Picture this: You’re driving in the city, following all of the safety laws, when, out of nowhere, a bus runs into your car. This situation is dangerous and terrifying, but sadly, it’s common enough that everyone should know what to do if it happens.
Any driver should know what to do after getting into an accident with a bus, including seeking legal assistance from an experienced lawyer. We’ll walk you through the process so if this ever happens to you, you’ll be prepared and know what steps you need to take.
Common Causes of Bus Accidents
There are many reasons why a bus accident could occur. However, some of the most common causes include:
- Driver Errors: The bus driver was driving under the influence of substances, failing to obey traffic laws, or driving aggressively.
- Bad Road Conditions: The road had potholes, improper signage, or a rough surface.
- Weather: Poor weather conditions, including wind, snow, hail, or rain, can make it more difficult to drive safely.
- Faulty Machinery: The bus had mechanical issues, such as brake failure.
- Complex Maneuvers: Buses must take longer and wider turns, often leading to collisions.
When one of these situations occurs, one or more other vehicles may suffer damage because of a bus. Then, taking the correct steps and making smart decisions to protect yourself is important
8 Steps You Need to Take Right After an Accident
If you get into a collision with a bus, follow these eight steps right away for physical and legal protection.
1. Assess Yourself for Injury
After a collision, your first priority should be your physical well-being. Check yourself and anyone else in your vehicle during the accident for injuries. Many injuries during a car accident are internal, so make sure you feel completely okay before taking any additional steps.
If you are injured, call 911 and wait for emergency medical personnel to arrive. These professionals will be able to assess your injuries more effectively and determine whether you need to go to the hospital.
2. Get to Safety
Since most accidents with a bus occur in a roadway, the next thing you need to do is get to safety on the side of the road. If your vehicle is still operable and safe to drive, pull off to the side of the road so you aren’t blocking oncoming traffic. If your vehicle can’t move, step out of the roadway where you can safely sit or stand while waiting for help or talking with the bus driver.
3. Call Local Law Enforcement
In many accidents, people try to take care of the exchange of information themselves. However, in an accident with a bus, it’s always better to call the police.
Law enforcement officers have more experience dealing with accidents and can expertly navigate the situation. At the scene, they can fill out a report detailing the situation’s specifics. That report will become highly useful when pursuing legal action, as it outlines what happened and includes any statements from witnesses present on the scene.
Police can also help with the exchange of personal information between you and the bus driver. This assistance provides protection for you if the bus driver acts aggressively or tries to blame you for the accident without cause.
4. Capture Photographic Evidence
In any lawsuit, evidence is necessary to prove someone guilty or innocent. Start taking photographs and videos at the scene of an accident to capture as much evidence as possible. Take pictures of:
- Your vehicle’s position and damages
- The entire scene
- The position of the bus and its damages
- Any other property damaged during the accident
Once you’ve collected all that evidence, you can expand your search. Ask passersby or passengers on the bus if they have more pictures or video footage of the crash.
You could even take a video of a witness report of what happened. Save all the evidence for your lawyer, the police, and your insurance company.
5. Get Information About the Transportation Company and Driver
You will need the bus driver’s personal information for any legal action and insurance purposes. Request the following details from the driver:
- Name and cell phone number
- Insurance policy number
- Commercial driver license (CDL) license information
- License plate number
- Vehicle information (color, type, model)
- Transportation company information (headquarters location, contact information, etc.)
Make sure you record all this information clearly. Share your personal information with the bus driver. If you have trouble exchanging details, request assistance from law enforcement officers.
6. Leave the Site
You can leave the crash site after collecting and exchanging all the necessary information. Make sure your vehicle is safe to drive, or call a tow truck that can take your car directly to a repair shop. If the crash was violent, you could also leave and go directly to a hospital to get checked out.
7. Fill Out an Accident Report
If you had to go to the hospital immediately following the crash, you may not have contributed to the police report of attending officers. If officers didn’t come or did not fill out a report, you must fill out an accident report as soon as possible after the accident.
You can complete this step by calling or visiting the police station to fill out a form. This form will include details about the accident and your personal information. When pursuing legal action for damages, you will need an accident or police report.
8. Contact Your Insurance Company
After an accident, you need to contact your insurance company. Most companies would prefer you do this as soon as possible, preferably on the same day of the crash. You can share any pictures or videos you took, along with the police report.
How to Obtain a Police Report
Following any type of car accident, including one involving a bus, it’s essential to obtain a police report. Your Dallas bus accident lawyer will use the information to help build your case, as being hit by a bus may require more considerations than other automobile accidents.
For example, following a bus accident, victims are more likely to have life-threatening injuries when compared to a car accident. A police report provides a summary of crucial information related to the accident, such as:
- When and where the accident occurred
- Contact information of all the parties involved
- Statements from witnesses
- Insurance information
If you don’t receive a copy of the report at the time of the accident, you can call your local police department and request it. You may have to pay a small fee to get the document. An attorney from our team can also help you obtain a police report for free when you give us a call for a consultation.
