Many lawyers who investigate bus accident cases look to the driver and the bus company as the exclusive tortfeasors. This reflexive response is understandable. The common-carrier doctrine obligates motor carriers, including bus companies, to provide “the highest degree of care for their passengers’ safety,” as in Benson v. Penn Central Transportation, 463 Pa. 37, 46 (1975), Pedretti v. Pittsburgh Railways, 417 Pa. 581, 583-84, 209 A.2d 289, 290 (1965), Griffith v. United Air Lines, 416 Pa. 1, 8, 203 A.2d 796-799 (1964), and Seburn v. Luzerne & Carbon County Motor Transit, 394 Pa. 577, 580, 148 A.2d 534, 536 (1959). But operator negligence is often not the only cause of bus accidents. Immediate and careful investigation is needed to evaluate all of the factual causes. The challenge in these cases, of course, is to conduct an investigation efficiently and effectively. After all, with most bus accident cases, there will usually be many claimants vying for a finite amount of available insurance.
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