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Do I Need to Report a Bus Accident to the Greenville Authorities?

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Do I Need to Report a Bus Accident to the Greenville Authorities?

Buses are considered a generally safe and convenient mode of transportation in South Carolina. The city of Greenville offers a few different options for public transportation, such as buses with fixed routes, and many other private charter bus companies offer tours and trips throughout the state. Yet, buses are still susceptible to serious and even fatal accidents.

The Palmetto State had 221 school bus crashes and 173 passenger bus collisions in 2020, according to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety. While the majority of these accidents resulted only in property damage with no injuries, 53 people were injured, and one was killed in passenger bus accidents in 2020. In addition, 35 people were injured and one person killed in accidents involving school buses. The attorneys at Armada Law go over the facts about bus accidents in South Carolina and explain when reporting a bus accident is necessary.

What Causes Most Bus Accidents in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, some of the most common causes of bus accidents are similar to those said to be the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents nationwide. Distracted driving, impairment due to alcohol and drugs, excessive speed, mechanical failures, and even driver fatigue contribute to many accidents every year.

Buses are larger vehicles and require a longer braking distance, which makes them harder to control than a standard passenger vehicle. If a driver is speeding or distracted, they may not be able to apply the brakes in time to avoid a collision, which may result in the bus being overturned or colliding with another vehicle. Likewise, there are many older model buses in circulation – especially school buses. Without proper maintenance, these buses may have serious mechanical failures, such as faulty brakes or steering, and may end up causing an accident. Finally, drivers who are intoxicated by alcohol or have simply become fatigued due to long hours on the road and lack of sleep may fall asleep at the wheel or otherwise make serious mistakes and cause a bus crash.

What Should You Do Immediately After a Bus Accident?

If you were involved in a bus accident, your priority is to seek medical attention for any serious or life-threatening injuries. If you were riding the bus as a passenger, be sure to identify yourself to first responders and emergency personnel and mention the fact that you were a passenger, as that may be extremely important to prove that you were at the scene of the accident later on.

If possible, take note of the time and location of the accident, the bus number and route, and the driver’s name. Take pictures and videos of the scene of the accident, and obtain a copy of the police report. Write down the name and contact information of any witnesses, and hold on to any other evidence, such as your bus ticket, fair receipt, and medical records. Then, contact an experienced bus accident attorney to learn your options to file a claim and receive compensation.

When Does a Bus Accident Need to Be Reported to Law Enforcement?

In South Carolina, motorists who are involved in a motor vehicle collision must report the accident to law enforcement whenever the collision results in personal injury, death, or property damage of more than $1,000.00. Failure to report a serious accident could result in significant consequences, such as a license suspension and even criminal charges. If you do not report a serious accident, you could even be facing a misdemeanor or a felony charge, depending on the severity of the crash.

Bus accidents are almost always significant in terms of damages, which means, more likely than not, they need to be reported to law enforcement. When in doubt, it is best to call the police and report the accident, even if you are not sure it is serious enough. If law enforcement determines that a police officer does not need to be dispatched to the accident scene, you can report the accident yourself online or in person at your local SCDMV.

Be sure to write down information about the accident as explained above and file your report as soon as possible. If an officer is dispatched to the crash site, they will usually file the report for you, and you can obtain a copy for your own records. Filing a report may also be a necessary step to file an insurance claim later on, as many insurance companies require an accident report to be included in the claim documents.

What Can a Bus Accident Attorney Do to Help?

Bus accident cases can be significantly more complex than car accidents, mostly because pinpointing liability for the crash is not always an easy task. In some cases, multiple parties may be at fault for the accident. For example, suppose you were injured in a crash while traveling in a private charter bus. The bus driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a ditch. It was later determined that the bus driver fell asleep at the wheel momentarily but then tried to apply the brakes to avoid a collision, and the brakes failed. In this case, the bus driver and the bus company (or party responsible for maintaining the bus) would share liability for the accident.

An attorney can assist you with the process of gathering evidence, determining liability for the accident, and building a strong case on your behalf so you can secure fair compensation for your injuries. At Armada Law, our team of bus accident attorneys is here to assist you with your case. Contact us at (864) 633-3739 to learn more about how we can help.

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