Bus and coach travel in the UK is generally very safe. However, accidents involving buses and coaches can and do happen. Importantly. if they are caused by the negligence of the bus driver, the transport provider, another road user, or even a pedestrian, you may be eligible to make a bus accident claim for compensation.
We specialise in personal injury claims including those made for road traffic accidents. If you contact our claims advisors, you’ll get free legal advice about your options during a no-obligation telephone consultation. If your advisor concludes a bus accident claim is viable, they could refer you to a personal injury solicitor from our team.
We are ready to help you claim compensation for an accident on a bus or with a bus, so please get in touch on 0800 6524 881 if you’d like to start the ball rolling today. To learn more about bus accident compensation claims before contacting us, please continue reading.
Table of contents
- Who Can Make A Bus Accident Compensation Claim?
- Am I Eligible To Make A Bus Accident Claim?
- How Do I Claim After A Bus Accident?
- Common Causes Of Bus Accident Claims
- What Happens If A Bus Driver Causes A Crash?
- Common Injuries From Accidents Involving Buses
- How Much Compensation For A Bus Accident Could I Claim?
- Evidence To Support A Bus Accident Claim
- Time Limits For Claiming Bus Accident Compensation
- How Long Does A Bus Accident Claim Take To Settle?
- Starting The Bus Accident Claims Process
Anyone who has been involved in a bus accident and suffered an injury, as a result, could file a claim. This includes passengers on the bus, pedestrians, cyclists, drivers of other vehicles, and passengers in other vehicles involved in the crash.
If the accident resulted in the death of a loved one, then the family or dependents of the deceased person may also make a fatal accident claim.
If you approach a personal injury solicitor to claim compensation after a bus accident or bus crash, they will need to verify that there’s a chance your claim will be won before accepting it. To check that you have the grounds to make a bus accident claim, they’ll assess whether:
- The bus operator, bus driver, or another road user breached their duty of care towards you; and
- As a result, an accident occurred; and
- You were injured during the bus accident.
The process of proving who is liable for a bus accident can be tricky. Therefore, in a later section, we’ll provide details of what evidence could be used to support your bus accident claim.
Yes, if a child has been injured in an accident on a school bus through no fault of their own, a responsible adult such as their parent, guardian or carer can make a claim on their behalf. In the UK, children are not legally allowed to make a claim themselves, but an adult can act as their litigation friend in the claim process.
If you contact us about your child’s accident on a school bus we’ll be happy to advise on what action against the bus company could be taken.
If you are eligible to make a claim it will usually be filed against the bus company’s insurance policy. Your solicitor will make sure all the necessary evidence and documentation is included, such as medical records and witness statements. If the insurance company accepts the bus company is liable for your injuries, the next step will be to negotiate a settlement amount on your behalf.
If liability isn’t accepted or a settlement can’t be reached, your case may go to court. However, in our experience, most bus accident claims are settled amicably out of court.
The public transport system in the UK has a high level of health and safety standards. The government has also implemented ample measures to ensure that this remains to be the case for some time to come. While serious bus accidents are fairly rare, accidents do happen and the legal system has laid out provisions for anyone who is injured in an accident involving a bus or coach while travelling in the UK.
It is important to understand that bus accident law does not restrict this entitlement to compensation to only bus passengers travelling in the bus or coach at the time of the accident. There are various scenarios that can lead to a claim against a bus company. Some common causes of bus accident claims include:
- If you’re a bus passenger injured in a collision with another vehicle causing whiplash because of bus driver negligence.
- Where you’re hit by a bus that’s approaching the bus stop you’re waiting at.
- Where your car is hit from behind by a bus due to careless driving by the bus driver.
- Where you cut yourself on damaged bus seats.
- Where you’re hit and injured in a cycling accident because the bus driver tried to pass too close.
- Where you’re a passenger injured in a car crash, taxi accident or Uber caused by the driver of the bus.
- If you fall over while climbing the stairs or finding your seat because the driver pulls away from the bus stop too quickly.
- If you’re hit as a pedestrian because the bus driver is driving without due care and attention.
- If your child was hurt in a car crash because of careless driving by the bus driver.
The one thing that’s clear is that if you suffer an injury on a bus through no fault of your own, a compensation claim might be possible.
If a bus driver causes a crash in which you or a loved one were injured, the consequences will depend on the specific circumstances of the accident and the severity of any injuries sustained.
If the crash was caused by the bus driver’s negligence (for example, they were driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs or were using a mobile phone at the time of the accident), they may face criminal charges and potentially a prison sentence. As explained above, if any bus passengers, pedestrians or other road users were injured in the accident, they may be able to sue the bus driver and/or the bus company/employer for compensation for their injuries and any other losses or expenses that they have suffered because of the accident.
