By Stephen Kane. Last Updated 13th June 2023. Have you been injured as a result of a bus driver’s emergency braking? Was this braking an example of the bus driver breaching their duty of care? Would you like to see if you could seek compensation for your suffering?
Whether a bus driver’s emergency braking threw you from your seat or caused you to fall down the stairs, you could be entitled to compensation if you were injured as a result of their negligence. In this guide, we’ll explain how you could make a personal injury claim after an emergency braking bus accident.
By law, bus drivers have a duty of care to their passengers and to other road users. As part of this duty, they must ensure the safety of those in their vehicle and others on the road. If they fail to do this, resulting in you being injured, you could be owed compensation for the suffering you have experienced.
To learn more about how to claim, please continue reading our guide. Alternatively, you could speak to one of our specialist advisors about your case today. They offer free consultations and could tell you whether you have a valid claim by asking a few simple questions.
If you’d like legal help, they could even connect you with a personal injury lawyer from our panel. They work on a No Win No Fee basis and could get to work on your claim right away. You can get in touch using any of the following contact options:
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- What Is An Emergency Braking Bus Accident?
- Time Limit For Bus Accident Claims
- Calculate Compensation For An Emergency Braking Bus Accident
- Examples Of Special Damages For An Emergency Braking Bus Accident
- What Circumstances Could Cause An Emergency Braking Bus Accident?
- Whiplash Caused By An Emergency Braking Bus Accident
- Could Bus Drivers Claim For Injuries Caused By An Emergency Braking Accident?
- Who Could Be Liable For Your Injuries?
- Make A No Win No Fee Claim For An Emergency Braking Bus Accident
- Related Guides
When executed by a bus driver, an emergency stop is a last-resort manoeuvre that could be done for a number of reasons. For example, another driver may pull out without right of way, leaving the bus driver with no other option but to brake quickly in order to try and avoid an accident.
However, in some cases, an emergency braking bus accident could be the result of the bus driver’s negligence. For example, the bus driver may have been exceeding the speed limit when approaching a set of traffic lights, meaning they had to perform an emergency stop when the lights changed to red.
If you were injured as a passenger in such an incident, you could have grounds to make a claim if you can prove that they breached their duty of care. The bus driver’s speeding and subsequent emergency stop could be contrary to regulation 5 of the Public Service Vehicles Regulations 1990, which states that drivers should take reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of their passengers.
Sometimes, the need to brake suddenly is unavoidable. In order to avoid an accident, the driver can perform an emergency stop under rule 118 of the Highway Code. However, rule 117 states that braking should ideally be done early and lightly, increasing pressure gradually for a smooth stop.
If you’re wondering how to establish liability for your injuries, you can continue reading this guide or get in touch today for a free assessment of your case.
If you intend to make a bus accident claim for injuries caused by an emergency stop, you should be aware of the relevant time limit to start proceedings. As stated in the Limitation Act 1980, there is a three-year time limit for starting a personal injury claim. This time limit applies from the date your accident on the bus occurred.
The time limit for starting a bus passenger accident claim can work differently under certain circumstances. For instance, if a child has been injured, then the time limit is paused until the day of their 18th birthday. A claim could be made on the child’s behalf by a court-appointed litigation friend before this date. If this does not happen though, the injured party will have three years to start their own claim once they turn 18.
If the injured party lacks sufficient mental capacity to make their own claim, then the time limit is suspended indefinitely. A litigation friend could make a claim on the person’s behalf. However, if the injured party later regains sufficient mental capacity and a litigation friend hasn’t made a claim, then the three-year time limit will activate from the date of recovery.
To ask questions about time limits or other aspects of making a bus accident compensation claim, contact our advisors online or on the phone today.
In a successful personal injury claim, your settlement may be made up of two sets of damages; general damages and special damages.
General damages account for any physical or psychological suffering that you incurred as a result of your accident. In order to calculate general damages, the severity of your injuries will be assessed by an independent medical professional. The more severe your injuries are, the more compensation you’ll generally be able to claim.
The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) is a publication that lists a range of injuries of various severities with accompanying guideline compensation brackets. These compensation brackets are based on past settlement amounts of previous cases.
These guidelines will be used alongside the medical report to help value the amount of compensation you could receive. Your compensation award will take into consideration:
- The extent of your suffering
- Any potential future risk of your condition deteriorating
- The length of your recovery period
- How your quality of life has been impacted
In the table below, we’ve included some examples of compensation brackets from the JCG to illustrate how much certain injuries could be worth:
|Type of injury
|Guideline Compensation Amount
|Very Severe Brain Damage
|£264,650 to £379,100
|Less Severe Brain Damage
|£14,380 to £40,410
|Traumatic Chest Injury
|£61,710 to £94,470
|Severe Neck Injury (i)
|In the region of
|Moderate Neck injury (i)
|£23,460 to £36,120
|Moderate Back Injury (i)
|£26,050 to £36,390
|Severe Shoulder Injury
|£18,020 to £45,070
|Fracture of the Clavicle
|£4,830 to £11,490
|Simple Forearm Fractures
|£6,190 to £18,020
|Moderate Toe Injuries
|Up to £9,010
The second head of claim that could be included in your settlement is special damages. Special damages can compensate for any financial losses or out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of your injury.
