Bus Accidents Lawsuit in Pennsylvania
Due to the size of buses, if your car suffers a collision with one, or if you are hit by a bus while walking or in an accident while on a bus, you can suffer serious injuries. If your injury was the result of negligence on the part of the driver or the company, you might be able to obtain compensation for the pain and suffering, loss of time at work, medical expenses and other issues related to the crash.
What Impacts Your Recovery After a Bus Accident?
If you simply happen to be on a bus when it crashes, this doesn’t mean you will have the right to financial compensation. You must have actually suffered a physical injury to pursue a claim against the bus company. In addition, your bus accident lawyer must be able to show that the bus driver or company was negligent and so actually caused your injury. If the bus driver was not negligent, but a third party was, for example another car caused the crash, then you would sue the third party and not the bus company.
Unique Issues in Bus Crashes
Buses are quite different from other vehicles, as a result, there are some unique issues related to having an accident with or in a bus.
- Most buses don’t have seat belts. As a result, it is common for the passengers to be thrown around during an accident. When you are thrown around, whiplash, broken bones and soft tissue injuries are quite likely.
- Buses, due to their high center of gravity, are prone to rolling over. You will be thrown around a bus if it rolls over, and are likely to hit your head, causing a brain or spinal cord injury.
- The size of a bus means if it hits a pedestrian, even the slightest nudge can cause substantial damage
- The same holds true for a car. If a bus hits a car or even an SUV, much like with a truck crash, the car will likely sustain serious damage as will the individuals inside.
- School buses hold children, who are very vulnerable to being thrown around and seriously hurt.
Why Do These Accidents Happen?
There are several reasons we see when bus crashes happen due to a driver’s negligence. Common reasons include:
- Distracted driving – bus drivers are required to pay attention to the road. They should not be texting, chatting with the passengers or doing anything that distracts them from their job.
- Aggressive driving – this includes speeding, tailgating and road rage behavior.
- Drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs.
- Fatigue is a serious problem on the road. Especially if the drivers work too many shifts or are expected to drive too far without rest.
Sometimes, the accident is not necessarily the fault of the driver, but rather, due to negligent conduct on the part of the bus company. Some common problems we see include:
- Improper maintenance – faulty brakes, worn tires
- Preventable mechanical failure
- Bad training policies – the driver isn’t comfortable or confident driving the bus and doesn’t know how to respond to emergencies
- Faulty hiring – the bus driver is not properly licensed or has a history of accidents or other bad conduct
Fortunately, fatal bus accidents are not very common. In 2012, the most recent year for which the NHTSA provides data on bus crashes, there were 251 fatal bus accidents. 13 of those were in Pennsylvania. In the same year, there were 31,006 reported bus accidents, 1,211 in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is among the states with greater than 1000 bus crashes, sharing that dubious distinction with California, Florida, Georgia, New York, North Carolina and Texas.
Injured in a Bus Crash? Give us a Call
At Lowenthal & Abrams, our Pennsylvania bus accident lawyers know how difficult it can be to recover from a crash. We have experience with bus accidents and are here to help you through your claim against the company for its negligence. Contact us today for a free consultation about your injuries.