National Express Coach Accident Claims Guide – How To Claim Compensation For Personal Injury Against A National Express Coach Accident?

National Express coach accident claims guideNational Express offer coach trips to hundreds of towns and cities across the UK. They also lay on transport for sporting events and music festivals too. While many people use their services daily without any problems, if you’re involved in a national express coach accident, caused by somebody else’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries. In this guide, we’ll cover what types of National Express accidents could happen, when you might be able to claim compensation and how much you could be entitled to.

Accident Claims UK offer a free advice service and can also assess your claim with no obligation to proceed. If your claim is strong enough, one of our No Win No Fee personal injury solicitors could represent you in a claim. If you think you’re ready to begin your claim now, please give us a call on 0800 073 8801.

However, if you’re not quite ready and would like to know more about making a National Express accident claim, please carry on reading.

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A Guide To Accident Claims Against National Express Coaches

National Express is a major provider of coach and bus services in the UK. Their last reported revenue for UK services alone was over £550 million. They provide scheduled coach services between 650 different destinations and are the biggest bus operator outside of London.

In the majority of cases, passengers use National Express services every day without any problems. However, with the volume of services offered, it is perhaps inevitable that accidents happen. Therefore, in this guide, we’re going to look at the different types of accident and injuries that can occur, and when you could make personal injury claims for them.

We’ll also cover bus and coach passenger rights, the duty of care owed to you, and we’ll explain when you could be eligible for compensation and how much you could be entitled to receive in a successful National Express accident personal injury claim.

Something to bear in mind when considering a claim, is that there is a personal injury claims time limit. This is a 3-year period from the date of your accident, or from the date your injuries are diagnosed. Failure to claim on time would mean your claim would be rejected and compensation won’t be possible.

One exception to this rule is if a child is injured in a National Express crash. In these cases, a parent can make a claim at any point before the child turns 18. If that doesn’t happen, when the child becomes an adult, they have 3 years to make their own claim which means they have up until their 21st birthday to seek compensation.

After you’ve finished reading this guide, if you’re in any doubt about whether you could claim for a National Express accident, please call our advisers for a free, no obligation assessment of your case.

What Is A National Express Coach Accident?

To make a personal injury claim following a National Express bus accident, three things would need to be true which are as follows:

  1. You’ll need to have been involved in a coach accident or bus accident
  2. The accident was caused by the negligence of National Express staff, a local authority, or another road user
  3. And you were injured as a result

There are many types of accident that we’ll cover in this guide including:

  • Accidents caused by driver negligence
  • Those caused by poor road maintenance
  • Accidents caused by another road user’s negligence
  • And also, accidents caused because the bus or coach wasn’t maintained properly

Your Bus And Coach Passenger Rights

All bus and coach drivers in the UK must be fully trained in disability awareness. This is because passengers have the right not to be injured, or be discriminated against because of any form of disability. You also have the right to travel safely which puts an onus on bus companies to ensure the bus receives the correct number of MOTs, and that drivers are competent, and their licences are kept up to date.

Coach Operators Duty Of Care To Passengers

A bus or coach company has a duty of care to keep passengers as safe as possible while they are using their services. In many cases, this places a duty of care on the company and not just the bus driver. If the duty or care is breached and a coach crash occurs, the operators could be liable for your injuries and compensation could be sought using a personal injury lawyer.

The duty of care comes from some specific pieces of legislation including:

  • The Road Transport Operator Regulations 2011
  • Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981
  • The Public Service Vehicles (Operator’s Licences) Regulations 1995

Any form of negligence which leads to a breach of the duty of care under the different pieces of legislation could mean you may be entitled to be compensated for injuries or harm you sustained.

Liability In Coach Accident Claims

When you’re involved in a National Express coach accident, liability for the accident could be apportioned to a number of different parties which includes the following:

  • Negligence on the part of the bus driver
  • Poorly maintained roads
  • Other road user’s negligence
  • Negligence by the bus company to maintain the bus to minimum standards
  • Other passengers

While the bus driver and bus company could obviously be found liable for an accident should they be deemed negligent, if your injuries were caused by your own negligence, then you might not be able to claim, or you might be classed as partially to blame for the accident. For instance, if you got out of your seat and tripped while going down the stairs when the bus was still moving, it could be said that you were to blame and as such your compensation claim might be rejected.

We’ll explain how claims could be made for the above in the coming sections.

Coach Passenger Whiplash Claims

Whiplash is caused when the head is whipped quickly, forwards then backwards which can occur in a collision. Surprisingly, whiplash can occur in low or high-speed crashes, and could happen even when you’re not wearing a seat belt.

When whiplash occurs, the muscles, tendons and ligaments in your shoulders, neck and upper arms can be damaged or torn. Something to bear in mind if you’re the victim of a coach crash, is that not all symptoms of whiplash are immediately obvious. Therefore, we recommend that you visit your GP whether you are experiencing any symptoms or not.

