Below you will find a recommended course of action to take directly after being involved in a public bus accident. It is important to follow these steps so that you may protect yourself and your rights to medical coverage and compensation.
Bus accidents are not like your average fender bender. Such accidents pose a much higher risk of injury to all parties involved. Compared to your standard motor vehicle, buses are a lot bigger and have larger fuel quantities, making them highly dangerous munitions in a collision scenario. Furthermore, they carry more passengers, which means the probability of casualties and injuries are higher.
Regardless of fault or party, it is important to use the proper course of action directly after being involved in a bus accident. Whether you were a passenger on the bus or in another vehicle, these steps apply to everyone. If you have questions about these steps, it is best to consult a trusted Indianapolis personal injury lawyer who specializes in motor vehicle accident claims. You can also consult your car insurance carrier to confirm or review your current medical coverage benefits.
What To Do After a Bus Collision:
❶ Get Away From the Scene of the Accident
The very first thing you should do moments after a bus accident is get to a safe place away from the collision. If you are mobile, exit the bus or vehicle as soon as you can do so safely. If you are not mobile, jump to step two. Otherwise, once you exit the bus or vehicle, get yourself away from the accident scene. As mentioned, buses contain a whole lot of fuel, which can explode if ignited by a spark or fire.
❷ Get Medical Attention
Once you are at a safe distance from the accident scene, it is important to get yourself medical care right away whether you think you are injured or not. This is a critical step because it is common for injuries to not show up right away, or for victims to be in shock and not realize they are injured. Call 911 and request an ambulance or EMT’s to respond. They will arrive within minutes to assess your condition and spot treat any injuries or wounds. If you are seriously injured, they will transport you to the nearest emergency room for further treatment.
❸ Contact the Authorities and Obtain Witness Testimonies and Contact Information
Contact the local police department to report the accident. It is important to file a report so that you have records of the accident. Witness testimonies are also important because they can protect you from being accused or questioned about the circumstances of the accident and your subsequent injuries. A law enforcement officer is likely to take down some witness statements as well, but it is strongly recommended to get your own for a more in depth record. Be sure to ask for witness contact information in case you need them to verify their statements later on.
❹ Collect Evidence and Retain All Records
Aside from a police report and witness testimonies, it is important to collect as much evidence to support any potential claims you might make in the future. Types of evidence includes photos and videos of the bus, the involved vehicles, injured passengers, traffic lights, stop signs, skid marks, and anything else that could have possibly contributed to the accident. Retain all related records as well, including bills, statements, physical therapy sessions, doctor appointments, and more. Be sure to keep all of these records and evidence in a safe place; do not throw them away because you do not know when you might need them.
❺ Contact a Personal Injury Law Firm
If you were injured in a bus accident, you are likely eligible for remuneration from the bus company’s (or bus driver’s) insurance carrier. After you have completed all of the above-mentioned steps, move forward by hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer to file an accident claim. You could potentially recover compensation to help pay for your medical expenses, hospital bills, lost wages, and more. They have the knowledge and resources to make sure you do not miss out on being compensated by all possibly liable parties, such as the bus driver, the bus company, the bus manufacturer, or even the city.