Injuries and Claims
If you were injured in any way, you deserve compensation for the accident and its impact on your life. Buses are large vehicles with more power than the average car. This fact means a collision with a bus could cause more severe physical injuries, such as:
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Head injuries
However, a bus accident can harm more than just your physical body. It can lead to:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- The need for counseling or psychiatric help
- A fear of driving
A lawyer can help you file a claim against the bus company to get reimbursement for these physical and emotional damages, as well as for any damage caused to your vehicle.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Bus Accident?
The average settlement for a bus accident claim depends on various factors, including:
- The extent of the injuries
- Damages to the vehicle
- Whether the accident caused death
- Whether the bus driver acted irresponsibly or violated the laws of the road
- Any lost wages resulting from injuries that impact the ability to work
With an experienced lawyer, you have the best possible chance of getting the settlement money you deserve. At Reyes Browne Law, we put our clients first. In the past, we have secured significant settlements for clients involved in auto accidents.
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Bus Accident Compensation Calculator
As mentioned, various issues can result from bus accidents, leaving some victims unable to work or care for themselves. The road to recovery is expensive, so you deserve a lawyer who will fight for maximum compensation after such an incident.
At Reyes Browne Law, we offer a free bus accident compensation calculator that can help you understand what your case might qualify for should you choose to take legal action. Use the convenient online tool by answering a few simple questions, and we’ll be in touch to provide you with an estimate.
Our list of commonly asked questions can help you get answers to concerns you may have after a bus accident.
Who Can File a Claim Against the Bus Driver/Company?
As the driver of the vehicle involved in a bus accident, you can file a claim against the transportation company. Additionally, anyone else in the car who suffered harm can file a claim, and any direct family members of individuals killed in the accident can also file claims.
How Long Does a Bus Accident Case Take to Settle?
The time from the initial accident to reaching a settlement is hard to predict because it varies for every case. Some may settle within a few months, while others can take years. Factors influencing the settlement timing include whether the case goes to trial and whether a government organization, like a city department of transportation, operates the bus.
Are There Differences Between Claims Filed Against Private and Public Buses?
Yes, in a public bus accident lawsuit, the driver is often insured and protected by the government agency that operates the transportation line. If the driver’s actions caused the accident, they may be liable for the damages. In most cases, a public bus accident lawsuit will be settled outside of court.
Private buses, such as those owned by businesses or individuals, do not typically maintain the same level of protection for their drivers. The drivers of these buses can be sued for accidents, and the legal process differs. At Reyes Browne Law, we can assess your case and determine what to expect throughout the process.
How Is Fault Determined in a Bus Accident?
When wondering what to do if a bus hits your car, you may question who is at fault. Determining liability may require a thorough investigation. This process includes gathering evidence, like photos of the scene, police and medical reports, personal testimony, and witness statements.
A bus accident lawyer can further assist in gathering evidence that might be difficult to collect on your own. For example, an attorney can work with an accident reconstructionist to produce an expert testimony.
What Are Your Rights in a Bus Accident?
You have the right to seek compensation from the neglectful party and their insurance company. Unfortunately, insurance companies may pressure you into accepting a lower settlement or trick you into admitting fault. They can also use other tactics to avoid responsibility, like claiming you had a pre-existing medical condition.
Having our legal team handle the negotiations can prevent such situations and protect your rights. If necessary, we can walk you through how to sue a bus driver and the next steps in the legal process.
Why Should You Act Quickly in a Bus Accident?
Acting quickly following a bus accident can improve your chances of winning your case and getting the compensation you deserve. After seeking medical attention and communicating with the authorities, your next step should be to call our legal professionals. Our team can review your case and talk to you about next steps.
If you fail to act quickly, you might not recall specific details of the accident or feel overwhelmed when trying to gather evidence. A statute of limitations also applies to filing a bus accident lawsuit in Texas. Call our bus accident lawyers today to get the process started.
The Importance of a Good Lawyer
After getting into a collision with a bus, you should find and contact a reputable bus accident lawyer as soon as possible. Almost all buses are operated by companies with strong legal teams that may make it difficult to get the compensation you deserve. You’ll need a lawyer who can defend you and serve as your advocate throughout the legal process.
You also need a lawyer who knows the claim process. Then they can work hard to get you the most money possible. You can count on our team at Reyes Browne Law, as we have experienced bus accident lawyers who have won similar cases in the past.
Why Reyes Browne Law?
When it comes to choosing a lawyer to represent you after an accident with a bus, there’s no better place to trust than Reyes Browne Law. With over 30 years of experience, our team has worked on many auto accident cases, including those involving public transportation vehicles.
We have more than 40,000 case wins, backed by our relentless drive to obtain the maximum settlement for every client.
We offer free consultations with no obligations, so you can meet with us and decide whether you want to pursue a case against the bus driver or transportation company. Additionally, our services are covered by case winnings, which means you don’t pay unless we win your case. Throughout the process, you’ll know that we’re fighting to ensure you get paid.
Call Us Today for the Best Lawyers Around
If you recently experienced a collision with a bus and need an experienced lawyer on your side, Reyes Browne Law is the team to call. We’re available at any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so contact us to find out whether your case might qualify for a bus accident settlement.