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.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a bus or coach accident and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
In our guide to claiming
bus accident injury compensation:
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 three 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 last year, the DoT 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
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.
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 a bus accident injury claim?
You should be able to make a bus accident injury claim if your injury happened:
- in the last three years, and;
- someone else was at fault, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
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.
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.
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 a bus accident injury claim on their own behalf.
What if the other party denies liability?
If the defendant denies liability, your solicitor will build the strongest possible case in order to prove that the defendant is responsible for your bus accident injury. Ultimately the solicitor will issue court proceedings on the defendant. Often this prompts an admission of liability before proceedings begin.
The amount of money you could claim for your bus accident injury will depend on:
- the extent 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 bus accident injury has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special 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 are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after a bus accident injury? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- 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.
|Arm injury||Less serious||Fractured forearm||£5,280 to £15,300|
|Arm injury||Moderate||Serious injury with long-lasting effects||£15,300 to £31,220|
|Back injury||Minor||Full recovery within 3 months||Up to £1,950|
|Back injury||Moderate||Full recovery within 2 years||£1,950 to £6,290|
|Knee injury||Less serious||Minimal ongoing symptoms||Up to £10,960|
|Knee injury||Moderate||Mild long-term symptoms||£11,820 to £20,880|
|Neck injury||Minor||Full recovery within 3 months||Up to £1,950|
|Neck injury||Minor||Full recovery within 1 year||£1,950 to £3,470|
|Neck injury||Moderate||Injuries that worsen an existing condition||£6,290 to £10,960|
|Neck injury||Moderate||Full recovery within 2 years||£3,470 to £6,290|
|Whiplash||Minor||Full recovery within 3 months||£300 to £1,950|
|Whiplash||Moderate||Full recovery within 1 year||£1,950 to £3,470|
|Whiplash||Serious||Full recovery within 2 years||£3,470 to £6,290|
|Wrist injury||Minor||Wrist fracture recovering within one year||£2,810 to £3,790|
|Wrist injury||Moderate||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.
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 a bus accident 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 a bus accident injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your bus accident 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.
See the injury table above for some examples.
Calculate my bus accident injury compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a bus accident 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 bus accident injury claim could be worth now:
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, however, 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?
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your bus accident injury claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to 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.
No win, no fee
No win, no fee means that your solicitor will not charge you any fees if your bus accident 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 a bus accident injury compensation claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my bus accident 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 bus accident injury claim?
If your bus accident 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.
How can Quittance help?
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, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:
if you can claim
to start a claim
Bus accident 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.
Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?
You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.
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.
How long do I have to make a bus accident injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the bus accident injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your bus accident injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a bus accident 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 bus accident 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.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.
Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) 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 held in front of a judge, not a jury.
Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
Can I get an early compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.
Chris Salmon, Director
About the author
Chris Salmon is a co-founder and Director of Quittance Legal Services. Chris has played key roles in the shaping and scaling of a number of legal services brands and is a regular commentator in the legal press.