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Accident on a bus

Accidents occurring while travelling by public transport are not uncommon. In most cases the cause of the accident is either a collision with another vehicle or pedestrian, mechanical fault or the driver’s negligence. It is very rare that the accident occurs because of the fault of the bus’ passenger. If you were involved in an accident whilst on a bus you might be entitled to accident compensation.

Examples of bus accidents and incidents:

• Being pushed of your seat or falling over due to the driver’s rapid or unexpected breaking or accelerating

• Suffering an injury due to the bus going around the corner at a high speed

• Falling down the stairs on a double-decker bus due to the drivers unsafe driving

• Falling off the bus whilst getting off

• Suffering an injury due to the bus being involved in a road traffic accident

Bus accident claims compensation

Normally if a bus has been involved in an accident, there is more than one victim and it is likely that a bigger amount of passengers will be injured or suffers from shock shortly after the incident. Bus drivers have got a duty of care over the passengers and consequently if you have been injured while on a bus, you can bring a claim against the bus company who employs the driver or, if it was not the driver’s fault, against the driver of the other vehicle responsible for causing the accident.

Starting a claim

When making a claim for an accident which is not your fault the first step of proceedings is to request a claim form from the court. Once a court issues a claim form that is when the proceedings begin. The next step is to fill out the claim form. This is then lodged with the court and given to the other party to litigation. Even when suing a number of people or the same person for a number of things a single claim form can be used so long as the claims are in some way connected.

When to act?

Once the court issues the claim form you must complete it and serve it on the other side to proceedings within 4 months. The time limit is strict and expires by midnight on the calendar day four months after issuing the form. You should either:

• Post it to the other party (the bus company or the other motorist) by first class

• Leave it with the other party

• Deliver it to the other party

• Have it collected by a delivery service

• Complete a fax transmission containing it

• Send it by e-mail to the other party
If the time limit has expired an application needs to be made to the court to extend the time limit.

Claim form’s content

There are certain things that a claim form must include, they are:

  • A statement describing the nature of the claim – This must include whether the claim is brought for negligence, e.g. where another driver failed to brake and hit the back or side of the bus causing whiplash, or breach of a statutory duty by the driver to the passengers.
  • The remedy you are seeking – This needs to specify what you want to get out of the claim, usually this will be compensation for the damage caused.
  • A statement of value if the clam is for money – you should state the amount of money sought or whether you expect to receive under £5,000, between £5,000 and £25,000 or over £25,000. Where the claim is for pain or suffering and loss of amenity you should state whether that component is likely to be worth more or less than £1,000.
  • A statement of truth – This is essential and is a declaration that the contents of the claim form are true which is signed by you or your legal representative. A failure to include a statement of truth could bring the claim to an end.
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