Passengers who ride on a bus entrust the bus driver and the owner of the bus with their safety and well-being. Unfortunately, thousands of buses are involved in crashes in the U.S. every year.
Bus accidents have the potential to be much more complex than crashes involving smaller vehicles. There are more victims involved as well as more responsible parties. Due to the lack of airbags and seat belts on buses, injuries can be much more serious.
Below are a few steps passengers should take if they are involved in a bus accident.
Call the police.
The bus driver is typically responsible for calling for emergency services. If the bus staff is unable or refuses to call for assistance, call 9-1-1 right away. The accident needs to be reported to law enforcement so an office can document the details of the crash.
Seek immediate medical attention.
Get medical attention right away after the accident, even if you do not think your injuries are severe. Point out every injury to the physician, no matter the amount of pain it’s causing at that time. Certain injuries – particularly those involving the head and neck – will not become apparent until days or even weeks have passed. Once symptoms manifest, a person could be suffering from excruciating pain.
Failure to seek medical help after a bus accident could be detrimental to an injured passenger’s case if he or she files a personal injury claim. The longer a passenger waits to receive medical treatment, the more difficult it will be to link the injuries to the accident.
Document the accident scene.
Medical attention should be your first priority. If you are able, obtain the contact information of the driver and other passengers. In addition, taking photos and video of the accident scene can be helpful in describing what happened later.
Protect your legal rights.
Contact a law firm with a track record of success representing bus crash victims. Bus companies and their insurers will likely have investigators on the scene within hours of a serious collision.
Moreover, buses are often operated by or in conjunction with a public entity. Thus, shorter claim notice periods may apply. If you do not put the company on notice of your claim quickly, you may lose all rights to pursue compensation for your injuries. It is therefore very important that injured passengers quickly retain an experienced legal team to obtain the details of the situation and protect their rights.
Contact Anapol Weiss for assistance if you were injured in a bus accident. Our team can investigate the crash and hold responsible parties accountable for letting people get hurt.