In an earlier article we looked at the recent California bus crash that left dozens of individuals dead and many more injured after a bus rear-ended a tractor-trailer at a time when the bus was believed to be going 65 miles per hour and the truck five miles per hour. What can make bus accidents truly frightening for injured passengers is not knowing what to do in the aftermath of such a crash.
Steps to Take After a Bus Crash
Although passengers who are traveling on a bus when the bus is involved in an accident may discover that they are in the midst of a confusing and terrifying situation, they are not by any means without the power or ability to help themselves. Keep these tips in mind when traveling by bus in case you find yourself involved in a bus crash:
- Keep calm and consider your situation: Unlike in a passenger in car crash, escaping a bus accident is not as simple as opening the door and stepping away. In the moments after a bus crash, adrenaline will be running and it can be tempting to jump out of your seat and run to the front of the bus. Before you do so, however, get a handle on your situation: Are you injured? Can you move? What pain or odd sensations do you feel, if any? Is the bus on fire? Is there an odd smell or the smell of chemicals? Answering these few questions (it should only take you a moment or two) can tell you (1) if you should move; and (2) the direction you should move. If you cannot feel your legs or arms, or if your neck or back hurt, you may have suffered a spinal cord injury. In this case, you should not attempt to move unless doing so is absolutely necessary to save your life. If the bus is on fire, move low and go to the nearest emergency exit as quickly as possible.
- Get clear of the bus: Once you exit the bus, try and get yourself as far away from the bus crash as possible. There is always a possibility that fuel might be leaking and could ignite. If emergency medical personnel are on the scene, meet with these people right away and have them examine you for injuries. Unless you suffered no injuries at all or only very minor injuries, it can be helpful to have them transport you to the hospital so that any injuries you did receive are treated promptly and appropriately.
- Record your recollections: As soon as you are able to do so, record everything you remember about the bus crash, including the people sitting around you and the conversations, noises, and sights you remember just before the crash. Even if you believe you cannot remember much about the accident, the few details you may be able to remember can be enough to lead to more substantial information or evidence about the case. If nothing else, attempt to recall the name of the bus company, the driver, and the intended route (departure city and destination city) of the bus. The more information you can remember, the easier it will be for your bus accident lawyer to track down important records about your incident.
Because of the complexities present in most every bus crash incident, you should obtain experienced and knowledgeable counsel to help you understand your rights and seek compensation. Kansas Bus Accident Lawyer Michael R. Lawless is a compassionate yet dedicated advocate for Kansas bus crash victims. Contact his office today for help with your case by calling (800) 734-3771.
Late this month a California bus accident along Interstate 10 that left approximately a dozen individuals dead and several more wounded made national news. The bus was transporting individuals from a desert casino location. Within hours of the crash, news outlets were describing the crash as one of the deadliest bus crashes in the state’s history. According to preliminary news reports from Fox News and other outlets, the bus was traveling nearly 65 miles per hour (perhaps more) when it struck the rear-end of a tractor-trailer that had slowed to 5 miles per hour. From photographs, the bus and trailer appear to have crushed or collapsed into one another. The investigation into the cause of the crash continues.
Dangers of Bus Accidents
A passenger on a bus might reasonably believe that he or she is safer in the event of a crash than the occupant of a passenger car. There is reason for this belief – busses are heavier and larger than most other vehicles – a collision between a bus and a passenger car is almost always going to do more damage to the passenger car than the bus. Yet, passengers of a bus are at a disadvantage when the bus collides with another commercial vehicle. Passengers do not have restraints, which means the significant “jolt” from a collision can send passengers into the aisles and around the cabin. Passengers may strike their heads or appendages on seats, windows, and other passengers. Not only this, but many busses are like airliners in that bags are permitted to be stored above the seats. In the event of a crash, these bags can come tumbling down on top of passengers and cause head injuries and traumatic brain injuries. Finally, passengers may become trapped on a bus that is on fire or leaking toxic substances because of the number of people on the bus and the disproportionately small number of exits.
Causes of Bus Accidents
Any bus accident can be tragic given that the mistake or careless action of one person (the bus driver) can negatively impact the lives of dozens of other people. Officials with the California Highway Patrol indicated that (at the present time, at least) it did not appear as if the bus driver attempted to brake before hitting the tractor-trailer, suggesting that the bus crash in California may have been caused by inattentive or drowsy driving. Although the crash did not happen in Kansas, a similar crash could easily occur given that Kansas has long stretches of flat roads and is a major thoroughfare for busses traveling from east to west and from west to east. Just as may be true in this California incident, a long open road at night can easily dull the senses of the bus driver and result in a catastrophe. When this occurs (again, as is true in the California accident) there may be dozens of deaths and/or serious injuries that result.
Passengers injured in bus crashes may be entitled to recover compensation if a careless bus driver caused an injury accident or if the reckless or careless acts of another person led to the bus crash that caused your injuries. This may include compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses and losses attributable to the crash. If you or a loved one are injured in a tour bus crash, chartered bus crash, or public transportation bus accident, contact Kansas Bus Accident Lawyer Michael R. Lawless (800) 734-3771 if you or a loved one have been injured or killed by a distracted driver.