What Should I Do at the Scene of a Bus Accident?

February 21, 2023 Posted In Bus Accidents

The scene of a bus accident can be chaotic, but it is important to try and remain calm. Here are some steps to take to protect your health and right to compensation.  

Remain at the Scene

You are legally required to stop when an accident happens. If you can, pull over to a safe place out of the line of traffic or turn on your hazard lights. Alternatively, if you are a passenger on a bus, exit as soon as possible if there is smoke, flames, or the bus is in a dangerous position.

Render Assistance (if needed)

Check yourself and others for injuries and call 911. An ambulance will come, and paramedics will assist and transport people to the hospital if necessary. If you can, help others on the bus, who need it or need assistance exiting the vehicle. 

Notify the Police

Police will arrive on the scene if you call 911. However, if no one is seriously injured, it is still in your best interests to notify law enforcement. Do not assume that the bus driver or another party will. An officer will come and create an accident report, which can be critical to an insurer’s decision on fault for the crash.  

Exchange Information

Ask the bus driver for contact information for themselves personally and their employer. You can also exchange information with fellow passengers, other parties involved in the accident, and any witnesses at the scene. 

Gather Evidence

Take photos or videos of the scene if you are not severely injured. For example: 

  • Inside the bus
  • The scene as a whole and surrounding area
  • The vehicles’ positions  
  • The damage to the bus and any other vehicles
  • Any skid marks or other markings on the road
  • Street and traffic signs or signals
  • Any road hazards, such as potholes or unmarked lanes
  • Your injuries

Do Not Discuss Fault

Be careful with your interactions with the other parties or passengers involved. Refrain from discussing who was at fault. You may end up accidentally saying something that can be used against you when you go to file an insurance claim. 

After You Leave the Scene

Seek Medical Attention

Go to the emergency room, an urgent care, or see your doctor as soon as you leave the scene. Some injuries, such as whiplash or trauma to the brain, can have delayed symptoms. Additionally, it is critical to have medical records linking any injuries to the bus accident. If you fail to seek medical care soon after a crash, the responsible party can argue that your injuries were not severe or even caused by the bus accident. 

Talk to Your Insurance Company

If you were traveling in another vehicle when a bus hit you, report the collision to your insurance company. If you have collision coverage, you may file a claim under your policy. Your insurer will then seek reimbursement from the liable party’s insurer, but you must pay your deductible. On the other hand, you have the option to file a claim directly with the liable party’s insurance company, whether you were in another vehicle or a bus passenger. 

Speak To a Bus Accident Lawyer

Contact a Riverside Bus Accident Attorney as soon as possible. They can help you with every aspect of your claim, including speaking to any insurance companies, determining the liable party, and ensuring you recover fair compensation.  

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