Posted on July 25th, 2021 by Zane Cagle
When you think of vehicle accidents, most only think about being involved in a crash in their own personal vehicle and dealing with the other motorist’s insurance for compensation. Accidents happen no matter the transportation, including in a charter bus that you’ve paid for to go on a trip.
Think of a scenario like this: you’ve bought a bus ticket to a resort city for a day or a sports trip for your team. While you’re cruising down the highway, the bus veers into the next lane and crashes into several other cars, injuring you and other bus passengers in the process.
Right now, the facts are these: you are hurt, and it’s due to someone else’s negligence. At the moment, you can’t say who is at fault other than you were not. You know that you’re going to need medical attention and probably some time off work.
How do you make this situation right again? Here is where a bus accident lawyer in St. Louis, MO, can help. Accidents involving charter buses are generally more complicated than crashes with private vehicles. These crashes can be more complicated because liability can lie with a number of parties, from the bus driver to the bus company to others.
A lawyer from The Cagle Law Firm will be happy to evaluate your case, examine all possible liable parties, and secure the compensation you need to pay your medical bills and cover your lost wages.
But what do you need to do following a bus accident? We’ll guide you through so you know what to do immediately after an incident like this.
Here are steps to take in a charter bus accident claim.
Call the Police and Get Medical Attention
Contact the police if you are physically able, no matter what type of motor vehicle crash it is. This is important for a few reasons. First, in the aftermath of a traumatic incident like a bus crash, you may not realize the severity of your injury due to adrenaline. Additionally, multiple people may be injured, and time wasted can threaten the survival of others.
In addition to assisting first responders, police officers secure the scene and create a report that will be critical to your case. The combination of your initial medical report and the police report will contain crucial facts about your condition and the facts of the incident.
Take Photos and Record the Incident if Possible
Almost everyone carries a cell phone, and it is far more common for people to photograph and record everything these days. If you are physically able to do so, then photograph the scene and take notes. These photos and notes will better assist you in recalling facts. As well, your attorney may be able to collect further evidence based on your photos and documentation.
Take photos of the bus and any other vehicles involved at the accident scene. Preferably, pictures taken of the vehicles as they are at the scene are ideal–before they are moved. However, safety is paramount, so only take photos if it is safe to do so. Finally, get photos of your injuries and your progress.
It is also a good idea to take down notes about the accident and those involved. Your memory will tend to fade and even change a little over time, so it’s vital to get a narrative of the accident and the immediate aftermath.
Although this information will prove valuable for your lawyer later, you should not put your health or safety at risk to take photos and make notes. This documentation helps, but you should never forgo medical treatment or endanger your health to get this documentation.
Track Your Costs Afterward
Once you leave the accident scene and return to your life, it will be wise for you to track all of your accident-related expenses. Those include your medical bills, lost wages, and anything else you’ve had to pay due to your injuries.
Those financial records will help you keep track of your cost and will serve as a reference for your personal injury lawyer to make a claim for compensation to the liable party. After a charter bus crash, you should not have to bear the complete financial burden of physical recovery on your own.
Talk to a Lawyer before an Insurance Company
Finally, you should talk to The Cagle Law Firm’s personal injury attorneys before talking to any insurance company. The goal of the insurance adjuster is not really to make sure that all of your damages are addressed. The insurance industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, and like any other industry with shareholders, there are priorities.
An insurance company might try to deny the severity of your injuries or challenge your version of what happened in an effort to reduce or deny your damages. Your bus driver might have been engaged in blatantly reckless driving, but the insurance company could still try to dispute the details.
That’s why you need a Cagle Law Firm attorney on your side. We don’t let insurance companies manipulate you into accepting an unfair offer. We sort through the evidence of the case, your damages and then fight to get you what you deserve. Consulting an attorney before you give a statement may be beneficial. Our attorneys do not seek to change your recollection of the facts. However, often people tend to overshare or supplement opinions for facts after traumatic events. Hiring an attorney early on in the process ensures that statements and evidence are collected in a timely and thorough way.
We hope this guide has taught you the basics of how to approach a charter bus accident claim. You deserve the maximum compensation for what you have suffered, and we work to make sure that you get it.
Contact The Cagle Law Firm to set up a free consultation. You can call us toll-free at (1-800) 685-3302 or locally at (314) 276-1681.