Sample Demand Letter — Accident on a Bus
If you were recently injured while riding a bus, you may qualify to file a personal injury claim. By filing a claim, you could receive compensation for any medical bills, lost wages, or suffering caused by the accident.
For help filing a claim, a personal injury attorney is the best course of action. However, you can begin the process yourself by filing a demand letter with the bus’s insurance company.
Bus drivers and bus companies owe you a duty or a responsibility to adhere to traffic laws and to operate the bus in a safe manner to avoid accidents.
Here are some things that must be reviewed, as they often contribute to or cause crashes. As an example, violating traffic laws is a breach of duty and often contributes to traffic crashes.
This could be speeding, running a stop sign, improper lane changes, and much more. Also, the bus driver must be attentive and alert. Fatigue is a major contributor to accidents, and commercial drivers have specific guidelines they must follow when operating a vehicle and periodic rest breaks are required.
The police officer who files the accident report, and your personal injury lawyer, will both investigate the crash. They will review the details leading up to and at the time of the crash to try to determine the exact cause.
This will help them determine what actions breached the duty of the bus company. Showing a breach of duty is the second element of negligence.
Demand letters are official documents presented to insurance companies that demand compensation for your injuries. They include your information, a detailed account of the incident, a list of all injuries sustained, and the reasoning behind the specific compensation amount.
They should also include any official documents (medical bills, letters from work regarding let wages, etc.) to help strengthen your claim.
The Difference Between Private and Public Bus Services
How your personal injury claim will proceed after a bus accident is dependent on whether you are using a private or a public bus line. A private bus company can be sued just as you would any other company or business, but you should be aware that they will have their own legal team representing them. These attorneys will be looking out for the bus company and they will work to see that they pay out the bare minimum for the accident injury claim.
If you were involved in a crash with public transportation, however, the claims process is handled much differently. You will have to file a claim against a government entity, and although they are exempt from such legal claims there are specific guidelines that come into play and they can be held liable for any expenses that you incur, but there are maximum limits that they can be forced to payout.
Also, you must file your claim following set procedures for a government entity. These processes can vary greatly from one state to the next and even cities or metropolitan regions can have different requirements.
Filing a claim against any company or entity can be challenging, but if your claim involves public transportation, you will need a personal injury lawyer so you can make sure your claim is filed properly and that you meet all the deadlines.
Such claims also require additional paperwork, and you need to make sure you complete everything and provide the supporting evidence and documentation.
The Process For Pursuing A Claim Against A Government Entity
To file a personal injury claim against a government entity, you must carefully adhere to your state’s specific rules for pursuing a claim. This means that you must fill out a formal written claim against the government entity that is responsible for your injury within a relatively short timeframe.
Depending on the laws where you live, you usually have anywhere from 30 to 180 days to get your notification turned in. Then after you have notified the entity, they have a set time limit for responding to your claim.
Only if they don’t respond within the timeframe, or if you cannot reach a satisfactory agreement will you be allowed to pursue a personal injury claim against them.
You should never wait until the last minute to file your claim because if you have overlooked something on the forms, forgotten to include something, or if you have filed your claim with the wrong entity – you may have trouble correcting the mistake before your time runs out.
If you miss the deadline for making notification, you may miss out on your chance to recover compensation from the government entity that is responsible for your damages.
If you don’t realize that a government entity is responsible for your damages and the time to file a normal claim has already passed before you find out, you may be able to file a late claim if you can provide a legitimate reason for the delay.
Your personal injury lawyer will understand the process and will be able to determine the best way to proceed with your claim. Your lawyer will also know how to get a claim underway against a government entity, and the process that must be followed for your claim to be successful.
You don’t want to risk losing out on your chance to recover compensation for your damages, so be sure to act quickly after you have suffered damages in an accident with a bus.
Sample Bus Accident Demand Letter
Demand letters should be professional, well-organized, and properly formatted. To insure your document is well-crafted, follow the template of the sample demand letter below.
[Your City, State, and Zip Code]
[Name of the Claims Adjuster]
[Their Job Title]
Address of the Insurance Company]
[City, State, and Zip Code of the Insurance Company]
Re: Your Insured, [Name of the Defendant]
Claimant: [Your Full Legal Name]
Claim Number: (Only include this number if a claim number has already been assigned to you, and you have already been contacted about the matter.)
Date of Loss: [Date of Incident in which the Bus Accident Took Place]
Dear Mr./Mrs.[Name of Claims Adjuster],
In reply to our previous correspondence on November 2, 2015, I am presenting this demand letter as my formal request for compensation following the injuries sustained due to your insured, Peter Pan Bus Company.
I have only recently finished recovering from the injuries I received after the accident. As you already know, I was entering the Peter Pan bus to go to New York City when, before I was able to take my seat, the bus driver began driving forward and caused me to fall. The lack of consideration for my safety on part of the bus driver and the company who trained him places Peter Pan at fault for my injuries, medical bills, and lost wages.
The evening of September 30, 2015, I had just entered my Peter Pan bus (Bus ID #137, Driver ID #23494) to head to New York City. While I was showing the bus driver my ticket, I heard the slide doors close behind me. When I had just turned to walk up the aisle to my seat, the driver took the bus out of parking position and began driving forward. I was not yet close enough to a seat or any handle bars to catch my balance and was sent tumbling forward. The fall caused me to hit my head on what I later learned were the metal bar of lights illuminating the aisle way. I blacked out upon impact.
I came to while I was being taken by ambulance to Massachusetts General Hospital. There, I was seen by the ER doctor, Dr. Frank Herring. After an MRI and an X-ray of my hand, it was confirmed by Dr. Herring that I had a severe concussion, a fractured wrist, and a broken pinky finger (injured during the fall). My hand and wrist were put in a cast and I was prescribed [name the medication] for pain. I was also told to stay home for 3 weeks to recover from the head trauma.
Here are attached my medical bills, which further outline the cost of my treatment:
- Ambulance: $345.00
- Massachusetts General Hospital: $470.00
- Dr. Frank Herring: $412.00
- MRI: $230.00
- X-ray: $254.00
- Hand and Wrist Cast: $120.00
- Prescription Pain Medication: $106.00
During my three week recovery, I was deprived $2900.00 of salary pay and spent $800.00 on in-home care for my children as I healed. It is for these reasons that I am demanding compensation in the amount of $9,000 for the accident caused by Peter Pan Bus Company.
I hope to receive a timely response in no later than 30 days from the date of this correspondence.
[Your Name – printed]
Seeking Help from an Attorney
If you have been injured in an accident on a bus or with a bus, you should consult with a personal injury attorney who handles accident injury cases in your state. Remember, the private company or the government entity will be represented by a legal team who will be looking out for their best interests.
You will want a lawyer who is standing up for you and working to see that you are compensated for the damages that you suffered because of the bus accident.
When you retain an accident injury attorney, you will not have to pay anything out of pocket. Instead, your attorney will take the case on a contingency basis. That means that your lawyer will not get paid until you win your claim and recover compensation through a judgment or a settlement.
To get your claim on the right track, complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page to share the details of your bus accident with a lawyer who takes bus accident injury cases in your area.
Personal injury attorneys are equipped with every tool necessary to help fight for your compensation. Consultations are simple to set up and could make all the difference in helping you formulate a winning case.
If you are interested in filing a personal injury claim, speak with an attorney today.