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Bus Crashes Can Result in Fatal Injuries

— October 14, 2022

Bus drivers have different demands by regulation as to their safe ability to operate a passenger carrier.

Last year, a school bus crash in Butler County claimed the lives of a teen and bus driver and sent multiple people to the hospital according to reports by Pennsylvania State Police.  The bus was carrying students from Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School in Midland, Beaver County when it hit the backside of a tractor trailer truck.  The injuries were reported as “severe to moderate” and passengers were transported to UPMC Children’s Hospital by helicopter and ambulance.  If an individual is hurt, or a loved one has been harmed because of a bus accident, an experienced bus accident attorney can build a winning case for damage compensation. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses are the safest vehicles on the road and children are safer taking buses to school than traveling by car.  Approximately 4-6 school aged children die every year on school transportation, that amount is less than one percent of all nationwide traffic fatalities.  Safety standards for school buses are higher than regular government controlled transit and private buses.  Bus accidents often occur because of driver error, but there are times when they are related to a mechanical problem, dangerous roadway condition, or the fault of another driver.  Negligence will need to be proven by a skilled accident lawyer, and fault could be placed on a bus driver, an owner,  a manufacturer for mechanical error, other drivers, or a bus company manager who decides on the transportation route a bus will follow. 

Duty of care

School bus drivers are required to operate vehicles with a higher degree of care to ensure the safety of passengers, and the public they serve.  When bus drivers, or companies do not observe the higher duty, it can be considered an act of negligence when injury, or property damage occurs. Drivers  A bus accident attorney will be able to outline the special rules that apply when a passenger is injured as a result of a bus accident.    

Pennsylvania driver requirements

School bus on the road; image by Elijah Ekdahl, via
School bus on the road; image by Elijah Ekdahl, via

Bus drivers have different demands by regulation as to their safe ability to operate a passenger carrier.  The specific medically disqualifying conditions found Under 49 CFR 391.41 are hearing loss, vision loss, epilepsy, and insulin use. A Pennsylvania school bus driver must possess a valid Commercial Driver’s License with Passenger and School Bus Endorsements. A school bus driver must pass a PA School Bus Physical (DL-704) every 13 months as outlined in Title 67, Chapter 71.

Parties who may be held responsible after a bus accident

  • Driver of other vehicle,
  • Government agency who controls bus,
  • Owner(s) of bus as employer,
  • Driver of bus,
  • Commercial insurer of bus,
  • Regulatory agency supporting bus safety on issues of bus manufacturer and parts manufacturer,
  • Licensing agencies of privately owned and public transit vehicles, city, county, or state.

Recoverable damages

  • Medical bills and burial expenses,
  • Compensation for lost wages,
  • Compensation for pain and suffering,
  • Punitive damages that are intended to punish the person who caused the death.

Hire an attorney

An experienced bus accident attorney can guide individuals on the actions that need to be undertaken after bodily injury, or property damage occur in a bus accident.   Passengers, pedestrians, and other motor vehicle operators should know what actions to take if they are involved in a bus-related accident that negatively affects someone’s livelihood, their own livelihood, and results in damages to their person, property, or ability to earn wages. Scanlon & Wojton can assist surviving family members with insurance claims and accidental death benefit compensation when it is available.    


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