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I was in an auto accident where I my car was hit by a city bus. Their insurance company hasn't contacted me. What should I do?

Bellevue, WA |

My car is totaled, I am injured, and I've contacted my insurance. The bus driver is clearly at fault according to eyewitnesses and the police record. How do I go about approaching the city bus's insurance company regarding compensation?

Attorney Answers 7

  1. The short answer is - you do not. If someone told you you had a fractured wrist, you would not splint it yourself. In the same way, if you have been injured in an accident, you should not be trying to negotiate with the adverse insurance company without representation. How many hours of training have you had in this field? The opposing adjustor has had 100s. His ONLY goal is to get you to sign away your claim on the dotted line. Consult a local PI attorney (many good ones on Avvo) who can negotiate and resolve this claim on your behalf. They will almost always provide you a net benefit, even when factoring in their fees.

    Please mark this answer as "Helpful" or "Best Answer" if you like it. For more information, contact us at or (770) 984-5380. The initial consultation is always free. This post is intended to provide general guidance, and should not be construed as legal advice. While I am an attorney, unless we sign a retainer agreement, I am not your attorney, and any information shared on Avvo does not create an attorney-client relationship.

  2. First, if you are injured , go seek medical care for your injuries. Your first order of business is to take of your injuries and seek proper medical care so that you may recover as best as you can. It is good that you reported this accident to your insurance carrier. As for whether you have a persona injury claim, you should contact and meet with a local personal injury attorney for a free consult on your matter. You are likely to have much greater success with counsel than on your own. Good Luck.

  3. I agree 100% with my colleagues. Your primary focus should be to assure you return to full health after this incident. There are many great personal injury attorneys here on AVVO who know how to deal with insurance companies and will help you immensely with their expertise. I would recommend contacting one or two for free consultations and then go with an attorney you feel comfortable with.

    Jeff Holmes - Attorney at Law - - 360.975.9288. Disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice. This information is based on general principles of law, as well as my general experience that may or may not relate to your specific situation. This information is not meant to take the place of actually consulting an Attorney in your jurisdiction. If you would like legal advice, I would recommend consulting an attorney in your locale.

  4. Get medical attention, and don't speak with them until you have retained a local personal injury lawyer for representation.

  5. You should, without question, contact an attorney for specific advice. Government entities operate a little differently than insurance companies, and there are notice requirements that must be adhered to. You do not have to hire a lawyer, but I strongly recommend you at least consult with one. Most in our field will provide a free consultation.

  6. I agree with the previous statements of counsel. You should attempt to return to your pre-accident form by getting the medical care required. You should consider looking for a good personal injury attorney. Of note, if you were hit by a city bus, your claim will fall under Washington's Tort Claim statute, which basically requires that you file a tort claim notice 60 days prior to filing a formal complaint with the court.

  7. These cases are not easy. I agree with the other attorneys that suggest you seek counsel. Cases involving governments are handled a little bit differently. A claim form must be filed with the government entity before a lawsuit can be filed. Also, the governments generally have attorneys on staff to handle these cases and sometimes settlement is difficult. If this is a King County Metro bus case, you will be dealing with the King County Prosecutor's Office. They have very experienced attorneys handling these cases. Best of luck to you.

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