What happens when you are riding on a bus that is involved in an accident? How do you make a claim? Who is responsible? Was it the bus driver? The Bus company? Is another driver responsible? Finally, who will pay your medical bills?
You can find answers to these questions and more on the bus accidents page of our Washington personal injury website.
This video, the most recent in our series of educational videos, addresses the question of how to pay for your medical bills when you are injured while riding a bus.
In the Seattle area, most of the major bus carriers (King County METRO, Community Transit) are self-insured and do not carry personal injury protection (PIP) or any other kind of no fault medical payments coverage. That means they will not pay for ANY of your medical bills until you settle your claims against them.
That means if you have accident-related medical bills you have to look to your own insurance for coverage. If you have auto insurance, you should have PIP coverage. See our June 25 blog for more information on the types of insurance you should have.
Unfortunately, many auto policies exclude mass transit injuries from their PIP coverage. If you have auto insurance but frequently ride the bus, you should call your insurance carrier immediately and make sure your PIP covers you for injuries while riding busses or other mass transit.
If you don’t have auto insurance, or if your PIP doesn’t cover your injuries, you’ll have to use your health insurance. Health insurance has the disadvantage of copays and deductibles, but it still allows you to get the accident-related treatment you need.
Finally, if you don’t have health insurance, the last resort is to find a doctor who will treat you on a lien. This means they will carry the balance for your treatment and collect payment out of your recovery at the conclusion of the case. Usually doctors will require that you are represented by an attorney and that you have a strong case before they are willing to treat you without getting paid.
If you were injured while riding a bus or on any other mass transit, it would be a good idea to consult with an attorney who has experience with this kind of case. For more information on mass transit injuries, or any other type of personal injury claim, check our website or give us a call.
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