Being in any auto accident situation is harrowing, but the stress is even higher if your car comes up against a larger vehicle. When it comes to size, weight and impact, a regular car is no match for a bus — which means you and your vehicle will likely suffer some degree of damage. No matter the severity of the crash, getting hit by a bus is a traumatic experience. The aftermath of the incident may leave you feeling scared and confused about what to do, how to get help and what your legal rights are.
In this article, we let you know what to do if a bus hits your car, from top-line safety advice to the legal steps you need to take to receive maximum compensation.
Compensation for getting hit by a bus
The amount of compensation you may receive if your car is hit by a bus depends on various factors, including the specific circumstances of the accident, the extent of your injuries or damages, and the applicable laws in your jurisdiction. It’s challenging to provide an exact figure without knowing the details of your case. However, here are some factors that can influence the potential compensation:
Property damage: If your car is damaged or totaled in the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the cost of repairs or the fair market value of your vehicle if it is deemed a total loss.
Medical expenses: If you sustained injuries in the accident, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your medical expenses. This can include hospital bills, doctor’s visits, prescription medications, rehabilitation costs and any other necessary medical treatments related to the accident.
Lost wages: If the injuries you sustained in the accident prevented you from working, you may be entitled to compensation for the income you lost during your recovery period. Additionally, if your injuries have a long-term impact on your earning capacity, you may be able to claim compensation for future lost wages.
Pain and suffering: Compensation for pain and suffering is intended to address the physical and emotional distress caused by the accident and resulting injuries. The amount awarded for pain and suffering can vary widely based on the severity of the injuries and their impact on your daily life.
Other damages: Depending on the specifics of your case, you may also be eligible for compensation for other damages such as emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, scarring or disfigurement or loss of consortium (if the accident affected your spousal relationship).
To determine the potential compensation amount, it’s essential to consult with a personal injury attorney who can evaluate your case, assess the damages you have suffered, and provide a realistic estimate based on their expertise and knowledge of the relevant laws and precedents.
Liability for bus accidents
In Texas, liability for bus accidents typically follows the principles of negligence law. When a bus accident occurs, liability is determined by identifying the party or parties at fault for the accident. The potentially liable parties in a bus accident can include:
If the bus driver’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct caused or contributed to the accident, they may be held liable. Examples of negligent actions by a bus driver could include distracted driving, speeding, failing to yield, or driving under the influence.
Bus company or operator
The bus company or operator can be held liable for the actions of their employees (the bus driver) under the legal principle of vicarious liability. This means that if the bus driver was acting within the scope of their employment when the accident occurred, the bus company can be held responsible for their actions.
If the accident involved multiple vehicles, the negligence of other drivers involved in the accident may also contribute to the liability. Texas follows a modified comparative fault rule, which means that the liability can be allocated among multiple parties based on their percentage of fault. However, if you are found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident, you may be barred from recovering compensation.
In some cases, third parties such as maintenance companies, parts manufacturers, or government entities responsible for road maintenance may also bear some liability if their negligence or actions contributed to the accident.
Determining liability in a bus accident requires a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding the accident, gathering evidence, and establishing a clear link between the negligent actions and the resulting damages. It’s crucial to consult with a personal injury attorney experienced in bus accident cases in Texas to navigate the legal complexities and build a strong case.
Additionally, it’s important to note that different rules may apply if the bus involved in the accident is operated by a government entity, as they may be protected by sovereign immunity. In such cases, special procedures and limitations may exist for filing claims against governmental entities. An attorney familiar with government liability laws can provide guidance in these situations.
Overall, liability for bus accidents in Texas is determined on a case-by-case basis, considering the specific facts and circumstances of the accident.
What do I do if a bus hits my car?
If a bus hits your car, it’s important to take the following steps:
Ensure safety: Check yourself and any passengers for injuries. If there are injuries requiring immediate medical attention, call emergency services right away. If it’s safe to do so, move your vehicle to a safe location away from traffic and potential hazards.
Contact the authorities: Dial the emergency services hotline (such as 911 in the United States) to report the accident. Inform them about the collision and provide accurate details about the location and the vehicles involved. The authorities will guide you on what to do next and may dispatch an officer to the scene.
Gather information: Collect important information from the bus driver and any witnesses at the scene. Obtain the bus driver’s name, contact information, driver’s license number, and insurance details. If there are witnesses, get their names and contact information as well. Take photos or videos of the accident scene, including the position of the vehicles and any visible damage.
Document the incident: Record details about the accident, such as the time, date, and location, as well as the weather conditions at the time of the incident. This information can be valuable when filing insurance claims or seeking compensation later.
Notify your insurance company: Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident. Provide them with accurate information about the incident, including the bus company’s information and any other relevant details. Cooperate with your insurance company’s investigation and provide them with any requested documentation.
Seek medical attention: Even if you don’t think you have any immediate injuries, it’s advisable to seek medical attention. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and a medical evaluation can ensure any injuries are identified and treated promptly. Keep a record of all medical evaluations, treatments, and expenses related to the accident.
