What Happens If You Are Injured as a Passenger in a Charter Bus Accident?
If you live in the Philadelphia area, you may be aware of private charter buses offering low-cost fares on trips to New York City, Washington D.C., Boston, Pittsburgh, and other cities. These buses, which are often called “Chinatown buses” due to their pick-up and drop-off points, have gained popularity by offering economy services at a fraction of the cost of Amtrak or airlines. Depending on the route and service, a one-way ticket may cost as little as $15, or even less. But while Chinatown buses offer convenience on a budget, they can also be extremely dangerous due to poorly enforced patchwork regulations, which have led to preventable accidents, injuries, and deaths over the past several years.
If you or someone you love was injured while riding a charter bus or budget bus between Philadelphia and New York City, Philadelphia and Washington D.C., or other cities in the region, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other losses you have suffered. The Philadelphia bus accident attorneys of The Reiff Law Firm can guide and represent you throughout every stage of the process for recovering compensation. Our caring, knowledgeable personal injury lawyers have more than 34 years of experience helping accident victims rebuild their lives while working aggressively to hold negligent bus drivers and bus companies accountable when crashes occur.
You are likely to be feeling lost and confused after suffering a serious bus accident injury. Let the bus injury lawyers of The Reiff Law Firm aid you with the process of filing a claim or lawsuit, and handle dealing with the insurance companies your behalf. For a free legal consultation about how we can assist you, contact our law offices at (215) 709-6940.
What Happens After You Are Injured on a Charter, Budget, or Chinatown Bus?
The period after an automotive accident can feel surreal and overwhelming. Adjusting to a serious injury can be a physically, emotionally, and financially exhausting ordeal, especially if the injury is permanently disabling.
While you are trying to cope with the pain, depression, stress, and mental trauma that can result from a major injury, you may also find yourself struggling with questions about how to proceed and what will come next. What, for example, should you report to your insurance company? How do you know if you have a case against a bus driver or bus company? If you do have a claim, how do you initiate the process of seeking compensation for your injuries?
These are complex, crucial questions that are best discussed on a case-by-case basis with an experienced attorney, who can provide specific guidance after hearing your account of the crash, the injuries you sustained as a result, and the way your injuries have affected your daily life. However, there are some basic steps you can take after a bus accident to increase your likelihood of recovering compensation.
- Prioritize getting medical care promptly. Not only is this necessary for your health, it is also one of the most important actions you can take as an injury victim, as failure to seek treatment can later compromise your claim.
- Try to identify where the accident occurred. This can be difficult if the crash took place on an interstate highway, but is important for determining jurisdiction.
- Preserve records of your medical documents and equipment, such as prescriptions for medication. You can also make scans or take photographs to create back-up copies. Further, your attorney can work to obtain medical records and speak with medical experts about the short-term and long-term physiological effects of your injuries.
- Avoid signing any contracts or documents after the accident until you review them with an attorney, even if you feel like you are being “pushed” for a statement or signature. Insurance or bus company representatives may reach out to you aggressively, but unfortunately, insurance companies do not always have your best interests at heart, and prematurely making statements or signing forms could compromise your ability to recover fair compensation.
Charter Bus Carrying Tourists Crashes in the Poconos, Killing 3
Take the case of a bus chartered by the Italian tour operator Viaggidea and operated by Academy Bus was carrying Italian tourists to their destination at Niagara Falls New York. The bus had left from the New York Metro area and had traveled roughly a quarter of the way to its destination. Then, at approximately 10 a.m. while traveling through Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountain region on I-380, tragedy struck. The charter bus collided with a tractor trailer in a violent accident. While some reports have indicated that a second commercial truck may have been involved in the accident, police have yet to substantiate or confirm these claims.
The tractor-trailer was sliced in half by the bus’ body. During the accident, the trailer cab detached from the trailer and careened towards the woods lining this portion of Interstate 380. The cab came to rest on its side with one axle fully torn off in the woods. The front-end of the bus was found positioned upright, perpendicular to the roadway, and wedged into the commercial truck’s trailer. An individual living near the scene of the crash spoke with reporters, but only revealed that he had heard a loud crash and then, “all of a sudden people were screaming.”
The bus was carrying seventeen passengers plus the driver when it hit the commercial truck. Unfortunately this violent accident resulted in 3 deaths and many injuries. Academy bus has revealed that the bus driver, a veteran driver for more than a decade, was among those killed in the accident. The cause of the driver’s death has not been disclosed by the police or the bus company. Also killed in the accident are two Italian tourists. The cause of their deaths has also not been released. Reporters from the Associated Press reached out late Wednesday evening to the Italian parent company and its subsidiary, but neither company has commented or provided additional information on the cause of the accident or the cause of the death. Four more individuals on the bus were sent to a local area hospital where they are listed as being in critical condition. 12 others appeared to suffer mild to moderate injuries. While reports on the exact injuries have not been received, common mild to moderate injuries can include cuts, bruises, lacerations, a mild to moderate TBI, and other conditions. The truck driver appears to be uninjured.
Our Philadelphia Charter Bus Accident Lawyers Can Help You File a Lawsuit
If you were injured in a charter bus accident, budget bus company accident, or Chinatown bus accident while traveling between Philadelphia and other destinations, it is in your best interests to review your legal options with a sympathetic, results-focused personal injury attorney, like the attorneys of The Reiff Law Firm. Compensation could be available for a range of injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, back injuries, bone fractures, spinal cord injuries, soft tissue injuries such as “whiplash” (cervical sprain and strain injuries), lacerations, internal bleeding, amputation injuries, bruises and contusions, paralysis, and other passenger injuries that commonly occur in major bus accidents. The Reiff Law Firm may also be able to help you recover funeral and burial expense compensation if your spouse, child, or family member was a victim of wrongful death in a fatal budget bus accident.
We understand how devastated and alone you are feeling right now. If we determine that you could have a liability claim, our attorneys will be there to provide one-on-one, around-the-clock support to help you not only with the legal process, but even more importantly, the emotional healing process. If an accident occurred due to driver intoxication, driver fatigue, driving errors, inadequate bus maintenance, defective bus equipment, or other safety deficiencies, our personal injury lawyers will fight hard to prove that negligence or recklessness was to blame for your injuries. Whether you were injured on a Megabus, Bolt Bus, Dahlia bus, Yep Tour bus, or a charter bus operated by a different company, we can assess the situation to identify and pursue the most effective legal strategy.
Do not hesitate to contact our law offices at any time for help with your bus accident claim. Before you speak to an insurance company, call the law offices of The Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940 for a free legal consultation with an experienced bus injury attorney.