Bus Accident Compensation Claims

The Department for Transport’s statistics for the year 2012 state that there were an estimated 5234 people who suffered injuries in road traffic accidents whilst they were passengers on buses and coaches. This estimate of the number of casualties is based on police accident reports and the Department for Transport’s road traffic surveys.

If you suffer an accident whilst you are a passenger on a bus or coach it may be possible to make a compensation claim for the personal injuries sustained, if it can be shown that the accident was caused by the bus driver’s or a car driver’s negligence.

The Public Service Vehicles Regulations require a bus driver to take all reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of passengers. However, this does not mean that a bus driver has to wait until all passengers that have boarded the bus have sat down before the bus travels away from the bus stop. If a passenger is obviously frail or vulnerable to suffering an accident, such as a person walking with difficulty using crutches, then a bus driver could reasonably be expected to wait until the vulnerable person has sat down before he pulls away from the bus stop.

It is often the careless behaviour of a car driver that causes a bus driver to have to brake sharply or make an emergency stop. In these circumstances, a compensation claim would be likely to be successful against the car driver who caused the emergency braking by the bus driver. If it was not possible to identify the car driver whose careless driving caused the accident it may be possible to make an application for compensation to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (the MIB), that provides compensation awards to people who suffer accidents caused by car drivers who cannot be traced and identified.

There are now usually cctv cameras on both the outside and the inside of buses, and if accidents occur during a bus journey the circumstances of the accident are therefore recorded on cctv camera footage. It is then possible to look at the cctv camera footage to assess the causes of the accident.

www.gov.uk/government/collections/road-accidents-and-safety-statistics

The Court of Appeal’s decision: Fletcher v United Counties Omnibus Co Limited

The Public Service Vehicles (Conduct of Drivers, Inspectors and Passengers) Regulations 1990