Pennsylvania – August 5, 2021

The National Highway Safety Administration Fatality Analysis Reporting Systems (FARS) defines a bus as a motor vehicle designed primarily to transport nine, or more persons, including the driver.  The size of the bus and the number of passengers always increases the catastrophic outcomes when a bus is involved in an accident.  If an individual is hurt, or a loved one has been harmed because of a bus accident, an experienced bus accident attorney can build a winning case for damage compensation. Attorneys are aware of carrier responsibilities and the laws that regulate inter and intrastate travel and driver proficiency in order to keep passengers safe from unnecessary accidents.

Accidents.

School buses, tour buses, charter buses and public transit buses are in the news when an accident occurs because of the inflated amount of damage tied to a crash, the number of accident victims, and the frequency of accidents on record.  Bus accidents often occur because of driver error, but there are times when they are related to a mechanical problem, dangerous roadway condition, or the fault of another driver.  Negligence will need to be proven by a skilled accident lawyer, and fault could be placed on a bus driver, an owner,  a manufacturer for mechanical error, other drivers, or a bus company manager who decides on the transportation route a bus will follow.

Duty of care.

Legal responsibility for common carriers mandates a higher level of care because of paid  services to the public.  Non-commercial drivers are required to operate vehicles with reasonable care, but a common carrier must utilize  a higher degree of care to ensure the safety of passengers, and the public they serve.  When bus drivers, or companies do not observe the higher duty, it can be considered an act of negligence when injury, or property damage occurs.  A bus accident attorney will be able to outline the special rules that apply when a passenger is injured as a result of a bus accident.

Driver requirements.

Bus drivers have different demands by regulation as to their safe ability to operate a passenger carrier.  The specific medically disqualifying conditions found Under 49 CFR 391.41 are hearing loss, vision loss, epilepsy, and insulin use. Most commercial bus drivers are required  to have commercial drivers’ licenses (CDL).  The CDL regulations provide that “no person shall operate” a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV)s before passing the written and driving tests required for that vehicle (§383.23(a)(1)).

Parties who may be held responsible after a bus accident.

  • Driver of another vehicle,
  • Government agency who controls bus,
  • Owner(s) of bus as employer,
  • Driver of bus,
  • Commercial insurer of bus,
  • Regulatory agency supporting bus safety on issues of bus manufacturer and parts manufacturer,
  • Licensing agencies of privately owned and public transit vehicles, city, county, or state.

Recoverable damages.

  • Medical bills,
  • Funeral and burial expenses if someone dies,
  • Compensation for lost wages,
  • Compensation for pain and suffering,
  • Punitive damages that are intended to punish the person who caused injury, or death.

An experienced bus accident attorney can guide individuals on the actions that need to be undertaken after bodily injury, or property damage occur in a bus accident.   Passengers, pedestrians, and other motor vehicle operators should know what actions to take if they are involved in a bus-related accident that negatively affects someone’s livelihood, their own livelihood, and results in damages to their person, property, or ability to earn wages.

Legal counsel may help.

A personal injury lawyer who has experience with complex insurance claims and bus accident litigation settlements can assist victims toward relief in the form of damage compensation. Scanlon & Wojton will fight for comprehensive damage awards for personal injuries and property damage reimbursement after a bus crash in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.

Scanlon & Wojton, Attorneys at Law

The Mitchell Building
304 Ross Street, Suite 510
Pittsburgh, Pa 15219

Phone:  (412) 918-1241

Fax: (412) 235-7275

Sources.

https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/school-bus-safety

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/safety/data-and-statistics/413361/fmcsa-pocket-guide-2018-final-508-compliant-1.pdf

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/ourroads/large-trucks-and-buses-numbers

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/section/391.41

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/part/383

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/understanding-passenger-carrier-regulations

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