Bus Accident Attorney in Pennsylvania
Bus accidents accounted for one percent of Pennsylvania motor vehicle crashes and injuries in 2017, when there were 569 accidents. Although relatively uncommon compared to car accidents, bus accidents have the potential to cause serious injury to multiple persons in a crash, including the many occupants of the bus as well as pedestrians or occupants of smaller passenger vehicles unlucky enough to get hit by a massive charter, SEPTA or school bus. Whether you were injured as a bus passenger, pedestrian or driver who was hit by a bus, Benedum Law will come to your aid, take on the responsible entity, and fight to get you the compensation you need and deserve after a serious Philadelphia bus accident injury. Contact a bus accident attorney today for a free consultation.
Different rules apply to Philadelphia bus accident claims
Any bus accident claim is complicated, but accidents involving city buses are especially complex and differ in many ways from accidents involving vehicles not owned or operated by public entities. For instance, rather than having up to two years to file a claim against a negligent driver, notice of a claim against a public entity must be filed within six months of the accident. Unless SEPTA is given proper notice with the required information within that time period, a court is unlikely to hear your case. A personal injury attorney typically waits until you are considered medically stationary or have reached maximum medical improvement before filing a claim, so that your lawyer knows what your damages are or are likely to be. This can take several months in the case of a serious injury, giving you only a very brief time to file notice of your claim with SEPTA.
Another way bus accident claims differ is that the Pennsylvania Sovereign Immunity Act has put a cap on the damages you can recover at $250,000 per injured person, or one million dollars per accident. In other words, if several people were injured in a crash, the total cap on damages may keep them from recovering all that they are owed. In a typical Philadelphia car accident, you are able to recover the full amount of legal damages, including all your present and future medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, etc.
Yet another feature of bus accident claims is that buses are considered “common carriers” under Pennsylvania law. This means that drivers owe a very high duty of care to their passengers and can be held liable for the slightest amount of negligence. Even so, bus companies and their insurers typically try to avoid liability by claiming that any injury suffered by a passenger was just due to the normal jerks and jolts of bus travel and not any negligence on the part of the driver.
In the case of a crash, the bus company is liable to other drivers for ordinary negligence; other drivers do not benefit from the higher standard of common carriers that passengers possess.
School bus accidents in Pennsylvania
2,906 people were involved in school bus crashes in Pennsylvania in 2017. Over half of the 292 crashes were injury crashes, accounting for 371 injuries and four fatalities. Bus drivers, passengers and other vehicle drivers were all counted among the injured, but of the four deaths, only one was an occupant of the school bus (in this case, the driver). When school bus accidents involve fatality, it is almost always the occupant of the other vehicle who suffers fatal injuries when broadsided or rear-ended by a school bus.
Like municipal bus authorities, school buses are also run by governmental agencies, requiring you to follow the strict rules and times limits of the applicable Sovereign Immunity Act or Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act in pursuing your claim.
School bus accident attorneys at Benedum Law have the expertise to address accidents involving student passengers and a variety of accidents involving the bus.
Put an Experienced Injury Attorney on Your Side after a Serious Chestnut Hill Bus Accident
There are often many different possible causes of a bus accident, including driver negligence or distracted driving as well as negligence in the repair or maintenance of the vehicle’s tires, brakes and other critical components. After a bus accident in Philadelphia or Chestnut Hill, personal injury attorney Christine Benedum examines all the evidence and builds a strong case against all responsible parties to hold them accountable for their failures and the harm they have caused.
If you have been injured in a bus accident in Chestnut Hill or throughout Philadelphia, contact Benedum Law at 215-LAWSUIT or 215-529-7848 for a free consultation with an experienced and successful Philadelphia motor vehicle accident lawyer.