Have you ever been in a bus accident and not known what to do next? Being in an accident is a stressful experience. Not only is there the worry about physical injuries but then there’s the concern about needing time off work and covering those inevitable extra expenses.
Bus companies carry insurance policies to ensure that if they or one of their drivers are negligent then an injured bus passenger is able to receive compensation. And when a claim is made, it enables the bus company to take action to prevent a similar accident from happening again in the future.
In this guide, we’re going to help you to think through the things that you need to do if you be involved in an accident with a bus. Having the confidence that comes from knowing what to do, can really make a huge difference in what can be a very stressful time.
What are the Common Causes of Bus and Coach Accidents?
There are several scenarios where you could end up being involved in an accident with a bus or coach
Road Traffic Accident
Whether caused by bad weather, or a mistake made by the driver of the bus, a collision is one of the most common reasons for suffering a personal injury. It may not always be the bus driver’s fault though, mechanical problems and other drivers being careless or reckless are also causes for bus accidents.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Another way in which a personal injury can occur on a bus is through a slip, trip or fall. This can happen when passengers are getting on or off the bus or from tripping while making their way to their seats.
If the bus suddenly breaks or accelerates then a passenger could lose their balance and fall either because the driver has set off before they reached their seat or because they had to stand due to a lack of seating.
First Steps After an Accident
If there may be injuries or the road is blocked, then the first thing to do is call the emergency services. The bus driver may have already done this but if they are injured or in shock, then it will need someone else to take action. Make sure that you provide an accurate location for the accident and provide details of potential injuries and the number of people affected if possible.
No Matter the Circumstances, Keep Safe
So, no matter whether you have been hit by a bus as a pedestrian or car driver or been a passenger on the bus when it has an accident, the most important immediate action is to ensure your safety.
If you have been injured then it is generally recommended that you stay where you are until medical help arrives. The exception to this is, of course, if your life is in danger or there is a risk of further injury by staying in place.
Be Aware of Other Road Users
Other road users may not be immediately aware that there has been an accident. That means that they may not slow down or anticipate the sudden appearance of pedestrians. This is particularly the case at night or when the weather is poor. Before you get out of a vehicle, make sure that your path is clear and that you’re not risking further accidents.
If You Can, Make Notes
If you are able to, make notes about what has happened. The stress of the accident can mean that you quickly forget what might be important facts that are needed in the future to establish fault. This might be using paper and pen, or even recording the information on your phone. Photos are a great way of preserving information. So, if you can, take lots from all different angles.
Don’t Admit Fault or Downplay Injuries
It’s important for the success of a future claim that you don’t downplay injuries or admit fault. On the spur of the moment, you might decide that the accident was your fault and tell witnesses and others involved in the incident that this was the case. The problem is that until all of the facts are examined, it’s not possible to accurately apportion blame nor to admit fault.
While some injuries are very obvious the moment they happen, others can take days before the severity becomes apparent. Equally what seems to be a minor injury at the time could easily become worse especially once the adrenaline rush associated with shock begins to wear off. Stating that you have no injuries and then changing this, later, could create problems for your compensation claim.
Get Professional Help with Your Claim
When you’re up against a company with their legal team, then it’s essential that you know exactly what you’re doing to ensure that you don’t prejudice your claim. Because few of us have the legal knowledge let alone the time to put together a case, it’s essential that you find professional help.
While you might be concerned about legal fees, don’t forget that many companies offer a no win no fee service. This means that rather than having to pay up front, the legal team receives their payment as a percentage of your ward but only if they are successful. If you don’t receive compensation, then there is nothing to pay.