Suffering an injury in a bus accident is one of the worst situations you can endure in Florida. If you choose to file a personal injury claim, you might not know where to start. There are special considerations that apply when you’re a passenger in a bus that gets into an accident. A personal injury lawyer can help you.
No-fault Laws Apply
One of the main reasons why suffering a bus accident injury and filing a claim is complex is due to Florida’s no-fault laws. This means that regardless of who is at fault for the accident your claim must be filed with your own auto insurance company. As part of your policy, you should have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to cover the costs of your medical bills in the event of an accident that results in injury.
The only exception to this rule is if the bus accident caused you to suffer severe injuries or a permanent disability. In that situation, you can file your personal injury claim directly against the bus driver or bus company.
Notify Your Insurance Company
The first step in your personal injury claim is to notify your insurance company of the bus accident. However, it’s important to stick to the bare facts and avoid saying too much; just explain the accident itself and the nature of your injuries. Insurance companies often try to minimize your injuries to pay as little a settlement as possible. In some situations, you might want to have your personal injury attorney speak directly with an insurance adjuster on your behalf.
Gather Evidence to Support Your Claim
All accident injury claims need as much evidence as possible. This includes photos and videos of the accident scene as well as damages and your injuries, your medical records and medical bills, witness statements, and your recollections of the events. If you were unable to capture your own photos and videos of the accident, your personal injury attorney might be able to obtain them from cameras around the area where the bus accident occurred.
Keeping a journal related to your bus accident injury can also help strengthen your claim. Mention how your injuries have affected you physically and mentally on a daily basis. You may want to keep copies of your medical records in your journal to strengthen your claim.
File Within the Statute of Limitations
All accident injury claims must be filed within the appropriate statute of limitations. In Florida, this period of time is four years from the date of your bus accident. This applies when your claim is filed directly against the bus driver or bus company. However, if you are going through your own PIP coverage, you must also seek medical attention within 14 days of filing a claim with your auto insurance provider.
Failing to file within the appropriate time in either situation means that you may forfeit your right to recover compensation for your bus accident injuries. Your personal injury lawyer can help you prepare your claim and ensure that you file in a timely manner.
If you have suffered injuries in a bus accident in Florida, time is of the essence. Contact Kosto Injury Law at your earliest convenience to discuss your case.