One of the significant differences between a bus accident and other vehicular crashes is the sense that you have lost all control over your situation.
In most motor vehicle accidents, you are either the driver or a friend of the driver. The number of people involved is small. Even though the accident probably happens too quickly for you to react, you have some freedom to make choices after the collision is over.
That’s not the case during a commercial bus accident. You don’t know the driver. You are one of dozens of people who may be injured, and you will be subject to triage and injury management rules imposed by emergency responders. Even if you have only minor wounds—or, perhaps, haven’t had any physical injury at all—you have lost all sense that you’re in charge of your own life.
You feel powerless, rootless, a pawn of fate. Thinking back about the chaos of the accident summons powerful feeling of panic and desperation.
Surprisingly, this is a common reaction after a commercial bus crash. In fact, some experts believe that the psychological and emotional injuries that result from a bus crash can be more profoundly life-changing than the physical injuries.
How a bus accident changes you
It’s common for a bus accident victim to have personality changes after his experience. In the mildest cases, this can appear as increased irritability and sensitivity. In more severe cases, he may show symptoms of classic psychological ailments, such as:
- Anxiety disorders. The bus accident victim may become hyper-stimulated, fearful, or agitated when dealing with one facet of life that reminds him of the bus collision. He may have difficulty with social interaction, travel in a vehicle, or even leaving the house. Severe anxiety disorders may sometimes spur the victim toward alcoholism or substance abuse.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder. Familiar to many from media reports of the effects of combat on military personnel, PTSD can also afflict survivors of extreme events such as a bus crash. The injury victim may relive the event in flashbacks or nightmares. This is a particularly grueling form of anxiety disorder.
- Depression. Major depression is more than just feeling gloomy—it involves a change in brain chemistry that robs the sufferer of feelings of joy or accomplishment. A depressed person may withdraw from social contact and suffer constant fatigue, or he may become angry and abusive. Feelings of guilt and difficulty concentrating are typical symptoms for most cases.
Getting a fair recovery for your emotional suffering
If you have been a victim of a transit bus, tour bus, or commercial bus accident, it’s important to recognize that the emotional suffering you are undergoing is no less real an injury than a broken bone or a head wound. When the wrongful and negligent actions of a bus company, its drivers, or its staff leads to your mental anguish, the company has a moral and legal obligation to compensate you.
Jon Ostroff understands this. In fact, in many bus injury cases they demand a greater sum of money for noneconomic damages—including mental distress—than for medical bills and lost income. If the bus company’s insurance will not offer a reasonable settlement, they’re not afraid to take the case to court and, through the testimony of psychologists and other mental health experts, show the jury how the experience of the accident has caused lasting damage to their client.
Need more information or a FREE consultation with a bus injury lawyer? Contact the Bus Safety Lawyers at Ostroff Injury Law at (888) 653-3636 today.