What Happens if a Bus Hits My Car?

January 6, 2022

Car accidents can be deadly. When a bus is involved, however, the potential for damage is significantly higher. Buses are heavier, unwieldy and often packed full of people. What should you do if you’re hit by a bus?

Here’s a quick guide to handling an accident and when to call a bus accident attorney to help with your case.

California Tort Claims Act (CTCA) and suing government agencies

When you’re hit by a bus, the type of bus involved will determine who you can sue, how and how long you have to do it. Most buses are either school buses, public transportation, private carriers (Greyhound, Megabus and others), tour buses, charter buses and airport and hotel shuttles. In short, buses are usually either government owned and operated or privately owned and operated. This is important to determine before filing a claim.

In California, the California Tort Claims Act (CTCA) requires that an injured person needs to provide notice to the responsible government agency within six months. This is similar to a demand letter. If you were hit by a public transportation or school bus, your bus accident attorney will guide you through the process of suing a government agency.

The government will either approve or deny your claim within 45 days. If they deny the claim, you can sue them.

Suing privately-owned bus companies

If the bus that hit you was privately owned and operated, the claim will follow normal personal injury civil court procedure. You can sue a number of entities, including the bus driver, the company owner and even the bus manufacturer or mechanics, if negligent manufacturer or repairs were at fault. A private action has a two-year statute of limitations in California.

Your bus accident attorney will review your case and the evidence you’ve collected thus far. They’ll advise you as to which legal theories are the most likely to succeed and how to proceed next.

What to do after the accident

Immediately after the accident, seek medical attention—even if you feel fine. Tell the physicians or other medical staff that you were injured in a bus accident. This will be important for your treatment. It will also provide important documentation in your medical files, which will be important evidence in your case.

Once you’ve been checked over, follow all doctor’s recommendations to the letter. You might consider keeping a pain journal, which documents your medical treatment, pain levels, how your daily life is affected and which prescriptions you’re taking.

Next look for a qualified bus accident attorney. When you meet for your consultation, bring your pain journal, medical files, any photos you have of your injuries or the scene and any other evidence you may possess.

Your attorney will talk to you about who to sue, how long you have to file a claim and which theories are appropriate. They’ll also discuss what kind of compensation you’ll likely receive.

When you need an experienced bus accident attorney, call The Law Offices of Max G. Arnold, Inc. today.

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