Bus Accident Settlement Calculator - Estimate Your Claim Value

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Use this bus accident settlement calculator to estimate your claim’s value, and understand variables that impact how much your case may be worth. This is not a guaranteed settlement amount that you will receive, and is intended to provide a general idea of how much your bus accident claim may be worth.

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Settlement Calculator

Enter the estimated total of your past and any outstanding medical bills. Include the estimated future medical expenses.

Enter the estimated value of past and future lost wages due to hospital stays, physical therapy, doctor appointments, and vacation/sick days related to recovery.

Enter the expected value for any property that was damaged as a result of the accident.

This calculator uses the multiplier method, which uses a multiplier (between 1 and 5) to calculate total economic damages. You can use these guidelines for a rough estimate:

  • 1.5x multiplier: For minor injuries like lacerations and bruising.
  • 3x multiplier: For moderate injuries like broken or fractured bones.
  • 4.5x multiplier: For long-lasting severe injuries such as organ damages, permanent disfigurement, PTSD, and nerve damage.

Average Bus Accident Settlement Amount

The average bus accident settlement amount is $548,299 while the median settlement amount is $33,000, which is a more accurate representation of the typical settlement amount. This data is based off of data from over 130 bus accident cases recorded by Thomson Reuters.

Average bus accident settlement amount chart (2024)
Average bus accident settlement amount chart (2024)
  • Highest settlement ($13,000,000): An individual suffered fatal injuries when the medical transit van they were traveling in left the roadway and collided with a tree after the driver reportedly lost control while operating the vehicle. The driver was employed by a company subcontracted to operate medical transport vehicles. Legal action was initiated, arguing that the driver failed to uphold the requisite level of care expected of a common carrier, alleging that the driver was under the influence and did not maintain alertness, which compromised passenger safety. $10M was awarded for the wrongful death claim, and another $3M was awarded toward survival.
  • Lowest settlement ($2,000): An individual, represented by a family member, was involved in an incident where a bus struck the motor vehicle they were traveling in, leading to injuries in the head, neck, and leg areas. This incident occurred at an intersection. Legal representation was sought for the individual to address issues arising from the event, focusing on the harm sustained.
  • Average settlement ($548,299): The average business accident settlement amount gives an overall view of the compensation figures across bus accident cases, calculating the mean value of all settlements combined. While this can provide a broad perspective on potential compensation, it’s important to note that this average can be significantly influenced by a few very high or very low settlements.
  • Median settlement ($33,000): The median settlement amount provides a reliable calculation of the “typical settlement amount” for a bus accident settlement, representing the midpoint where half of all settlements are higher and half are lower. This measure avoids distortion from extremely high or low settlements that often skews averages, offering a more accurate reflection of what claimants typically receive.

Bus Accident Settlement Examples

Settlement examples under $100K

  • $25K settlement: An accident occurred involving a school bus, resulting in a rollover crash. A minor, a passenger on the bus, sustained injuries. Legal action was initiated by the minor’s parents, who claimed that medical treatment for the injuries exceeded significant costs. The parents also argued that the school district had secured substantial insurance coverage for their buses. They contended that the limit for recovery under the liability portion of this insurance was capped by law. Additionally, they claimed that the insurance provider had failed to act in good faith by not promptly settling under the terms of the uninsured motorist coverage, which led them to pursue legal remedies for breach of good faith and fair dealing. In response, the insurance provider denied these allegations. Ultimately, a companion legal case led to the provider being ordered to meet the liability and uninsured motorist policy limits. A settlement was reached, which included an additional payment over the previously settled amounts to address the bad faith claim.
  • $45K settlement: A wrongful death and survival action was initiated following a tragic accident where a minor was struck by a vehicle while attempting to board a school bus across the street. The accident occurred as the minor was crossing in a marked crosswalk to reach a school bus that was not parked in a designated safe loading zone, which compelled students to navigate across several traffic lanes. The legal claim asserted that the school bus driver was negligent for not ensuring a safe boarding area, failing to provide adequate crossing guidance, and lacking sufficient warning signals for motorists. It was also argued that the area was poorly lit and lacked necessary warning signs. The school district involved contested these claims, attributing the accident primarily to the driver of the vehicle, who was found criminally negligent and sentenced
  • $75K settlement: An accident occurred where an ambulance, parked on the side of the road while an individual was tending to a patient inside, was struck by a bus. The bus driver was reported to be performing their duties for a local transport service at the time of the collision. The individual in the ambulance sustained severe injuries, including a traumatic brain injury and various head injuries. A legal claim was initiated on behalf of a minor, related to the individual injured, seeking damages for the temporary loss of companionship resulting from the injuries.

