What Do I Do If I’m Involved in a Bus Accident?

December 16, 2021 Posted In Car Accidents

The steps you take after being involved in a bus accident can significantly impact a potential claim and whether you can recover compensation. Although you may be feeling overwhelmed, try to remember and take the following steps.

Call 9-1-1

If you believe anyone is injured, call for help as soon as you can. Emergency responders and police officers will arrive on the scene and transport people to the hospital if necessary. Law enforcement will create an accident report that will contain critical information on the accident, including contact information for all involved and how they believe the collision occurred. This report is often essential to helping you establish fault when you file an insurance claim. Ask the officer how you can get a copy of the report.

Collect Evidence

Ask the bus driver for their contact information and the school district they work for. Take photos or videos of the scene if you can, such as:

  • The scene as a whole
  • Where the vehicles involved came to rest
  • Damage to the bus and your vehicle, as well as any surrounding property
  • Skid marks or any other markings on the road
  • Street signs and traffic signals
  • Any road hazards, such as potholes or uneven lanes
  • Your injuries

Photos and video evidence can help you prove the bus driver or another party/condition caused the accident.

Speak to Witnesses

If anyone witnessed the bus accident, ask for their contact information and if they are willing to make a brief recorded statement on your phone. The insurance company for the driver or school district, or your attorney, may need to speak to them in the future. Eyewitnesses can provide vital evidence of fault since they are an objective third party and have no financial stake in your claim.

Seek Medical Treatment

See your general physician or visit an urgent care/emergency room as soon as possible. Even if your injuries seem minor, severe injuries can have delayed symptoms. It is also critical to have medical documentation linking your injuries and potential injuries to the accident. If you fail to seek medical care in a timely manner, the liable party can argue that your injuries were not caused by the bus accident.

Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company

Notify your insurance company of the accident. If you have collision or comprehensive coverage, you can choose to file a claim under your policy to cover vehicle repairs/replacement, medical bills, your lost wages, etc. Your insurance company will then seek reimbursement from the at-fault party’s insurance company, whether the bus driver is responsible, the school district, or another party. On the other hand, if you only have liability coverage, you will have to file an injury claim with the liable party’s insurer.

Speak To a Car Accident Lawyer

Before you report the accident to your insurer or the at-fault party’s insurance company, it is in your best interests to speak to a Riverside Bus Accident Attorney. Bus accident cases and determining which parties are liable can be incredibly complex. There may also be specific regulations and deadlines when it comes to filing a claim against a school district. A San Bernardino accident attorney will evaluate your case for free and help you determine the best course of action.

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