Because of the difference in size between a bus and a passenger car, the injuries sustained in these accidents are often severe. Proving liability in these mass transit crashes, however, is not always simple. This is especially true if your injuries occurred in a bus accident caused by another driver.
Pennsylvania bus accident lawyers Cordisco & Saile LLC can help determine liability in your case, and get you the settlement you deserve. Call us today at 215-642-2335 to learn more.
How can I prove fault in a Pennsylvania bus accident?
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) operates most buses in the region. In most cases, you would be dealing solely with SEPTA. With the proper evidence to show liability, its insurance pays compensation for your injuries.
However, if another driver is 100 percent responsible for the accident, neither you nor SEPTA is not liable for any damages you incur and you must instead deal with the other driver who caused the accident.
In order to recover compensation, you need to file a claim with this driver’s insurance company or a lawsuit against this driver.
To have a valid claim, you will need to collect substantial evidence to prove that driver is liable for your injuries. This often comes in the form of police reports, photos, witness statements, accident reconstructions, or even surveillance video of the crash. If your evidence proves that the driver behaved negligently, you may be able to recover compensation. Negligent behaviors that would allow you to hold the other driver liable for your injuries include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Performing an illegal maneuver, such as a U-turn
- Driving while intoxicated
- Driving aggressively
- Driving while distracted
- Otherwise breaking a traffic law which caused the crash
What if both parties are liable?
In many cases, liability for a bus crash falls to more than one party. Even if another driver primarily caused the accident, the SEPTA driver may have made a mistake — such as speeding, failing to yield, or committing another traffic violation — that contributed to the crash. This means you could collect compensation from both liable parties, based on their roles in the wreck.
For help determining all liable parties, schedule a consultation with a bus accident lawyer.
What are some liability issues specific to bus accidents?
No case comes without its issues, especially cases involving mass transit companies. If both parties are liable, you will need to prove negligence on the part of both parties. Establishing negligence on the part of an individual can be complicated but it is usually much easier than doing so on the part of a company.
In many cases, SEPTA will use certain defenses to place liability on the other driver and to avoid liability entirely. These often include arguing that:
- SEPTA buses do not have the same duty of care as a common carrier
- Because it is a state authority, the Sovereign Immunity Act excludes the organization from liability
- The bus driver was following all SEPTA rules and that the accident was inevitable because of the other driver’s actions
- A bus passenger must suffer “extraordinary” injuries in order to file a claim after a jerk or jolt (i.e., Jerk and Jolt Doctrine)
The attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC have years of experience facing these defenses and know how to prove exceptions to them. We will collect the evidence necessary to prove SEPTA played a role in your accident, and hold it liable for that role.
How can a lawyer help me after a Pennsylvania bus accident?‘
Knowing whom you need to file a claim against can be confusing. Understanding who is at fault is a crucial part of determining liability in a bus accident, and this is often more difficult that it seems. Do not feel like you have to do alone.
At Cordisco & Saile LLC, we can sort out fault and liability in your case while you focus on healing from your injuries.