Settlement examples (between $100K and $500K)

  • $110K settlement: An incident occurred where a school bus, during a group trip, deviated from its lane and collided with a guardrail, subsequently overturning. An individual, a minor, who was a passenger on the bus, sustained spine injuries as a result of this accident. A legal claim was initiated on behalf of the minor, arguing that the bus was negligently operated, maintained, and controlled, which led to the incident and the injuries sustained.
  • $225K settlement: A bus accident occurred involving a school bus and a commercial vehicle resulting in a collision. An individual, a minor who was a passenger on the school bus, reported sustaining injuries. The legal claim stated that the school bus driver, employed by a bus service, failed to stop and/or yield to ongoing traffic and did not give the right-of-way. Furthermore, it was alleged that the driver of the commercial vehicle, operating within the scope of their employment for another company, was inattentive and driving at an excessive speed. The defendants associated with the bus service denied liability and sought legal recourse against the commercial vehicle’s operator and their employer, asserting contributory factors in the accident.
  • $405K settlement: An accident occurred at an intersection involving a school bus and another vehicle, resulting in injuries to passengers, including two minors. The school bus was operated by an employee of a school district, and the collision involved a vehicle operated by another individual. The injuries reported included a generalized spine injury, a fractured clavicle, head and hip contusions, and a concussion with loss of consciousness. The individuals on the bus initiated a legal claim, attributing the cause of the collision to the actions of both the bus driver and the driver of the other vehicle involved.

Settlement examples (between $500K and $1M)

  • $526K settlement: An incident occurred at an intersection where a school bus, operated by an individual in the course of their employment with a transportation company, was involved in a collision with another vehicle. The individuals in the vehicle claimed they sustained injuries during the incident. A legal claim was initiated against both the bus driver and the transportation company, asserting negligence due to inattentiveness and failure to adhere to traffic signals. The transportation company was argued to be vicariously liable for the actions of their employee. Claims for damages focused on pain and suffering. Additional claims were made disputing the circumstances under which the incident occurred, with assertions regarding the traffic light’s status at the time of the collision. The case was brought to trial, where fault was apportioned between the parties, resulting in a judgment where the defendants were deemed partially at fault.
  • $625K settlement: In an incident involving a bus and another vehicle, two individuals, both minors, sustained injuries. The bus, operated by an employee of a transportation company, was involved in a collision while attempting a maneuver. One minor reported injuries, and the other sustained a general leg injury. Legal claims were made against the bus operator and the transportation company, alleging negligence in the operation of the bus.
  • $780K settlement: An individual riding a bicycle sustained injuries after an incident involving a bus. The individual then initiated a legal claim, asserting that the bus driver had been negligent and that the bus company was vicariously liable under applicable laws concerning the operation of potentially hazardous vehicles. The claim included requests for compensation for exacerbated pre-existing conditions, as well as past and future mental and physical distress, medical expenses, lost earnings, and reduced earning capacity. The defense argued that the individual was partly at fault. The decision rendered attributed 35 percent of the fault to the individual and 65 percent to the bus company.

Settlement examples over $1M

  • $1.5M settlement: An incident occurred where a vehicle, stopped at a stop sign, was rear-ended by a bus. In this vehicle, an individual, a minor, and two other passengers sustained injuries, including a shoulder injury to the minor. It was claimed that the bus was driven negligently. The bus driver and their employer were named in the claim. Despite denying liability and the causation of injuries, as well as asserting several defenses such as comparative fault and unavoidable collision, a settlement was ultimately reached. The claims regarding specific injuries and defenses were resolved without detailing the circumstances in court records. The settlement noted substantial amounts for the injured parties, with the minor’s settlement and the others’ each being noteworthy but differing in scale, with medical expenses involved exceeding $100K.
  • $2M settlement: A wrongful death action was initiated following an incident where an individual suffered serious injuries, including a spine injury leading to quadriplegic paralysis, after a fall on a bus. The fall occurred as the bus abruptly stopped before the individual could be seated. Approximately three months following the incident, the individual succumbed to the injuries. It was claimed that the bus was operated in an unsafe manner, contributing to the fall and subsequent injuries. Although liability was denied, a settlement was reached. The individual was survived by four adult children, and the medical expenses related to the incident exceeded $100K.
  • $5M settlement: An individual, who was a wheelchair-bound passenger in a medical transport van, sustained injuries when the driver abruptly applied the brakes, causing the individual to fall. The injuries included fractures in the lower leg area, which could not be surgically repaired due to the individual’s frail condition. The individual passed away several months later due to complications related to these injuries. A legal claim was initiated on behalf of the individual’s estate, arguing that the driver had been negligent in securing the individual in the van and that there was a failure to adequately train and supervise the driver. The transport company contested these claims, asserting that the individual had been properly secured and disputing the connection between the incident and the individual’s subsequent death.

