Bus accidents are extremely dangerous situations. Busses are extremely large and heavy vehicles, making any collision with one a potentially disastrous event. People injured in bus accidents can include other drivers, pedestrians, and passengers on the bus. If you were hurt in a bus accident, you might be able to claim damages in a personal injury lawsuit.
Bus accidents are severe, and injuries can be deadly in some cases. If you were harmed in a bus accident, your damages may vary based on where you were when the accident happened. Pedestrians, passengers, and other drivers may all experience a bus accident differently. Your lawsuit will also be heavily influenced by the owner of the bus and your potential defendant. Suing a private bus company follows different rules than suing a state or local government in charge of public transportation.
After a bus accident, you might be dealing with severe injuries. You might instead be the family member of a bus accident victim who tragically did not survive the accident. In either circumstance, our Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania bus accident lawyers can help you. Call the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940 to schedule a free legal consultation.
How Bus Accidents Can Happen in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania
Many different factors can cause bus accidents. Equipment failures, driver error, and hazardous road conditions may all play a role. The way your bus accident happened will be unique to your case. Our experienced Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania bus accident attorneys can craft a legal strategy around the special circumstances of your case.
Busses do not typically come with safety gear found in other vehicles, like seatbelts. This lack of safety equipment places bus passengers in a more dangerous predicament. In the event of a crash, passengers could be violently thrown about the bus. In an accident, passengers may be thrown into walls, seats, poles, or other passengers. Personal belongings may also be thrown about the bus, injuring passengers.
The drivers in other vehicles are at a serious disadvantage when confronted with an oncoming bus. Busses are enormous vehicles and outweigh ordinary cars by thousands of pounds. Since busses are so large, bus drivers must be aware of other drivers on the roads at all times. Merging or turning without checking blind spots could cause a collision. Busses must also be careful if they are on narrow streets. There may be very little room between the bus and other vehicles.
Pedestrians can be seriously injured in any car crash, but bus accidents are particularly dangerous. Because a bus is so much larger than a standard vehicle, pedestrians are more likely to suffer greater injuries. Busses could strike pedestrians on sidewalks or those crossing the street. Pedestrians also tend to approach moving busses so they can board when the bus stops. If a bus driver is not paying attention, pedestrians waiting to board could get hurt.
Suing a Private Bus Company or the Government for a Bus Accident in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania
Generally, plaintiffs may sue the driver of the bus for damages. However, the driver is usually just an employee of a larger business or company that owns the bus. Depending on your circumstances, you may sue the company that owns the bus and employs the driver.
Suing a private bus company is like suing any private entity. Most bus accidents result from negligence and require proof of a duty of care owed by the defendant, a breach of that duty, a causal link between the duty and breach, and real damages. However, intentional torts are also possible and may have different elements to prove depending on what is alleged to have happened.
According to 42 Pa.C.S. § 5524, a plaintiff has only two years to file a personal injury lawsuit for a bus accident. In this time, we must gather evidence to support a formal complaint that will kick-start your lawsuit when filed. Negotiating a settlement with the company that owns the bus may also be possible. If a settlement is not offered or will not adequately cover your expenses, a trial may be necessary.
If a city or state government instead owned the bus that hit you, your case would play out differently. Public transportation is often owned by a government entity, and different rules apply to cases in which a government or municipality is sued. The time frame surrounding your lawsuit may change when a government entity is involved.
According to 42 Pa.C.S. § 5522, you have only 6 months from the accident date to notify the government of your lawsuit. This is far less time to get a lawsuit together, and it is imperative that you consult with an attorney immediately. Speak to our Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania bus accident lawyers about how to handle your case.
Damages From a Bus Accident in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania
The phrase “damages” is a legal term that refers to any losses or expenses that a plaintiff experiences because of a defendant’s actions. Damages can include economic losses that are tied to a certain cost or price. They can also include non-economic losses that do not have an explicit monetary value but should be valued and compensated.
Medical bills should always be claimed as part of your damages after a bus accident. The injuries from a bus accident can be extreme, and the cost of medical treatment may be very high. Emergency room visits, ambulance rides, medications, physical therapy, surgery, and other treatments may be factored into damages calculations.
Property damage is also commonly included in bus accident cases. If you were driving your vehicle when you were hit by a bus, your car or truck might be totaled or at least seriously damaged. Vehicle repairs, or the cost to replace a totaled car, can be very expensive, and you should not have to foot that bill on your own.
Pain and suffering are non-economic damages that come up when plaintiffs suffer physical and emotional injuries. While physical pain does not come with a price tag, it takes a serious toll on plaintiffs. The same can be said for emotional trauma after a bus accident. The painful experience of simply surviving the ordeal deserves compensation.
Bus accident victims usually take significant time off from work while they recover from their injuries. For many, this time is not paid for by their employers, and plaintiffs end up losing out on weeks or months of income. This lost income can be claimed in your damages, and you can include lost future income if you do not think you can return to work in the near future.
Call Our Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania Bus Accident Lawyers
If you were the victim of a bus accident, you deserve compensation for your painful injuries. Our Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania bus accident lawyers can help you hold the people who caused your accident responsible. Call the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940 to schedule a free legal consultation regarding your bus accident.