Bus accidents are often chaotic. From paramedics to police to worried families and injured victims, the entire scene — and treating injuries and seeking damages afterwards — can be extremely devastating and exhausting. But knowing what to do after a bus accident is very important and can make the difference between getting the full damages amount and paying for injuries out of pocket. After a bus accident occurs, make sure to follow these steps.
Request a Claim Card/Incident Report Form
Immediately following your accident, you’ll want to ask the bus driver for a claim card/incident report form. This form is often used to prove that you were on the bus at the time of the incident and involved in the bus accident. Without a claim card, it can be difficult to prove your location and involvement in the accident.
Seek Treatment for Injuries
Outside of requesting an incident card, the first thing that you’ll want to do after a bus accident is seek treatment for your injuries. If your injuries are severe, seeking medical treatment should be your priority.
Even if your injuries are minor and likely to heal on their own — like whiplash — you should seek medical care. If you don’t, you may have a hard time proving — and therefore receiving compensation for — your injuries.
Gather Evidence Related to the Accident and Your Injuries
You have the right to ask for a copy of the police report related to the bus accident. What’s more, you also have the right to hire an attorney who can help you gather other facts and evidence, including witness testimony. Not only should you gather evidence relating to what caused the accident and when and where the accident occurred, but also evidence that speaks to the extent of your injuries. Photo evidence and medical reports/doctors’ notes are solid pieces of evidence that can be used when filing a claim.
File Your Claim in Time
Most claims must be filed within two years’ time. When filing a claim against a government entity, though, like SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority), a notice of claim must be filed within six months under sovereign immunity laws (Pennsylvania Statutes Chapter 55 Section 5522).
Hire an Attorney
Filing a claim against a government entity is much different than filing a claim against a person or other private party. Not only is the statute of limitations different, but so is the amount of damages recoverable ($1 million per accident). To learn more about how to file your claim and the amount of damages that you may be entitled to following a bus accident, contact Cordisco & Saile LLC as soon as possible. Our attorneys are reachable by phone at 215-642-2335, or contact us online.