There are a few ways that you may be involved in a bus accident in Durham. Perhaps you were a passenger on a bus, or maybe you were in another vehicle when a bus hit you. You could even be considered a pedestrian when the accident happened, such as when you are walking near the bus or even getting on or off the bus.
Regardless of your situation, there are thousands of people every year that are injured in bus accidents. The North Carolina Department of Transportation reports that there are over 20,000 bus crashes every year, and roughly 6,500 of those will result in injuries. Bus accidents also result in nearly 100 fatalities annually.
Because bus accidents are somewhat common, you should know what to do if an accident occurs, regardless of whether you are a passenger on the bus or if you’re in another vehicle.
If you are a passenger during a bus crash, the legal implications of your situation can be very complicated. You may have to deal with determining who is at fault for the crash. For example, both the bus driver and another car driver may both partially be at fault for the accident. A Durham bus accident lawyer can walk you through these complications and help you address all of the potential legal issues.
What you do right away after the crash can have a huge impact on both your health and your legal claim. In general, it is a good idea to take the following steps.
The bus driver is usually responsible for calling emergency services. However, if they have not or will not involve the police, then you need to make that call. In some serious cases, the driver may not be physically or mentally capable of making this type of call, so you need to take action.
Call 911 immediately. The accident needs to be reported to the police and documented as part of a police report.
You should see a doctor or another medical professional right away after a crash, even if you don’t think your injuries are severe. It is important to mention every area of pain that you are feeling, even if you feel it is minor at the time of the accident.
Some injuries will take some time to develop, especially those that affect the back, neck, and head. Be sure to talk to your doctor again if you start feeling pain days or weeks after the crash.
The longer you wait to see a medical professional, the harder it will be to prove that the bus accident caused your pain or injury.
If you are able, it will be helpful if you take photos and videos of the crash site and the damage to the vehicles. Try to get other passengers’ names and contact information so you can speak with them later, if necessary. You may be surprised to learn what your fellow passengers witnessed just before, during, or after the accident.
It is a good idea to speak with someone at a bus accident law firm as soon as possible after the crash. In many cases, an insurance company will attempt to contact you right after the accident, and talking to a lawyer before that happens is one of the best ways that you can avoid mistakes at this crucial point in your legal case.
Buses are large vehicles. It is important to keep in mind that you may be injured on a bus, even if the bus did not actually hit or run into anything else.
For example, imagine the bus driver slammed on their brakes to avoid hitting another vehicle. As a result, you were thrown from your seat and hit your head on the seat in front of you. Even though the bus avoided the collision, you were still hurt. You should still speak with a Durham NC bus accident lawyer in that type of situation.
If you are involved in a bus accident as a driver of another vehicle or a pedestrian, you should still take the same steps as noted above. However, it is even more important to get medical care in these situations. The size difference between a bus and another vehicle or a pedestrian is significant, which often results in very serious injuries.
The Clauson Law Firm has the experience you need to help address your injuries and damages after a bus accident in Durham. Call our Durham bus accident law firm to speak with a member of our team today:833-680-0177.