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- When your bus driver is responsible for the accident
- When the bus operator is responsible for the accident
- When maintenance or repair companies are responsible for a bus accident
- When liability falls on a government agency
Filing a bus accident claim is very different from filing an auto accident claim. Your car accident claim may involve just one motorist. Your bus accident claim, however, can mention the following parties:
- Bus Driver
- Bus Operator
- Maintenance and Repair Companies
- Government Agencies
The bus driver may be negligent if he was driving at excessive speeds at the time of the accident, or if he was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or if he was distracted while driving. You don’t really want to think about the driver of your bus texting while driving, or talking on a cell phone at the wheel, but this happens far too often for comfort. Distracted driving is widely prevalent among commercial motor vehicle operators, and the federal administration recently banned texting while driving for all truck and bus drivers. Any bus driver found violating federal commercial motor vehicle regulations can be named in your claim.
Bus companies have a duty to hire experienced and skilled drivers, and maintain the quality of their feet. If they fail in these duties, and this results in an accident, victims can name the company in their claim as well.
Maintenance and Repair Companies
Many bus operators prefer to outsource the maintenance and repairs of their fleets to other companies. Often, these maintenance programs are inadequate, and may not identify possible defects that could result in an accident. A company that is neglecting maintenance procedures may miss a tire tread separation, or a brake defect that could prove deadly. In such cases, accident victims can file a claim against the maintenance and repair company.
Bus accidents are also very often the result of the shoddy construction and design of roadways, and poor maintenance of highways. In such cases, the relevant government agency that is responsible for the construction, maintenance and repairs of the road where the accident occurred, can be named in a claim. These agencies can include everybody from the Pennsylvania Department Of Transportation to local county, as well as city agencies. Public transit can be an affordable and convenient option. Unfortunately, accidents do occur. Poorly trained or negligent workers can cause accidents, as can equipment failures. In addition, SEPTA and other public transportation companies are protected by laws that only apply to them. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a SEPTA bus or train—or any other bus—we can help.
What You Need to Know After a Pennsylvania Bus Accident
Perhaps you were hit by a bus while driving your own car, or while walking across the street. Maybe you were riding on public transportation when the accident happened. Regardless of which type of bus accident you were in, if you sustained injuries and the accident was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation.
Being in a bus accident often results in more serious injuries than a car accident because buses weigh a lot more. That is the reason why bus accident injuries are often serious and life-altering. You probably have a ton of questions if you are currently dealing with injuries from one. Or you may have lost a loved one in a bus accident. The following FAQs were written to give you the essential advice and next steps you need to take after a bus accident.
What To Do At the Scene of a Bus Accident
Because being in a bus accident is similar to being in a car accident, you will want to do many of the same things you would do if you were in a car accident. If you are involved in a bus accident, you should do the following at the scene:
- Stay calm, and if you are in your own vehicle, do not leave your vehicle, unless it is too dangerous to remain inside your vehicle.
- Turn your hazard lights on to caution other drivers.
- Even in cases in which an accident seems minor, you should call 911 and have the police come to the scene.
- Unless it is absolutely necessary to move them, leave vehicles where they are until the police arrive.
- When medics arrive on the scene, make sure you are looked at if you have injuries. There might be something serious going on that you are not aware of because shock is masking your pain. If you have serious injuries, you may want to accept medical attention at the scene or be transported to a hospital.
- Take down the names and contact information of all of the parties involved in the bus accident. Do not forget to get the contact information for any witnesses, as well.
- If the bus driver works for a government agency, take that information down, too.
- Write down the names and badge numbers of the police officers who are at the scene of the accident, too.
- Take pictures of all of the vehicles involved in the accident from different angles. It is also a good idea to take pictures of any injuries.
- Even if you think you are at fault, do not admit fault. Sometimes, it seems like one thing happened, but after the entire situation and all of the circumstances are evaluated, the fault will be established by the authorities anyway. Deciding who is at fault is not your job.
- Immediately contact your auto insurance agency to notify them about the accident.
- Do not provide any statements to anyone other than the police and your own insurance agency. Anyone else asking questions may be trying to either build a case against you or cover their financial assets.
Always remember to never leave the scene of an accident!
What You Should Do If Someone From the Bus Company Wants a Statement?
Never agree to provide a recorded statement to the insurance company or the bus company. Never fill out or sign any forms that are sent to by the bus company or their insurance agency, either. If the bus company is trying to get a statement from you, they are working hard to cover themselves financially and will do whatever it takes to throw you under the bus, pun intended. Contact an experienced Pennsylvania bus accident attorney if you feel like you need legal representation or if you have questions about your rights after a bus accident.
Can You Sue SEPTA for Your Injuries?
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is a public transportation authority operated by the state of Pennsylvania, and there are specific rules and procedures to follow and time limitations to be aware of if you want to sue SEPTA, if you believe that SEPTA is liable for your injuries. Despite the two-year statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits, you have to act quickly if you want to sue a government agency.
In fact, if you do not provide notice to a government agency – in this case, it would be SEPTA – that you intend to sue them within six months of when the accident occurred that caused your injuries, you may lose your right to sue altogether. The notice is a formality that lets the government agency know that someone is going to sue them. It should include specific information such as the date that the accident occurred, the injuries that you sustained, your address, and other information that may pertain to the accident or intention to sue.
If you do plan to sue SEPTA for injuries that you have sustained in a bus accident, it would be in your best interest to contact a Pennsylvania bus accident attorney who is savvy in handling those types of lawsuits. If you need an attorney to help you or want to know if you have a bus accident case, contact Solnick & Associates, LLC at (877) 415-6495 today for a free case evaluation.
Contact a Pennsylvania Bus Accident Attorney Today
If you or someone you love has been in a bus accident, contact our experienced Pennsylvania bus accident attorneys today to speak with a highly qualified lawyer who knows how to tackle personal injury cases with a passion. At Solnick & Associates, we assure you that having the right attorney is crucial if you want to recover the highest amount of compensation for your case. The Pennsylvania bus accident lawyers at Solnick & Associates, LLC represent victims of bus accidents across the state.