Millions of people rely on buses to get them where they need to go every day. Being involved in a bus accident is frightening enough when you’re in a car, but if you’re a pedestrian who is hit by a bus the results can be devastating. The personal injury attorneys at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad are well-versed in the complexities of these types of cases. If you’ve been injured as a pedestrian in a bus accident we can determine who may be liable and help you pursue compensation for your injuries and losses.
Causes Of Pedestrian Bus Accidents
Most pedestrians are hit by buses in urban areas. Knowing how these crashes occur can help you stay vigilant and aware of potential dangers. Pedestrian bus accidents are often caused by:
- Distracted bus drivers
- Failure to pay attention when making right or left turns
- Operators driving while intoxicated
- Pedestrians not using crosswalks
- Slipping and falling when getting on or off the bus
- Quick stops, turns, or motor vehicle collisions
Regardless of how a pedestrian bus accident happens, it can result in catastrophic injury or death.
Injuries Sustained In Pedestrian Bus Accidents
Pedestrians who are hit by buses often suffer life-changing injuries. Sometimes these crashes are fatal. Common injuries sustained in bus accidents include:
Spinal cord injuries – These types of injuries can result in conditions such as paraplegia, quadriplegia, partial paralysis, and chronic pain. Although it is possible to recover from some spinal cord injuries through treatment and rehabilitation, others require costly lifelong care.
Traumatic Brain Injuries – Due to the lack of protection surrounding them, a pedestrian who’s hit by a bus may suffer serious head and brain injuries with far-reaching long-term effects.
Fractured or crushed bones – Broken bones can leave an injured victim immobile for months and may require extensive surgeries and therapy to heal correctly. Some fractures may result in permanent loss of mobility and strength and chronic pain.
Amputation – In some cases, a pedestrian may lose a limb when hit by a bus. Not only is this type of injury physically and emotionally traumatic, but it can also significantly reduce a victim’s quality of life.
Internal organ damage – Being hit by a bus can also lead to permanent damage to the liver, heart, kidneys, lungs, and other organs. If there is significant internal bleeding or organ damage that goes undetected, the results can be deadly.
Privately Owned Buses Vs. Buses Owned by Public Entities
There are different processes for filing accident claims depending on whether the bus or transit system is owned by a private transportation company or public entity. Bus accidents may involve:
- Public buses
- Commercially owned buses such as Greyhound
- Tour Buses
- School Buses
- Shuttle Buses
- Buses for the elderly and disabled, such as LANtaVan
Liability For Bus Accidents
When a pedestrian is hit by a bus, multiple parties may be liable for damages. That’s why it’s critical to have an experienced bus accident lawyer who knows how to thoroughly investigate your claim and determine all potential avenues for recovering damages. Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to bring a claim against a:
- Private bus company
- Bus driver or their union
- Governmental or public entity
- Vehicle maintenance facility
- Parts manufacturer
- Another motorist involved in an accident
These cases are multifaceted. Bus companies have much higher insurance policy limits than regular auto insurance, which means they may fight harder to deny or minimize claims. In addition, going up against a government agency or public entity is challenging, as they enjoy certain protections that private companies do not. There are also strict rules and deadlines that must be followed to file a public bus accident claim. For example, if you’re a pedestrian who was hit by a SEPTA bus in Philadelphia, you are required to notify SEPTA and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania of your intent to file an injury claim before you bring an action against them.
How A Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
Having an experienced bus accident attorney handle your case is critical to helping you recover the maximum compensation you need and deserve for your injuries and damages. If a loved one has been hit and killed by a bus, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim against any negligent parties. A personal injury lawyer who is well-versed in state and federal laws that regulate buses will know how to conduct a thorough investigation, gather relevant evidence, and build a case that clearly demonstrates who may be at fault for a pedestrian bus accident.
Contact A Bus Accident Attorney
Our personal injury attorneys at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad offer solid legal advice and representation you can trust. We serve injured victims and their families throughout eastern Pennsylvania. Contact us online or call our Bethlehem office at 610-867-2900 to schedule a free consultation today. We have three convenient locations in Topton, Allentown, and Stroudsburg, PA as well.