Methods Used To Calculate Bus Accident Settlements

Bus accident settlements can be calculated using various methods, depending on the specifics of the case and the jurisdiction in which the accident occurred. Some common calculation methods include the following:

Multiplier Method: This method involves calculating the total economic damages (such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage) and then multiplying that figure by a number (the “multiplier”) to account for non-economic damages like pain and suffering. The multiplier typically ranges from 1.5 to 5, depending on the severity of the injuries and the impact on the victim’s life.

Example: A victim incurs $50,000 in economic damages (medical bills, lost wages, etc.) and has moderate injuries. Here’s the calculation formula:

$50,000 (Total Economic Damages) × 3 (Multiplier) = $150,000 settlement amount.

Per Diem Method: “Per Diem” is Latin for “per day.” In this method, a certain amount is assigned to each day from the date of the accident until the plaintiff reaches maximum medical improvement. This daily rate is intended to compensate for the pain and suffering experienced by the victim. The daily rate can be based on the victim’s actual daily earnings or another reasonable figure.

Example: A bus accident victim has been assigned a daily rate of $200 for pain and suffering and takes 180 days to reach maximum medical improvement. The following formula would be used to calculate the settlement:

$200 × 180 days = $36,000 for non-economic damages. This amount is then added to the economic damages to get the total settlement amount.

Comparative Negligence Method: In some jurisdictions, the settlement amount may be adjusted based on the degree of fault of each party involved in the accident. For example, if the victim is found to be 20% at fault for the accident, the settlement value may be reduced by 20%.

Example: Total damages are calculated at $200,000, but the victim is found to be 20% at fault. Calculation: $200,000 – (20% of $200,000) = $200,000 – $40,000 = $160,000 settlement amount.

Structured Settlement: Instead of a lump-sum payment, the settlement may be structured to provide regular payments over a period of time. This can be beneficial for long-term financial planning and ensuring ongoing medical care.

Example: A victim agrees to a structured settlement that pays $5,000 per month for 10 years to cover ongoing medical expenses and lost earning capacity.

$5,000 × 12 months × 10 years = $600,000 total settlement amount.

Lump-Sum Settlement: This is a one-time payment that covers all damages, both economic and non-economic. It is often used in cases where the injuries and damages are clear, and both parties want to resolve the matter quickly.

Example: A victim has $30,000 in economic damages and estimates $70,000 for non-economic damages.

$30,000 + $70,000 = $100,000 total settlement amount.

The calculation method used to determine your bus accident settlement may vary based on various factors of your case, the negotiation process, and governing state laws. An experienced bus accident attorney can provide guidance on the most appropriate method to calculate your bus accident settlement.

Factors Used To Calculate Bus Accident Settlements

Economic Damages

Economic damages refer to the quantifiable monetary losses that a victim incurs as a result of an accident or injury. These damages are typically easier to calculate than non-economic damages because they are based on actual expenses and financial losses. In the context of bus accident settlements, economic damages can have a significant impact on the overall settlement value.

Some types of economic damages that are commonly considered in bus accident settlements include:

  • Medical Expenses: This includes all costs related to medical treatment, such as hospital stays, surgeries, doctor visits, medication, rehabilitation, and any future medical care required as a result of the accident.
  • Lost Wages: If the victim is unable to work due to injuries sustained in the accident, they may be entitled to compensation for lost income. This includes both past and future lost earnings.
  • Loss of Earning Capacity: If the victim’s ability to earn money in the future is impaired due to long-term or permanent injuries, they may be compensated for the loss of earning capacity.
  • Property Damage: In a bus accident, there may be significant damage to the victim’s personal property, such as their vehicle or belongings. Compensation for the repair or replacement of damaged property is considered an economic damage.
  • Rehabilitation Costs: Bus passengers who suffer injuries may require physical therapy, occupational therapy, or other forms of rehabilitation to recover from their injuries. These costs are included in economic damages.

