Pedestrians injured by motor vehicles have unique rights in Pennsylvania. Because a bus accident that causes a pedestrian injury can be severe, understanding these rights are critical to recovering damages. The following reviews the basics of filing a lawsuit, as well as types of damages, available to pedestrians injured in a bus accident.
Pedestrians’ Full Tort Rights
Vehicle owners have the options of choosing between full tort or limited tort car insurance in Pennsylvania. The latter does not allow the policyholder to step outside of the insurance system for recovery unless severe injuries have been sustained.
Pedestrians, on the other hand, are automatically considered to be full tort in Pennsylvania. This means that even when injuries are not severe — or cause lasting and permanent disfigurement or impairment — the pedestrian has the right to file a cause of action against the at-fault party, thereby seeking damages for noneconomic losses (like pain and suffering).
Types of Damages Available
A pedestrian can file a claim for all damages suffered. This includes damages for all of the following listed below.
- Medical bills related to the injury
- Future medical treatment costs
- Lost wages or loss of earning capacity
- Physical pain and mental anguish
In the event that a bus accident causes a fatal pedestrian accident, the surviving family members (the deceased’s personal representative) can file a wrongful death lawsuit for loss of companionship and guidance as well.
Keep in mind, if the claim is being filed against a public bus service, rather than a private one, such as SEPTA, there is a limit on the damages for which SEPTA will be held liable. This limit is $1,000,000 per accident or $250,000 per victim.
To recover damages, a pedestrian will have to prove duty, negligence (violation of duty) and causation throughout the course of the lawsuit.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Claim
For most accidents, the statute of limitations for filing a claim is two years. When filing against a public entity, though, a notice of intent to file must be given within six months following the accident. If these statutes of limitations are not followed, the right to recover damages may be lost.
Take Legal Action Now!
Don’t wait longer than is necessary to take legal action – if you do, you may miss your window of opportunity for filing a claim. To get started on understanding the claims process, your right to file a lawsuit, and the damages that you deserve, call an attorney today. The attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC have what it takes to negotiate a fair damages amount and develop a winning case. Call us at 215-642-2335 now or contact us online.