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Personal injury claims: Drivers may not be solely liable

Pennsylvania parents often entrust their children to strangers. Every time parents sign permission slips for their children to take a school-sponsored trips, other people become responsible for the safety of the children. When the trust parents place in these individuals is broken, it could lead to injury-causing crashes that may result in personal injury claims being filed by rightfully upset parents.

Of course, the bus driver may not be ruled responsible for a crash in which another driver is the cause. For example, if a drunk driver slams into the bus, that would probably not be the fault of the bus driver. However, if the driver of the bus is the one who is drunk, is distracted or makes some other egregious error while driving, that changes things.

If the bus driver turns out to be the cause of the accident, the bus driver would obviously be someone who could bear responsibility for the crash, both criminally and civilly depending on the circumstances. However, a Pennsylvania civil court may also determine that the company that hired the at-fault driver is also responsible. Not only could the company be found liable because the accident happened while the bus driver was performing his or her job duties (respondeat superior), but the company itself may be found liable directly if the situation warrants it.

In order for parents to know who bears the legal responsibility for a bus accident in which their children suffered injuries, it may be worthwhile to sit down with a personal injury attorney who can review the situation. After conducting an investigation, additional parties may be identified against whom civil claims may be filed. Successfully proving negligence through the appropriate evidence could result in the restitution needed in order to cover financial losses associated with the accident.

Source: FindLaw, "Tour Bus Accidents and Liability", Accessed on May 29, 2018

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