Do I Have a Bus Accident Case?
August 14, 2022
If you are riding on a public transit bus, you might be injured while you are standing or walking to a seat when the bus driver suddenly accelerates the vehicle, causing you to fall and injure yourself. But do you have any rights to recover compensation for your injuries in a fall that occurred when the bus driver suddenly accelerated?
Injuries and Losses
Whether you have a viable injury claim may depend on the severity of the harm you have suffered. While it might not be worth it to pursue a case for bruises and scrapes, a fall can cause you to suffer more serious injuries that you might deserve compensation for, such as:
- Broken bones
- Ligament, tendon, and muscle injuries and tears
- Herniated disc injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Facial injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
What Parties Can Be Held Liable?
Depending on the specific facts of your case, there may be one or more parties who can be held liable for injuries that you suffered in the fall. These parties can include:
- The bus driver, who may be liable when they aggressively accelerate the bus in a manner contrary to their training, especially when the driver knows that passengers are standing or still taking their seats
- The bus operator, which may have employer liability for the bus driver’s negligence, or may be directly negligent for hiring a risky driver or for failing to maintain the bus if the sudden acceleration is caused by inadequate maintenance
- The bus’s mechanic, who may be liable for improperly performed maintenance that causes the sudden acceleration
- The bus’s manufacturer or third-party auto part manufacturers, such as a third-party transmission manufacturer, who may have liability for a sudden acceleration caused by defective design or assembly of the bus or one of its parts
The Passenger’s Fault
The bus operator might also try to argue that the passenger bears some of or all the fault for their fall. While a passenger might be blameless if they were simply standing due to a lack of seating or still walking to their seat when the bus accelerated, the passenger might have partial fault for their accident if they were engaging in horseplay or otherwise acting carelessly (such as not holding onto a handrail while standing). Bus operators often install surveillance cameras inside the bus that may catch footage the operator can use to argue in favor of the passenger’s fault for their fall.
Other Mitigating Factors
There may be other factors that can mitigate the bus driver’s fault for suddenly accelerating and causing a passenger to fall. Mechanical issues with the bus may cause the vehicle to accelerate more rapidly than the driver intended for. Or the driver may need to suddenly accelerate to avoid a collision that would be caused due to another motorist’s negligence.
Obtaining Compensation for Fall Injuries
If you fell on the bus due to sudden acceleration, you may be entitled to recover compensation for the serious injuries that you suffered. A financial recovery can provide you money for:
- Costs of medical care and physical therapy
- Loss of wages or income if you miss work or suffer a reduction of your income due to your injuries
- Pain and suffering from your injuries and subsequent medical treatment
- Loss of quality of life due to permanent disability or visible scarring and disfigurement that may result from your injuries
Contact a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Bus Accident Case in Pennsylvania
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a bus accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Goodrich & Geist, P.C. represent clients injured because of bus accidents in Pittsburgh and the surrounding Western PA counties. Call (412) 766-1455 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 3634 California Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15212. Home visits can be arranged in certain situations.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.