Passengers, other drivers, and their passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians can all suffer injuries or even die from injuries that they suffered in a bus accident. Some buses are operated privately while others like SEPTA are operated publicly. If you’re a victim of a bus accident in or around Philadelphia, you’ll need to take certain steps to protect your legal rights and best interests. Here are some of the major steps:
- Call 911: Report the crash to 911, and because you’re injured, request that paramedics be dispatched to the scene.
- Obtain Immediate Medical Treatment: After paramedics treat you at the scene, get to an emergency room immediately by ambulance or otherwise. You’ll be examined and treated further there, and your injuries will be documented.
- Follow Up: Emergency room personnel might refer you out to your own doctor, a neurologist or an orthopedist. Follow up with that doctor on a timely basis. Insurance companies like to see gaps in treatment. That’s when they argue that you weren’t injured to the extent that you claim.
- Don’t Give a Statement: The insurer of the bus might contact you and want your recorded version of events. Pennsylvania law doesn’t require you to give that insurer any type of a statement. Politely refuse to give one. If the insurer threatens to close your file without a statement, we know how to get them to open it again immediately.
- The Medical Authorization: The opposing insurer will want you to sign off on a medical authorization. Don’t sign it. That insurer is looking for a prior injury to the same part of your body that you injured in the bus accident. Then, it will contend that you’re already “damaged goods.”
Accidents Involving Public Buses
If you were injured as a result of the carelessness and negligence of a SEPTA or other public bus driver, special rules apply. Although a two-year statute of limitations exists for the purpose of filing a personal injury lawsuit, a detailed notice of intent to file a claim must be properly served on the entity within six months. Failure to file such a notice can cause even the most meritorious case to be dismissed. All the above steps might be confusing tasks for the victim of a bus accident to undertake. Rather than running the risk of the opposing insurance company taking control of your bus accident injury claim, contact our offices as soon as you leave the emergency room to obtain a free consultation and case review. We promise to listen to you carefully, and we’ll answer all your questions. After that, we can map out your course of legal action for you.