Public transportation offers a great way to get around and avoid the hassles of vehicle maintenance. But like any form of travel, it also carries risks.
If you’re involved in an Indiana bus accident, your priority should be to get to safety. Evaluate your surroundings to make sure you’re in a safe location and check yourself for serious injuries. In case of a serious injury, stay where you are until medical professionals arrive. Too much movement could make the injury worse.
But after you’re safe, you’ll need to take several other steps to protect yourself, others, and your ability to file a lawsuit if your injuries prove to be a financial burden.
Steps You Should Take After an Indiana Bus Accident
Here’s a look at the initial steps you should take immediately following an Indiana bus accident.
- Make sure you’re safe and don’t have any serious injuries.
- Check on others. See if anyone else needs help. Public transportation generally involves many people in one location. Attend to those in need or find someone qualified to do so as quickly as possible.
- Call 911. Even if you don’t see anyone with serious injuries and you don’t feel severely hurt, you should get emergency responders on the scene. Once people stand up they might realize they’ve suffered a head or back injury they weren’t aware of before. It’s also a good idea to know that there is a police report for the accident that you can reference if you need to. Having emergency responders on the scene will help everyone know what to do and reduce any chaos that might ensue following such an accident.
- Take your own photos of the scene. Law enforcement will likely document the scene as well but having a copy of these photos can help you work through any injury claims quickly to avoid financial impacts. You should also write down some notes about what you remember about the accident and the moments leading up to the accident.
- Gather contact information for the passengers near you. This can be helpful if you later need a witness account of the accident during a lawsuit.
- Don’t give a statement or state that you feel fine until you’ve consulted a lawyer. It’s a good idea to have a lawyer present for any questioning or statements.
- Follow your doctor’s orders. You should see a doctor within 48 hours even if you think you feel fine. Getting an evaluation is a good idea to ensure you don’t have any hidden injuries. And then do what your doctor tells you to. Failing to follow medical instructions could be something the other party uses as evidence against you during a lawsuit.
Who Is Responsible for a Bus Accident?
Generally speaking, buses are extremely safe modes of transportation. So when an accident does occur, it’s rare. The bus driver and their employer are not always the ones to blame for these accidents. It’s a good idea to work with an attorney to evaluate who is at fault for the accident.
Some possible responsible parties for a bus accident can include the following:
- Bus driver or bus operating company
- Other vehicle drivers
- The company that maintains the bus
- The municipality where the accident took place due to poor road planning or maintenance that created blind spots or hazardous road conditions
- Property owner for the bus stop
- Manufacturer of bus parts
If you’ve been a victim of a bus accident, contact Stewart & Stewart. We’ll help you protect yourself from saying or doing the wrong thing in the hours, days, and even months after the accident to protect your right to financial compensation for your injuries.