Coach Passenger Fall, Slip Or Trip Claims

A slip, trip or fall on a bus could occur if the floor is excessively wet, or the flooring is damaged causing you trip. As the bus company have a duty of care to maintain their buses to be fit for purpose, you could claim against them if you’re injured in this way. Also, if a driver pulls away before you’ve sat down, especially while climbing any stairs, you could seek damages for any injuries too, should you trip and fall as a result of the bus driver’s actions.

Coach Passenger Claims For Accidents Caused By Driver Negligence

Any bus driver is classed as a professional driver, and has a duty to drive carefully. This is to help keep passengers safe as well as other road users. Any form of negligent driving which leads to a National Express coach crash, could mean they driver could be held liable for your injuries, and a compensation claim might be possible.

Here are some examples of driver negligence which could lead to a claim:

  • Speeding or driving erratically
  • Tailgating other road users
  • Cornering too fast
  • Not paying attention
  • Counting cash while the bus is moving
  • Road rage
  • Driving while under the influence of drink or drugs/medication

Therefore, you could be eligible to make a claim for any of the above if they have caused an accident and led to you being injured on a National Express coach or bus.

Coach Crashes Caused By Another Road User

You probably know that if you’re injured while driving yourself and the accident was caused by another road user, you could claim compensation from them. The same could be true if you’re involved in a National Express bus crash caused by another road user and you were injured as a result.

For instance, you might be able to claim if:

  • Another vehicle collides with the bus
  • The other road user pulls out too soon from a junction causing a collision
  • Or if the other driver causes a collision because they were distracted

To check if you could be eligible for this type of claim, please call our advisers for a free assessment of your claim.

Coach Crashed Due To A Lack Of Road Maintenance

Another type of public transport accident that can occur is one caused by potholes or damaged, poorly maintained roads. If the driver of your coach was driving safely but an accident occurred because of poor road maintenance, you might be able to claim against the local authority if it can be shown that they were negligent in maintaining the road.

If a National Express coach accident is caused because the driver was driving too fast and then hit a pothole, the claim might be made against the driver as well as the local authority.

Where possible, gather witness statements if you’re injured in a National Express coach crash because they Would be used to help prove and strengthen a personal injury claim against the negligent third party.

Coach Emergency Stop Accident Claims

When an emergency stop occurs, there are many injuries that could be sustained which includes head injuries, whiplash and back injuries. You might be able to claim if:

  • The emergency stop was caused by another road user being negligent
  • If the driver had to stop suddenly because they were not paying attention

Some new National Express coaches may have dash-cam devices fitted which could help with this type of claim.

If the accident was caused by the coach driver’s negligence, the claim could be made against them. However, if they were reacting to the negligence of another road user, that person would be held liable and your solicitor could claim against them.

Compensation Calculator For Coach Accident Claims Against National Express

While it’s impossible to estimate how much compensation you could be entitled to until we’ve assessed your claim, it is possible to provide some idea of the amount of compensation you may be awarded in a successful National Express accident claim.

In the personal injury claims table provided below, we’ve listed some compensation amounts paid for certain types of injury which are based on the Judicial College Guidelines.

Location of injury Compensation Guideline Injury Comments
Multiple serious injuries inclusive of special damages. Up to £300,000+ A combination of serious injuries resulting in pain, suffering and financial loss, including care costs and loss of income.
Hand Injuries £140,660 to £201,490 (a) Total or effective loss of both hands.
Hand Injuries £55,820 to £84,570 (b) Serious damage to both hands.
Hand Injuries £29,000 to £61,910 (e) Serious hand injuries.
Leg Injuries £97,980 to £132,990 Amputation (i) Below the knee amputation of both legs.
Leg injuries £54,830 to £87,890 Severe (ii) Injuries leading to permanent issues with mobility.
Knee Injuries £69,730 to £96,210 Severe (i) Serious knee injury with disruption of the joint.
Knee Injuries £14,840 to £26,190 Moderate (i) Dislocation, torn cartilage, or meniscus causing mild future disability.
Ankle Injuries £50,060 to £69,700 (a) Very Severe – Cases of a bilateral ankle fracture.
Ankle Injuries £13,740 to £26,590 (c) Moderate – Fractures or ligamentous tears causing less serious disabilities.

The JCG is used by the courts, insurers and solicitors to help ensure claimants receive same the level of compensation for injuries they sustained.

When your solicitor files your claim, it’s important that they can prove how severe your injuries were because compensation is based on the seriousness of injuries. Therefore, our solicitors will ask you to attend a medical assessment (usually carried out locally), by an independent doctor. Their report, as well as other medical evidence, will be used to prove the extent of your injuries. This would ensure you receive the full amount of compensation that your injuries deserve.

