When you board a bus, whether a city bus, charter bus, or any other type of bus, you have every right to expect that the bus driver is properly licensed and will take all of the appropriate precautions to deliver you to your destination safely. Additionally, you have every right to expect that the company in charge of maintaining the buses has given them the appropriate case to ensure that you are not hurt due to something like a tire blowout or mechanical failure. These are just two of the many expectations that you are entitled to during your trip. Unfortunately, these expectations may not always be met, and there is a very real possibility that you will be involved in one of the roughly 63,000 bus accidents that take in the United States each year.
As a passenger, there is little to nothing that you can do to avoid this accident, and whether the bus driver, the bus company or another driver is responsible for the crash, the most important detail for you to remember is that you are the victim. You do not deserve to suffer the financial consequences of someone else’s recklessness or negligence, and the team at Balkin & Mausner Injury Lawyers LLP is here to help you on this difficult and complicated path.
Contact Balkin & Mausner Injury Lawyers LLP For a Free Consultation Today
We offer a free consultation for victims of bus accidents in and around Washington DC and will be happy to discuss the specifics of your situation during this first conversation. We understand that while you are trying to come to terms with the reality of your situation, the extent of your injuries, and the impact on your daily life, that trying to wrap your head around complex and ongoing legal matters can simply add to your stress. Insurance companies leverage this by convincing claimants to accept low settlements, but when you have an attorney fighting on your behalf, you can focus on recovery while they handle the legal issues.
Read more below about bus accidents, and contact us now to get started on your case today.
What To Do After a Bus Accident
Whether you are in an accident as a bus passenger or if you are in another vehicle and collide with a bus, the most important thing for you to focus on is your own health and safety. The following steps are meant to give you a general idea of how to handle this situation but are in no way meant to be taken as a definitive step-by-step. Please consider your circumstances and respond accordingly.
Take a Moment
After an accident, your adrenaline may take over your decision-making abilities and could cause you to act rashly. Sometimes, the combination of mental shock and adrenaline can cause people to dismiss their injuries, downplay their condition to EMTs, and engage in behaviors that may exasperate their injuries. After an accident, take a moment to assess the situation: your injuries, the severity of the accident, and how safe it is to stay where you are
Get To Safety
After an initial accident, there may be the risk of additional injury from secondary hazards like another vehicle impact or fire. You may need to get out of the immediate area. However, if you suspect that you or someone near you has suffered from a spinal cord injury, it is important to remember that you should not move a spinal cord injury victim unless it is an immediate safety issue. If you are in your own vehicle, you may want to get to the median strip or breakdown lane to avoid a potential collision with oncoming traffic. If you are on the bus, follow the instructions of the driver to avoid panic.
Call 911 as soon as possible. It is likely that a number of people at the scene of the accident have already done so, but it is important that you know there is someone on their way. If you do speak with a dispatcher, give them as much information about the situation and any injuries that you see — this information will be passed along to the first responders, and they will be able to plan better for the type of help they will need to administer. Speaking with a 911 operator may also have the additional benefit of helping you calm down. 911 operators are trained to handle these types of crises, and they will be able to give you advice on how you can handle yourself as you wait for Washington DC police, firefighters, and EMTs to arrive.
Get Medical Attention
You will likely be examined by EMTs at the scene of the accident. If they determine that your injuries are severe enough, they may suggest an ambulance to the nearest emergency room to get immediate care. It is in your best interest to take this ride, and remember that you will be able to seek compensation for the cost from the responsible party. Too often, people decline an ambulance when they really need one. However, if you are able to leave the scene of the accident on your own, contact your doctor immediately and schedule an appointment. Not only will this appointment ensure that you get appropriate care, but it will also generate important documentation proving your injuries, which will be essential to your case.
Contact a Lawyer
Many people believe that they should initiate an insurance claim on their own, especially because the process is relatively simple. Not so. Insurance companies make this process user-friendly to encourage people to go through the process alone, improving their chances of settling the claim for much less than what the victim deserves. We encourage you to contact our Washington DC personal injury law firm before you reach out to the insurance company, and we will be able to handle each communication from the start on your behalf.