As students and commuters alike go about their daily routines, the number of bus riders increases. With this increase comes the importance of knowing what to do in the event of a bus accident.
While less common than car accidents, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported 6,620 bus occupants were injured in 2020. These injuries are not limited to just school buses but also include intercity and transit buses as well.
In this blog post, we'll outline crucial actions you should take if you find yourself involved in a bus accident. Being aware of these steps can help mitigate stressors in the aftermath of a bus accident.
Bus Accident Statistics
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has released data that sheds light on bus accident statistics.
Bus accident statistics over the years include:
- Between 2005 and 2009, there was a 34% decrease in the number of fatal crashes involving large trucks or buses. However, this percentage increased to 31% between 2010 and 2020. In addition, from 2019 to 2020, the number of fatal crashes involving large trucks or buses decreased by 3%.
- On average, from 2010 to 2020, intercity buses accounted for 11%, and school buses and transit buses accounted for 38% and 35% of all buses involved in fatal crashes.
Although the numbers have decreased in recent years, it is still crucial to be prepared in the event of an emergency. It is important to take the necessary steps and precautions to ensure the safety of all passengers on the bus.
What to Do After a Bus Accident
1. Stay at the Scene
In the aftermath of a bus accident, it's important to stay calm and assess the situation. If you're able to, remain at the scene and assist others who may need help. In some situations, it may be necessary to exit the bus if you see smoke, flames, or if the bus is in a hazardous position.
Regardless, it's important to prioritize the safety and well-being of yourself and those around you. Even though this situation is chaotic, try to stay calm.
2. Call 911
Once you are at a safe distance from the bus and traffic, call 911 as soon as possible to report the accident. This will ensure that necessary emergency services, such as police officers, firefighters, and paramedics, arrive at the scene promptly.
Prompt response is crucial for handling any injuries and addressing potential safety hazards. Be sure to provide accurate information regarding injuries, the condition of the bus, and any additional details that may be relevant to first responders.
3. Collect Evidence
Collecting evidence from the scene is an essential part of protecting your rights and providing documentation for legal or insurance purposes. Take photographs or videos of the accident scene, including damage to the bus, vehicles involved, road conditions, and injuries if visible.
Tips for taking photos of the scene include:
- Document from multiple angles
- Take photos with and without flash
- Take more photos than you think you need
In addition, be sure to gather contact information from other passengers, witnesses, and the bus driver. It's important to maintain a record of the accident so you can have a stronger case.
4. Seek Medical Attention
Even if you don't believe you've sustained injuries immediately after the accident, it's important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some injuries, such as whiplash or concussions, can manifest hours or even days after the incident.
If left untreated, these conditions may worsen and lead to long-term health problems. Furthermore, having a medical expert evaluate your health status and document any injuries is crucial for any potential personal injury or insurance claims.
5. Contact an Attorney
Lastly, consider reaching out to an experienced attorney who has experience in bus and public transportation accidents. Due to the complexities of bus accidents and the unique legal issues surrounding them, having a knowledgeable attorney on your side can be invaluable.
Get in Contact with Our Attorneys
If you're dealing with the aftermath of a bus accident, you don't need to face the situation alone. Our bus accident lawyers at May, Rammell & Wells can be here to guide you through the process of seeking compensation for any injuries, damages, or emotional distress caused by the accident.
We understand the stress and uncertainty that can come with a traumatic event like this, and our team is dedicated to fighting for your rights every step of the way.
Don't wait to reach out for help. Call (208) 623-8021 or fill out our form online.