Bus Accidents: What You Need to Know

Bus Accidents: What You Need to Know

Riding on the bus is a fairly safe and dependable method of transportation. Buses are enormous, sturdy motor vehicles that move alongside traffic at reasonable speeds, typically avoiding high speeds as local routes utilize main roads. These days they even have seatbelts. By lumping dozens of people going in the same direction together, buses are also a ‘green’ and inexpensive travel alternative. From elementary-school aged children to retirees, millions of people across the country depend on buses to get around; 360 million people a year, in fact. While there are certainly many benefits to riding the bus, buses are not immune to participating in traffic accidents.

Although more safety precautions are taken each year by car and bus manufacturers, transportation incidents are unavoidable. It is no surprise that compared to car accidents, average bus accident statistics are significantly lower as there are fewer buses on the roads than cars at any given time. Whereas 2.1 million people are injured in car accidents each year in America, about 24,000 are injured annually as a result of a bus accident. There are also several dozen fatalities involving bus accidents a year. According to the most recent reports, in the year 2011 there were a total of 283 fatalities as a result of bus accidents alone. Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself if you’ve been a victim of a bus accident.

Getting clear on liability

If you have been injured as the result of a bus accident, it is important to understand liability. Bus drivers are supposed to take special tests and be fully qualified before operating their buses. Whether one operates a school bus, commercial bus, motor coach, or any type of public bus, one must endure intensive training in order to be trusted to transport passengers. Bus drivers are the ones responsible for keeping passengers out of harm’s way, and if a driver is found liable, he or she is the one held accountable for any damages caused by the accident.

Protect yourself after a bus accident

The first thing you should do after being involved in a bus crash is file a report. Reports should be filed in accordance with local law enforcement, like the local sheriff’s department or the state highway patrol. It is important to remember as many details as you can when filing the report, as your information will be taken into account alongside that of all the other passengers in order to give the police a well-rounded idea of what went wrong. If possible, taking photographs of the accident and any injuries you endured as a result of the crash is good for keeping a record. Lastly but most importantly, never sign a document until you speak with a lawyer first and immediately seek medical attention. It is also wise to keep copies of all medical records pertaining to the injuries you received during the crash.

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