Some examples of costs you could recover as special damages include:
- Medical expenses such as prescription costs
- Private treatment not provided by the NHS
- Domestic help costs such as cleaners and gardeners
- Care costs, including both professional care and gracious care from loved ones
- Loss of earnings, including any future loss of earnings
- Property adaptation costs, such as the installation of a stairlift
- Repairs or replacements of possessions damaged in the accident
- Loss of work bonuses or impact on pension scheme if your work is affected
Please bear in mind that this list is not exhaustive. If you’ve suffered another kind of financial loss not listed above, you could still be entitled to recover it as special damages. If you’d like a free consultation about your case, please speak to one of our advisors today.
It’s important that you can evidence these losses with receipts, bank statements, invoices and the like. Without them, it could be difficult for you to recover them.
There are some circumstances where emergency braking could be used as a last-resort manoeuvre to avoid an accident. However, as discussed in the previous section of this guide, an emergency braking bus accident could be the result of the bus driver’s negligence.
Here are some examples of why emergency braking may be demonstrated by a bus driver and how an accident could happen as a result:
- If the bus driver was speeding when approaching a set of traffic lights, they might have to perform an emergency stop when they change to red.
- A pedestrian or another driver may pull out in front of the bus unexpectedly, leaving the bus driver no other option but to emergency brake to avoid them.
- If the bus driver makes a decision to stop and pick up a passenger with little notice, this could mean they perform an emergency brake at the bus stop.
- The bus driver may have failed to properly judge a distance, forcing them to emergency brake to avoid a collision.
- If weather conditions are bad and visibility is poor, this may result in the bus driver having to emergency brake upon seeing a hazard.
If the bus driver performed an emergency brake, causing you as a passenger to be injured, you could be able to make a claim. However, this is only if you can prove that you suffered as a direct result of their negligence.
One injury that can be suffered in a road traffic accident is whiplash. This can occur as a result of a sudden movement forcing the head forwards and backwards. Such movements could even cause the muscles to overextend and tear. This could happen as a result of an emergency braking bus accident.
It can take a few hours for whiplash to be evident. Some common symptoms include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Limited movement of the head and neck
- Headaches originating at the base of the skull
- Soreness in the shoulders and upper arms
In most cases, whiplash symptoms should ease within 2 or 3 months, but sometimes they can last longer or may even be permanent. If you suspect you’ve suffered whiplash, you should always seek professional medical attention. This way, you can receive advice that’s specific to your circumstances. What’s more, your diagnosis will go on your medical records, which could be used to help evidence your claim.
If the accident that caused your whiplash injuries occurred on or after 31st May 2021, then the way you claim might be affected by the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021. This affects claims where the injuries are valued at less than £5,000. Get in touch with our team for more information about how this might affect the way you claim.
If a bus driver is involved in an emergency braking bus accident through no fault of their own, they could be able to make a claim themselves. To do so, they would have to prove that they suffered injuries as a result of third-party negligence. For instance, it could be the case that another vehicle pulled out of a side road when unsafe to do so, meaning the bus driver needed to perform an emergency stop to avoid a collision.
According to the Highway Code, all road users owe one another a common duty of care to help ensure everyone’s safety as much as they reasonably can. If another road user breaches this duty and a bus driver is injured as a result, they could have grounds to make a personal injury claim for their suffering.
Similarly, a bus driver could have grounds to make a claim against their employer if they failed to ensure the vehicle was fit for use, resulting in an emergency stop needing to be performed. This is because, under the Health and Safety At Work Act 1974, employers have a legal duty of care to help ensure the health and safety of their employees at work. Failure to ensure that a bus was safe to drive could constitute a breach.
There are a number of parties that could be responsible for an emergency braking bus accident. We have included some of them below:
- Other road users – under the Highway Code, all road users owe one another a common duty of care to help ensure one another’s safety as much as they reasonably can.
- The bus driver – in addition to the Highway Code, bus drivers owe their passengers a duty of care under regulation 5 of the Public Service Vehicles Regulations 1990, which states that drivers should take reasonable precautions to ensure their safety.
- Local councils and authorities – as most public roads are maintained by local councils and authorities, they owe all users a duty of care to help ensure that roads are fit for purpose under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957.
You may be unsure as to who is liable for the emergency braking bus accident that caused your injuries. If so, speak to a member of our team today to discuss your case in greater detail.
Though there isn’t any legal requirement for you to have a solicitor in order to make a claim, there are many benefits to having one handle your case. Their guidance and expertise could ensure you get the maximum compensation you deserve from your claim.
Unfortunately, the prospect of solicitor’s fees can be off-putting for many claimants, meaning they miss out on getting legal help making their claim. However, as part of a No Win No Fee agreement, you only have to pay your solicitor’s fees if they win your case. In other words, you won’t have to pay out of pocket for their services.
Instead of racking up fees by paying your solicitor by the hour, a No Win No Fee doesn’t solicitor require upfront or ongoing payment. You also won’t be asked to pay anything in the event that your claim is unsuccessful.
In fact, they only charge a small percentage of your final settlement as a ‘success fee‘. What’s more, this fee is legally capped to ensure that it remains low and fair.
Our panel of personal injury lawyers can offer No Win No Fee agreements. Get in touch for more information and to be connected with a lawyer from our panel. You can get in touch using any of the following contact options:
Here are some further resources that could be useful, including some of our other personal injury claims guides:
- Fatal accident claims guide
- Whiplash claims guide
- Pedestrian accident claims guide
- Find NHS services near you
- Whiplash reform programme
- Government safety advice for public transport users
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Thanks for reading our guide on how to make a personal injury claim after an emergency braking bus accident.