Bus Accident Lawyers | New York
If you or your loved one have suffered a serious injury in a bus accident in Syracuse, Binghamton, Montrose, Watertown, or Rochester, you may be entitled to compensation. Bus companies and bus drivers have a legal duty to passengers to operate their buses reasonably safely. When their negligence or the negligence of a third-party driver turns an ordinary bus ride into a tragedy, victims can seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
Bus Accidents in New York are Far Too Common
Many New York residents rely on buses to get them to and from work, school, and errands. Unfortunately, bus accidents happen on a somewhat regular basis. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in 2019, there were over 1,000 vehicles involved in bus accidents in New York.
Every year, more than 40 people die in bus accidents in New York, and more than two million suffer non-fatal injuries resulting from bus accidents. Most of these past accidents were caused by the same factors that caused any other car accident, and most of them were preventable. Bus accidents often happen due to the following factors:
- Driver distraction from texting, talking on the phone, eating, or staring out the window
- Driver fatigue
- Bus drivers not having enough room to maneuver, especially in heavily populated urban areas
- Vehicle equipment defects
- Weight distribution problems that cause a rollover hazard
- Lack of proper training related to driving large vehicles
Injuries Involved in Bus Accidents
A rollover or tip-over accident is more likely for a bus than a typical passenger vehicle. The height and distribution of weight on buses make them particularly vulnerable to rollover accidents. Adding to the inherent risk for rollovers, most bus passengers do not wear seat belts, and most buses in New York are not equipped with safety devices like airbags. Even though bus accidents are less common than passenger vehicle accidents, the injuries tend to be more severe with bus crashes.
Any motor vehicle accident can result in injuries that range from minor, such as bruising, to severe, such as a traumatic brain injury. Victims in bus accidents are often thrown around the bus, making them more likely to suffer severe injuries. Some of the most common types of injuries from bus accidents include the following:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal trauma
- Broken bones
- Concussion or another head injury
- Severe burns
Proving Liability in a New York Bus Accident
To recover compensation through a personal injury lawsuit, you will need to prove that the defendant or defendants were liable for the accident. You may hear the words ‘liability’ and ‘negligence’ used in similar ways, but they are different legal concepts. Negligence is a lack of reasonable care. Liability is a legal responsibility to pay for damages. If someone is liable for the damage they caused to your car in a car accident, they will need to pay for the repairs. Negligence means that they caused that damage by not acting reasonably under the circumstances.
Proving liability in a bus accident is not always easy. There could be one or more people who are liable for your injuries. For example, suppose another driver was texting while driving and collided with the bus. In that case, the driver who was texting acted negligently. As a result, he is liable for the injuries his negligence caused. In another example, a pedestrian may have stepped in front of the bus, causing the driver to swerve.
Bus driver negligence causes many bus accidents. Bus drivers drive for long hours, and it is easy for them to become fatigued. They are also working in dangerous conditions with large crowds of people and busy streets. When bus drivers fail to drive reasonably safely under the circumstances, injury victims can hold them liable. Finally, a manufacturer may be liable for your injuries. If the manufacturing company made faulty equipment that caused the bus accident, you could hold them accountable.
Private vs. Publicly Owned Buses
If your bus accident involved a private transportation company, such as a Greyhound bus, your lawyer would handle your case differently than if a public bus was involved. In New York, public buses include MTA buses. If a state or local government owns the bus, the doctrine of sovereign immunity could apply to protect them. However, New York residents can typically file a claim against the government, but they need to file a notice of claim within 90 days of the accident. This document gives the government notice that you plan to sue them for your injuries.
Damages Available in a New York Bus Accident
The goal of a personal injury lawsuit is to make the plaintiff whole again. It is impossible to return a victim to the same physical and emotional state as before the bus accident. However, the law provides for a plaintiff to be restored financially to the position he or she had been in if the bus accident never happened. As a result, plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits can seek to recover the following types of damages in a lawsuit:
- The cost for medical treatment and ongoing therapy
- Lost wages, past, and future, including the loss of earning capacity from the injuries
- Compensation for non-economic damages, such as emotional distress, pain, suffering, and loss of consortium
- Compensation for additional expenses related to daily life with an injury
- Property loss
Discuss Your Case With an Experienced Lawyer
The New York bus accident lawyers at Stanley Law Offices are committed to helping bus accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve. We have significant financial resources, experience, and a proven track record of successfully obtaining compensation for our bus accident clients. We understand what it takes to recover compensation for victims of bus accidents and other mass transit accidents in New York. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation to learn more about how we can advocate for you.