We travelled by public service bus to Valetta from Mellieha in March 2014. On the return trip the bus hit a newly built wall and I (a standing passenger) was flung forward cracking my head on the floor and wrenching my shoulder. Several others were slightly hurt.
I was unconscious for a short period and, on waking, didn't know where I was or how I got there. Off to the Mater Dei hospital by ambulance (I still can't recall the crash or the ambulance trip) while my wife (and several other friends of those injured) had to travel on a bus sent by the bus company (Malta Public Transport). My wife was of course very concerned but the bus she was on nevertheless stopped to pick up at all stops on the way to the hospital...
Happily my brain scan proved clear and my arm was put in a sling. I was out 24 hours later. The holiday (it was our first full day) was essentially ruined. The point to note is that unlike many other countries Malta does NOT pay for pain and suffering but only for loss of earnings.
As I am retired I am therefore not entitled to any compensation for pain and suffering and a ruined holiday. Even worse, had I cracked my head on a metal seat hand grip I could well have been killed though my widow would possibly not be entitled to any compensation as things stand.
Our travel insurance provided for the basic expenses but not for pain and suffering and loss of holiday time (we spent a couple of days in shock but I didn't feel well enough to head for home!)
Several locals told us that since the old 'bone-shaker' buses were phased out the modern buses have proved too big for some of the roads and accidents are commonplace. Indeed, on our day of departure our waitress was delayed in getting to work by another bus crash just outside Mellieha.
This should be of some concern to those 'of a certain age' who use public service buses on Malta. The bus company have, to date, not answered several e-mails of complaint that I have sent it. So much for the website statement that 'Customers and their experiences are at the heart of our service'!