Bus Injury Claims

Introduction to Bus Injury Compensation

Bus injury compensation is paid to victims of road traffic accidents involving a bus, whether an injury is sustained by a bus passenger or as another road user due to the negligence of the bus driver. Travelling by bus is one of the safest ways to travel, however every year passengers are injured due to reckless driving or collisions – with bus drivers causing accidents and hitting cars, pedestrians or cyclists – or from trips and falls when getting on or off a bus.

If you have been involved in an accident involving a bus, and have suffered an injury which was not entirely your fault, you could be eligible to claim bus injury compensation.

Eligibility to Claim Bus Injury Compensation

In order to claim for injuries sustained when travelling by bus or after being injured in a road traffic accident involving a bus, you must have suffered an injury which required medical treatment. That injury must also have been caused by negligence. Just like any other vehicles, busses are required to make emergency stops from time to time, and passengers could easily be thrown from their seats. However if the bus driver was taking evasive action to avoid an accident, the bus company could have a legitimate defence against any bus injury compensation claim.

As a passenger there are numerous ways that an injury could be sustained. The introduction of kneeling busses has helped to reduce accidents from falls, with the suspension lowered to allow passengers to embark and alight from a bus more easily. However if this function is not activated and a passenger falls off the bus, it is possible that a bus injury compensation claim could be successful. Whenever the bus driver is at fault and an injury has been sustained, the bus company would be liable for any bus injury compensation claim. If the accident was caused by another driver’s negligence, a bus injury compensation claim would proceed in the normal manner, with a claim made against the driver of the vehicle at fault in the crash.

Many bus injury compensation claims are due to collisions between a bus and another vehicle, cyclist, pedestrian or structure, and the injuries can often be severe. Bus passengers do not wear seatbelts and are liable to be thrown from their seats in the event of a crash. Due to the size and momentum of a bus, accidents with other road users can often be catastrophic – causing serious injuries and even death.

Contributory Negligence and Bus Injury Compensation Claims

In general bus drivers are careful drivers, and are trained to be particularly attentive to pedestrians and other road users. Accidents with other drivers may be the fault of the bus driver, but other parties may have been partially negligent. In cases where multiple parties have been negligent, each will be liable to pay a proportion of the compensation settlement. Their contributory negligence would require multiple compensation claims to be submitted by a bus injury compensation solicitor.

The claimant too may be deemed to be partially responsible and have contributed in some way to the accident. Bus passengers have a duty of care for their own personal safety, and must quickly find a seat, use handrails for support and not distract the driver. In bus injury compensation claims involving personal negligence, compensation settlements could be reduced to take this contributory negligence into account.

What You Should Do if you are Involved in a Bus Accident

If you are involved in a bus accident your first priority should be your own personal health. The driver should be alerted and medical attention should be sought. If the injury is severe, an ambulance should be called to take you straight to hospital. Even relatively minor injuries need professional medical treatment, and the casualty department of a hospital should be visited immediately after the injury has been sustained – rather than visiting a doctor – as X-ray’s may be required to diagnose injuries.

It is of vital importance that professional medical attention is sought not only for your health but, since your medical record will be used by a bus injury compensation solicitor as evidence of injury, any injuries need to be documented. Taking photographs of your injuries and of any later bruising can also help support a bus injury compensation claim.

As with any road traffic accident, witness accounts can be invaluable in proving negligence, and witness´ details should be taken after an accident, alongside the bus driver’s number and registration of the vehicle. If other drivers are involved, their registration details, insurance policy numbers and car registrations should be recorded.

Attending police officers should take your statement, although this can later be submitted at a police station if it is not possible at the time of your accident due to your injuries. Once the authorities have been notified, and injuries treated, you should contact a personal injury solicitor for advice on making a bus injury compensation claim.

How Much Bus Injury Compensation Will I Receive?

As with all personal injury claims, bus injury compensation is awarded in two categories. General damages are awarded to cover the pain and suffering caused by the injury, and also for any loss of amenity. These damages are complicated to calculate, as they involve placing a monetary value on an immeasurable factor such as pain and suffering. Your bus injury compensation solicitor would consult past cases, legal precedents and many other factors to arrive at a compensation figure appropriate to your injuries.

Special damages are awarded to recoup expenses and ensure the claimant is not disadvantaged by any costs attributable to the accident and injuries. Special damages cover medical expenses to treat the injuries, and will compensate the claimant for any loss of earnings. In contrast to general damages, special damages are awarded to cover quantifiable costs, and claims need to be supported by the relevant documentation. When paying for any medical treatment it is best to use a credit card, and receipts should be kept as proof of expenditure. These will be submitted by a bus injury compensation solicitor to support a claim for special damages.

Bus Injury Compensation and the Statute of Limitation

For injuries sustained due to a criminal assault on a bus the limitation period for making a personal injury claim is 2 years; however for all other bus injury compensation claims the time frame is set at 3 years. Children are treated differently, and are not required to make a claim until their 18th birthday when the 3-year time period commences. Claims before this date can be pursued by the parents or legal guardians, or a family member acting as a ‘litigation friend’. In the majority of cases, bus injury compensation claims should be initiated at the earliest opportunity and legal advice sought after any bus related injury.

Bus Injury Compensation and Third Party Capture

There is a growing trend in the insurance industry for insurance companies to offer compensation in lieu of any potential claim against their client – with the insurer often contacting the victim directly even before a claim has been submitted or legal advice sought. Road traffic accidents almost always result in an insurance claim to cover vehicle damage and to pay for repairs. Insurance companies are notified quickly, and in cases of a personal injury they may be even keener to settle. Contacting accident victims directly is not illegal, but it could result in injury victims being under-compensated as the practice of approaching a victim of their policyholder´s negligence is completely unregulated.

Bus injury compensation claims should be submitted when all the consequences of an injury have been established within 3 years of the accident occurring, so there should be no particular rush to accept the first offer of settlement. The offer made by the insurer may be acceptable to them, but it does not mean that it is appropriate or fair. Contacting a bus injury compensation solicitor will ensure that the full entitlement is claimed after a thorough analysis of your case and, if short term finance is an issue for you, the solicitor will be able to apply for interim payments of bus injury compensation until such time as your claim is satisfactorily resolved.

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