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Bus Accidents

What are my potential bus accident claims?

Here our attorneys list your possible lawsuits after a serious bus crash in Michigan: No-Fault benefits, pain and suffering, and wrongful death


If you were injured in a bus accident, there are several potential bus accident claims you can make with the help of an experienced attorney, including those for your No-Fault benefits, pain and suffering, and a wrongful death bus crash.

Alert! Time limits:

These three claims all have different time limits (discussed below) that you must abide by or you will lose your rights to the lawsuit.

But above all, remember the Bus Notice Provision requires bus accident victims in wrecks with regional transportation authorities (such as DDOT, SMART, CATA, etc.) who want to sue the bus company for their crash-related injuries to first give and serve WRITTEN notice of their claim to the company within 60 days of the crash. This means you have 60 days from the date of the bus accident to file your bus accident claim with a regional transportation authority. If notice is not properly served upon the bus company, it will not have to defend itself against your claim.

Michigan Auto Law has been litigating bus accident cases for more than 50 years. We’re here to answer your questions about your potential claims at no charge. Call (800) 777-0028 for free advice today.

Here’s more information about your potential bus accident claims:

Michigan No-Fault insurance benefits (first-party claim)

You may be entitled to certain No-Fault benefits, usually provided by your own insurance company or the next insurance company pursuant to the order of priorities. This is also called a first-party (or PIP) claim. The No-Fault benefits you may be entitled to include reimbursement for medical expenses and mileage to medical appointments, lost wages, nursing attendant care and replacement services (help with children and around the house). Here’s more information about how the Michigan No-Fault law comes into play after a serious bus accident.

Pain and suffering (third-party claim)

Another type of claim you may have if you were seriously injured in a bus accident is for pain and suffering. This is also called a third-party claim. With this type of claim, an accident victim collects monetary damages from the insurance company of the person who caused the crash. Here, it would likely be the bus company. The elements of a pain and suffering lawsuit in Michigan are as follows:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Fright and shock
  • Denial of social pleasure and enjoyments
  • Embarrassment, humiliation or mortification

Like many other claims, your ability to pursue a third-party bus case has a statute of limitations. This means there’s a limited time to pursue your claim. In Michigan, the statute of limitations for pursuing a third-party bodily injury/pain and suffering claim following a bus accident is three years.

To succeed with a third party/pain and suffering lawsuit in Michigan, the accident victim must meet the “serious impairment of body function” or permanent, serious disfigurement threshold. This means that even though accident victims may be in pain every day and the accident was not their fault, their injuries may not be serious enough to succeed in a pain and suffering lawsuit.

The “serious impairment” threshold is something that Michigan Auto Law attorneys understand and prove every single day. We know how to show that a bus accident victim’s life has been seriously changed due to injuries. This means examining every aspect of a victim’s life, such as work, recreational activities, and hobbies. Keep in mind, many other inexperienced or general practitioner attorneys do not understand how to differentiate between pain and impairment — and that’s often a cost that the accident victim client has to endure when he or she is unable to reach a fair verdict or settlement.

Wrongful death

If one of your family members was killed in a bus accident, you may have a wrongful death claim. Specifically, to sustain your claim under Michigan law, you must prove:

  • The other driver was at fault for the accident that killed your loved one
  • The other driver acted negligently in causing the crash
  • Your deceased loved one is survived by beneficiaries or dependents
  • The death has produced monetary damages

Typically, the types of damages that are sought with a wrongful death claim are pain and suffering (non-economic) and monetary, to replace the income that the deceased bus accident victim would have contributed to the family. Under Michigan law, the person that can make a wrongful death claim is the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. The estate obtains a personal representative through a process in probate court. The people that may be entitled to damages pursuant to a wrongful death claim are as follows:

  • The decedent’s spouse
  • The decedent’s children
  • The decedent’s descendants
  • The decedent’s parents
  • The decedent’s grandparents
  • The decedent’s siblings
  • The “persons to whom the estate of the deceased would pass under the laws of intestate succession determined as of the date of death of the deceased.”
  • The children of the decedent’s spouse
  • People named on the will of the deceased
  • The people designated as being entitled to pain and suffering damages
  • The “beneficiaries of a living trust of the deceased if there is a devise to that trust in the will of the deceased”

Further, just like other facets of law, there’s a certain time period that a wrongful death claim must be filed.

Also, since Michigan has a different No-Fault law than other states, a wrongful death claim under Michigan law is different than it would be in other states. Therefore, understanding that you may have a claim and getting proper representation is key to protecting your rights.