Public transportation providers have a legal duty of care to keep their passengers safe. And while they do their best to exercise the most care possible, in Pennsylvania, over 600 accidents occur each year involving commercial and public transportation vehicles. Sadly, when these accidents happen, due to size, speed and lack of safety restraints, the resulting injuries are often catastrophic and even fatal. Fortunately, public transportation accidents don’t happen often in Pennsylvania despite the fact that several hundred thousand residents rely on these various modes of transportation.
Unfortunately, these types of cases can be complicated and challenging to pursue and require more investigative work than regular car accidents. More often than not, these cases require a car accident lawyer who is experienced in all kinds of road accidents and who is ready to potentially take on major companies and corporate lawyers.
If you’ve been injured while riding public transportation you may feel hopeless and lost in the process. It’s pivotal you contact a Philadelphia car accident lawyer immediately so they can start building your case and collecting critical evidence to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Pennsylvania Supports the Common Carrier law
All methods of public transportation are regulated by a law called “common carrier”. This means that drivers and operators are legally expected to exercise a high degree of care when it comes to the safety of their passengers. For this reason, when passengers get injured they can file a carrier negligence claim for damages and compensation. Even when a bus driver is determined liable, you may still be able to sue the owner or company via a legal doctrine known as respondeat superior which makes owners liable for the acts of their employees. The benefit to you is that employers generally have more money (and more insurance) making it possible to recover even more compensation for damages.
Determining Liability in Public Transportation Accidents is Tricky
A public transportation accident isn’t as straightforward as a regular car accident. There could be several claimants and liable parties including large corporations and government agencies. Either way, you’ll need a team of qualified and aggressive lawyers to take on this kind of case.
In order to decide who is liable for a public transportation accident, it must be determined who is responsible for the cause. There are typically 3 possibilities:
- The Driver
- The Vehicle Manufacturer (defect, recall, etc)
- Other Drivers on the Road
In many situations the driver will be at fault. If this is the case, you can file a negligence lawsuit for personal injuries. On top of that, the employer of the driver may also be liable which means you can seek compensation from them as well.
Why You Need An Experienced Accident
Although buses and other modes of public transportation are large and generally travel at low speeds, they are not equipped with seatbelts or other safety restraints which lead to more serious damage and injuries. Determining fault in the aftermath of a public transportation accident will be critical when it comes to securing the compensation you need.
There are several steps that need to be taken after an accident to obtain proper evidence which will then be used by insurance companies and personal injury lawyers to help determine fault. The sooner you call an experienced accident attorney, the quicker they can start gathering the crucial evidence you need to help your case.