Bus Accidents

Buses transport millions of people all throughout the country every year. While buses are a safe form of transportation, accidents do happen. Because buses hold more people than cars, bus accidents (including school busses) often result in more people getting hurt. Additionally, in most places bus passengers do not even have the option of wearing seatbelts.

bus-accident-lawyerBuses are often operated by public agencies. This can create more hoops to jump through when trying to make a claim for your injuries. Even if a private company operates the bus, because there may be multiple people making claims for large amounts of money, the claims process can be a nightmare.

If you have been hurt in a bus accident, you don’t have to face the claims process alone. We can help you find a qualified personal injury lawyer in your area.

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Getting Medical Help

When you are a passenger on a bus, you don’t have a responsibility to exchange insurance information. Your number one priority needs to be to get to a safe place. After you have gotten out of the bus you should seek medical treatment.

This does not mean you have to go to the emergency room. However, even if you initially feel fine, after the adrenaline from the accident wears off, you may feel differently. Getting evaluated by a medical professional will help ensure you get the treatment you need and that any hidden injuries are discovered.

bus-accident-claimFailing to get medical help may not only negatively impact your health, but it can cause you problems in your injury claim as well. Without documented treatment and a diagnosis, it is difficult to get compensated for injuries and pain and suffering.

If you wait weeks to see a doctor the other side may claim that you were just trying to cash in on the accident or that your injuries were really caused by something other than the bus accident.

What is a Common Carrier?

One phrase you may hear when dealing with bus accidents is “common carrier”. This is a legal term for any company or organization that transports good or passengers on regular routes for regular rates. A bus company or public transportation agency is a common carrier.

This matters because under the law common carriers owe their passengers special duties. When a common carrier fails to meet those duties and you get hurt, you can sue the common carrier for negligence.

Every state has different standards for common carriers. They may also require common carriers to carry special insurance or have a bond or certain minimum policy limits.

Are Bus Accidents Mass Torts?

Tort is a legal term for an action, or failure to act when one has a duty to act, which results in the injury of a person or property. A mass tort is a case where several people sue a single company over an incident or a series of conduct.

Some bus accidents may be mass torts because so many of the passengers are injured and decide to file suit against the bus company or agency. Often, courts will consolidate all the individual court cases and claims into a single case to conserve judicial resources.

In other instances the cases will remain as separate cases, but will be managed under a series of master orders by a single judge so that things like discovery and pretrial motions are all streamlined.

Special issues With Public Transportation Claims

When a bus accident involves a private company the regular rules of personal injury law typically apply, with some special provisions for common carriers. But, when a bus accident involves a public transportation agency, the process can get much more complicated.

Time limits

The time limits to bring personal injury claims are short in most of the country. But, when a state or local government or agency is the target of a lawsuit, the time limits to bring a claim can be much tighter.

Some states require that a notice of a potential claim be filed with a particular agency within 90 or 180 days. The time limits vary in different locations. Other locations require that a notice of claim be filed so many days before a lawsuit is filed. This shortens the effective statute of limitations, or the deadline for suing on a personal injury claim.


Venue is the location where a legal action takes place. Typically the venue for a court action is the same as the place where the accident occurred. But, some states may require any lawsuits against state agencies, such as a state public transportation agency, only be brought in certain courts or certain locations.

Claims process

When dealing with a public transportation agency you have an extra layer of bureaucracy to deal with in settling claims. Even if the agency has its own insurance company, the agency itself will have to sign off on any settlement. This increases the time it takes to resolve cases.

There are often specific formalities that have to be observed when making a claim against an agency. You may have to use a specific form or the notice may have to contain certain information to be valid.

If you have been hurt in a bus accident, you don’t have to face the claims process alone. We can help you find a qualified personal injury lawyer in your area.

Free Case Evaluation

Contact us to schedule your free consultation.

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