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages, also known as general damages, refer to the intangible losses that a victim suffers as a result of an accident or injury. Unlike economic damages, which are based on quantifiable financial losses, non-economic damages are more subjective and can be harder to calculate. These damages are intended to compensate the victim for the physical and emotional suffering experienced due to the accident.

Certain types of non-economic damages can have a high impact on the overall settlement amount:

  • Pain and Suffering: This is compensation for the physical pain and discomfort endured by the victim as a result of their injuries. It also includes the mental anguish and emotional distress associated with the accident and recovery process.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If the victim’s injuries prevent them from participating in activities they once enjoyed or significantly reduce their quality of life, they may be compensated for this loss.
    Emotional Distress: This covers the psychological impact of the accident, such as anxiety, depression, fear, and trauma. Emotional distress can be particularly significant in cases involving severe injuries or traumatic events.
  • Loss of Consortium: This refers to the impact of the victim’s injuries on their relationship with their spouse or partner. It can include loss of companionship, affection, and support.
  • Disfigurement and Scarring: Compensation may be awarded for visible scars, disfigurement, or physical alterations resulting from the accident, especially if they affect the victim’s appearance and self-esteem.
  • Permanent Disability: If the victim suffers a permanent disability as a result of the accident, they may be compensated for the lifelong challenges and limitations they will face.

Other Legal Considerations

Additional factors are also likely to have an impact on the settlement value (either directly or indirectly):

  • Insurance company: Insurance companies play a crucial role in personal injury claims by determining liability, making settlement offers, and evaluating medical expenses. The final settlement amount can be significantly affected by policy limits, the negotiation process, and the assessment of future damages and medical costs.
  • Liability / fault: How fault is determined also has a significant impact on a personal injury claim and the calculation of compensation. If the claimant is found to be partially at fault for the accident, the compensation they receive may be reduced proportionally to their degree of fault, as per the rules of comparative or contributory negligence. Conversely, if the other bus company is found to be fully liable, the claimant may be entitled to full compensation for their damages.

It’s important to recognize that each bus accident case is unique, and the method used to calculate the final settlement amount will ultimately depend on various case factors. Consulting with a bus accident attorney can help ensure that you receive a fair settlement, and hold the liable parties accountable.

Getting started with your bus accident case is easy. Just request a free case evaluation online, and a legal team in our network will reach out to you regarding your case. Our network of attorneys includes a team of over 250+ legal professionals throughout the United States with over $1 billion recovered for clients, including those who have suffered injuries as a result of a bus accident.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is my bus accident case worth?

The average payout for a bus accident settlement can vary widely depending on the severity of injuries, the extent of property damage, and the specific circumstances of the case. In general, settlements can range from tens of thousands of dollars for minor injuries to several million dollars for catastrophic injuries or fatalities.

For minor to moderate injuries, such as bruises, sprains, or minor fractures, settlements might range from $10,000 to $100,000. For more serious injuries, such as broken bones, significant head injuries, or spinal cord injuries, settlements can range from $100,000 to $1 million or more. In cases involving catastrophic injuries, such as paralysis, severe brain injuries, or fatalities, settlements can exceed several million dollars.

It’s important to note that these are approximate ranges, and actual settlement amounts can vary widely based on factors such as the availability of insurance coverage, the number of parties involved, and the jurisdiction in which the case is litigated. The severity of injuries is a significant factor in determining the payout, with more severe injuries generally leading to higher settlements to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

How long will my bus accident case take to settle?

The duration of bus accident settlements can vary widely depending on several factors. On average, settlements can take anywhere from a few months to several years to resolve. Often, cases are settled within 6 to 18 months, but this can vary based on various specifics and factors of the case (such as those that are listed above). It’s important for victims to work closely with their legal representation to understand the expected timeline for their specific case and to ensure that their rights are protected throughout the settlement process.

How long do I have to file an injury claim after a bus accident?

The time limit to file a bus accident claim, known as the statute of limitations, varies from state to state. In general, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including bus accidents, ranges from 1 to 6 years, with 2 to 3 years being the most common. It’s important to check the specific laws in the state where the accident occurred to determine the exact time limit for filing a claim. Missing the deadline can result in losing the right to seek compensation for injuries and damages.

It’s also worth noting that if the bus involved in the accident is owned by a government entity, such as a city or school district, there may be additional notice requirements and shorter deadlines for filing a claim.

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