You are climbing the steps of the bus and slip and fall on the slush that has built up over the morning. Or perhaps you fell as you were making your way back to the bus, not noticing a passenger had spilled his or her morning drink and you slipped on the slick conditions the spill created.
If you sustain an injury due to a slip and fall accident on a bus, there are a few things you need to know.
Who Is At Fault?
Before you can even begin to think of receiving compensation for any loss that may have occurred due to your injury, you need to determine who was at fault. Ask yourself:
- Was the bus driver at fault?
- Was another passenger at fault?
- Was the company or municipality who owns the bus at fault?
If you fell due to the actions of another passenger, then that is the individual who would be at fault. If your fall was due to negligence of the bus driver or the company that owns the bus, then they would be the responsible parties.
What to Do If You Slip and Fall on a Bus
If you slipped and fell on a bus because of a spill or because of maintenance issues, you can pursue a personal injury claim against the bus company. You will need to do everything that you can to protect your rights and to preserve evidence to support your claim.
You should be aware so you will do everything that you can to protect your interests and recover compensation for your losses. You will need to follow proper protocol so you can make sure your claim gets on track. Preserve all supporting evidence and documentation to help your claim.
Tell the bus driver that you slipped and fell. Be sure you tell the driver about any injuries that you suffered. If possible, get photos of the accident scene and of any visible injuries you suffered. Be sure to establish medical care right away.
You will need to maintain medical documentation to support your claim and show the severity of your injuries. Keep medical records and medical bills. Also, document any missed work and lost wages.
Ask any witnesses for their names and contact details. You will want to make sure you get witness statements as well. Statements from witnesses can play an important role in the success of your slip and fall claim after an accident on a bus.
Also, look to see if the bus has a surveillance camera. If so, the video could be beneficial in helping you prove that you suffered a slip and fall and showing what injuries you received resulting from being in the accident.
You should consult with a personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible. With the help of an attorney, you are much more likely to recover compensation for your damages that resulted from the slip and fall when you were on the bus. Your attorney will also investigate the accident and help you gather supporting evidence so you can show that negligence was the cause of your accident and that your injuries and damages could have been avoided.
Common Slip and Fall Injuries
A variety of injuries could result from a slip and fall accident. While a slip and fall could cause minor injuries, such as a sprain or a strain, it can lead to more serious injuries, such as a broken bone or a back injury. Where you fall, how far you fall, and how you land all play a role in the outcome of the accident and the severity of your injuries.
Slip and fall accidents can cause a variety of injuries, including:
- Dislocated shoulders
- Broken bones
- Knee injuries
- Sprained wrists or ankles
- Spine damage
- Nerve damage
- Cuts and bruises
- Muscle strains
- Traumatic brain injuries
Broken bones are the result of a fall that causes more pressure on the bone than it can handle. Some of the most common broken bones from a slip and fall include the ankle, wrist, and hip. The older you are, the more likely you are to suffer a broken bone.
An uneven or unusual step during a fall can cause sprained or strained ankles. When you throw out your arms to try to catch yourself and cushion the fall, you can suffer a sprained wrist. Sometimes the knee will twist during a fall, causing a knee injury. If you hit your shoulder when you fall, you may suffer from a shoulder strain or dislocation.
Nerve damage can result from stretching, cuts, or from direct trauma. A traumatic brain injury can happen even if your head doesn’t hit the ground. When the brain gets a rough jolt, you could suffer serious injuries. Often, a slip and fall will lead to cuts and bruises. These injuries may take a while to heal.
How Much Is Your Slip and Fall Claim Worth?
No two slip and fall claims are the same. Several things must be considered when determining the value of your claim and how much you can recover for your damages.
All your damages should be included in your total. Your personal injury claim should include an itemized list of damages, and these should then be added up to determine the total of your losses.
Usually, a slip and fall accident leads to a variety of damages, which include, but aren’t limited to:
- Medical expenses – past and future
- Lost wages – past and future
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Property damages, such as broken eyeglasses
Your medical expenses are added up. These include doctor visits, hospital bills, prescriptions, and anything else related to your medical care. Keep receipts for your doctor visits, physical therapy, surgical procedures, medical devices, and prescriptions.
All these will be included in your total. Also, be sure your doctor makes notes and provides documentation that indicates any future medical care that you may need for treatment of your slip and fall injuries.
Be sure to document any missed work and lost wages. Also, consider any future loss of earnings that you may have because of the severity of your injuries. You will want to be sure that any future loss of income is also added into the total value of your personal injury claim.
Documentation and evidence are essential for the success of your personal injury claim after a slip and fall on a bus. This documentation should include all your medical bills, medical records, prescription receipts, medical excuses for missing work, documentation that shows lost wages, photos of the accident scene, photos of the injuries, and statements from witnesses.
If you suffered a slip and fall on a bus, you should enlist the help of a personal injury lawyer who is licensed in your state. With the help of an attorney, the odds of a successful accident injury claim increase greatly. There is a statute of limitations for pursuing a claim, so schedule your free case evaluation today. You want to make sure you get your claim on track in a timely manner.
Filing a Lawsuit against the Guilty Party
Once you determine who is at fault and you are able to prove fault, you can go about filing a lawsuit against the guilty party.
With that being said, it is important to note that if the guilty party was a municipality, it may be very hard to recover damages through a lawsuit. Oftentimes municipalities have laws in place that indemnify them from such damages. While it is still possible to win a lawsuit, doing so can be much more difficult.
In filing a lawsuit against a guilty party, you must also prove cause and fault. This may also be hard to do without the help of a professional. Because of this, you may want to consider hiring a personal injury attorney to help you with your case.
A personal injury attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to prove fault. Your attorney can also help you gather additional evidence that may be needed, which could mean the difference between a win or a loss in court. In addition the personal injury attorney will know the laws that are in place that pertain to your case.
If the guilty party admits fault and his or her insurance company wants to work with you directly, you may still want to retain a personal injury attorney. It is not in the best interests of the insurance company to pay you every dollar you may be entitled to. Instead, they will likely try to pay you as little as they can get away with.
A personal injury attorney will ensure that your rights and interests are protected and that you are compensated for everything you have a right to be compensated for including compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.