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.