Vehicle accidents can cause significant damage to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Even small cars can crash and lead to substantial injury or even death. When a larger vehicle, like a bus, is part of a collision, the risk of injury can increase dramatically––injuries that can lead to expensive medical bills, repair costs, lost wages, and physical or mental anguish.
Bus companies and bus drivers owe a duty of care to their passengers and other people on the road. When they neglect that duty, they could be held financially responsible for the damages their actions caused. A knowledgeable attorney, such as an experienced Allentown bus accident lawyer, can help you navigate the legal system so you can bring a successful lawsuit to collect the compensation you deserve.
Most traffic collision lawsuits apply claims of negligence. A person is negligent when they were expected to exercise a reasonable duty of care, breached that duty, and caused someone damages as a result of the breach, per 18 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes § 302(4).
For drivers, that expectation of care is that they will follow traffic laws and drive safely. A bus driver who does not properly stop at traffic lights or drives at excessive speeds could be responsible for any injuries they cause.
A person injured in a bus crash may also have a claim against the bus company. The case Chuy v. Philadelphia Eagles Football Club (1979) upholds vicarious liability for employers; when an employee acts within the scope of their employment when they cause a negligent or intentional injury, the employer could be accountable for those injuries.
A bus company could also be liable independently of their driver’s conduct. Breached duties of care for safety measures outside of the driver’s control, such as proper bus maintenance, could be indicative of negligence from the company directly. A bus crash attorney in Allentown can help an injured person apply the correct cause of action to their case.
Generally, the state does not cap recoverable damages in an injury lawsuit. This applies to economic damages, which include medical bills or lost wages, as well as noneconomic damages, like pain and suffering.
However, there is an exception when the lawsuit is against a government agency. For lawsuits against the Commonwealth, 42 Pa. C.S. § 8528 caps damages at $250,000 per plaintiff up to a total of $1,000,000. When the defendant government entity is municipal, 42 Pa. C.S. § 8553 caps damages at $500,000. An injured person is also more restricted in what kind of damages they can seek when filing a bus accident lawsuit against a government organization.
A person must follow the required timelines when filing a bus wreck lawsuit. Under 42 Pa. C.S. § 5524, people must generally file their injury lawsuit within two years from the date of their injury. Otherwise, the court may not allow their case to move forward.
A practiced lawyer in Allentown could help an injured person make a stronger bus accident case by understanding and applying the correct laws to their circumstances.
The laws and procedures that apply to bus crash lawsuits can seem daunting, especially while trying to recover from an injury. When you work with a skilled Allentown bus accident lawyer, you have someone on your side to help you every step of the way. We could improve the outcome of your case and secure the compensation you need to recover. Call now to learn more.