Further Damages Which Coach Crash Victims Could Claim

Following a National Express coach accident, a personal injury solicitor can calculate the level of compensation you are awarded on a number of different elements. The elements they can include the following:

  • General Damages – These are awarded for the pain and suffering which your injuries cause you. Examples of general damages are what was provided in the table from the previous section of this guide
  • Care Costs – If you require professional care because you need help to recover from your injuries, then you could be entitled to claim these costs back. Also, it could be possible to claim for care costs where a friend or family member helps with your care. This would be awarded as part of the special damages you would be entitled to claim
  • Travel Costs – During any compensation claim, you might need to travel too and from multiple medical appointments. Also, you might have to arrange alternative modes of transport if your injuries leave you unable to drive for a while. Therefore, you could include any costs incurred in your claim and they would be part of the special damages you receive
  • Medical Costs – While the NHS provides free treatment for your injuries, you might incur prescription costs. Also, you might need to pay for other treatments and over the counter medicines. If so, you could claim these expenses back. These costs would be awarded as part of the special damages you receive
  • Lost Income – When you need time off work to recover or to visit the doctor for treatment, you could lose out on income you’d normally earn. If that’s the case, claims could include lost earnings. Also, if you’re affected in the long-term, claims could include future lost earnings too. Again, these losses would be awarded in special damages
  • Personal Property Claims – Finally, if any item of personal property is damaged in the accident, you might be able to include the cost of replacing it within your claim. You could also claim for the cost of repairing the item and again the amount would be factored into the special damages you receive in a successful National Express Bus accident claim

Another thing you could do to help your solicitor claim for financial losses is to keep notes of your expenditure. This would make it much easier to explain, when asked by your solicitor, why you spent the money and how the expenses were linked to your injuries.

No Win No Fee Accident Claims Against National Express Coaches

Many people are put off from claiming for a National Express accident because they think the cost of hiring a solicitor would be too much, or too risky financially. That’s why our solicitors offer to handle claims on a No Win No Fee basis.

When they agree to take on a case, the solicitor provide you with a contract known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This is your proof that you only have to pay the solicitor’s fees when they win compensation for you which is referred to as a ‘success fee’.

The CFA also tells you what ‘success fee’ is payable when you are compensated. You would not need to have the funds to pay the success fee yourself because it’s deducted from the compensation before it’s paid to you. If you lose your case, the success fee would not need to be paid to the personal injury solicitor who represented you.

How Accident Claims UK Could Help A Coach Crash Victim

There are many reasons why we believe you should use Accident Claims UK to help you make a claim, some of which are listed below:

  • We are held in high regard and have received excellent feedback from previous clients
  • Our advisers offer free legal advice and will assess your claim with no obligation
  • We always try to resolve a claim as efficiently as possible
  • Our solicitors will always try to ensure you receive a full and fair amount of compensation
  • Our team of solicitors have up to 30 years’ experience handling personal injury claims
  • The claim lines are open 24-hours a day, so you can talk to us whenever it’s convenient for you

Start A Claim Against National Express Today

Hopefully, you’re now ready to begin a claim with us today. If so, here are the ways in which you can start:

  • Call 0800 073 8801 today and speak with a specialist adviser about your claim
  • Use our live chat feature from any page on this website to be connected to an adviser
  • Email details of your claim to
  • Or, finally, complete our online claims form and we’ll call you back at a convenient time

Remember, our claims line is open 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Also, our advisers are more than happy to provide a no obligation assessment of your claim and free legal advice. If they think you have a strong enough claim, you could be entitled to use our solicitor’s No Win No Fee service.

Essential Resources

Thanks for taking the time to read this guide about claiming for a National Express Coach Accident. To assist you further, we’ve provided some more information and guides below.

Whiplash Injuries – Information from the NHS regarding how whiplash is diagnosed and treated.

Bus And Coach Standards – This is a guide from the UK government explaining what a drivers need to do to be safe and responsible.

Report A Pothole – An online tool from the government allowing you to report road defects to different local authorities.

Whiplash Injury Claims – This guide is dedicated to looking at what compensation can be awarded if you suffer whiplash injuries in a road traffic accident.

Bus And Coach Accident Claims – A more generic look at coach accident claims, not just those involving National Express coaches.

Fatal Accident Claims – If a loved one dies in a fatal coach accident; this guide could help you make a claim.

Victim Support

Finally, here are some organisations who offer support and counselling for those affected by road traffic accidents.

Brake – Offer emotional and practical support for those affected by injury or bereavement caused in road accidents.

RoadPeace – RoadPeace are a UK charity who support those affected by road traffic accident injuries. They also are campaigning to reform the justice system to help victims.

If there is any more information you require, please call the number at the top of the screen.

Article by BH (Brett)

Editor Honey