Riding a bus is often hailed as not only a good thing for the environment, but also as a safer way to travel than driving a car. However, that does not mean that bus accidents never happen. In fact, they happen surprisingly often, resulting in serious injuries to riders, pedestrians, and other drivers. Unfortunately, getting compensated for the injuries you suffer in a bus accident can be difficult. This is where the Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian can help.
Bus Accidents in Philadelphia
There are numerous bus companies that operate in and around the city of Philadelphia. Many of these are private companies, like Peter Pan and Greyhound. However, in the city limits the bus company that is most used is the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). In all, SEPTA ran 116 bus routes during 2015, totaling over 45 million miles amongst its fleet of 1,154 vehicles. This helped an estimated 158,525,100 people use the bus to get to where they wanted to go.
With all of this traveling, it is impossible for SEPTA buses to completely avoid accidents with bikers, drivers, and even pedestrians. If you get involved in a bus crash with a SEPTA vehicle, however, it might create some confusion: After getting the medical help you need in a regular car accident, you deal with the other driver's insurance company. However, SEPTA is run by the city, creating some complexities. Additionally, immediately after an accident with any bus company, not just SEPTA, dealing with the bus driver can be difficult because they do not own the vehicle and are probably worried about losing their job if it is found that they caused the crash.
These problems can make the aftermath of a bus accident overwhelming. With the bus driver worried about his or her job and other bus company employees getting paid to protect their company, it can be frustrating to fight for your rights. Additionally, the increased difficulties in dealing with the government can make any accident involving SEPTA an uphill struggle that requires legal representation.
Causes of Bus Accidents
Even though bus drivers are professional carriers, that does not mean that they will never make a mistake or be negligent. If they fall behind their schedule, they can even think it necessary to drive recklessly. Distracted driving, poor judgment, and even intoxicated driving are all possibilities that can create an accident with a bus that leaves you with a serious injury.
Other drivers can also create a car accident that involves a bus that you are riding on, leaving you hurt. While buses are significantly larger than most other vehicles on the road, the impact of the collision can jostle the passengers inside the bus, making them fall and get hurt.
Finally, bus companies can be the ones responsible for some bus accidents by not maintaining their vehicles, or by demanding too much of their drivers. In fact, one of the big factors behind the recent SEPTA strike was the minimum amount of time drivers had between shifts: Nine hours left them unable to get a full night's rest, forcing them to drive while fatigued.
Bus Accident Injury Lawsuits
If you get involved in a bus accident and are hurt from it, getting the compensation that you need and deserve can be fraught with procedural complications. Unlike a regular car accident, where you only have to deal with the other driver and their insurance company, bus accidents have more interested parties. This can make it more difficult to get compensated for your injuries if you do not know how to handle the different agendas.
Not all of the aspects of a bus accident make it more difficult to get compensated, though. Bus companies are considered “common carriers,” which have a legal obligation to provide the highest standard of care to the people and goods they carry. This heightened standard can be a huge help in showing that the bus company that hurt you did not uphold its duties.
Philadelphia Bus Accident Attorneys
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a bus accident in Philadelphia, you need a personal injury attorney to represent you both in and out of court. Whether that bus company was SEPTA or another private corporation, the attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian can help you get the compensation that you need to overcome your injuries and move on with your life. Contact us online or at (800) 529-6162.