Steps to Take Following a Bus Accident
With all the traffic on the road today, more people are choosing to take buses to get where they’re going. Not only do they not have to worry about driving in the traffic, but they also don’t need to find parking, can multitask while on the ride, and are doing their part to help the environment. However, as any car accident attorney will tell you, more buses on the road mean more bus accidents. If you’re involved in a bus accident, either as a passenger on the bus or the driver of the other vehicle, here are the steps to take following the collision.
Stay on Scene and Provide Aid
You should never leave the scene of any car accident, so if you’re involved in a crash with a bus, stay there and if you’re not hurt yourself, provide aid to anyone who is. Call 911 to report the accident and never assume that someone else has already called. First responders would rather get several calls about the accident than none at all.
Provide any medical assistance you can to injured passengers on the bus or drivers and passengers of other cars. Even if you’re not trained in first aid, you can still help keep people calm until help arrives. If you see smoke or flames coming from the bus, don’t try to be a hero. Make sure you’re safe first and if possible, direct others to safety as well.
Start taking pictures of the scene to provide evidence of what happened. Photograph the positions of the vehicles, any traffic signs or lights that contributed to the bus accident, damage to the vehicles, and any other environmental conditions that may have caused the crash, such as weather or debris. Take pictures of your injuries, no matter how minor, and get contact information from witnesses, including bus passengers.
Provide a Statement to Police
Document your side of the story as soon as possible with a responding police officer. You want to get down all the details while they are fresh in your mind, so even if you can’t give a statement to the police, write down what you remember to preserve those memories. This information will go in the complaint later if you file a personal injury claim against the bus driver or another driver (if you’re a bus passenger). Encourage others on the bus and other drivers to give their accounts of the accident as well.
Seek Medical Attention
This step is really important because even if you don’t think you’re injured, you might be and seeing a doctor right away not only gives you the best chance of recovery, but also protects your injury claim. Go to the emergency room or get an appointment to see your doctor the same day of the accident if at all possible. Don’t wait until you start to hurt because that might be too late for maximum compensation, especially because some injuries from car accidents may take days to show up.
Above all, keep detailed, accurate records and consider talking to a car accident attorney that has experience in bus accidents. They will fight to protect your rights and negotiate compensation on your behalf.