Bus Accident Attorney Philadelphia
You may not hear of commercial bus accidents very often, but that doesn’t mean they don’t happen in our area almost every day. In 2014 alone, there were 493 commercial buses involved in traffic crashes in Pennsylvania, five of which were deadly and 340 of which resulted in injury to occupants.
Commercial bus accidents are frightening and traumatic for those involved, since occupants trust public transportation to get them to their destination safely. They are not anticipating the driver being intoxicated, striking another vehicle, or being otherwise incapable of driving a busload of occupants while on duty. Sadly, it only takes one person to make a mistake to put dozens of passengers at risk.
Causes of Bus Accidents
Just as with auto accidents, driver inattention, distraction, and negligence can cause commercial bus accidents. Even though bus drivers accept the responsibility of transporting hundreds of people around the city per day, it doesn’t make them perfect. Sometimes drivers make mistakes – and they can be deadly.
In 2014, two-vehicle collisions caused 123 commercial bus accidents, with passenger cars most often being involved. These accidents were not always the driver’s fault, but still amounted to dozens of injured people. Sixteen of the bus accidents in 2014 occurred when the bus hit a fixed object, such as a barrier or electric post, placing the driver under fire for driving distracted or behaving negligently.
If You’re Injured in a Bus Accident
If you were onboard a commercial bus during an accident or were a pedestrian struck by a commercial bus, you have rights to claim compensation for injuries, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Bus accidents present unique insurance claim situations because, unlike regular passenger vehicle crashes, government entities often operate buses.
First, see a health care professional to tend to your injuries and provide accurate documentation to be used later as evidence in your case. Then, make a claim against the bus’s insurance, whether they are self-insured city buses or covered by the public transportation bureau insurance.
In the event that the bus’s insurance denies your claim, you’ll have to file an injury claim with the government entity that is liable for the bus accident instead. This can be a tricky undertaking, and it would serve you well to enlist the help of a professional personal injury lawyer. Ciccarelli Law Offices specializes in personal injury in the Philadelphia area, and we can make a significant difference in your commercial bus lawsuit.
There are specific rules and procedures relating to Pennsylvania alone and they can even vary county by county within the state. However, typically, a claim must state:
- It’s being made against the public body
- The time, place, and exact circumstances surrounding the claim
- The name and address of person making the claim
Aside from these three main factors, however, the rest of the claim will depend on your individual situation. If you wait too long to file and miss a filing deadline, you can lose your right to file a lawsuit completely. It’s imperative that you pay attention to specific county rules so you don’t make a mistake and risk losing or lowering your compensation.
Once you’ve filed a claim, the insurance company will need to determine fault by conducting an investigation into the accident. This investigation will work to prove whether the driver was overworked, fatigued, intoxicated, not adequately trained, or some other reason that caused the accident. After fault is determined, your lawyer will navigate a settlement agreement and compensation plan. Then you can finally begin your road to healing. Contact the lawyers at Ciccarelli Law Offices today to get your lawsuit started on the right foot.