Millions of Americans take public transportation every day. In fact, last year alone the American Public Transportation Association reported over 9 million trips. In Pennsylvania, over 1,500,000 children use a school bus daily. This makes for a lot of motor vehicle traffic on the roads and highways.
Bus accidents can be caused by a number of variables. From bad road conditions, driver impairment, to bus company negligence. There are several instances where the bus driver or bus company can be held responsible for an auto accident. It is important to look at the factors that contribute to a collision. For example, the bus company/driver cannot be held responsible for slippery road conditions, as no one has control over the weather. However, they can be held responsible for proper weather preparedness or for mechanical issues with the vehicle.
Some of the most common type of motor vehicle accidents include two general categories of injury. Soft injuries include whiplash, bruises, sprains, minor cuts and the like. Hard injuries are a more traumatic type of injury. They include broken bones, severed limbs, permanent scarring, carbon monoxide poisoning, internal bleeding, concussion or fatal injuries.
Filing a Claim:
If you are involved in a collision caused by another vehicle, the procedure remains the same as with any other vehicle collision. A claim should be filed with the responsible party’s insurance company. They will be responsible for any damages.
However, you may have been involved in an accident with a public transit bus. Usually these busses are owned by a government agency. While there are laws in place to protect the government against prosecution, there are also laws in place to protect individuals who have suffered injuries as a result of an accident with government-owned property; for example, Public Transit busses. Filing against a government agency is slightly more complicated. There are specific forms that need to be filed with strict deadlines that can affect whether or not you receive compensation for injuries.
Public Transportation busses are required by the government to maintain safe riding conditions for their passengers. Because they require fare for transport, they fall under the common carrier category. Fortunately, that also means they are required to adhere to strict laws to ensure passenger safety. This includes keeping entrances and exits clear of obstruction, hiring properly trained drivers, maintaining a surveillance system on all vehicles to prevent criminal activity, and maintaining and monitoring bus mechanics to ensure there are no machinery faults that could lead to passenger injury.
If a bus driver falls asleep behind the wheel, is intoxicated, or if the vehicle is not properly maintained, the agency responsible can be held liable for negligence. This means they have not done the proper due diligence to ensure the safe transport of passengers. This can also include overloading the vehicle in a way that risks passenger safety, and not properly training drivers.
Proving negligence can be simpler in these cases because of the strict set of laws public transport busses must adhere to. However, it is still important to document any evidence of negligence. For example, taking a picture of injuries, proof of injuries such as hospital records, and witness statements help a great deal in making a case.
The amount you receive from a successful suit will vary; it is impossible to say exactly how much you will receive for your injuries. However, to receive the maximum possible compensation for your injuries, you will need a trusted and capable attorney working for you. If you have been the victim of an accident, reach out to Anapol Weiss today. We will help you receive the compensation you deserve.