Bus tour trips are designed to be fun occasions, but they can all come to a halt if the driver of the tour bus is involved in a collision. This can be scary for passengers and other drivers alike, and it may leave you feeling traumatized and physically injured. Fortunately, as with any other road traffic collision, you are entitled to claim compensation for damages. Below, we’ll talk you through the process.
What are Tour Bus Accidents?
A tour bus accident is any collision involving a tour bus. This could be as simple as a bus driver hitting an obstacle, another driver hitting the tour bus, or the driver colliding with another vehicle. With this in mind, different types of people can claim compensation including passengers of the tour bus and other drivers.
Responsibility of Bus Tour Operators
Tour buses are classified as “common carriers” under federal law, which are vehicles responsible for transporting goods or passengers in return for payment. Because of this classification, it puts a higher pressure on tour bus operators to keep passengers safe on the road, and there are typically high-level safety systems in action.
When a lawsuit is filed against a tour bus operator, there has to be irrefutable evidence of negligence on the part of the driver. If this isn’t present, the lawsuit will fall through. When determining the validity of a lawsuit, the courts will use the reasonable standards system.
Reasonable standards are a means of determining the existence of negligence. For example, if a tour bus was proven to have a defect that was ignored, the operator will be deemed negligent. When your lawyer presents an argument for compensation, the courts will determine whether it falls within the parameters of reasonable standards.
What to do as Another Road User
If you’ve been involved in a tour bus accident as another driver, you’ll likely want to claim compensation for property damage, medical expenses, loss of earnings, and any other reasonable losses.
If you’re able to move immediately after the incident, you must get to a safe place and call the police. While you’re waiting for them to arrive, you can start collecting evidence if it’s safe to do so. The type of evidence you will need includes:
- Photos and videos of the scene from different angles
- Details of the driver and tour bus operator
- Potential witness contact details
When the police arrive, tell them exactly what happened and try to provide as much detail as possible. They will hand you an incident number and carry out an investigation, which will make up part of the evidence to support any claim you put in.
As soon as you’ve been told it’s okay for you to leave, you must get checked over by a medical professional and keep any records. Even if you’re not seriously injured, you need to have evidence and clear documentation of your medical injuries and treatments.
Once you get back home, you should call your insurance company to let them know that you’ve been involved in an accident. Don’t tell them any more than this, as anything you say will be recorded and may be misinterpreted as an admission of responsibility.
The next step is getting in touch with an expert car accident attorney, which will help you navigate the claims system and retrieve the compensation you’re rightly owed.
The statute of limitations for claims in the majority of states is two years, which is a long time to remember all details of a collision. Therefore, to help with recall, you should keep a journal of everything including your recovery, feelings, and evidence of lost earnings.
What to Do as a Passenger
If you’re a passenger on a tour bus, you’re still entitled to compensation to cover damages. In the majority of cases, this will be injuries and emotional trauma. Much of what you need to do is similar to if you were the driver of another vehicle including:
- Get to safety and contact the police.
- Collect evidence at the scene and talk to witnesses.
- Get checked by a medical professional.
- Contact a qualified lawyer.
The main difference in each case is that, as a passenger, you will be putting a personal injury claim in against the tour operator’s insurance policy. If there was negligence involved, your lawyer will prove this and seek a reasonable amount of compensation.
Whether you’re a passenger or driver involved in a tour bus accident, you’re entitled to claim compensation for damages. We can help you do this. Get in touch with the personal injury lawyers at Binder Law Group, LA, using the details below:
16633 Ventura Blvd. #602 Encino, CA 91436
Call now for a free consultation on (818) 659-8588.