Many people wrongly assume that you cannot sue the city for a personal injury. While government entities do have a degree of immunity from liability, it’s still possible for victims to file tort claims to recover their damages, so long as they meet certain conditions.
These are highly specialized cases with very strict rules and time limits, though. If you or your loved one were hurt in city bus accident, you’d want to speak to an injury lawyer straight away.
Circumstances in which You Can File a Tort Claim
Pennsylvania’s government immunity laws essentially state that injury victims cannot hold local government agencies or their employees liable for personal injuries or property damage. The government is usually protected from most liability claims.
However, there are multiple exceptions to the rule. In fact, Pennsylvania Statutes § 8542 provides eight specific exceptions to the government immunity rule.
- Vehicle liability
- Care, custody, or control of personal property
- Care, custody, or control of real property
- Trees, traffic controls, and street lighting
- Utility services facilities
- Care, custody, and control of animals
The statutes regarding each exception are somewhat complicated. For bus accident cases, the first exception, vehicle liability, usually comes into play.
You can still file a tort claim when the bus is owned by the city if the following two conditions are met.
- The bus was in motion when your injury occurred
- A government employee was in control of or possession of the bus when it crashed
Caveats to Tort Claims against Government Entities
There are two main caveats to be aware of with government torts. Firstly, there are stringent time limits for filing your claim by which you must abide. Normally, you would have two years to bring a personal injury suit. However, with government cases, you usually have to notify the agency of your intentions to file a claim within six months. If you fail to observe the deadline, you could be barred from your right to compensation for damages.
Secondly, there are certain limits on the types and the amount of damages you can collect from a tort claim against a government entity.
For example, you can only obtain reimbursement for pain and suffering if the accident involved one of the following.
- Permanent disfigurement
- Permanent disability
Your attorney can explain what your rights and responsibilities are for a city bus accident tort claim, and how much your case might be worth.
Free Legal Consult with a City Bus Accident Lawyer in Pennsylvania
If you or your loved one were injured in the bus accident in Pennsylvania, you are welcomed to call Cordisco & Saile LLC for help. Call us today at 215-642-2335 for a free consultation.