What Should I Do If I Was Involved In A Bus Accident?
In 2019. there were 73,930 bus crashes, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Many of those crashes caused injuries.
The accident attorneys at Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer have been helping injured accident victims for more than 50 years. The firm has a local and national reputation for getting great results, including multi-million dollar settlements and trial verdicts for injury accidents. We are equally well-known for the care that we take with every client.
Bus accidents tend to be more catastrophic than other vehicle accidents because there are usually so many more passengers involved, and many people may be injured at once. Buses are also more likely to tip or roll over than cars. The lack of airbags and seat belts in buses means that passengers are more likely to get thrown out of their seats during a collision.
If you have the misfortune to be involved in a bus accident, there are several steps that you should take. These are important to safeguard your health and to preserve evidence that you will need to file a claim or a lawsuit.
Usually the bus driver will call 911 but, if for some reason, that doesn’t happen, you should call 911 yourself. It’s important for your sake and the sake of other passengers who might be injured that police, ambulance EMTs, and other emergency personnel arrive on the scene of the accident as soon as possible.
Get Medical Attention
Even if you don’t think you are seriously hurt, you should still seek medical attention right away. With some injuries, you may feel fine right after the accident, but then symptoms can start to pop up later — days or even weeks later. Delayed symptoms may be especially common with back, spine, neck, or head injuries.
By seeking immediate medical attention, you accomplish several things:
- You can get screened and diagnosed for injuries that you may not be aware that you have.
- Prompt treatment of your injuries can be crucial to preventing long-term complications.
- The healthcare professional conducting the medical examination will create medical records, which you will be able to use as evidence to prove your injuries when you file a claim or a lawsuit.
- There may be time limits for how long you can wait after an accident to get medical attention if you want to file a claim. By taking care of the medical exam right away, you can be assured that you won’t lose your chance to get compensation because you waited too long.
Document the Accident
Documenting the accident will provide evidence that will be helpful when you file your claim, though your top priority should be to get medical attention. Helpful actions you can take include:
- Take pictures and/or videos of the scene of the accident, ideally, from several different angles.
- Get contact information from witnesses, other passengers, and the driver. Get names, phone numbers, addresses, and emails, if possible.
- When the police arrive on the scene, get their names. Take their cards, if they have them.
- Make notes about what you remember happened during the accident.
Don’t Give Statements to the Insurance Company
Be careful if the bus company’s insurance company contacts you. Remember, their goal is to save money by paying you as little as possible. Don’t tell them that you feel fine — you may be injured and not know it because the symptoms are delayed. Don’t speak to them at all without consulting a bus accident lawyer first.
Talk to an Experienced Bus Accident Attorney
You may be able to file a claim or lawsuit to get substantial financial compensation. When you have an experienced, caring, and dedicated bus accident attorney on your side, you have a much better chance of getting the fair compensation you deserve for your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Insurance companies try to take advantage of accident victims who do not have a lawyer representing them. When you do get a lawyer, you are sending a signal to the insurance company that you want what is fair and right, and that you will not settle for less.
The bus accident attorneys at Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer are always prepared to go to trial if the insurance company does not provide a decent settlement offer. This willingness to go to trial if necessary gives them leverage in their negotiations, which they use to get you a better offer.
Bus accident claims can be complicated. If the bus is owned by a public entity, such as a city, county, public transit bureau, or school district, the deadlines for filing will be shorter than in other accident cases, and the procedures will be more complex. It’s important that you seek a lawyer with experience in these areas.
Experience is also important for knowing how to investigate the accident and determine who is at fault. There may be more negligent parties involved in bus accident cases than in injury accident cases that involve only other types of vehicles.
Finding an Experienced Bus Accident Attorney Near Me
At Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer, we work hard to make the lives of injured people better. We will fight for your right to get the full compensation you need for your injuries. We always strive to get our clients the maximum compensation available, and our results speak for themselves.
We would be glad to talk to you and tell you more. For a free consultation with an experienced bus accident lawyer, call our firm today. Don’t put it off. Evidence tends to disappear with time. The longer you wait to get started on your case, the harder it may be to gather the proof you need. Fill out our contact form or call our toll-free number at (800) 535-1797. We will provide a free case evaluation that will help you better understand your legal rights. We will discuss with you what your options are going forward, and give you the information you need so you can make an informed decision about what your next step will be.
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