Thousands of people are injured each year in bus accidents, from school bus accidents to tour bus crashes.
And many of these cases aren’t reflected in national statistics. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the agency that has the task of collecting our nation’s motor vehicle crash statistics, has been underreporting disastrous motor coach accidents, USA Today explains. This “has given Congress and the public a false impression that buses are safer than they are and has thwarted efforts to promote tougher regulation,” reports USA Today.
Local Bus Accidents are Devastating
Bus accidents in Pennsylvania are, unfortunately, not uncommon. More than 20 passengers suffered minor injuries in Southwestern Pennsylvania in early February 2014 on a tour bus when the driver lost control of vehicle. The investigators say the driver was driving faster than he should have been in the snowy conditions, reports FOX News.
Also, in October 2013, a Greyhound bus traveling from New York to Ohio smashed into a tractor trailer along Interstate 80 in central Pennsylvania, leaving more than 40 people injured, some critically, reports NBC News. There was one fatality.
Limited Tort vs. Full Tort Insurance
Many bus accidents can cause catastrophic and deadly injuries, including:
- traumatic brain injuries;
- crushed bones and amputations;
- spinal cord injuries; and
- internal trauma to organs.
When passengers are injured in a bus accident, they might be able to file a claim or lawsuit against the bus company for damages. They can pursue not only compensation for medical expenses and lost wages, but also for pain, suffering and emotional anguish.
Saying “No” to Small Settlement Offers
Bus companies may go to many measures to avoid taking responsibility for the accident. They often try to offer victims ridiculously low settlements to avoid expensive lawsuits and large court-ordered settlement awards. Bus company reps may even show up at the scene of the accident and offer victims small settlements straightway to get them to sign away their rights for further restitution.
It’s imperative that you do not sign any documents or accept any payments from a bus company without first speaking with a lawyer. You need to be fully aware of your rights in order to make careful decisions. Make sure you pursue fair compensation to which you’re entitled and not settle for a measly pittance.
Liability for a Bus Accident Involving a Government-Owned Bus
Further, accidents involving government buses present unique requirements to file a claim and recover compensation. The government is generally immune from liability, though there are exceptions, including in cases of motor vehicle accidents that involve government vehicles. Pennsylvania requires you file a notice of claim with the appropriate government agency within six months of the accident.
To ensure you follow proper protocol to file a government claim, consult an attorney if you are filing a claim against a local or state government if the bus was government-owned and -operated.
Handling Bus Accidents in Stroudsburg, Palmerton and Bethlehem
A bus accident lawyer at ARM Lawyers can help you obtain the settlement you deserve.
We have offices in Stroudsburg, Palmerton and Bethlehem for your convenience and would be happy to discuss your case with you to see how we may be of assistance. Contact us today at 570-257-4509 to schedule a free case evaluation.