Bus accident injuries can range from moderate to fatal, whether you’re a passenger on the bus or another motorist on the road. Our Philadelphia bus accident lawyers provide clients in your situation with professional assistance following a crash.
Getting legal help on your side allows you to prepare to handle insurance agents or a court case tied to your bus accident claim. At the Morelli Law Firm, we use our experience and legal knowledge to address your needs and pursue compensation for your injuries.
Who Is Liable in Bus Accident Cases?
Bus accident claims often become complex because they involve multiple defendants and plaintiffs. In most cases, bus passengers do not share a portion of the liability for these accidents unless they somehow attacked or distracted the driver to cause the collision.
However, the accidents may involve other motorists, pedestrians, or even bicyclists. Additionally, buses generally qualify as commercial vehicles owned by the city or a busing company. These vehicles require regular maintenance and caretaking to function correctly.
Considering all these factors, any of the following parties could hold responsibility for your accident:
You have the option to sue a bus driver who fails to operate their vehicle safely and reasonably. Bus drivers break the rules of the road when they ignore laws by:
- Driving recklessly
- Swerving between lanes
- Backing up or entering traffic without looking
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Driving while fatigued
Bus drivers may endanger their passengers and other drivers when they get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or using drugs. Distraction also plays a significant role in many bus accidents in Philadelphia.
The Bus Company or Agency
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), bus accidents can involve intercity, school, and transit buses, all of which may belong to different agencies.
A lawyer can assess the company that owned the bus involved in your accident. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) operates many of the buses that provide public transportation through the city.
You may also sustain injuries in an accident while riding on a bus owned by a travel or leisure company. In this situation, a bus accident attorney in Philadelphia could review the company’s:
- Hiring practices
- Training regulations
- Bus maintenance schedule
The bus company may also prove liable for an accident if the bus driver caused the collision while on the job. Find out more about the specifics of your claim by speaking with a lawyer specializing in bus accident cases.
The School District
Were you involved in an accident with a school bus? School districts throughout our area typically own their buses, though some regions hire outside companies to provide bussing for students.
If the school district owns the bus, several people could end up liable for the accident, including the following:
- School board
- School supervisors
Most commonly, liability for school bus accidents ends up on the school district instead of individual employees. However, your lawyer may discuss building a claim based on the district’s negligent hiring practices or maintenance.
The Bus Manufacturer
Sometimes, bus manufacturers produce and sell buses that have severe mechanical defects. These defects could end up causing the bus to break down or fall apart while driving, resulting in an accident. The bus manufacturer or the company that made the defective part could be liable in this situation.
Sometimes, other motorists end up causing bus accidents in Philadelphia. For example, they may ignore signs at bus stops or fail to leave appropriate space for the bus while driving in heavy traffic. These behaviors endanger bus passengers, other drivers, and even pedestrians.
In some cases, the state of Pennsylvania may hold responsibility for your bus accident. Under the state’s laws, police inspectors have to inspect school buses and other vehicles every year. Therefore, they have a responsibility to notice potential issues and report them.
If the inspector overlooks an issue that later leads to an accident, they may face liability for the collision.
You can learn more about bus accident settlements and claims when you reach out to a lawyer who has experience handling these cases. Lawyers provide advice on pursuing compensation regardless of who caused your bus accident.
What Damages Can You Recover After a Philadelphia Bus Accident?
If you sustained injuries in a bus accident in Philadelphia, you might have the option to seek compensation to cover your losses. Many individuals seek compensation through a claim in the civil court system.
Your ability to seek compensation will depend on the circumstances surrounding your accident. However, based on your situation, a bus accident lawyer could help you secure damages to cover your:
- Current medical expenses
- Future medical care, including rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Necessary assistive devices and mobility aids
- Lost wages from missing work during your recovery
- Lost earning capacity if the accident left you with a disability
- Home modifications to assist with mobility
The above losses focus on the economic strain associated with an accident. However, you may also receive non-economic damages, which address losses from pain, suffering, loss of consortium, and mental anguish.
Finally, some bus accidents allow you to secure punitive damages. The court system uses these damages as a way to punish the individual who caused your accident. Generally, they only apply in cases involving intentional harm or gross negligence.
Wrongful Death Losses in Philadelphia
In some cases, bus accidents result in the loss of life in Philadelphia. In this situation, you may have the ability to file a wrongful death claim. These claims can help your family receive compensation for:
- Funeral costs
- Burial services
- Loss of support or guidance
- Loss of companionship
Reach out to Philadelphia bus accident lawyers to learn more about Pennsylvania’s regulations under 42 Pa. C.S.A. § 8301 for wrongful death cases.
Philadelphia Bus Accident Lawyer Near Me 877-751-9800
What You Can Expect During a Philadelphia Bus Accident Trial
Understanding how the court system handles bus accident trials can help you feel more confident after your collision. Generally, the trial only begins after a period of discovery and investigation, during which lawyers gather evidence about what happened.
Once the trial begins, your lawyer can call on witnesses to testify about what happened during the accident. Witnesses include individuals who saw the accident and experts like the healthcare workers who provided you with medical care.
Witnesses may also include:
- School board representatives
- Police officers and investigators
- The bus driver or other drivers
- Accident reconstruction professionals
- Your family members or friends
You may also speak at your trial. In addition to your lawyer asking questions, the lawyer representing the at-fault party will have a chance to question all witnesses. Both sides of the dispute will present their arguments before the court makes a final decision regarding the case.
The Statute of Limitations for Pennsylvania Bus Accident Claims
We understand that it can take a significant amount of time to recover from a bus accident in Philadelphia. You may require weeks or even months of physical therapy and rehabilitation to recover fully.
During your recovery period, you may want to focus on spending time with your family and feeling better. However, the professionals recommend that you also consider your legal options during this time.
Pennsylvania only gives you a limited time to file a claim after a bus accident. The state typically uses a two-year statute of limitations on motor vehicle accident cases. After this period expires, you no longer have the chance to seek compensation for your losses.
Bus accident lawyers in Philadelphia offer professional assistance with these types of claims, and you can put yourself in good hands today.
Your Potential Compensation for a Philadelphia Bus Accident
Our team takes bus accident cases seriously. We have experience helping clients in your situation, with a record of success that speaks for itself. Some of our recent cases have involved helping:
- A man’s estate secure $12 million after an MTA bus struck and killed him
- A woman secure $3.5 million after an accident involving a bus in New York
- Seven passengers secure over $2.2 million for their bus accident
- 11 passengers secure $1.873 million for their bus collision
These results can help you understand the compensation you could receive through a bus accident claim in Philadelphia. Each accident has different factors and considerations, so a lawyer cannot provide you with a set dollar amount right away.However, your lawyer can review the facts of your case and the severity of your losses. Learn more about compensation in bus accidents today.
Speak to a Philadelphia Bus Accident Attorney
You can begin working with a Philadelphia bus accident lawyer immediately after a collision. Our team at Morelli Law Firm can step in to review your case and build your claim. You can call us or complete our online contact form to learn more about your legal options during a free case evaluation.