If the accident was caused by a mechanical failure or some other factor that was not the fault of the bus driver, the situation may be more complex. It’s possible that the manufacturer of the bus or a third party could be held responsible for the accident. In such cases, we would certainly advise speaking with a personal injury solicitor on our team who has experience with accidents on public transport. They can review the specifics of your case and provide advice on the best course of action.
Some of the most common injuries from accidents involving buses that can lead to compensation include:
Again, no matter what type of injury you’ve suffered, we could help you claim if the accident was not your fault.
When calculating compensation for personal injuries from a bus accident your solicitor will take into account two factors, these are general damages and special damages (explained further here).
To put it briefly, general damages would be paid out in a successful claim for the pain and suffering and loss of amenity due to the bus accident.
Special damages in a successful claim would be paid out for financial losses the bus accident has caused. To sum up, if you’re eligible, you could claim bus accident compensation for:
- The severity of your physical injuries;
- Mental trauma and emotional distress;
- Cost of immediate and long-term medical treatment and medication;
- Transportation costs of travelling to and from medical appointments;
- Loss of income from having to stay away from work;
- Loss of monetary benefits and other work-related perks such as promotional avenues;
- Expenses related to rehab, including structural changes within the home that may be necessary.
We can review what you might be eligible to claim compensation for when you call our team for a free case assessment.
We are now going to take a look into what level of compensation you could be paid for injuries sustained in a bus accident.
We have added a bus accident compensation calculator below that uses data for general damages from the Judicial College. We’ve done so because the Judicial College figures are used by solicitors, lawyers and insurers to help determine settlement figures.
In our experience, no two bus accident claims are the same. That means the figures above should be used simply for guidance as you could be paid a lower or higher amount depending on the nature of your injuries.
Irrespective of the reason, it’s important to know what to do if you are in a bus accident to not only ensure your safety, and the safety of others, but to strengthen your case with strong evidence and increase your chances of getting the compensation that you deserve. This can include:
- Seek treatment. After a bus crash, you should have your injuries treated. Rather than relying just on first aid, you should get properly checked at A&E or a minor injuries unit. Later on, medical records could be used to quantify the extent of your injuries.
- Report the bus accident. You should report the bus accident to the police and ask for a copy of the report. Also, report it to the bus company involved.
- Get the bus and driver’s information. This should include the bus driver’s details, bus number and route, and the date and time of the accident.
- Vehicle details. Get vehicle details of any other vehicles involved.
- Witness statements. Ask for contact details of any other bus passengers or pedestrians who witnessed the crash so they could be called upon as witnesses at a later date if needed.
- Photos. Take photographs of the scene and any visible injuries.
- Request CCTV footage. Many buses are fitted with onboard security cameras. You should request copies of footage from inside and outside the bus that captured your accident.
- Record of events. Keep a record of the events as they unfolded. Do this in the early days after the accident so possibly important details aren’t forgotten.
- Keep all relevant documents. Keep all documents related to the bus accident, such as the police report for your records and for any potential legal action.
Remember, the more details you can gather, the more information your personal injury solicitor can use to build a strong bus accident compensation claim on your behalf.
As you may be aware, there are personal injury claims time limits when you seek compensation for a bus accident. In most cases, this will be a 3-year period starting from the date of the accident.
One instance where the 3-year limit doesn’t apply is if your child is injured on a bus. In this case, you could make a claim for your child thanks to the litigation friend process so long as you begin before their 18th birthday. If you don’t, a claim is still possible but they will need to seek damages themselves before their 21st birthday.
We believe it is best to start your claim as soon as you can regardless of the time limit. That’s because solicitors need to conduct various tasks before sending the claim to the defendant. Therefore, starting as soon as you can should allow them the time to do so.
The length of time bus accident claims takes to settle can vary greatly depending on the specific circumstances of the case. While some claims may be resolved relatively quickly, others that are more complex can take several months or even years to settle.
A few factors that can affect the length of time it takes to settle a bus accident claim include:
- The type of injuries sustained and their severity.
- The number of people involved in the bus accident.
- The availability of evidence.
- The willingness of the defendant to admit liability.
Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss this further.
When you start the bus accident claims process, it won’t generally be managed by the bus company or other party liable for your injuries. Instead, the claim will be passed to an insurance company. In these cases, it’s highly unlikely you’ll receive any compensation unless you can clearly prove why the defendant was liable for the bus accident and injuries. This can be a tiresome, complex process that can fail and mean you miss out on compensation.
We believe the best chance of winning your case is with one of our No Win No Fee accident claims solicitors by your side. If your claim is taken on, one of our experienced solicitors could be appointed to make the process as easy as possible for you. They will try to handle all aspects of the claim for you and keep you informed about how the case is progressing. If any arguments are raised relating to liability, your solicitor will fight your corner to try and ensure your case is won and you are paid the maximum compensation possible.
To start the bus accident claims process or check how long you have left to claim, please call us on 0800 6524 881 today. We assess bus accident claims for free and will provide legal advice about your options.