When you suffer injuries in a bus accident, you need to focus on regaining your health. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to concentrate on healing while you are being hounded by insurance investigators and struggling to pay your medical bills.
A Western PA bus accident lawyer could handle the legal issues on your behalf so that you can work to move forward with your life. Bus company representatives may try to trick you into making statements or taking actions that deplete your right to recover compensation. Advice and representation from a personal injury attorney could protect your interests as well as your peace of mind.
Causes of Public Transportation Wrecks
Buses provide an essential form of transportation for people around Western Pennsylvania. These vehicles can carry upwards of one hundred people at once and are a reliable resource for many commuters.
However, the size of these vehicles can cause some issues. Buses have large blind spots that cars can easily become hidden in. Additionally, the length of these vehicles forces them to take wide turns that may cause them to crossover into another driver’s lane. Bus drivers also work long hours in stressful conditions. Fatigue, drowsiness, or boredom can cause a driver to lose concentration and collide with another commuter. A Western PA bus crash attorney could help investigate the cause of the incident that resulted in an individual’s injuries.
Who is Liable for a Bus Crash?
In many motor vehicle accidents, cars owned by private individuals collide, and liability is settled between two parties. When a collision involves a bus, however, liability may be much more complex. The driver, the company responsible for maintaining the bus, the company that trained or set employment policies for the driver, drivers of other vehicles, and passengers who may have interfered with the operation of the bus could all be found responsible.
When a bus is owned or operated by a government entity, which is the case with many school buses and public transit buses, the deadlines for taking action and requirements for filing a claim become more challenging to manage. The bus accident lawyers at Marcus & Mack are experienced in handling the complicated factors involved in bus accident cases, including investigating to determine the causes that lead to an accident and the parties who may be responsible.
How Compensation Could Help After a Bus Accident
In addition to medical bills, an injured driver or passenger may miss time from work, resulting in lost wages. Moreover, there are likely to be additional medical expenses in the future as well as the potential for reduced future income.
A bus accident attorney in Indiana, PA could help obtain compensation for intangible losses that do not translate directly into monetary terms. Whether a case settles after negotiations or proceeds to trial, compensation may account for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional anguish, and other factors.
Per Pennsylvania law, courts must assign blame to all involved parties. Under 42 Pa.C.S. §7102, courts will use the concept called modified comparative negligence when examining civil cases. If the blame of a claimant is 51 percent or more, then the claimant cannot recover compensation. If the claimant’s percentage of fault is between 1 and 50 percent, the claimant can make a recovery, but the award at trial will be reduced by that percentage. A defendant could argue that another driver, or even a pedestrian, share some or all the blame for the incident. A Western PA bus accident attorney could help to show that a bus driver was the sole liable party for the crash.
Claims for compensation from a bus accident must be filed within two years, according to Pennsylvania law, 42 Pa.C.S. §5524. If someone tries to file a lawsuit after that time, the court is likely to dismiss the claim.
It is wise to take action long before the statutory limitation deadline approaches, however. The best opportunities to collect evidence to prove liability are shortly after the accident, and this becomes much more challenging as time passes. An Indiana, PA bus accident lawyer could secure evidence so that it is available for settlement negotiations or, if necessary, in court.
It is not fair that those suffering injuries from a bus accident carry the burden alone. The responsible parties should be held accountable for the consequences of their actions. If you suffered injuries in a bus collision, contact us to schedule a free case evaluation and learn about your options for recovery with a knowledgeable Western PA bus accident lawyer.