An accident involving a bus can be scary and stressful due to the size of the vehicle. Unfortunately, that size can make these crashes even more dangerous than other traffic accidents. If you are involved in a bus accident in Los Angeles, protect yourself by following these steps:
- Call 9-1-1
- Document the scene and witnesses
- Seek a medical evaluation
- Be careful who you discuss the accident with
- Speak with a Los Angeles personal injury attorney
Bus accidents can cause more harm than passenger car accidents. In bus accidents:
- The injuries can be more severe
- There can be more victims involved
- There can be more elements of fault when it comes to determining who caused the crash
- The legal issues can be more complex
Los Angeles Bus Accident lawyers can help you avoid the missteps that can interfere with your recovery of compensation.
Unless you are incapacitated, it is important that you call 9-1-1 to report the accident. First, this is the surest way to help anyone who has been injured and needs emergency medical care. Next, it will summon the police, who need to be on the scene to prepare a police report. You will need the police report later if you need to file a claim or a lawsuit over injuries from the accident.
Document the scene and witnesses
To support any claim for injuries, you will need evidence. Take the time to capture any documentation that will help you meet your burden of proof later on, including:
- Photos of the scene, including the bus and its number; damage to the vehicles; the layout of the road and landmarks; and even the passengers and witnesses present on the scene
- Photos of the injuries you sustained
- Names and addresses of witnesses
Gather this information if you are physically able, but be careful while you do so. Do not make unnecessary statements to anyone present, and never say anything that downplays your injuries; these statements could be used against you even if you simply do not know at the time how seriously you are hurt.
Along the same lines, do not talk to the bus driver. He is an employee of the bus company and may be looking for evidence that you are not really hurt.
Seek a medical evaluation
If you have an obvious serious injury, this will be common sense. However, you may feel fine after a crash but still have potentially severe injuries. Seeing a doctor as soon as possible can help you discover latent injuries as well as improve the timing and completeness of your healing. It will also provide crucial documentation of your injury.
When your injuries are obvious, accept medical attention at the scene or go to the nearest emergency room. If you do not notice injuries, follow up with your treating medical professional within 24 hours.
If you delay a medical evaluation, certain types of injuries, like soft-tissue injuries and brain injuries, may go unnoticed until they worsen. Seeing a doctor early on can prevent that worsening. A delay can also give the bus company’s lawyers and insurance adjusters an excuse to claim that you are not really injured. For many reasons, it is better to be proactive with medical care.
Discuss your case with a Los Angeles bus accident lawyer
Whether or not you are prepared or ready to talk, you will likely begin receiving calls from representatives of the bus company and its insurance company within days of the crash. They will try to get you to say things that can be used to weaken your case. If you have retained your own personal injury lawyer, you can avoid these tricks by directing them to speak with your lawyer.
Your lawyer will also help you navigate the process of filing a claim, initiating a lawsuit, and building a solid case. If the bus was operated by public transportation rather than a private busing company, you will need to comply with California’s special rules for filing a claim for negligence against the city or state that operated the bus line. You will also need to file any lawsuit in accordance with the statute of limitations, which is generally two years, but exceptions may alter it.
Call Salamati Law today
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident involving a bus, speak with a Los Angeles bus accident attorney at Salamati Law. Sean Salamati understands the wide-ranging effects that a serious injury can have on your life and is here to help you fight for full compensation. Call today to schedule a free consultation.