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What to Do If You’re Hurt on Public Transportation


With rising gas prices and streets that are becoming more congested every day, it’s no wonder that more and more people in Pennsylvania are looking towards public transportation to make their way around. Unfortunately, city buses are no more immune to getting into an accident than any other vehicle on the road. When they do, the resulting injuries are often just as traumatic.

Those injured on public transportation can sometimes file an accident claim and receive compensation for their injuries. However, claims for accidents that occurred on public transportation are filed against a government entity, which makes them much more difficult to prove, and pursue.

Types of Public Transportation Accidents

When people imagine getting into an accident on public transportation such as a COLTS bus, they typically first think of a bus getting into an accident with another vehicle. These accidents do happen, but there are other ways passengers can become hurt as well. The main types of accidents seen on public transportation include:

  • Jerks and jolts, when the bus comes to a sudden stop
  • Buses hitting curbs
  • Drivers failing to wait until all passengers embark and disembark safely
  • Defective doors
  • Defective railways at stations
  • Broken steps
  • Uneven flooring

Although many of these accidents occur when a person is actually on a bus, they can occur in other areas as well, such as at the bus station.

Special Rules for Jerk and Jolt Cases

Due to the fact that by their very nature, buses must make regular stops, it’s difficult to prove jerk and jolt injuries. In order for these claims to be successful, the plaintiffs in these cases must show that the stop was an extraordinary occurrence. They must prove the stop was not necessary, and that the bus driver acted negligently when coming to the sudden stop.

To establish this proof, it’s helpful if there were other passengers on the bus that were also injured. It’s particularly beneficial if they can validate that the stop was unnecessary.

Time Limits for Filing a Claim Against the Government

Although those involved in a motor vehicle accident typically have two years from the date of the crash to file a personal injury claim, those made against the government have much shorter timeframes. In Pennsylvania, when an individual wishes to file an injury claim against a government entity, they have only six months to do so.

Adding to the complexity of filing a claim against the government, there are also some exceptions to this statute of limitations. They include:

  • If an injured person is incapacitated or disabled and cannot file a claim within 60 days, it is extended to 90 days.
  • If the injury resulted in death, the statute of limitations is tolled until the date of the death.
  • When the government had adequate notice of the accident, the time limit may be different.

In any of these cases, it’s still unlikely that the statute of limitations would extend to the two-year mark for other accidents. Due to this, it’s important for anyone injured on public transportation to speak to a personal injury attorney right away.

Call a Scranton Personal Injury Attorney for Help with Your Claim Today

If you’ve been injured in an accident on public transportation, you need the Scranton personal injury attorneys that have the necessary experience to handle these claims. At Haggerty, Hinton & Cosgrove, we’ll review your case and advise on how much time you have to file your claim. We will help you through the complex system of taking action against a government entity, so you claim the full amount of compensation you are entitled to. Don’t try to navigate this process on your own. Call us today at (570) 343-9731 or contact us online so we can begin reviewing your case.


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