Dozens of local and long-distance buses travel through and around Bethlehem every year. These vehicles are generally safe, and drivers typically complete their routes without any issues. However, when a bus is involved in an accident, it can result in devastating injuries for anyone involved, including passengers, other drivers and pedestrians.
If you were injured in a wreck due to the negligence of a bus driver, busing company, or another third party, you have a right to seek a civil recovery. With the help of a seasoned personal injury attorney like Founding Partner Jon Ostroff, you can build a strong case and hold the at-fault parties responsible.
Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers won over $21.3 million in verdicts and settlements in a landmark case against Greyhound Bus Company. Jon Ostroff represented multiple injured parties after a bus operator fell asleep behind the wheel. The $5.05 million verdict in this case was the largest recorded verdict against Greyhound in Pennsylvania. If you were in a collision involving a motorcoach or public transit vehicle, get in touch with a Bethlehem bus accident lawyer today.
Who Could Be at Fault for a Bus Wreck?
Establishing liability for a bus crash can be complicated. On a basic level, as “professional bus operators,” a commercial bus driver has a higher duty than non-commercial drivers to act reasonably and abide by the rules of the road. Consequently, a bus driver who causes a wreck by violating this duty owed to others on the roadway will be legally responsible to those that are harmed.
However, bus drivers are not always the only parties to blame for bus crashes. In most situations, the private company or public government entity that employs a negligent bus driver can be held liable for its employee’s misconduct. Alternatively, fault for some accidents lies with a third party like another vehicle operator involved in a crash, a mechanic, or an auto part manufacturer.
Seeking compensation from a company employing a negligent bus driver is often the best option in these cases. Bus companies often mismanage their drivers, when they fail to enforce safety rules and insist on pushing fatigued drivers to drive faster, so they can increase profits by completing routes more quickly. The bus companies generally have more financial assets and larger insurance plans than the bus driver. A Bethlehem attorney can determine who bears fault for your bus wreck and take appropriate legal action against them.
Special Laws for Claims Against Local Governments
Several restrictions apply to civil claims filed against public bus services and their employees. For example, 42 PA Con. Stat. §5522 sets a six-month deadline to properly notify the government entity of your intent to sue.
Additionally, the Pennsylvania Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act states that local government entities cannot be held liable for more than $500,000 worth of total damages from a single accident. A bus wreck lawyer in the area can explain all applicable laws during your private consultation.
Consider Working with a Bethlehem Bus Accident Attorney
Accidents involving buses can have severe consequences. Furthermore, the legal process of filing a bus wreck case is complex. Consequently, you should seek help from a legal professional.
A Bethlehem bus accident lawyer from Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers will work diligently on your behalf to give you the best chances of recovering compensation. To learn more, call our firm today and schedule your free consultation.