A bus accident could cause harm to occupants of the bus, occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists. When injured in a bus accident, many victims wonder if the bus driver or the company for which he or she works is responsible. If harmed in an accident with a bus, give our bus accident attorneys in Newtown a call at 215-642-2335. Read on to learn more about bus accidents and your legal rights.
Types of Bus Accidents
There are three main types of buses that may be involved in accidents in Pennsylvania. A bus accident may involve any of the bus types listed below.
- A school bus
- A city or public bus
- A commercial bus
Each of the three types of buses are relatively similar in design. Thus, each can be involved in the same type of accident: rollover, rear-end crash, head-on collision, side swipe accident, or single vehicle accident. In turn, each can result in the same type of injuries. Despite all of this, the law regarding liability for each type of bus can be different.
Bus Accident Liability in Pennsylvania
The first thing that’s important to understand is Pennsylvania’s sovereign immunity law. This is the law that protects the government from being sued in a personal injury lawsuit. However, the state makes exceptions for bus and transit accidents. A local or state government may be liable for any accident involving a vehicle under its control, if a government employee (like the bus driver) caused the wreck.
Commercial bus companies can also be liable for accidents that their drivers cause. According to the Pennsylvania Code Section 32.11(c), “the liability insurance maintained by a common or contract carrier of passengers on each motor vehicle capable of transporting 16 to 28 passengers shall be in an amount not less than $1 million…” For fewer than 16 passengers, the required minimum amount is $35,000, and for more than 28 passengers, the minimum required amount is $5 million.
In all types of bus accidents, victims must prove the negligence of the bus driver or bus authority. In other words, you will have to prove that the bus driver or bus authority violated a duty of care to passengers on the bus and others on the road.
Examples of negligence might include the following.
- Aggressive driving
- Failing to perform proper maintenance or safety inspections on the bus
You then must establish that these acts of negligence caused the wreck and your damages. Finally, one of the last aspects of the law concerning bus accidents is the time limit within which you have to file your claim.
In Pennsylvania, the law only provides you with two years from the date that the accident occurred. Keep in mind also that your own insurance may provide coverage and the type of insurance you have (limited vs. full tort) could affect your ability to file a tort action against a liable party.
Retain Legal Services from Bus Accident Lawyers in Newtown
If you’ve been in an accident that involved a bus, retain legal services as soon as possible. Whether you need to file a lawsuit against a private company, a school district, or another local authority, you can guarantee that the bus authority will have an attorney on its side. To make sure you can put up a fair fight and get the money you deserve, you need an attorney too.
At Cordisco & Saile LLC, we’ll work to protect your rights. For help understanding the law and to get started on filing your personal injury claim today, call us at 215-642-2335 or use our online contact form to set up your free consultation at our firm.