Wilkes-Barre Bus Accident Lawyer
All auto accidents are confusing and can leave you feeling helpless. When a bus is involved however, it becomes even more complicated. Buses are considered common carriers in Pennsylvania, which means they have certain rules that pertain to them. Additionally, if the bus belongs to the city and is part of public transportation, there are even more rules that make the aftermath of an accident even more complex. If you have been involved in a bus accident, it’s important that you speak to a Wilkes-Barre bus accident lawyer that understands the many issues involved with these crashes.
Common Carriers Under Pennsylvania Law
Under Pennsylvania law, bus companies such as Boltbus and Megabus are considered common carriers. A common carrier in the state is considered any company or business that transports people or goods.
Common carriers are held to a much higher standard than other vehicles on the road. This is because people trust these companies to get them to their destination safely. The law also considers common carriers better able to correct defects and flaws such as insufficient maintenance and unsafe practices.
The Jerk and Jolt Doctrine
Although common carriers are held to a higher duty of care than other vehicles on the road, they are also protected under the jerk and jolt doctrine. This doctrine states that common carriers are immune from liability if injuries arise from the routine jerks and jolts felt on a bus. Lawyers for bus companies often use this defense to try and shield the company from claims of negligence and liability.
Although the jerk and jolt doctrine does provide some protection to bus companies, there are ways to defend against it. Pictures from traffic cameras, video surveillance from nearby businesses, toxicology reports, and witness statements can all help prove the bus driver was responsible for the accident.
Public Bus Accidents
Public bus accidents are especially confusing for victims afterward. Government agencies such as SEPTA have certain immunity from liability lawsuits. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t claim compensation for things such as medical expenses and lost income if you’ve been seriously hurt by a public bus. These claims though, have strict time limits and are very case-specific. As such, you should never file a claim against the government without first speaking to an attorney that has the necessary experience with them.
Call Our Wilkes-Barre Bus Accident Lawyers After a Crash
Buses are much larger than other vehicles and cause much more serious injuries when they are involved in an accident with a smaller car or pedestrian. These claims are also much more complicated than other auto accident cases. If you’ve been hurt, it’s important you don’t take your claim on alone.
At O’Donnell Law Offices, our Wilkes-Barre bus accident lawyers can provide the necessary legal advice and assist you through every step of the process. We know how to hold bus companies and their insurers accountable for providing the compensation you need and will ensure your rights are upheld at all times. Call us today at (570) 821-5717 to schedule your free consultation.