Consult with a bus accident lawyer: If you have suffered injuries or significant damages in the accident, consider consulting with a Dallas bus accident lawyer. They can assess the circumstances of your case, help protect your rights, and guide you through the legal process, including filing insurance claims or pursuing legal action if necessary.
Remember, each accident is unique, and the steps to take may vary based on the specific circumstances. Prioritize your safety and well-being, gather information, document the incident, and seek appropriate professional advice to ensure your rights are protected and your potential claims are pursued.
What happens if a city bus hits your car?
If a city bus hits your car in Texas, liability for the accident will depend on the specific circumstances and factors involved. Generally, the following parties may be potentially liable:
City bus driver: If the bus driver was negligent, reckless, or acted in a way that caused the accident, they may be held liable. Negligent actions can include distracted driving, speeding, failure to yield or other traffic violations. If the bus driver was an employee of the city, the city may also be held vicariously liable for the driver’s actions.
City or government entity: If the city or government entity that operates the bus can be shown to have been negligent in their maintenance, training, or supervision of the bus driver, they may be held directly liable for the accident. Government entities, however, may have certain protections and limitations on liability under sovereign immunity laws.
Other drivers or parties: If there were other vehicles involved in the accident and their negligence contributed to the collision, they may also share liability. Texas follows a modified comparative fault rule, which means that liability can be allocated among multiple parties based on their percentage of fault. If you are found to be partially at fault for the accident, your compensation may be reduced based on your degree of fault.
Determining liability in a city bus accident can be complex, particularly when a government entity is involved. It is advisable to consult with a personal injury attorney who has experience in handling bus accident cases in Texas.
What happens if a school bus hits your car?
Just as is the case when a city bus hits your car, liability for a school bus accident varies widely depending on the circumstances. Here’s a brief overview of how liability may be placed:
School district or entity: The school district or entity responsible for operating the school bus may be held liable for the actions of their employees, including the school bus driver. This is known as vicarious liability. If the school bus driver was acting within the scope of their employment and their negligence or misconduct caused the accident, the school district or entity may be held responsible.
School bus driver: If the school bus driver’s negligence, recklessness or intentional misconduct caused or contributed to the accident, they may be held individually liable for the damages. This can include situations where the driver was distracted, speeding, driving under the influence or violated traffic laws.
Other drivers or parties: Much like city bus accidents, other vehicles involved in the accident may also share liability in a school bus accident. The modified comparative fault rule mentioned earlier comes into effect in these situations as well.
When school districts and entities are involved in your bus accident, things can become increasingly complex as more red tape and legal loopholes emerge. This is why it’s ideal to contact a lawyer who specializes in these types of cases — they are already familiar with the minutiae of Texas road laws.
What happens to your body when you get hit by a bus?
Being hit by a bus can result in severe and potentially life-threatening injuries due to the size, weight, and force involved. The specific effects on the body can vary depending on the circumstances of the collision, the speed of the bus, the point of impact, and the individual’s position and vulnerability at the time of the accident. Here are some potential consequences of being hit by a bus:
Traumatic injuries: Bus accidents can cause traumatic injuries, such as broken bones (fractures), head injuries (including traumatic brain injuries), spinal cord injuries, internal organ damage, and severe lacerations. These injuries can range from minor to severe, and in some cases, they may lead to permanent disabilities or even death.
Impact injuries: The force of impact in a bus accident can cause various types of injuries, including contusions, bruises, sprains, and strains. The body may experience significant forceful impact against the bus or other objects, leading to injuries to the extremities, chest, abdomen or head.
Whiplash: The sudden and forceful movement of the body during a bus accident can cause whiplash injuries. Whiplash typically affects the neck and occurs when the head is rapidly thrown forward and then backward or vice versa. Symptoms of whiplash may include neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and limited range of motion.
Internal injuries: The force of the impact can cause internal injuries that may not be immediately apparent. These can include internal bleeding, organ damage, or injuries to blood vessels. Internal injuries can be life-threatening and may require immediate medical intervention.
Emotional and psychological impact: Being involved in a traumatic bus accident can also have emotional and psychological consequences. Individuals may experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other psychological distress as a result of the accident and its aftermath.
It’s important to note that the severity of injuries can vary greatly from one individual to another, and immediate medical attention is crucial for a proper assessment and treatment. If you or someone else has been hit by a bus, it’s important to seek medical help immediately and follow the advice of healthcare professionals.
Can I sue a bus driver in Texas?
Yes, you can sue a bus driver in Texas if their negligence or wrongful actions caused you harm or resulted in damages. Bus drivers, like any other drivers on the road, have a duty to operate their vehicles safely and responsibly. If a bus driver fails to uphold this duty and their actions lead to an accident or injuries, you may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against them.We go into more detail about suing bus drivers and your rights in this article.
Getting the legal help you need after a bus hits your car
If a bus has hit your car, your best course of action if you seek real justice is to hire a skilled and competent auto accident lawyer. The team at Reyes Browne has spent the past three decades dealing with bus accident lawsuits of all shapes and sizes, from pedestrians getting struck by buses to cars getting totalled by MTA vehicles. Our personal injury lawyers are experts at navigating the complexities of Texas road laws pertaining to public transportation. We know the right questions to ask and can help you see the maximum compensation you are entitled to. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation!