For thousands of Pennsylvania commuters and students, taking the bus is a way of life. We all like to believe that buses are a safe and reliable means of transportation. But as with any type of motor vehicle, buses are frequently involved in accidents, which can lead to serious injuries or even death.
Indeed, the summer of 2023 has seen a significant number of bus accidents reported just in the Philadelphia area. On September 3, a Route 38 bus collided with a Jeep Cherokee in Philadelphia’s Center City. This was the eighth reported crash involving a SEPTA bus reported over the past couple of months, according to WPVI. There were four accidents alone over a one-week period in July, including a Roosevelt Boulevard crash that killed a 72-year-old bus passenger. As a result of this recent string of crashes, WPVI reported that SEPTA implemented a new round of mandatory safety training for its bus and trolley operators.
The Facts According to PennDOT
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation publishes annual statistics for all motor vehicle crashes reported in the state. The Department’s most recent report for 2022 indicated the following with respect to bus accidents:
- There were 461 commercial buses involved in crashes.
- There were 274 school buses involved in crashes.
- Only 1 bus driver was involved in an accident due to drinking alcohol.
- Out of 2,800 persons involved in school bus crashes, only 1 died and 89 percent suffered no reported injury.
- Overall, the number of school bus crashes and the number of injuries increased between 2021 and 2022.
It is important to note, however, that bus occupants are not the only people who may be injured or killed in an accident. The National Safety Council reported that in 2021, there were 108 people killed nationwide in accidents involving school buses, nearly double the amount reported the previous year (when ridership was lower due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Over the prior decade, the NSC noted:
- 70 percent of school bus accident-related fatalities involved occupants of a vehicle other than the bus.
- 16 percent of fatalities were pedestrians struck by a bus.
- 3 percent of fatalities were individuals riding bicycles.
Seeking Compensation Following a Bus Accident in Pennsylvania
If you are injured in a bus accident–either as a passenger, the occupant of another vehicle, a pedestrian, or a cyclist–it is important to consult with an experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer who can advise you of your legal rights. If you were injured by or while riding a SEPTA bus, you have to file a claim with the agency before you can proceed with a personal injury lawsuit in court. The claims process gives SEPTA a chance to review your accident and make a settlement offer. But these offers are often far too low to fully compensate you for your medical bills and other accident-related losses.
So if you have been involved in a bus accident and need legal advice on what steps to take next, contact Quinn Law Group today to schedule an initial consultation. Your well-being and pursuit of justice are our top priorities. Don’t let a bus accident derail your life; let us help you get back on the road to recovery.