Local media are reporting a crash on Highway 50 in Orlando involving a Central Florida Lynx bus and a smaller automobile. Evidence at the scene and from eyewitnesses indicates that the smaller vehicle rear-ended the Lynx bus. There was significant damage to the front of the small car. 13 people were reported injured — 12 of them from the bus and the driver of the offending car. Fire rescue and several ambulances were dispatched to the scene. Several bus passengers were taken by ambulance to local hospitals.
When I read the story, I started feeling bad for those bus passengers. Based upon experience handling bus accident claims, I know that bus accident victims face challenges that people injured in regular car accidents do not have to face.
For example, since a bus is not defined as a “motor vehicle” under certain Florida statutes and automobile insurance policies, injured bus passengers do not have access to Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in order to get their medical bills paid, like car crash victims do. Additionally, it sounds like there were more than 10 people injured in this bus accident. Unfortunately, each of the passengers is going to be vying for compensation out of the same pot of liability insurance carried by the rear-ending driver (if she carried any at all.)
Hopefully, the majority of the folks involved in this crash had group health insurance or some other access to quality medical care. I am also hopeful that the negligent driver had a large enough insurance policy to fully and fairly compensate each injured passenger.