How do I make sure that my daughter is fully covered after being a pedestrian stuck by a medical transportation bus?

My daughter was struck by a medical transportation bus while she was in the crosswalk. She had the crossing signal and the light was red, however it only gave her 30 seconds to cross and this is a 4-lane major road. This is the only road from where we live for anyone to get to the expressway, but we are in an area that many people cross this road, especially with many businesses in the area and within a school zone, however there is always heavy traffic and emergency vehicles because of accidents. Luckily she noticed the bus coming at her and she was able to take a step back, so not to get hit head-on but the side of the bus clipped her. The mirror hit her in the face and the side of the bus in the stomach and leg. She fell to the ground in pain and an ambulance was called. At the hospital, they did a CT on her face and luckily there were no broken bones or internal injury and she came out of it with just a lot of bumps and bruises. Unfortunately, she is now having flashbacks and cannot even attempt to cross the road without having a panic attack. She now has to find an alternative route to as she has to take public transportation to get to school. Since we live in NY, I understand that the law states because she wasn’t seriously injured that this only falls under medical liability, but she was on

her way to college and had her art supplies with her, as she is going for a degree in commercial art, and they got damaged as well which included her backpack. I realize this may seem small but these are not cheap items to purchase and the only way she could purchase them was because of her financial aid through school. How do we pursue the costs of the damaged supplies? I’m also concerned about future medical bills as she is currently seeing a therapist to try to help her overcome her fear, but she’s only been going for a couple of weeks now as this accident only happened in the beginning of this month so it is not long-term trauma but I can’t say if she’ll ever be able to get over this. Being struck by a bus isn’t something that anyone could simply just get over and what if down the road she does have physical effects that were caused by this accident? How do I make sure she is covered?

Asked on October 24, 2017 under Personal Injury, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Your daughter should file claims for property damage (school supplies) and personal injury with the bus company's insurance carrier.  Property damage and personal injury are separate claims. Compensation for the school supplies is straight reimbursement.
When she completes her medical treatment including the therapy and is released by the doctor, she should obtain her medical bills and medical reports.  Her claim filed with the bus company's insurance carrier should include those items.  
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports document her injuries and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.
The medical reports should include future treatment with the estimated cost.
If the case is settled with the bus company's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
I assume your daughter is at least 18 years old.  If she is dissatisfied with settlement offers from the bus company's insurance carrier, she should reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the bus company.
If the case is NOT settled, your daughter's lawsuit against the bus company must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or she will lose her rights forever in the matter.
 


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