term impacts on victims. These may include:

Victims may also require ongoing medical care and rehabilitation, such as follow-up appointments, physical and occupational therapy, and medical equipment like wheelchairs or braces.

Consider these long-term factors when seeking compensation after a bus accident. A comprehensive settlement should cover immediate costs and future expenses related to the accident.

Secure Your Future After a Bus Accident with Frantz Law Group

If you or a loved one has been involved in a bus accident, you can seek compensation for medical expenses, vehicle damages, lost wages, and other non-economic damages. You may also be entitled to compensation for long-term impacts such as ongoing medical care, rehabilitation, and emotional distress.

Navigating the legal process surrounding car and bus accidents can be complex. You’ll need the legal help of an experienced personal injury attorney who understands the nuances of these cases.

Frantz Law Group is committed to advocating for car and bus accident victims. With a deep understanding of bus accident laws and a track record of success, we can help you navigate the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Contact the Frantz Law Group today for a free case review, and let our bus accident lawyers help you navigate this challenging time.