Over the past few years, the news has been filled with stories about Philadelphia-area bus accidents, including a number involving school buses in Delaware, Montgomery and Lancaster Counties. One involved a school bus colliding with a dump truck. Meanwhile, late in 2015, a SEPTA bus crashed into a traffic light in Overbrook, injuring 11 passengers and the driver. If you, a child or other loved one has been in an accident involving a school bus, city bus or motor coach, the Philadelphia bus accident lawyers with Brotherly Law can help. We would like to hear from you.
Owners of bus companies (especially motor coach companies like Greyhound) are usually eager to settle claims quickly. Brotherly Law’s legal team can offer a powerful buffer between you and insurance company adjusters, who may be pushing you to settle for only a percentage of the damages you deserve. We also can help investigate your claim to see if you have a strong enough case to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the driver or bus line owner responsible for the accident and your injuries.
Time and again, bus accidents are blamed on one major cause and its not drunk driving or speeding—often the driver involved in the accident was simply exhausted and navigating a giant bus on next to no sleep. In fact, one transportation industry publication claims that “fatigued driving” is the biggest cause of severe bus and motor coach accidents, making up the bulk of claim costs. Interstate bus drivers frequently work extremely long shifts and go many days with limited sleep or essentially no sleep, while many types of local bus drivers (including school bus drivers) usually earn low wages and have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet.
Tour bus drivers and commercial motor coach drivers for companies like Greyhound, Trailways, MegaBus, BoltBus and PeterPan often make long overnight trips between cities, sometimes up to 16 hours a day. Meanwhile, they spend part of their “down time” making sure their paperwork is in order or that their bus is receiving adequate maintenance. This translates into almost no sleep at all for the one person on the bus who needs all of his or her senses functioning at peak capacity.
Though transit drivers, school bus drivers and other drivers who cover local routes make shorter trips and work seemingly reasonable hours, they also earn low pay. So while your kid’s school bus driver may be driving “part-time” four days a week, he or she could also be working one or two other jobs—totaling 70-90 hours a week. Again, not the alert captain you want to see navigating the ship!
While exhaustion leads the pack, other key causes contribute to accidents, including drivers who become distracted by talking passengers, collecting fares while driving or become overly aggressive behind the wheel.
And accidents aren’t always the bus driver’s fault. Many bus accidents are caused by other drivers, who are talking on the phone, texting, eating, driving under the influence, speeding or changing lanes aggressively, which makes it impossible for the bus driver to avoid them. And, despite their outward appearance, buses aren’t impenetrable fortresses. Cars, trucks and SUVs can do serious damage in collisions with buses of any size.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident, you should know that you may benefit because these carriers are often held to higher negligence standards.
Once you’ve been injured, Greyhound, Trailways and other providers will know that you may be facing heavy expenses. One of their representatives will show up not long after your accident and may offer you a settlement that seems fairly generous. You may be entitled to much more. Speak with an experienced bus accident lawyer at Brotherly Law before taking the settlement and signing away your rights.
Through the years, the team at Brotherly Law has represented hundreds of clients in car, truck and bus accident claims. We take many of these claims on a contingency basis, meaning we receive payment only when your case is settled. When you contact our offices, one of Brotherly Law’s bus accident lawyers in Philadelphia—Gregory C. Littman, Esq. and Austin R. Freundlich, Esq.—will respond to your call or email and speak with you directly to schedule a free consultation. So call us now at (215) 545-8500 or contact us online anytime to see how we can help.
If you have been injured due to no fault of your own, you may be able to hold the responsible party accountable for the monetary damages resulting from the accident. Fill out the form below to request a free consultation so we can evaluate your case.