A charter bus is a large vehicle that is hired by a private group to take them to their chosen destination. Charter buses often come with their own drivers and are expected to transport passengers to their destinations safely and securely. Unfortunately, accidents involving charter buses still occur in Pennsylvania.
Charter bus accidents can result in severe injuries to pedestrians and other motorists because of the size of vehicle involved. Furthermore, numerous injuries can occur to passengers inside the bus. Accordingly, there are a several categories of monetary damages that may be available to victims. Injured parties can contact bus accident lawyers for help filing a claim.
If you have been injured in a charter bus accident, seek assistance from experienced Pennsylvania bus accident lawyers by calling the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940 for a free case review.
Who to Sue After a Charter Bus Accident in Pennsylvania
If you were injured in a charter bus accident, it can be difficult to determine whom to sue. In most cases, passengers, pedestrians, or other motorists injured because of a bus driver’s negligence will sue the bus company at issue. Bus companies can be liable for damages caused by their drivers’ negligence. Furthermore, bus companies can also be liable for injuries caused by a failure to properly maintain their vehicles.
However, complications may arise if a bus company does not carry adequate insurance to cover the damages suffered in an accident. In such cases, victims may be able to pursue a claim against a chartering agency or event organizer that failed to ensure the bus company was properly insured. If this option is unavailable, victims should pursue a claim against their own uninsured motorist coverage if possible. Our Pennsylvania bus accident lawyers can help file a lawsuit against your own insurance company for improperly denying a claim.
For charter bus accidents caused by other, third-party drivers, claims may not be pursued against bus drivers or their employers. Instead, the at-fault driver may be held liable for injuries caused by the crash.
Common Causes of Charter Bus Accidents in Pennsylvania
Negligent bus drivers may be held liable for the damages they cause. There are many careless acts that can cause charter bus accidents. The following forms of negligence are common causes of charter bus accidents in Pennsylvania:
Driving under the influence inhibits a bus driver’s ability to operate his vehicle safely. Operating a charter bus while impaired can lead to serious harm. Accordingly, as commercial drivers, charter bus operators’ legal blood alcohol limit is half that of other drivers. Bus drivers must also submit random drug and alcohol screenings to help ensure passengers’ safety.
Still, charter bus drivers cause accidents by driving impaired. If you suffered injuries in a charter bus accident because the bus driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may be entitled to compensation. Our Pennsylvania bus accident lawyers can help gather evidence to prove a bus driver was impaired.
Distracted driving is another common cause of charter bus accidents in Pennsylvania. Distracted driving occurs when a driver takes his attention off the task of driving. The following are common examples of distracts that may interfere with a charter bus operator’s ability to drive safely:
- Using a GPS
- Texting and driving
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Adjusting music or controls
However, there are various other forms of distracted driving. Serious injuries can occur when charter bus operators take their attention off the road. Victims of charter bus accidents may be able to recover damages if their bus driver exhibited any form of distracted driving.
Violating Traffic Laws
Other traffic violations are also a cause of charter bus accidents in Pennsylvania. Accidents can occur when a charter bus operator disregards safety and fails to obey the rules of the road. The following are examples of other traffic violations that may cause charter bus accidents in Pennsylvania:
- Running red lights
- Improper passing/failing to yield
- Failing to use turn signals
- Braking too late
However, there are many other careless actions that may be considered violations. Our Pennsylvania bus accident lawyers can help recover damages for victims who suffered injuries because a charter bus operator failed to abide by the rules of the road.
Buses have weight limits for a reason. If a bus’s weight limit is exceeded, the bus driver may struggle to maintain control of the vehicle. For public buses, weight limits are often strictly regulated. However, private charters do not always comply with passenger and weight limit regulations. If the passengers’ collective weight is not distributed evenly, accidents can occur. Accordingly, bus companies may be liable for accidents caused by knowingly overcrowding their vehicles.
Poor Hiring and Inadequate Training of Bus Drivers
Charter bus accidents may also be caused by bus companies’ poor hiring practices. Bus companies may be liable for harm caused by their drivers if they knew or should have known the driver posed a risk of causing such harm. For example, bus companies may be liable for accidents caused by a driver that was hired with a poor driving record.
Furthermore, bus companies may be liable for failing to properly train their drivers. Driving a large vehicle such as a charter bus takes time, training, and practice. Charter bus companies can be responsible for accidents caused by their inexperienced or improperly trained drivers.
Time Limits to File a Charter Bus Accident Lawsuit
Time limits to file lawsuits are governed by the states’ statutes of limitations. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years from the date of an accident.
Charter bus accident lawsuits are a form of personal injury case. Accordingly, if you were injured in a charter bus accident, you have two years from the date of the crash to file a lawsuit. Under special circumstances, time limits may be extended.
However, relevant evidence may begin to lose its weight over time. You should contact our Pennsylvania bus accident lawyers as soon as possible after an accident to begin gathering evidence and building your case.
If You Were Injured in a Charter Bus Accident, Our Lawyers Can Help
If you have been injured in a charter bus accident, get help recovering the compensation you deserve. Contact our experienced Pennsylvania bus accident lawyers by calling the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940 for a free case review.