Many of us rely on public transport to go about our daily lives. While bus accidents are rare events, that’s not to say they don’t occur. So, if you’ve been injured in a bus or coach accident that wasn’t your fault, you could be entitled to claim compensation.
Although the vast majority of bus journeys happen completely safely and with no injury, the sheer numbers of such journeys which take place every year mean that accidents are sometimes bound to happen.
According to the Department for Transport, in 2021, there were 1,774 casualties (reported) on buses and coaches. This is an increase of 18% from reported injuries in 2020, but a decrease of 52% from 2017 to 2019. In the same time period, there were only 5 reported fatalities on a bus or coach in that same time period.
Given that the Department for Transport (gov.uk (PDF)) reported almost 4.5 billion journeys made by buses and coaches in England in in that period, with just over half of these journeys taking place in London. The numbers are miniscule
(The figure is based on estimates provided by the bus companies themselves which count each time someone boards a bus as a single separate journey.)
Bus and coach accidents are rare events due to the good driving training and rigorous health and safety regulations. According to gov.uk, they accounted for just 1.9% of all reported road accidents in 2021.
Accidents involving buses can arise due to many factors:
When bus accidents occur, they can cause serious injuries to passengers, the driver, and other road users. They can result in long lasting physical and mental injuries. They can even be fatal.
So, if you’ve sustained a bus accident injury that wasn’t your fault, you could be eligible to make a personal injury claim.
To find out more, get in touch with a trained legal adviser for free on 0800 234 6438. Or, if you’d prefer, you can fill in one of the secure contact forms and they’ll call you back.
When a bus accident happens it has the potential to cause serious injuries including lifelong disabilities due to head injuries or broken bones.
Below are some common types of injuries sustained by passengers in bus accidents:
Head injuries are common in bus accidents. The most commonly reported head injury is concussion, which is a brain injury caused by a sudden blow to the head. Concussions can be mild and heal on their own, or they can cause long-term damage if they aren’t treated properly. Other types of head injuries include:
Common injuries to the neck in a bus accident include whiplash and cervical spine injuries.
Commonly, these injuries are the result of sudden movements of the head back and forth or side to side that cause your vertebrae to shift out of alignment.
Whiplash is usually caused by rear-end collisions; cervical spine injuries can be caused by any type of accident in which your head is thrust forward with force into something solid (like the seat in front of you).
Cervical vertebrae are small bones in your neck that protect your spinal cord as it travels through them. These bones can easily shift out of position when you’re involved in an accident, causing discomfort or pain around your neck area.
Cervical vertebrae injuries may also cause headaches, muscle spasms and stiffness around the shoulders and back.
If you’re injured in a bus accident, it’s possible that part or all of the nerve tissue inside your spinal cord could be damaged beyond repair.
A spinal cord injury is a serious condition that can be life-changing. The spinal cord is the bundle of nerves in the spine that sends signals from your brain to your body and back again. It’s what gives you control over all of your muscles, as well as sensation in parts of your body like your hands, feet and face.
This may mean you could lose feeling in some areas (such as being unable to feel pain) or have trouble moving certain muscles on one side of the body (like being unable do anything with one arm).
A person who has suffered a severe spinal cord injury might also experience other symptoms such as: loss of bowel or bladder control; loss of sexual function; weakness across different parts of their bodies; difficulty breathing; chronic pain etc.
Back injuries are one of the most common types of injuries resulting from a bus accident. Because they can be so painful and difficult to treat, they can also lead to costly medical bills.
The severity of a back injury will depend on how badly injured your spine is.
Emotional trauma from a bus accident can be difficult to diagnose and treat. Emotional trauma may be caused by a traumatic event that is not necessarily related to the bus accident, but it has been brought on or made worse by the bus accident.
For example, a person who suffers from anxiety may have an anxiety attack during or after their injury from the bus accident. This situation can lead to a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Emotional problems resulting from traumatic events are often difficult to treat because they require long term therapy and medication management.
In some cases, these issues can last throughout your life and cause distress in many areas including schoolwork and relationships with friends and family members
Emotional trauma following a bus accident can lead to a whole range of symptoms, including:
There are numerous situations that can result in a personal injury to bus passengers and other road users.
Bus passenger injuries occur when passengers are thrown around in the bus, typically because they are not properly restrained.
This can happen when:
It’s not just bus passengers who might be injured in a bus accident. Pedestrians and other road users are also at risk of being injured in a bus crash.
This can happen when:
If you’ve been injured as a passenger in a bus or coach accident, or as a pedestrian or other road user, you are entitled to claim for personal injury compensation. Personal injury compensation helps to compensate you for your pain and suffering, as well as for any expense that has incurred as a result of the accident, including for lost earnings.
It’s always best to speak to a qualified injury lawyer about your claim. They will be able to determine your likelihood of success and advise you on your next steps, and help you decide whether you want to sue for bus accident injuries.
Get in touch with a trained legal adviser for free on 0800 234 6438. Or, if you’d prefer, you can fill in one of the secure contact forms and they’ll call you back.
Bus and coach companies have a legal duty of care toward all passengers they carry. As such, operators and drivers are required, by law, to put in place appropriate measures to guarantee passenger safety.
This is a legal requirement regardless of whether the bus company is a public bus, private coach, or school bus.
Anyone running a bus company has to have been granted a Public Service Vehicle (PSV) Operators licence, and in order to receive it they have to abide by the details of legislation such as the Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981, the Public Service Vehicles (Operators’ Licences) Regulations 1995 and the Road Transport Operator Regulations 2011.
Amongst the checks which the holder of a PSV Operator’s Licence is obligated to take are the following:
Given the raft of legal measures which the provider of a bus service has to work around, any injury which is caused by negligence or the failure to meet any of these obligations is clearly a serious matter and deserves to be compensated.
