- January 15, 2020
OAKLAND, Calif.— Those who are involved in Bay Area bus accidents often suffer serious injuries and have no idea how to start the claims process. While it may seem obvious to speak with a police officer or the bus driver in order to make a report, a Bay Area bus accident lawyer says there are additional steps you can take to help establish you were hurt on the bus. It’s critical to have the right documentation to protect your rights and to be able to receive needed compensation to recover.
Similar to regular auto accidents, the responsible parties likely have insurance, but the big insurance companies aren’t quick to pay victims the compensation they truly deserve. Pursuing additional monetary assistance from the at-fault driver requires an understanding of what steps you need to take and how a personal injury lawyer in the Bay Area can prove invaluable to your case.
First Steps After a Bus Accident
Whether you were on the bus when another motorist impacted it, or you fell down the steps due to a loose handrail, you need to notify the bus driver or the on-scene police officer. If you received severe injuries and are unable to do this, get checked out by emergency medical services, a hospital, or your physician right away.
Delayed onset of injuries happens all the time in these types of accidents and you will find yourself immobilized with debilitating pain a few days later. During your medical exam, you may undergo some of the following procedures to assess any possible injuries:
- Physical exam
- CAT scan
- Check for traumatic brain injury such as a concussion
Let your physician do what they think is best to accurately assess your condition so you avoid any medical conditions that require immediate treatment.
What Are Some Common Causes of Bus Accidents?
Bus accidents happen every day in the Bay Area for a variety of reasons. In many of those instances, drivers don’t have enough time to stop when a car suddenly cuts them off in heavy traffic. Despite professional training and skill, bus drivers can still make mistakes and some common situations that lead to injured passengers include:
- Distracted driving habits
- Excessively tired from long shifts
- Unable to maneuver safely in heavy traffic areas
- Road and construction conditions
- Not reporting vehicle handling issues
- Unreported equipment defects they knew about
- Failing to stabilize the vehicle through weight distribution
At times, there is a liability on the part of the busing company for negligence. That can include:
- Failure to fix defective equipment like doors, handrails, and seat moorings
- Using buses with poor structure quality
- Not offering appropriate passenger protection
- Failing to follow-up on driver complaints by passengers
Avoid Making These Mistakes After a Bus Accident
Every year insurance companies manage to skip out on paying compensation for bus accident injuries because the victim made a mistake in their claim process. This is something these large corporations count on to minimize payouts and make money. Hiring a Bay Area lawyer experienced in bus accidents helps prevent this situation from happening to you after getting hurt.
Avoid the mistakes below to improve acceptance of your injury claim.
Failing to Notify Police or the Driver About Being on the Bus
Failing to tell the appropriate authorities about being on=board is something that happens all the time in California bus accidents. When a collision happens, it’s critical that you provide your name to the driver and the officer at the scene. Buses don’t have sign-in sheets and let people on and off frequently, so you need to prove you were on it at the time of the crash so they can accurately report the incident.
Delaying Medical Treatment
Not seeking medical treatment right after a bus accident is another significant mistake many victims make. The initial shock of slipping off a step and being able to walk away may fool you into believing you’re okay or not hurt severely enough to warrant care. This may not be true, so you should get looked at immediately to avoid long term complications.
Talking to the Bus Company’s Insurance Provider
Another misstep is speaking to the bus company’s insurance carrier. Ideally, these companies would help you take care of everything you lost, but the reality is they’re out to save money. Avoid speaking with insurance representatives until you’ve had a chance to consult with a Bay Area attorney experienced in bus accidents.
The Best Bus Accident Attorneys in the Bay Area For Your Case
The last thing you want to do is handle your bus accident injuries on your own without the deserved care and compensation to help you recover fully. A knowledgeable Bay Area bus accident accident attorney knows exactly what to file and who to talk to on your behalf, and will aggressively pursue benefits you need.
An attorney can help you with:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Ongoing care
- Transportation costs going to and from medical appointments
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
The Barnes Firm brings their clients decades of experience resolving all types of vehicle crashes that resulted in bodily injuries, including bus crashes. Their services can benefit your case by letting you heal while they take on negotiations and trial preparation. Their courteous and compassionate team understands the trauma you’ve experienced because of needless negligence and they’ll work tirelessly to help you through this time of healing and recovery.
The Barnes Firm’s bus accident attorneys don’t ask for any fees until they win your case so you can put aside worries about any further financial strain. Recognized members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, The Barnes Firm also has a track record of success, and they’ve recovered multi-million dollar settlements for their clients. Learn more about how their seasoned Bay Area bus accident team can help you by contacting them today.
The Barnes Firm (800) 800-0000