Bus Accident Injury Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a bus or coach accident, we can help.

If your injuries were caused by another driver, cyclist, pedestrian or any other road user, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor

You can make a road injury compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

Your solicitor will ask you about how the road accident happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses.

By law, all drivers must have insurance to cover the cost of injury compensation claims. Even if you were injured by an unisured or untraceable road user, a claim may still be possible.

We can help you make a road accident claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

In this article

Claiming bus accident compensation

If you were injured while riding on a bus or coach, in a road collision with another vehicle or because of the driver's negligence, you could be entitled to claim compensation. To start a claim, your accident must usually have happened within the last 3 years.

Bus accident statistics

Department of Transport (DoT) data shows that bus accidents can cause serious injuries. Although COVID lockdowns significantly reduced the total number of bus and coach passengers in 2021, the DoT still recorded 1,505 casualties and 4 fatalities.

Injuries sustained on buses, even when there has been no collision, are also increasingly common.

A study conducted by the BMJ concluded that:

'The significant injuries inflicted on passengers of public buses not involved in road traffic accidents warrant decisive preventative measures by transportation authorities.'

Most buses still do not carry seat belts and the risk of injury still remains high.

Common causes of bus and coach accidents

The panel of personal injury solicitors have assisted in numerous bus accident claims, with circumstances including:

  • The driver lost concentration and hit another vehicle
  • The driver closed the bus doors before the passenger was able to get off the bus
  • A passenger slipped on a spilt liquid in the aisle
  • The driver moved off and accelerated while a passenger was making their way to a seat
  • A passenger banged their head on the seat in front when the driver braked abruptly
  • A person standing at a bus stop was hit by the bus
  • Another motorist caused an obstruction, resulting in the bus driver veering off course
  • A passenger was injured by faulty equipment on the bus
  • A standing passenger was thrown off balance by unexpected braking
  • A pedestrian was hit by a bus when crossing the road

Read more:

Pedestrian accident compensation claims

Who is responsible for my bus accident?

The law expects that passengers behave reasonably, and follow the driver's instructions and any warning signs regarding how to safely use the bus, including when to stand, and how to get on and off the bus.

However, the bus driver and company also owe you a duty of care, delivering you unharmed to your destination.

When bus passengers are injured, there is often no collision. You may have been injured solely because the bus driver was operating the bus in an unsafe manner.

Read more:

Injured by a bus driving off before you are seated?

It could be that another motorist has caused a collision, or distracted the driver in a way that risks passenger safety. It is also possible for a bus accident to be caused by a defective road surface, such as potholes.

Many buses now carry CCTV cameras which are helpful to both parties. They can prove you were travelling on the bus at the time of an accident and show how the driver acted, especially useful in showing who was at fault for an accident.

Do bus companies owe passengers a duty of care?

Yes. By law, bus and coach operators must take all reasonable steps to ensure the health and safety of their passengers.

Bus companies must take additional steps to safeguard passengers who are at a greater risk of injury, including:

  • Children riding to school on a school bus - It may be appropriate for drivers to give children more time to take their seat. Handles and other safety measures should also be reachable by children and fit for purpose.
  • Disabled passengers - Buses must be suitable and safe for passengers with mobility issues and who use wheelchairs.
  • Elderly passengers - Drivers should ensure older passengers can safely board and leave the bus, and find their seat safely.
  • Passengers with prams and pushchairs - Buses must have safe spaces for prams to be stored during travel, and drivers should be appropriately trained.

Bus and coach operators must carry out regular safety assessments. Operators must also ensure that drivers are suitably trained and that vehicles are well-maintained.

What should I do if i'm injured in, or by, a bus?

If you have been injured by a bus, you should seek medical attention as soon as you can.

If you were a passenger, you should report the matter to the police and to the bus company. The following steps will also help your solicitor build a stronger case if you decide to claim:

  • Get the driver's name and driver number
  • Get the bus licence plate and/or bus number
  • Keep proof that you were a passenger on the bus, so hold on to your ticket or bus pass if you have one
  • Keep a record of when, where and how the accident occurred
  • If possible, take photographs of the scene of the accident - this can validate your account of events
  • Get the contact details of any witnesses

If after your accident you wish to pursue your claim for personal injury, your medical records will also help form the basis of your claim.

How soon after the accident should you contact a solicitor?

As soon as you are able you should contact a personal injury solicitor.

This will help as you will be able to provide the information needed when it is fresh in your mind. Your solicitor will also be able to make the necessary enquiries before issues arise, such as CCTV being wiped after a set period of time.

You have until 3 years after the accident to make a claim, so it does not stop you if you have already let time slip by, but the quicker you act the better your chances of a successful claim.

What if you did not get the driver's name, driver number or the bus licence plate?

After an accident, you will probably be in shock.

You will not be expected to have had the presence of mind to have obtained the driver's details at the time of the accident.

It is usually sufficient to provide whatever details you know e.g. the bus route or service number, the time you got on it and where you got on.

