Unfortunately, assault is one of the most common crimes in the United States, and in Pennsylvania, there were 26,291 reported aggravated assaults in 2009, according to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
While many of these crimes are committed in public areas and tried in criminal court, some assaults happen on private buses. In cases such as these, the bus company may be liable for any injuries you incur.
Refer to the following answers to these frequently asked questions.
- what constitutes assault?
- who is liable for my injuries in an assault case?
- what types of compensation can I recover?
- and, what should I do if assaulted?
What constitutes assault?
In Pennsylvania, there are two primary types of assault charges. The first type is a simple assault, which is a misdemeanor charge. A simple assault involves causing bodily harm to another person, or acting with the intent to cause bodily harm to another person.
The other type of assault, which can be charged as a felony, is an aggravated assault. Aggravated assault involves causing serious bodily harm to a person, both knowingly and recklessly.
Serious bodily harm is injury that results in one or more of the following.
- permanent loss of function.
- and, impairment.
If a person knowingly and recklessly causes serious bodily injury to another person, the punishment is up to a first-degree felony charge.
Who’s liable for injuries caused by an assault?
If you or your loved one has been assaulted, then the assailant may be tried in criminal court. Criminal court determines the guilt or innocence of the person charged, and determines the punishment for the assault.
However, criminal court and civil court are very different, and you will not be awarded monetary damages as the result of a decision made in criminal court. However, you can bring a civil suit against the person who assaulted you in order to recover compensation.
In addition to bringing civil charges against the person who assaulted you, you may be able to pursue a civil suit against the bus company where the assault occurred. According to “common carrier” law, or the law that is applied to businesses that transport goods or people, a bus company is responsible for ensuring that their buses are safe and free from harm.
As such, a bus company has a duty to its patrons to provide a safe bus ride. While a bus company is not automatically liable for all injuries that may occur on its buses, you may be able to recover damages if the bus company, drivers, or employees behaved in a negligent manner, and if that negligence led to the assault occurring.
What types of compensation are available for those assaulted on a bus?
Depending upon the circumstances of the case and the severity of injury, a person who is seriously assaulted on a bus may be able to recover damages in the form of the following.
- medical expenses.
- pain and suffering.
- loss of wages.
- emotional distress.
- and, loss of enjoyment of life.
If you’ve been assaulted on a bus and have sustained life-altering injuries, an attorney can help you understand your rights as a victim, and work with you to pursue the compensation that you deserve.
What should you do if you’ve been assaulted?
In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for filing a person injury case – either against a person or a bus company – is two years from the date of injury. As such, if you’ve been assaulted, you need to act immediately.
At Cordisco & Saile LLC, our attorneys can guide you through the process of filing your claim, help you determine negligence and liability, and provide you with more information about damages you may recover. To get started on filing your claim today, contact Cordisco & Saile LLC at 215-642-2335.