Philadelphia Bus Accident Lawyer
A crash or collision involving a bus could result in severe injuries, property damage, and emotional trauma. However, if you or a loved one was injured in a crash due to another person’s careless or reckless act, you do not have to figure out how to move forward alone.
A Philadelphia bus accident lawyer might be able to help. By working with a diligent attorney, you could receive help with determining your legal options and filing a claim to pursue full and fair compensation for your losses.
Filing an Insurance Claim
Passengers and operators that find themselves in a bus crash might wish to consider how to recover compensation through their auto insurance. While most states follow an at-fault auto insurance model, Pennsylvania operates under a no-fault insurance model.
Under no-fault insurance, those injured in automobile accidents may recover economic damages under their own personal injury protection (PIP) or medical benefits insurance coverage. Those seeking non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, or additional economic damages that fall outside the scope of their own insurance coverage must meet certain threshold requirements. However, unlike other no-fault states, Pennsylvania has a unique system that separates policyholders into two categories: limited tort and full tort coverage.
Limited Tort Coverage
Those that have limited tort coverage have a limited right to seek compensation outside of their own PIP claim. Under limited tort coverage, claimants may seek economic damages, such as medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses, but they are prohibited from seeking non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. In order to seek non-economic damages in court, limited tort coverage holders must meet Pennsylvania’s serious injury threshold. Pennsylvania Statutes §1705 states that the serious injury threshold requires permanent and serious disfigurement or serious impairment of a bodily function.
Full Tort Coverage
The more expensive of the two coverages, full tort insurance policies allow claimants to pursue both economic and non-economic damages that result from an accident without having to meet a serious injury threshold. In a way, full tort coverage allows claimants to opt-out of the no-fault requirements. A Philadelphia lawyer who is familiar with both types of coverage could help anyone injured in a bus crash to understand how to best seek the compensation they need.
Pursuing a Civil Claim After a Bus Crash in Philadelphia
If a person’s insurance does not cover the extent of their losses, they might be able to file a civil lawsuit against the responsible parties. This requires the injured claimant to demonstrate how a motorist, pedestrian, or even bus manufacturer was at fault for the crash and their subsequent injuries.
If successful, a claim may be able to provide compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. However, anyone choosing to pursue a civil claim must be aware of the statute of limitations. This is a two-year deadline that begins from the date of the injury and dictates when a claim may be filed. After this timeframe passes, an otherwise valid claim might face a dismissal.
Lastly, it is essential for anyone looking to file a claim to understand Pennsylvania’s comparative fault rule. Simply put, this means that any claimant who is found to be more than 51 percent at fault for an accident would be barred from recovering any damages. Any percentage of fault below 51 percent that is attributed to a claimant would still allow them to receive compensation, although the amount reward would be reduced to match their level of fault.
Retain a Philadelphia Bus Accident Attorney for Help
If you or a loved one was injured in a bus crash or collision, you might be traumatized and overwhelmed. Despite the possibility of facing a pile of medical bills, you may be unable to work due to your injuries.
When a person, business, or another entity is to blame, you have legal options and might be able to successfully recover compensation with the help of a Philadelphia bus accident lawyer. With an experienced attorney assisting you along the way, you could feel more confident in your pursuing a claim for recovery. To discuss your legal options in-depth, schedule a consultation by today.