At Direct2Compensation, we have helped many people who have suffered really nasty injuries in a bus accident to claim compensation. These range from whiplash and other types of short-term injury, to life-changing ones that limit mobility, reduce independence and often leave people struggling to work or maintain their usual day-to-day lifestyle.
In all cases, there will be a requirement for evidence to demonstrate that the claim is justified. Early on in the claims process, defendant insurers will require the injured claimant to prove that they were on the bus at the time of the collision. This would seem a fair enough requirement, but how do you do that? How can you make sure that the details of your bus accident are properly reported and recorded? Who should you speak to? What evidence can you provide to prove your claim and maximise your chance of succeeding with a claim for bus accident compensation?
One thing is for sure, the passengers travelling on the bus are non-fault parties and as such, if they are injured, they have every right to pursue a claim for compensation against which ever party was responsible for the accident.
When can you make a claim?
As with all claims, you must allege negligence (responsibility) against the driver or a 3rd party. It is not possible to claim compensation if the injured party is responsible for their own injuries. Common scenarios leading to bus or coach accident compensation include:
- Colliding with a 3rd party vehicle
- Colliding with a solid object – such as a road sign, bus stop, kerb
- A driver losing control and leaving the highway
- A driver not allowing a vulnerable person (eg elderly, immobile, disabled or with special needs) sufficient time to take a seat before pulling away from a stop, and causing the person to fall due to the movement of the vehicle
In all cases of someone making a bus or coach accident compensation claim, they are doing so because they have been injured as a result of someone else’s mistake or negligence.
Bus and coach companies (and their employed drivers) that fail to ensure passenger safety, compliance with relevant vehicle maintenance, adequate driver training and adequate safety warnings to paying passengers, may well be liable should any injuries happen to the passengers travelling on their vehicle. Any person injured in this way is entitled to make a claim for personal injury compensation.
Alternatively, if the bus or coach was the non-fault vehicle in an accident, the 3rd party driver/insurers will be liable to compensate any passengers that they are responsible for injuring.
The evidence you’ll need for proof
To make a successful claim, a solicitor will need evidence to present a compelling case to the defendant insurers. Firstly, a solicitor will need to be able to prove that the bus accident has happened and that injuries have been treated professionally. All claims for injury compensation need to be supported by medical evidence and all claimants will need to sign authorities to enable their solicitor to access relevant medical records to prove the extent of any injury sustained. If you have not yet seen your GP, you can still pursue a claim and you can contact us for advice and support in this.
The accident should be recorded with the responsible party, which in the case of a bus or coach accident, would be the operating company. In most cases, when a qualified bus or coach driver is involved in a collision, the driver will ensure that they have properly recorded the necessary details. Then you will simply need to obtain an incident reference from the company. You should contact them as soon as possible to obtain this and report your involvement in the accident.
It is really important to make sure that the details of your accident have been recorded properly and with the right people. If you haven’t completed these steps already, we can help you to do so.
The kind of compensation you can get
As all bus and coach accident compensation claims are made on a No Win No Fee basis, you will never be charged if your claim does not succeed. A successful claim will lead to a compensation settlement being made to you, with the value of the claim including any lost income and incurred costs as well as a settlement value for the injuries you have suffered, and medical treatment that has been required.
As well as a final settlement, claiming compensation can also help you in other ways.
- If successful, a claim can release funds from the liable party to pay for private medical treatment and rehabilitation therapies to speed the recovery process of the injured party.
- A successful claim settlement will make up for lost income now and in the future if the injuries that are being claimed for have prevented the injured party from working, either temporarily or again.
Specialist rehabilitation therapies
When your claim is active and your specialist solicitor has been able to obtain an admission of liability (from the insurers that provide the vehicle insurance for the liability party), your claim will succeed. It is at this point that your solicitor can look to obtaining specialist rehabilitation therapy if it is deemed beneficial to your injuries.
Bus accidents often involve soft tissue injuries such as whiplash, a back injury or broken bones, and such rehabilitation would most likely involve physiotherapy, osteopathic/chiropractic or massage therapies. You can also claim for psychological damages, such as PTSD. Any private treatments will be provided at the expense of the third party dealing with your claim and their cost will form part of the value of the total settlement. Further information on this will be available from your solicitor once your claim has been active for a sufficient amount of time.
Remember, you can claim compensation for the injuries you have sustained – the value of which will depend on the nature of the injuries and any supporting medical evidence – and also for special damages. This will recover any lost income and costs incurred as a result of the injuries sustained in the bus accident.