Were you seriously injured while riding a bus? Read these 5 things to know after a bus accident to ensure you receive maximum compensation.
1) Choosing a Bus Accident Attorney
If you’re in a bus accident, chances are you weren’t driving. Depending on what kind of a bus it is, different types of liability can be imposed. Is this a city bus that’s owned by the government? Then you’re dealing with negligence claims and notice of claim things that have to be filed bus. Is this a bus that’s owned by a school district or is it your child that was in the bus and got injured when the bus driver was driving? Do we sue the bus driver or do we sue the school district? Do we sue the district or do we sue the school board? Were you driving in your personal car and got hit by the bus? Who gets sued? Who’s responsible? There are a number of factors that go into a bus incident because there are more people who are involved.
You want to call a reputable law firm like ours that’s used to dealing with these kinds of cases and that has gotten successful outcomes. We’ve had many cases like these— folks getting on city buses, handicap folks that have disabilities with wheelchairs and motorized scooters that gotten on and the bus turned a corner too fast and the scooter fell over because it wasn’t strapped in properly. There are so many variables that can happen in a bus and who owns it and who’s responsible plays a role. You want to call our office, go over the facts of the case, give it to one of the intake personnel or one of the lawyers to find out what’s going on so that all of your claims can be represented. A regular person or injury lawyer is one thing, but it takes folks that have some experience in the area of dealing with buses to address that because there could be a string of folks who are responsible for your injuries and for your damages.
2) Bus Accident Claim Timeline
There could be municipalities involved or counties involved, states involved, school boards or counties involved in this. It could be private companies that own the bus that are involved. You could have a driver involved. There could be a third party that ran into the bus that caused the bus to run into you. There could be a string of parties that all need to be included in the lawsuit as it relates to your injury claim. How long is going to take for this bus claim to be resolved? The short answer is we really don’t know.
One thing that we make sure that we do is we walk along the pathway of the litigation and the pre-litigation negotiations with the insurance companies for the at fault parties to keep you abreast as to the timing and what can be reasonably expected. If we run out of pre-complaint or pre-lawsuit time and a statute of limitation is about to run, we may have to file the lawsuit and then continue negotiations while the lawsuit has been filed so that the statute of limitation doesn’t expire. If it’s against a municipality or a school board or some government entity, we have to file a notice of claim, we have a certain amount of time. There is no straight answer as to how long it’s going to take.
3) Bus Accident Claim Value
There are a number of factors that are involved in who should be sued, how long it’s going to take for things to be sued. You would want to visit all of these things with your attorney to go over what needs to happen, who needs to be sued, how much is the case worth, how long is it going to take. These are all things that need to be addressed with your attorney.
Again, it depends on which party you are in the case or how you are involved in the suit. When your attorney sits with you and goes over the facts of your case, they’ll be able to give you some trajectory about what the value of your case could potentially be. It could be a number of factors. There could be a number of people that are pursued, what the policy limits are, how many of the policies can be pursued, what are the injuries that you have actually sustained, past treatment, present treatment, and future treatment of what you’re going to need. There are a number of things that have to be addressed. Again, as you go over the facts of your case and go through your treatment process, your attorney will be able to give you some sense of a guide as to what you can expect and not expect as it relates to your bus injury accident claim.
4) Common Mistakes After a Bus Accident
One of the most common mistakes is that, if you’re a passenger on the bus that ends up in an accident, you don’t immediately tell the driver that you are injured. You get off the bus and you go about your way. Three days later, you’ve got an ache in your neck or you’re stiff or you notice some type of injury to your body. Then all of a sudden, you’re injured, and you are left with those three days that you didn’t say anything where the insurance company is going to try to say, well, we don’t know if you got that from playing basketball. We don’t know if you got that from throwing cake on your baby on their birthday party. They’ll come up with all kinds of ridiculous marginal things to try to mitigate the fact that you were injured on the bus. If you’re a passenger on a bus, it’s dutiful for you to say right up front, “Hey, Mr. bus driver, I was injured on this bus.” It doesn’t matter if it was just a rear end or a fender bender— if you’re injured, you’re injured. Let the bus driver know immediately.
Then there are other mistakes that folks make related to bus injury. Some of them they make in other cases. They go out, as soon as they have the bus injury, they go off the bus to the park to go play basketball, bus gets in an accident on the way, they get off the bus, and guess what they do? Go on to the park and play basketball. That’s not the smartest thing to do if you are going to claim that you were injured by this. It would behoove you, if you feel like you’ve been injured in a bus accident, stop for a minute. Think about the injury. Make sure you go to the hospital immediately. If you need to be transported, great, be transported. Don’t wait four or five days to go to the hospital. Go get treated immediately so that it shows that you sought out treatment immediately because all of these things will come up.
There are things that the insurance company and the adverse party will use against you to work against your claim to minimize the amount of damage, to sprinkle doubt over the fact of whether you were actually injured or not. Don’t post silly things about it on Facebook. “Hey, I got in a bus accident. Thank God, though, I didn’t die.” Be careful with all of that stuff because they’ll go back and research your Facebook page, subpoena all of that stuff and see on there where you said, yeah, you were grateful that you were alive. Then you say, “But I’m not hurt.” Then they’re going to say, “Well, why are you saying you’re not hurt here but now you are hurt ten days later?” You have to be careful. These folks will use everything that they can against you to not pay you what you’re worth.
5) Child Injured on a School Bus
If your child is injured in a school bus accident, there are a number of people that can be responsible for this. It could be the driver if the driver was acting in a manner inconsistent with their duties as a school bus driver. Generally, if the school bus is functioned by and owned by a school district, generally, everybody on that district board is named in the lawsuit, including the superintendent and other responsible parties. There could be a number of folks that could be named. If a bus and company is functioning the school bus on behalf of the district, you might want to give some consideration to that because there could be a number of streams of liability for who’s responsible for the injury for your child.
Were you or your child injured on a bus or school bus? If you have questions about these 5 things to know after a bus accident, contact experienced Phoenix Bus Accident Attorneys at Smith & Green today for a legal consultation.
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