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If You Get Hit by a Campus Bus, Do You Get Free Tuition?

The Truth Behind the “Pass by Catastrophe” Legend

If you have ever attended a university, you have probably heard the legend that if you get hit by a campus bus, you get free tuition. This legend is also known as “pass by catastrophe.” It proposes the idea that if a catastrophic event occurs on campuses, such as a devastating bus accident or a far-reaching natural disaster, the students impacted would receive free tuition. It even goes so far as to say that if someone dies during an exam, all other present students will pass. The legend proposes this rule on the grounds that there would be no way to fairly assess the students and therefore, they should not be penalized.

While this would certainly be a nice gesture on the university’s part, we do not recommend putting yourself in harm’s way, as it will likely not result in free tuition unless the incident is life-threatening. Some universities do implement a Compassionate Refund Policy, but this usually only applies to students who suffer a life-threatening incident that causes them to have to withdrawal from the university. This means that the primary way a student would be able to get free tuition would be if they were unable to attend classes at all, so the student would not fully reap the benefits of the free tuition. Most universities will review these situations on a case-by-case basis, but overall, this legend is not rooted in facts.

What Happens if You Get Hit by a Public Bus?

Even though you cannot count on getting free tuition if you are hit by a campus bus, if you are hit by a public bus, it is still important to be familiar with your rights and the best plan of action. It will be in your best interest to consult with a team of personal injury legal experts like Belushin Law Firm, P.C. Filing claims in these cases can get a bit complex. You might have to pursue more than one person for the damages and you might have to file claims against more than one insurance company. Working with a lawyer will help make sure that no boxes are left unchecked and that those who are responsible for your injuries and damages are held accountable.

The proper protocol will be different depending on what kind of bus hits you. If you are hit by a private bus, the best plan of action will likely be to file a claim against the company’s insurance company. If that claim is not paid or does not cover your injuries, that is when we would move forward with a lawsuit against the bus company, their insurance company, and possibly the driver.

If you are hit by a public bus, there is a wide variety of parties that could be held responsible. While it would be ideal for the insurance claim to cover the damages immediately, that is not always the case. If you are having trouble receiving the funds you deserve, we might have to pursue the bus driver, the union they work for, the city, the company that services the buses, or the state’s Department of Transportation. We will fight tirelessly for compensation for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, as well as pain and suffering, and we will work to get you the maximum amount of restitution possible.

Does Public Transportation Reduce Accidents?

The good news about public transportation is that it actually reduces accidents overall. The accident fatality rate for buses is about 45 deaths per 100,000 accidents, while the rate for private vehicle accidents is 25.1. While public transportation does not prevent other vehicles on the road from getting in accidents, injuries from public transportation, particularly severe injuries, are far less frequent. If you are concerned about your safety on the road and helping the environment is a priority for you, you might consider public transportation. Commuters reduce crash risk by more than 90% when taking public transit instead of driving, and investment in transit can reduce a community’s automobile crash risk in half, according to a study released by the American Public Transport Association (APTA). Overall, the research shows that public transportation is ten times safer per mile.

In a report presented during the Transportation Research Board’s 96th Annual Meeting in 2017, researchers found that motor vehicle occupants are three times more likely to be injured in an accident than bus passengers. To drive this point home even more (literally), according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were only 44 bus occupants killed in accidents in 2010, compared to 12,435 passenger vehicle fatalities. Research has revealed that the majority of bus accidents occur in charter or other motorcoaches, not public buses.

As an additional benefit, public transportation is also better for the environment. It inherently reduces the number of people driving single-occupancy vehicles. According to the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, a single individual who switches from 20-mile commuting alone by car to existing public transportation can reduce their annual CO2 emissions by 20 pounds per day, or more than 48,000 pounds in a year. That is equal to a 10& reduction in all greenhouse gases produced by a two-adult, two-car household. By increasing those who take public transit, more fuel is conserved, air pollution decreases, and the area’s carbon footprint is reduced. Despite the fact that buses might not be able to get you free tuition, there are certainly other benefits to choosing this mode of transportation.

Even though it is unlikely for you to get free tuition if you are hit by a bus, and transportation by bus is comparatively safer, bus accidents do happen and cause injuries to passengers and those on the road. If you have found yourself in this situation, call Belushin Law Firm, P.C. at (888) 918-9890 or contact us online and we will help you recover what you deserve.