Port Authority spokesman Adam Brandolph said an O12 McKnight Flyer was stopped at Arcadia Drive when the front of the car hit the rear of the bus, causing the driver to die. The bus driver will go through routine drug and alcohol testing. About 12 passengers were on the bus when the accident occurred and one was treated by medics at the scene.
Potential wrongful death action.
If legal action is entertained by members of the deceased family in a wrongful death claim, there will be many factors that need to be investigated before litigation can go forward. There were witnesses at the scene that may need to be interviewed, and insurance responsibility will need to be clarified in accordance with named parties to the legal action that may include the driver of the bus and the Port Authority of Pittsburgh.
Since Pennsylvania is a choice no fault state, in accordance with the type of coverages each driver has, fault may still have some bearing for claims of the parties involved. The reason for the "stopped" bus will have to be investigated and disclosed to see if there was any negligence involved on the part of the driver, or if there was something mechanically wrong that caused the bus to stop, perhaps abruptly leading to the accident. These scenarios and others will need to be developed by crime scene professionals, Port Authority representatives, law enforcement and insurance adjusters, as the burden of collecting and analyzing the data related to an accident may be overwhelming to a deceased victim's family. Determining the percentage of fault is a matter for those who have reviewed police reports, witness reports, car damages, roadway marks and other factors present at the time of the accident.
Compensation for loss.
Compensation for any loss sustained as a result of the car accident, due to partial or full negligence of another party, is in a victim's reach to assist in payment of the significant medical expenses, loss of wages, funeral expenses, or other life-altering events that can negatively affect an individual or surviving family's livelihood in the case of wrongful death claims, that are not covered by insurance companies.
The State of Pennsylvania uses both a "no-fault" system and a 3rd party liability system. Under Pennsylvania's no-fault system, after a car accident a driver may turn to his or her own insurance company for compensation for injuries up to the personal injury protection, or "PIP" limit regardless of fault. Drivers also have the right to circumvent Pennsylvania's no-fault law and proceed directly against the at-fault driver under certain circumstances. This can be done when the accident resulted in serious injury. According to Pennsylvania State law, this is generally defined as the impairment of a body function or permanent and serious disfigurement. Pennsylvania drivers may choose between no-fault insurance, a 3rd party liability insurance system, or both.
Seek legal counsel.
If you have been involved in a car accident in the Pittsburgh area, and lost a loved one, it would best to contact an experienced personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Scanlon & Wojton for assistance for your potential claim. An attorney can help with insurance claims, or legal settlements specific to your individual case.
Scanlon & Wojton, Attorneys at Law
The Mitchell Building
304 Ross Street, Suite 510
Pittsburgh, Pa 15219
Phone: (412) 918-1241
Fax: (412) 235-7275