Public Transit Accidents: Know Your Rights

city bus accident

According to the University of Michigan, accidents involving public buses are common — there are about 63,000 of them each year. Large buses and trains can do a lot more damage to people and vehicles than cars, SUVs and trucks. If you’re hurt in a public transit accident, who is liable for the personal injury or property damage you incur? Let our staff at the Christopher L. Giddings, PC. help you answer that question.

Things to Know About Bus Accidents

Buses are the most frequently used type of public transportation. They stand the same chance of getting into an accident as every other vehicle on the roadway. However, they carry additional risks, such as tipping or rolling over in an accident, and their tremendous size can do a lot more damage. In addition, most buses typically don’t have seat restraints that might reduce injuries in an accident.

Liability And Filing A Claim

The first step is to determine the cause of the accident. If you’re not at fault and believe the bus driver’s negligence or recklessness caused the accident, you may have a case. If another driver caused the accident, you can file for damages with their insurer. Our personal injury attorneys give you an honest opinion on your chances to recover damages or receive compensation for pain, damages, injuries and lost wages.

The supportive staff at the Christopher L. Giddings, PC. helps you with filing claims. Accidents in which the bus driver may be at fault have to be filed via the entity that owns and operates the vehicle. These are usually government entities, such as school districts and transportation departments.

Filing A Government Claim

These claims can be tricky because each state has its own statute of limitations, and some states, like Pennsylvania, have coverage caps for property damage and personal injuries caused by automotive accidents.

In a “notice of claim,” you’ll need to provide the following information to get the process started:

  • Declare your intention to claim compensation for damages, injuries and lost wages due to the recklessness or negligence of the government entity.
  • Document the place, time and circumstances.
  • Describe the damages and/or injuries.
  • Include your name and address.

Pennsylvania Caps On Damages

Pennsylvania does have caps on damages, but your public transit accident attorney can help you determine whether they apply to your individual case. As a general rule, damages from the same accident are capped at $500,000 in total. Damages include:

  • Loss of wages
  • Pain and suffering for the death of a loved one
  • Personal injury leading to a permanent loss of functionality or permanent disfigurement where the medical or dental costs exceed $1,500

There are other factors listed in the statute that our attorney can explain in detail during your consultation.

What If You Already Have Insurance?

If your insurance covers part of your damages, you may have to deduct that from the amount collected from the public authority that owns the vehicle that was involved. Again, every case is different, so the best way to find out how your case is likely to play out is give us a call to set up a free consultation.

Contact Us

At Christopher L. Giddings, PC., we’re here to fight for your rights. Just because you’re going up against a government entity doesn’t mean you can’t win. Contact us online to get the process started.