CanI take legal action against a bus company regarding a fire on the bus?

I was on a coach bus on a ride when we made a stop to switch busses because as the driver said “this bus is malfunctioning, we dont wanna get stuck in the hills somewhere “. We switched buses and about a half hour later the bus we changed over to started smoking up. The driver he pulled over and the bus caught on fire. All our personal belongings smelled like engine oil and the smell of smoke gave me an asthma attack. I want to know what can a lawyer do for me in this situation? We didn’t get a refund or anything

Asked on October 11, 2011 under Accident Law, New York

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You would have separate property damage and personal injury claims against the bus company.  The property damage claim would be for the loss of your belongings.  Your personal injury claim would be for the asthma attack.  Your claims should be filed with the insurance carrier for the bus company.

If you had medical treatment for your asthma attack, obtain your medical bills and medical reports and if applicable, documentation of any wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.

Prior to filing a lawsuit against the bus company, it may be possible to settle your property damage and personal injury claims with the insurance carrier for the bus company.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance company, reject the settlement offers and file your lawsuit for negligence against the bus company.  If the case is settled with the insurance company, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled, you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence against the bus company prior to the expiration  of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

It would be advisable to speak with a personal injury attorney.


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