Not only will compensation mark the unfairness of the way in which you’ve been treated, it will also ensure that you don’t end up being financially worse off thanks to the negligence of another party.
Who you will claim from depends on the details of your case. Who was it who acted negligently?
Bus companies or public transport providers have a duty of care towards all passengers. So, if you were injured as a result of falling over, for example, because the bus driver drove off before you’d sat in your seat. Or the bus doors closed on you and injured you. Or maybe the bus you were on crashed and you sustained injuries. You could claim compensation.
If you’ve been injured in a bus accident, that was the bus driver or the bus company’s fault, you could be eligible to claim compensation to cover the cost of your recovery. However, in order to claim compensation, you will need to prove that your injuries were the result of bus driver negligence, or negligence by the bus company.
When a bus crashes, it is not only the passengers who are at risk of suffering personal injuries. Other road users, such as car drivers, cyclists, motorbike riders and pedestrians can also be at risk of injury.
If you’ve been injured as the result of a road traffic accident caused by negligence by either the bus driver or the bus company, then you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
Any personal injury claim you make will be against the insurance policy held by the bus driver (or his company).
While the bus or coach company has a duty of care to keep you safe while you’re travelling with them, if you’ve suffered injuries as a result of a bus accident involving other vehicles, the other party responsible might not be the bus driver or the bus company.
If another road user was responsible for the accident, you will likely claim against them. Your personal injury solicitor will be able to determine who is at fault.
If the accident which caused your injury was the result of poor road conditions, then the responsibility will rest with the relevant Local Authority rather than the bus company.
The legislation covering the upkeep of roads is contained in the Highways Act of 1980. This states that a Local Authority must make ‘reasonable efforts’ to keep the road safe. These efforts cover the repair of damage, the removal of obstructions and the treating of snow and ice.
Demonstrating that the Local Authority has been negligent will require showing that they were aware of the problem and had a reasonable length of time to deal with it. This may mean making a Freedom of Information request to establish how often the road has been inspected and whether any reports of the problem had been recorded.
If need be, you can bolster your case by requesting any CCTV footage of the incident, and, according to the Department for Transport, 82% of buses have CCTV fitted. If you’ve suffered an injury as a result of a bus accident, your personal injury solicitors will work hard to ensure you receive maximum compensation.
Judicial college injury tables can provide guidance for general damages.
When you’re injured in a bus accident, it can be scary and overwhelming. While the immediate focus is often on getting medical treatment and recovering from your injuries, there are still many other important issues to take care of too.
One of these is making a bus accident claim so that you can get compensated for any losses you’ve suffered as a result of being in the accident. And to help your personal injury solicitor in securing maximum compensation for you, there are a few things you can do to help your claim:
Gather as much information about the incident as possible, including names and contact information for all involved parties.
This includes not just the driver of the bus, but also any witnesses and police officers who were on scene. You’ll also want to write down the name and phone number of any other injured parties too.
In order to make your case stronger, try to obtain photos of the accident (including damaged vehicles), photos that show where on your bus was hit by another vehicle (if applicable), as well as any potential damage done by debris on either side of your bus after it was struck.
The next step is to request a copy of the accident report from the police. The report should include:
Once you’ve been treated for your injuries, and the police have determined that it was indeed an accident, get contact information from any witnesses, and anyone else involved in the accident.
Ask them their names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses so that you can get in touch with them later on (you’ll need their testimonies about what happened, especially if they saw what happened before or after the accident occurred.
Get a medical check-up as soon as possible after the bus accident. Depending on the type of injury you sustained, your doctor may recommend an x-ray, CT scan, MRI or some other type of scan.
You should also get blood and urine tests to see if you have internal bleeding or other injuries. They may even suggest a psychological evaluation or mental health evaluation if they suspect trauma.
If you are unable to return to work, get an official note from your doctor stating your inability to work until further notice due to the injuries you have sustained in the bus accident. For example, if you were travelling in a bus when it was hit by a drunk driver, and you got whiplash, and now you’re unable to travel due to pain in your back and neck, get a note from your doctor that states this.
This is not just good practice, this is necessary if you want any chance of receiving compensation for your injuries. If there are no records of how long your injury has lasted, or the impact it’s had on your life, there is little proof that it happened.
Many personal injury lawyers not only offer free initial consultations, but they also choose to sue the bus company involved on a no win no fee basis. This means that there are no upfront fees and if you lose, you will not be responsible for covering the costs of your legal fees.
Our partners have great relationships with hundreds of no win no fee solicitors across the UK. If you’re serious about bringing you claim, they will be happy to connect you with the right professional for you.
If you’ve been injured in a bus accident, you might be eligible to claim compensation on a no win no fee basis. Simply get in touch with a legal advisor for free on 0800 234 6438 and if they believe you have a case, they’ll pass your case over to one of our specialist personal injury solicitors who will be able to help you make your claim on a no win no fee basis.
Pursuing a compensation claim on a no win no fee agreement takes the financial risk out of claiming for you, because it means that if your bus accident claim isn’t successful, then you won’t have to pay your solicitor’s fees.
If you do win your claim, you’ll pay your solicitor a percentage of the compensation you receive – but this will only ever make up a small amount of your money, and your solicitor will tell you how much this is before you proceed.
The amount you pay in fees will never be more than 25% of your awarded compensation, so you’ll have the financial help you need to move on following your accident.
We understand that making a claim for compensation can be a little intimidating. You can get in touch with a trained legal adviser by filling out the online claim form on this page or giving them a call for free on 0800 234 6438. They’ll be glad to answer any questions and set your mind at ease.
Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.
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