Your solicitor will use the information you do have to build a case.

How will bus accident compensation help?

Personal injury law aims, as a fundamental principle, to return a person to the position they would have been in if the accident or illness had not happened.

Although financial compensation cannot change the past, it should have a positive impact on your present circumstances and future recovery.

The courts recognise that a bus or coach accident can have a life-changing impact. Compensation may be awarded:

  • for any pain and suffering
  • to reimburse any medical expenses such as physiotherapy
  • to reimburse any other expenses or damage to personal property
  • to cover any loss of earnings including those anticipated in the future

Do I have an injury claim?

You should be able to make an injury claim if your injury happened:

  • in the last 3 years, and;
  • someone else was at fault, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
Check my claim online

Injury claim eligibility - Common questions

What if the road accident was my fault?

If you think you were partly responsible for the road accident or for your injury, it should still be possible to make a claim.

In these cases, claims are usually settled with a split liability agreement.

For example, if you were 50% responsible for your injuries, you would receive 50% less compensation.

Read more about when there is uncertainty as to who is to blame.

What if the driver was uninsured or untraceable?

If the driver responsible for the injury is either uninsured or untraceable, a claim can be pursued through the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB).

The MIB is an independent body that pays road accident compensation to the victims of uninsured or untraced (unidentified) drivers.

Read more

What if a child was injured?

The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.

A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start an injury claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

How much compensation can I claim for an injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:

  • the seriousness of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.

This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after an injury? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

Bus accident injury compensation amounts

The following bus accident injury payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Fifteenth Edition by the Judicial College.

These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.

Example Amount
Arm injury
Fractured forearm £5,280 to £15,300
Serious injury with long-lasting effects £15,300 to £31,220
Back injury
Full recovery within 3 months Up to £1,950
Full recovery within 2 years £1,950 to £6,290
Knee injury
Minimal ongoing symptoms Up to £10,960
Mild long-term symptoms £11,820 to £20,880
Neck injury
Full recovery within 3 months Up to £1,950
Full recovery within 1 year £1,950 to £3,470
Injuries that worsen an existing condition £6,290 to £10,960
Full recovery within 2 years £3,470 to £6,290
Whiplash
Full recovery within 3 months £300 to £1,950
Full recovery within 1 year £1,950 to £3,470
Full recovery within 2 years £3,470 to £6,290
Wrist injury
Wrist fracture recovering within one year £2,810 to £3,790
Colles wrist fracture Around £5,920

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.

The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.

For example:

General damages for a serious back injury can be £30,000

For a less severe leg injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £7,200.

However, if you have a serious back injury and a less severe leg injury, you would typically receive £30,000 + a reduced percentage of £7,200.

Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries. Read more about multiple injury claims.

What is the average injury compensation for an injury claim?

The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.

However, the money you would receive following an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

Can I claim for an existing bus accident injury that has got worse?

Yes, it is possible to pursue a claim in the event that a pre-existing medical condition, illness or injury is made worse or aggravated by an accident or someone else's negligence.

Calculate my injury compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an injury can be complicated.

Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.

Find out what your injury claim could be worth now:

Calculate my claim

How long does a bus injury claim take?

The length of time needed to process a public transport injury claim can vary significantly.

A simple uncontested road accident claim could be completed in a couple of months. If liability is denied, the process might take substantially longer. Normally a road accident claim takes between 4 and 9 months. For more information on how long your claim could take, see: How long will my claim take?

How else can a solicitor help me?

Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial FREE case evaluation, through to the financial settlement.

Your solicitor will work with other specialists to provide caring and sensitive support and help you with:

  • Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
  • Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
  • Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
  • Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.

Will I get financial advice?

Your solicitor will be able to advise you on whether to accept a financial settlement for your bus accident injury claim. If you require tax planning or trust advice, the solicitor will recommend and work closely with a financial adviser.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.

Around 2% of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.

Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.

Read more:

Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

No win, no fee

No win, no fee means that your solicitor will not charge you any fees if your injury claim is unsuccessful. 'No win, no fee' is also called a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA'.

No win, no fee promise

If you have been injured through no fault of your own, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making an injury compensation claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my injury claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, only after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my injury claim?

If your injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

Is there a catch?

The Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) sets out the terms between you and your solicitor., No Win No Fee is a regulated activity and as such there should be no nasty surprises in the agreement. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you read the agreement carefully and ask any questions if you are unsure.

How we can help you

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning road accident claims.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open:

  • 8am to 9pm weekdays
  • 9am to 6pm on Saturday
  • 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday

Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:

Call me back
  • Tick icon FREE consultation
  • Tick icon Find out if you can claim
  • Tick icon No obligation to start a claim

Injury FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more:

Claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?

Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.

However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

Read more:

Claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make an injury claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the injury to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for an injury after 3 years?

Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.

However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.

If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.

There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a car accident claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more:

Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

I need the money now - what are my options?

If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.

Read more:

How to I get an interim compensation payment?

Chris Salmon, Director

Author:
Chris Salmon, Director