What Happens If I'm Injured In A Bus Accident?
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What Happens If I’m Injured In A Bus Accident?

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Posted on August 16, 2023

Buses are a key resource for community transportation, including city buses, touring buses, and public school buses. We tend to feel safe when riding these large, lumbering passenger vehicles, but an average of 60,000 bus accidents occur annually in the U.S. with as many as 14,000 injuries. While traveling by bus remains statistically safer than individual cars, because of a bus’s height, they are more likely to tip over in an accident, causing significant and sometimes grave injuries to passengers.

Whether you ride a bus regularly, are considering a bus trip, or have children who ride school buses daily, it’s important to know what to do if you’re injured in a bus accident and what recourse you have after the dust settles.

What to Do After a Bus Accident in Washington

Bus accident scenes are chaotic and frightening, often with many injured passengers. If you’re seriously injured, you should do nothing but wait in place for help to arrive. If you’re able to move about safely and can use your phone—or hand it to an uninjured person to use for you—you can use it to protect yourself physically and financially by doing the following:

  • Call 911 to report the accident unless others have already reported it
  • Always remain at the scene even if your injuries seem minor
  • Offer reasonable aid and comfort to injury victims
  • Take photos of the bus, any other involved vehicles, and any visible injuries you sustained in the crash
  • Add the contact information of eyewitnesses
  • Record a brief statement describing what you remember about the accident while it’s fresh in your mind
  • Accept emergency transportation to the hospital or go to an emergency room as soon as you are cleared by police to leave the scene
  • Undergo a thorough medical evaluation and tell the doctor about every symptom even if it seems minor
  • Ask for a detailed medical report including your doctor’s notes on recommended treatment for each injury and your prognosis
  • Obtain a copy of the police report on the bus accident
  • Keep all paperwork associated with the accident including medical bills, avoid posting on social media, and call a personal injury lawyer experienced with bus accidents in Washington

After a bus accident, an experienced Kent personal injury attorney can investigate the accident to determine liability and calculate your damages.

Can I Sue for Damages After a Bus Accident?

You can pursue compensation for damages from the liable party after a bus accident. In the majority of cases, these claims settle out of court through the at-fault party’s liability insurance. Only if negotiations between your attorney and the insurance company fail to deliver an acceptable settlement does the case proceed to a courtroom lawsuit as long as it’s filed within the state’s 3-year statute of limitations.

Common liable parties in bus accidents include:

  • The driver
  • The city or school bus agency
  • The bus manufacturer or bus part manufacturer
  • The bus company owner
  • A bus maintenance company
  • A third-party driver who caused the bus accident

After your attorney investigates and determines who is liable for damages in your bus accident, it maximizes your chance of recovering compensation for your damages. Damages in bus accidents may include:

  • Medical expenses 
  • Lost wages
  • Diminished earning capacity if the accident caused a disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Any other non-economic damages that apply such as disfigurement, loss of pleasure in life, or PTSD

Passengers in a bus accident are never at-fault under the state’s comparative negligence insurance laws so you should never be left holding the bag for damages.

Contact Caffee Accident & Injury Lawyers Today

If you have been in a serious bus accident in Seattle or the surrounding area, don’t hesitate to contact Caffee Accident & Injury Lawyers today. You can also call us at (206)-312-0954.