How to File a Bus Accident Claim

Personal Injury Attorneys Blog

If you suffer injuries in a bus accident, you may be wondering how to pursue financial recovery for your losses. Bus accident claims can be tough to handle, as they involve several moving parts.

Fortunately, a bus accident attorney can work diligently to file your claim and seek compensation.

Types of Bus Accidents

Types of Bus AccidentsThe type of bus involved in your collision can play a significant role in your claim.

A bus accident might involve public or private buses:

  • Public transportation buses
  • School buses
  • Private bus lines
  • Private charter buses
  • Airport and hotel shuttle buses
  • Tour buses

Many collisions involve a bus crashing into a smaller vehicle, but they sometimes involve a bus hitting a pedestrian or a bus hitting another bus.

If you’re a victim of a bus wreck, a bus accident attorney can provide valuable legal guidance.

Causes of Bus Collisions

Bus crashes are generally caused by the same factors as car crashes:

  • Speeding
  • Improper lane changes
  • Failure to yield
  • Following too closely
  • Improper turns
  • Distracted driving
  • Mechanical failure
  • Lack of driver training

Determining the cause of your bus accident is one of the most crucial parts of a claim. Once you know what caused the crash, you’ll figure out what party or parties to hold responsible for your injuries.

Common Injuries Resulting From Bus Accidents

The extent of your injuries will likely depend on the type and severity of the bus accident.

They might include these common injuries:

  • Whiplash
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Head trauma
  • Brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Burns
  • Internal injuries

Suffering significant injuries in a bus collision can affect you not only physically but also financially. Medical bills can quickly pile up, and you may also suffer additional financial losses, like lost wages due to time off from work.

Pursuing compensation could be necessary to cover the extensive costs you’ll incur after suffering injuries in a bus crash.

Liability for Bus Collisions

Liability is a vital puzzle piece for bus accident claims.

You may hold one or more of these parties liable:

  • The bus driver
  • The bus driver’s employer
  • The owner of the bus
  • The bus manufacturer
  • The party responsible for bus maintenance
  • A governmental entity
  • A third party

It can be tricky to determine liability because it relies heavily on several factors, including the type of bus accident. Your bus accident lawyer can investigate to determine who is responsible; then, they will pursue justice and compensation on your behalf.

Filing a Bus Accident Claim

If a bus wreck injured you, you may take legal action. A bus accident attorney can assist you.

Bus accidents fall under the category of personal injury law. Personal injury lawsuits help injured victims fight for justice while holding the at-fault party accountable and pursuing compensation.

While your legal journey will be unique, the following steps might be necessary to get you a favorable outcome.

File a Notice of Claim

If your bus collision involved a public transportation bus, you’ll likely need to file a claim against a governmental entity.

Filing a claim against a governmental entity is difficult, as sovereign immunity generally keeps governmental entities and public workers free from liability. Fortunately, there is an exception for victims who suffer injuries in accidents involving certain buses operated by the government.

Before filing a legal claim against the government, you must file a notice of claim. This extra step is not required for most personal injury claims.

The notice of claim provides the governmental entity notice of your intent to sue. You can file a lawsuit against the government only after sending your notice of claim.

Send a Demand Letter

If your case does not involve a governmental entity, your bus accident lawyer may send the at-fault party a demand letter before filing a bus wreck claim.

The demand letter provides information about your collision, including the injuries you’ve sustained, the reasons the other party is responsible, and the losses you’ve incurred. The letter will end by requesting a certain monetary amount to settle the claim.

Upon receipt of the demand letter, the other party or their insurance company will either agree to the requested amount, engage in settlement negotiations, or refuse to settle. Should the insurance company fail to settle for a fair amount, your bus accident attorney can proceed to file suit.

Draft and File Your Lawsuit

If necessary, your bus accident lawyer will draft the necessary documents and file them with the court to initiate your personal injury lawsuit. They will provide the insurance company notice of the impending lawsuit, allowing them to file their response with the court.

Once these initial steps are completed, the lawsuit process is officially underway.

The Discovery Phase

The discovery phase is one of the most critical parts of a legal case. It allows both parties to request and obtain evidence and information necessary to build their cases. Due to the research required in this phase, it is also the most time-consuming.

Settlement Negotiations

After both sides acquire information through discovery, your bus accident lawyer can attempt to settle your case again. Settling outside of court often benefits both sides, as it saves time and money. For this reason, most personal injury cases settle before trial.


If settling the case is not possible, your attorney will continue to trial. During the trial, the judge or jury will hear from both sides and review the evidence before rendering a decision.

Statute of Limitations for Bus Accident Claims

It is important to note there is a limited amount of time to file a bus accident claim. In Virginia, plaintiffs have two years from the date of the collision to file their lawsuits. For cases against the government, you have six months to send your notice of claim.

Get Valuable Legal Help From a Bus Accident Attorney

Walter H Emroch, Bus Accident Attorney
Walter H Emroch, Bus Accident Attorney

After a bus wreck, you’re already left to face the burden of your injuries; don’t suffer from the financial burdens as well. A knowledgeable lawyer can serve as a valuable ally in your legal battle. Consult a qualified bus accident attorney who can answer your questions, give you direction, and provide peace of mind.