Even though they receive special training and must maintain clean driving records, professional bus drivers are still occasionally prone to reckless or careless behavior behind the wheel. When this kind of negligence—or similar misconduct by a driver’s employer or another third party—leads to someone else getting hurt, there may be grounds for that injured party to demand fair financial compensation through a civil lawsuit or settlement demand.
The rules for filing suit over a collision with a public transportation vehicle can change substantially depending on the type of bus involved, which is why having help from a Cambria County bus accident lawyer could be crucial to achieving a positive outcome to a case like this. Guidance from a dedicated attorney could not only ensure you understand your rights and successfully navigate potential legal roadblocks, but also that you can pursue maximum compensation for both past and future losses.
Because of how much longer, wider, and heavier buses are than the typical commuter car, and because passengers in buses do not always have access to seatbelts and other safety features common in modern motor vehicles, bus crashes often have particularly dire consequences for everyone involved. It is often important in bus collisions like this for a Cambria County attorney to demand compensation for both economic and non-economic forms of harm, including:
The Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act limits how much total compensation someone injured in a bus crash can demand for all his or her losses combined if his or her damages were caused by negligence by a government-operated transit bus. The limit on damages depends on which governmental entity is involved. Pursuant to 42 P.S. §8528, Commonwealth entities are subject to a limit of $250,000 per person, with an aggregate limit of $1 million per incident among all injured parties in that incident. Similarly, 42 P.S §8553 sets cap son damages against local agencies (such as boroughs and townships) at $500,000, both per-person and in the total aggregate.
Another way in which litigation following public bus accidents works differently from actions against private bus companies is in the amount of time injured parties must begin pursuing compensation. In a typical claim against a private entity, an injured individual has two years at most after sustaining injury to formally file suit against a negligent bus driver, his or her employer, or some third party who bore partial or primary responsibility for causing the incident, pursuant to 42 P.S. §5524.
On the other hand, 42 P.S. §5522 establishes that prospective plaintiffs in claims against state or local government entities defendants must provide written notice of his or her intent to pursue a claim within six months of the incident occurring. Assistance from a qualified lawyer is often essential to building a strong case within the applicable statutory deadline following a bus crash in Cambria County.
Accidents involving commercial or private buses can make for uniquely complex civil claims, especially for people who have no experience dealing with personal injury law. Without support from seasoned legal counsel, your chances of achieving a beneficial case result by yourself in this situation are likely very slim.
A capable Cambria County bus accident lawyer could tip the odds of successful financial recovery back in your favor, whether your case ends with a private settlement or progresses all the way to civil court. Call Marcus & Mack today for a consultation.
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