Representing New York City Bus Accident Injury Victims
Thousands of people in New York, including school children, commuters, and tourists, rely on buses each day to reach their destinations. Although traveling by bus is relatively safe, accidents involving school buses, public buses, and charter buses can cause serious injuries to passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident, the law office of Michael LoGiudice can help you obtain meaningful compensation. We are well versed in the local, state and federal laws governing these accidents as well as the unique insurance issues related to bus accident claims.
Common Causes of Bus Accidents
While there are a variety of factors that contribute to bus accidents, some of the common causes include:
- Driver fatigue – Bus drivers often work long hours while navigating these large vehicles through heavy traffic and, at times, cover long distances. Without proper rest, drivers can become tired which affects their ability to maneuver the bus and respond to traffic and road hazards.
- Distracted driving – Drivers can be distracted by eating, talking to passengers, as well as smartphones or GPS navigation devices. While state law prohibits the use of handheld devices for talking or texting, distracted driving continues to be a leading cause of traffic collisions.
- Speeding – Bus drivers typically operate under strict schedules and can be penalized for falling behind their timetable. For this reason, bus drivers are prone to speeding through traffic, which can lead to deadly collisions. Because of their large size, it is difficult for buses to stop, and even more so if the driver is speeding.
- Drugs and Alcohol – Drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol while operating a bus pose a serious risk to passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists.
- Mechanical Defects/Poor Maintenance – Bus owners have a responsibility to ensure the buses are well maintained and conform to safety standards. Bus companies can be held liable for accidents that are due to faulty braking systems, lights, and other mechanical parts.
Bus Accident Injuries
Ultimately, because of the size and weight of these vehicles and the fact that most buses do not have safety belts or other passenger restraints, bus accidents can have devastating consequences. During a collision, buses are prone to tip over or rollover, which can lead to serious injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Back, neck and head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Wrongful Death
Who is liable in a New York Bus Accident?
Determining liability in a bus accident can be complicated, and there are a number of parties who may have contributed to the collision, including:
- Bus Drivers – Drivers who are poorly trained, commit traffic violations, or who drive while fatigued, distracted, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, can be held liable.
- Bus Companies – Bus companies are required to perform routine vehicle maintenance, hire qualified drivers and comply with state and federal regulations. A bus company can be held liable for an accident that was due to their, or a driver’s, negligence.
- Other Motorists – Car, motorcycle, or other vehicle drivers who cause an accident, or drive recklessly and cause a bus driver to lose control, may be liable for injuries and damage that are caused by the accident.
Bus Accident Insurance Claims in New York
It is important to note that if you were a passenger who was injured in a bus accident, and you or someone in your household owns an automobile, you must file a claim with that insurance company under New York’s No-Fault law. This will provide coverage for first party benefits such as lost wages, medical bills, and other healthcare expenses.
Nonetheless, you still can pursue a lawsuit if you suffered a serious injury to recover non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. However, if you or someone in your household does not have No-Fault coverage because there is no vehicle, you can file a claim with the bus company’s insurance. Lastly, if the bus was owned by a municipal agency such as the MTA, you must also file a Notice of Claim with the appropriate agency within 90 days of the accident before pursuing a lawsuit.
In any event, pursuing a claim against a bus insurance company can be complicated because they have an unfair advantage over injured bus accident victims. For this reason, it is essential to engage the services of an experienced personal injury attorney who can level the playing field.
Dedicated New York Bus Accident Attorney
With offices in Brewster and Manhattan, the law office of Michael LoGiudice has extensive experience pursuing bus accident claims against charter bus companies, school bus operators, and government agencies. We have the skills and resources necessary to thoroughly investigate the cause of the accident. We will collect pertinent evidence, including police reports from the accident scene, interview witnesses and work diligently to build a successful case. If you were injured in an accident involving a bus, we will aggressively fight for your rights. Fill out a contact form or call our office today for a free consultation.
The law office of Michael LoGiudice serves clients in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties.