Bus crashes may be less common than car accidents, but many people slip and fall on public transit, tour buses, and other large vehicles. If this happens to you, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Often, bus companies are responsible for spills, maintenance issues, and other hazards, which means they may have to pay your medical bills, missed wages, and other accident-related expenses.
Find Out Who Is at Fault
The most important question you need to ask after you slip and fall on a bus is: “who is at fault?” If you fell because of the bus driver or bus company’s negligence, you may have a personal injury claim.
If you slipped, think about what made the bus slippery. Worn-down flooring and step treads are a maintenance issue, for example, which means the party charged with maintaining the bus may be at fault. One-third of bus-related injuries that occur outside of a collision happen when passengers are stepping on and off the bus, so maintaining entrances and exits is extremely important.
Other causes of slips, trips, and falls aboard buses include litter, spilled food or liquids, and snow, ice, and mud. The bus driver should warn you if bus floors are slippery and should clean up debris regularly. A dirty bus is a sign of negligence and may mean the bus driver or bus company is responsible for your injury.
Know What You Need for a Successful Claim
Unfortunately, bus drivers and bus companies will not always be liable for your slips, trips, and falls – even during bad weather. The law assumes that you should know the bus might be slippery if it is raining, for instance, but it does not approve of puddles of water on the bus.
For a successful bus-related slip and fall claim, you will need to show:
- The bus driver or bus company owned, occupied, or leased the bus at the time of your accident
- The bus driver or bus company knew or should have known about a hazard
- The bus driver or bus company failed to resolve the hazard or warn passengers
- You were injured because of this failure
Bus drivers and bus companies should know if a handhold is loose and clean their vehicles regularly during winter weather conditions, for example, but they may not know if a passenger recently spilled yogurt. Fortunately, buses are usually filled with passengers, so someone who witnessed your accident may know how long the hazard existed.
Speaking to witnesses is part of a thorough investigation, and an investigation will be crucial to winning your claim.
File Your Claim Right Away
City buses are protected by legislation that blocks or discourages lawsuits, so if you were injured on a bus, you will need to file your claim promptly to protect your rights. Your claim can expire in as few as 60 days, so speak to an attorney immediately after your bus accident.
Our team at Palmisano & Goodman, P.A. has over 100+ combined years of experience, and we are ready to help you. As soon as you choose us to represent you, we can notify the appropriate parties of your claim, launch an in-depth investigation, and gather the evidence we need to prove your claim.
We provide every client with honest advice, energetic representation, and personal attention, so do not hesitate to call us at (732) 709-4400 today or request your free consultation online.