Most bus accidents that result in injuries involve a collision with another vehicle. Others may involve a slip and fall while entering or exiting the bus. And yet others may include a crash or rollover that involves the bus alone. What’s rare, though, is when an injury sustained on a bus comes from an assault by the bus driver. However, attacks do happen. If a bus driver in Pennsylvania has assaulted you, you have the right to file a lawsuit.
When a Confrontation Turns Ugly
Sometimes, a verbal altercation with a bus driver can get intense. While the exact definition of an assault varies slightly from state-to-state, most states define assault as a physical attack made with the intent to cause harm.
A city bus employee struck a rider in Lincoln, Nebraska on a StarTran bus in 2013. Apparently, the passenger had been “difficult” and instead of calling the police to get the man off the bus, the driver took matters into his own hands, punching him 18 times and dragging him off the bus, leaving him in the middle of the street. All of this was captured on the bus’s interior-facing video camera.
Is the bus company liable?
The principle of vicarious liability means that employers handle their employees’ actions in a job-related accident. However, if an action is not job-related, then the company may not be held liable. For an employer to be held liable, it must be proven that the action of the employee occurred during their employment.
Because assault is not specifically related to operating a bus, the employer may escape liability. In the case above, the driver had called his superior about the difficult rider and was instructed to call the police. Since he blatantly ignored the instruction, he was fired immediately and cited for misdemeanor assault.
Should I file a lawsuit against the driver?
There are two main components to filing a personal injury lawsuit for assault against a bus driver. First, the driver physically attacked you with the intent to cause harm. Second, that the attack did cause damage. If you did not suffer harm, then you cannot file a claim for damages. All lawsuits for personal injury in Pennsylvania must be filed within two years’ time.
A personal injury lawsuit can help you to recover damages for the following listed.
- Medical and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and future lost wages
- Pain and suffering damages
- Punitive damages
In addition to civil charges, the at-fault bus driver may also face criminal charges.
Meet with an Attorney to Learn More
If a bus driver in Pennsylvania has assaulted you, you may be able to recover compensation for all of the damages that you’ve suffered. To make sure that you know the law and the statute of limitations, and that you have the right type of evidence to substantiate your claim, meet with an attorney. At Cordisco & Saile LLC, we can meet with you today. Contact us now at 215-642-2335 to schedule your first appointment as soon as possible.