It?s big news when a bus is involved in an accident, simply due to the number of passengers who might be at risk in a crash of any kind. The National highway Traffic Safety Administration ?statistics estimated in 2007 that there were about 137 bus-crash related deaths every year, with approximately 14,000 injuries. The statistics for 2016 showed the number of fatalities in that year almost doubled the earlier average, while the number of injuries went up by 2000. Bus riding is still largely perceived to be safe, but clearly there is still risk involved.
Bakersfield Bus Accidents
The news holds occasional reports of bus accidents in Bakersfield. If you were ever involved in one, would you know what to do? Here are the four most important steps you should take if you find yourself in an accident in Bakersfield:
- Exit the bus ? If you?re not too injured to get up, it?s important to exit the bus as soon as possible, since there is a chance that either the bus could start on fire, or the crashed bus may be an obstacle on the road, in danger of getting further hit by unsuspecting other vehicles. You need to seek medical assessment and treatment right away. Head injuries may not seem as bad at first but can develop symptoms of a serious condition which needs attention.
- Report the accident and gather information ? If you are physically capable, once you are safe, try to get to a phone or other person who can call the authorities to report the accident. Make sure a police report is filed. Get your details of the story on record with the police and make notes from and about any other witnesses. It would be very helpful to take photos of all angles of the accident and surrounding environment as possible. Take photos and notes of any injuries you and other victims sustain. You never know what evidence can come in handy in the courtroom later.
- Call your personal injury attorney ? Without your attorney fighting for you, you can be sure the insurance company of the party responsible for the accident, perhaps the driver or another vehicle, will not easily agree to take responsibility for your damages resulting from the bus accident. Having a great personal injury attorney on site and involved right away increases the quality of an investigation into the liability and cause of the accident. Having a local attorney increases their ability to understand and interact with the area and local authorities.
- Keep perfect records ? From the day of the accident, keep every scrap of paper as a record of injuries, reports receipts or bills. If another party or parties are found liable for your damages, your documentation will help your attorney justify the correct monetary amount for the compensation you are entitled to.
Don?t waste time or go it alone, thinking your case is so straightforward that you can trust others to protect your best interests. Only your attorney will do that for you. The Maison Law Firm will deal with local Bakersfield authorities, procure whatever forms or records necessary, interface with the insurance company and help you determine just what damages you are entitled to. Even a seemingly straightforward accident can become complex and we know how to walk you through the process. Call us for help when you need it.