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Bus Accidents - Frequently Asked Questions
- How are traffic accidents involving buses different from accidents involving passenger cars?
- If I am injured in a bus accident who pays my medical bills?
- I sustained an injury when the bus I ride to work was involved in an accident. Is the bus company at fault?
How are traffic accidents involving buses different from accidents involving passenger cars?
Accidents involving buses are typically more catastrophic than accidents involving cars due to the sheer size of a bus. A typical, fully-loaded school bus can weigh about 42,000 pounds, while an average passenger automobile weighs approximately 3,000 pounds. Due to this size disparity, and the basic laws of physics, any collision between a bus and another vehicle is likely to result in serious, even fatal, injuries.
If I am injured in a bus accident who pays my medical bills?
Your no-fault insurance company will provide you with medical benefits. Minnesota is a 'no-fault" insurance state, so if you have purchased automobile insurance in Minnesota, you have a minimum of $20,000 available in insurance benefits for all medical treatment that is reasonable and necessary to treat the injuries you received in the automobile collision. In addition, the "Minnesota No-Fault Automobile Insurance Act" (Minnesota Statutes Sections 65B.41 through 65B.71) provides medical benefits, income loss benefits, replacement services benefits and survivor benefits and funeral and burial expenses (in the event of a death arising out of an accident). If, despite your efforts to obtain no-fault benefits, you have not yet received no-fault benefits from your insurer, please call one of our attorneys to discuss your options.
Additionally, if you do not have automobile insurance, or if your medical bills exceed $20,000 and/or your benefits have run out, please call one of our attorneys for assistance.
If you were a pedestrian or were riding a bicycle at the time of the collision and you own a car that is insured, contact the insurance company who insures the automobile(s) in your household to access no-fault benefits. If you do not own an automobile and therefore own no policy of automobile insurance, contact the at-fault driver's insurance company to receive no-fault benefits.
If you have been denied no-fault benefits, please contact one of our attorneys to discuss your options.
I sustained an injury when the bus I ride to work was involved in an accident. Is the bus company at fault?
Most likely. Common carriers-bus lines, airlines, and railroads-owe their passengers "the highest degree of care" and are held to have a special responsibility to their passengers. Common carriers must exercise extra caution in protecting their riders and do everything they can to keep them safe.
Whether you win your case will depend on the circumstances of the accident. Did the driver pull out in front of a car and have to slam on the brakes? What were the road conditions? A jury will have to consider those factual circumstances to determine if your driver acted negligently. But as an employee of a common carrier, the driver must provide you with a high degree of care. (If the bus were hit by another car, the other driver also may be liable for your injuries.)