Who Is Liable When A Commuter Is Injured In A Bus Accident?

Have You Been Injured in a Bus Accident?

Most of the public transportation that commuters use is run by either state or municipal governments. For example, the local school district usually owns school buses, and a city usually owns public buses. This often leaves the question when there is a bus accident, who is liable when a commuter is injured in a bus accident? A SEPTA accident lawyer can answer that question.

Sovereign Immunity

In the United States, governments – whether federal, state, county, or municipal – have special protections against lawsuits. This is legally referred to as sovereign immunity. Sovereign immunity legally prevents the government from being sued without its consent.

There is some legal debate on whether it is just the federal government that has sovereign immunity or if that immunity trickles down to other levels of government. The legal bottom line, however, is that when it comes to suing the government, there are different rules that must be adhered to compared to other types of personal injury lawsuits. Otherwise, the victim’s claim will be dismissed.

Tort Claims Act

Any injury claims against the government are filed under the Tort Claims Act. Each state has its own version of this law as the legal process to address any injury claims by a private citizen. Typically, these claims require documentation that needs to be filled out and submitted to the agency being sued by a certain deadline. If this deadline is missed, so too does the victim’s right to pursue an injury claim against the agency.

When a victim files a “notice of intent to file a claim” for a bus accident or any other type of accident, the correct form for that agency needs to be used. The form will likely require a description and details of the bus accident, including when it occurred, where it occurred, and details of how it occurred. The victim will also need to provide details about the damages they have suffered as a result of the crash, such as medical expenses, loss of income, and property damage. The victim must also include a statement as to their intent to seek financial compensation for the injuries and property damage they have suffered as a result of the bus accident.

Statute of Limitations 

In every personal injury case, each state has established a statute of limitations for how long the victim has to file their claim. Once the time has expired, the victim can no longer pursue their claim if they failed to file, regardless of the extent of their injuries. The statute of limitations for filing an injury claim against a government agency is different than state laws. In some cases, filing a claim for bus accident injuries can be as little as one to two months.

Contact a Personal Injury Law Firm Today

If you’ve been injured in a bus accident, contact a SEPTA bus accident lawyer to find out what legal recourse you may have for the losses you have suffered.