If you have suffered an injury due to a bus driver’s negligence you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Here at Ralli Solicitors we have a great deal of experience in dealing with bus passenger accident claims.
Buses are used by millions on daily basis up and down the country. Whilst travel by bus remains one of the safest modes of transport, as with all forms of transport accidents can and do happen. What if along your bus journey you were injured due to the bus drivers careless or dangerous driving, suffer a fall due to the driver’s harsh or sudden braking, setting off sudden jerking for no apparent reason are you able to claim? The answer is yes, you may potentially have a claim for compensation against the bus operator.
Bus operators have a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure the bus is safe for passenger travel and they have a duty to ensure that their drivers do not driver in such a way as to endanger passengers, or cause injury. This duty of care is also set out in The Public Services Vehicles (Conduct of Drivers, Inspectors, Conductors and Passengers) Regulation 1990, Part 2, Subsection 5(1) which states, “A driver and a conductor shall take all reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of passengers who are on, or who are entering or leaving the vehicle’.
I am currently dealing with a claim on behalf of a 68 year old pensioner who was injured whilst traveling on a bus. In this particular case, the bus was coming to my client’s stop and she was correctly waiting until the bus had come to a complete holt before walking down. She was stood up holding the safety pole positioning herself ready to make her way to the exit. Once the bus had stopped, another passenger ran past my client and got off the bus, my client had only just taken a few steps forward when the bus driver shut the doors and pulled away not checking his aisle mirror for any remaining passengers still wishing to get off the bus. This caused my client to suddenly fall backwards and injure herself. Upon the client instructing Ralli Solicitors we submitted a claim to the bus operator. I then requested for the CCTV footage from the bus operator, the footage played a critical part in this case. Upon receipt of the footage I am confident that we will be successful in proving negligence on the part of the bus driver. However, having said that not all bus accident are as clear cut as this, each case will of course depend on its own set of circumstances.
In the case of Fletcher v United Countries Omnibus Co Ltd  P.I.Q.R P154 , this case was went to the Court of Appeal. The important points from the Courts judgement were that bus drivers were not expected to wait until each passenger had sat down before setting off as it would be extremely difficult to reach their intended destinations on time if this was the case. However, if a passenger appeared vulnerable i.e. frail/ elderly/ suffers a disability/ physical mobility issues/ person with a child, then it would be reasonable to expect a bus driver to take this in to account and to take additional care towards such passengers who were joining or leaving the bus.
Having said that, passengers on buses also have a duty to minimise their risk of suffering an injury by holding on to the handrails when moving to sit or get off the bus as soon as they can.
In the event you suffered an injury due to the bus drivers negligence and believe he was negligent and fell below the standard expected of a reasonably competent driver, it is important that you log a formal complaint with the bus operator as soon as possible, keep a log of the accident date and time, the registration of the bus, a description of the driver, proof of travel ie. bus ticket, details of any witnesses, take photos of any visible injuries and see your GP regarding any injury suffered.
If you have been involved in a bus accident call us at Ralli Solicitors on 0161 207 2020 to see if we can help. We will make initial enquiries to establish whether the bus driver’s conduct fell below the standard reasonably expected. We will request for any CCTV footage from the bus operator and assess your case. Ralli Solicitors will provide you with the legal advice and guidance you need in making a successful claim for compensation.