Owning a car just isn't in the budget for many people in New Jersey. Instead, they rely on public transportation such as subways, trains, and buses. Not only do people rely on the bus to get to work, but families rely on buses to transport their children to school and back home again. As with any motor vehicle that travels on public roads, there's the likelihood that a bus accident can and will occur. In fact, there have been three school bus accidents in New Jersey this month, resulting in both minor and serious injuries of 9 people with 3 being children.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports that every year, about 700 million people ride municipal buses. Of all those miles traveled, hundreds of people are killed or seriously injured. The causes can range from careless driving, driver error or road conditions.
With that said, it's important to know what steps to take in the event that a bus crash takes place in New Jersey. We will go over these steps in the following article.
Steps To Follow After A New Jersey Bus Accident
No matter how skilled a bus driver is, accidents can and will occur. In the event of an accident, especially if you or someone else is hurt, you need to be ready and know what to do.
1. Seek Medical Care
Following any accident, whether it includes a bus or not, your first priority should be your physical well-being. Seek medical attention immediately to ensure you get the care you need. Remember that certain injuries may not show symptoms for hours, days, or even weeks following the accident. If you suffer internal injuries, your doctor should be able to diagnose you. Furthermore, your injuries are officially documented and can help you with any injury claim you file.
2. Call Police To File An Accident Report
In case of a bus accident, it is highly recommended that you contact the police immediately. You should report any accident to avoid potential legal trouble and it is also helpful in documenting the accident for use in a bus accident claim. A bus driver is required to contact the police in the event of an accident. However, you should as well; and if doing so, you want to give specific details to the officer at the scene, but there should be no admission of guilt on your part.
3. Gather Evidence
Following a bus accident, you should collect as much evidence as you can. You can use this information as proof if you are seeking compensation. Taking pictures is important to presenting evidence in your case. It will be very helpful to take pictures of the accident scene, your injuries, and any property damage. It's helpful to collect the contact details of all parties involved, including any witnesses.
New Jersey's Statute of Limitations for Bus Accidents
One of the most significant laws for personal injury cases is the statute of limitations. This law establishes a period of time after which injured parties may no longer file a claim for damages against an at-fault party.
In New Jersey, the majority of bus accident claims have to be filed within two years of the accident. However, you only have 90 days from the date of your bus accident to file an official notice if your claim is against a government agency (such as the NJ TRANSIT).
If necessary, your lawyer may be able to get an extension of these dates. But, that's if you have consulted with a bus accident lawyer in a timely manner and they file motions within the specified timeframe. We highly encourage you to seek legal help.
Do I Need to Speak with a NJ Bus Accident Lawyer?
While retaining legal counsel is not required for an injury claim or to file a lawsuit, it's generally a good idea to do so when filing any legal action.
It can benefit your situation and help you get the compensation you deserve. Remember that even a little bus accident can have serious consequences, high medical costs, and lengthy recovery periods.
Speak with a NJ bus accident lawyer at Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law if you have been injured in a bus accident. We will help you recover compensation for your losses.
We are one phone call away. Contact us for a free consultation.