Bus accidents: What to do next

Region: Ontario Answer # 3450

Being involved in any type of accident can be a distressing experience. However, when experienced while riding public transportation, you may be even more confused and concerned about the next steps.

Call emergency services

Any time a road accident occurs that causes a personal injury or property damage of $2,000 or higher, the police must notified. Other services, such as medics and fire response teams, may also need to be on the scene to address injuries. Therefore, when able, call 911.

Where you are either the bus driver or another driver who comes into collision with a bus, the damage caused may require a tow truck on scene and a police report be made. Assess as needed and call the non-emergency number once you are able to safely clear from oncoming traffic.

Provide a statement

Any drivers (either of the bus or another vehicle involved) may be asked to make a statement to the police following an accident. Those on the bus and bystander witnesses may also be asked to make a statement. If you are a personal injury victim following a bus accident, and make a statement to the police, ensure you are clear and accurate of any injuries sustained when giving your statement, and seek out further medical examination and documentation when required.

Exchange insurance information

If you are the bus driver or another automobile driver involved in the accident, you will want to exchange contact information and insurance information as you would in any other type of accident. Additionally, notify your own insurance company as soon as possible and ensure you have all the necessary supporting documentation, such as a copy of the police report, your medical records, and any repair costs.

Are Statutory Accident Benefits available for public transit bus-related injuries?

In Ontario, there are limitations to the kinds of claims you can bring for bus accidents. Section 268(1.1) of Ontario’s Insurance Act says:

Despite subsection (1) and the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule, no statutory accident benefits are payable in respect of an occupant of a public transit vehicle, in respect of an incident that occurs on or after the date this subsection comes into force, if the public transit vehicle did not collide with another automobile or any other object in the incident.

Under this section, statutory accident benefits are not available to those who are injured in circumstances where the bus did not actually collide with something (for instance, if the driver were to brake abruptly, causing a passenger to be thrown from their seat). However, the injured person can still bring an action against the negligent parties. These accidents are treated as regular negligence cases, as opposed to falling under the motor vehicle claim laws.

Get legal advice

The more serious the accident, the harder it can be to navigate. Consider consulting a trained legal professional who is experienced in handling personal injuries related to bus accidents. As there are more parties involved in bus accidents than in traditional accidents, the process can be more drawn out and complex. Ensure you follow the steps above and bring all your collected documentation to the legal advisor to help your consultation go as smoothly as possible.

This legal answer was created in collaboration with David Hollingsworth Personal Injury Lawyers.


You now have 3 options:

Request permission for your organization to copy information from this website.

Page loaded. Thank you