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New York Bus Accident Lawyers

bus accident attorneysBuses are among the safest forms of transportation that a person can take. Even when there is an accident, bus passengers tend to avoid serious injuries most of the time. Pedestrians outside the bus and those in passenger vehicles tend to be much worse off in bus collisions. According to one study from the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute, there are around 63,000 bus collisions each year. These result in around 14,000 people injured and 325 people killed.

Any person that is injured due to the negligence of a bus driver may have recourse through a personal injury claim. Negligence is the failure to act in the reasonable manner necessary to avoid an accident. For example, buses have a wide turning radius and large blind spots. In many circumstances poorly trained bus drivers might not take the time to check their blind spots before making turns. The bus accident attorneys at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. are here to help if you’ve been injured in a bus accident. You can contact us anytime for a free legal consultation.

Common Causes of Bus Accidents

By their very nature, bus accidents are complex events with dozens of potential contributing factors. The events that can lead up to a crash can even take place hours or months prior to the actual crash. According to the FMCSA, this can include inclement weather, roadway conditions, distracted driving and tire blowouts. However, a relatively small number of factors are behind most bus collisions.

Driver Fatigue: Bus drivers have difficult jobs and are often asked to work long hours. According to one study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, sleepiness while driving was common among the bust drivers they studied. This was mostly due to sleep deprivation, irregulars schedule changes and sleep disorders brought on by their working conditions.
Driver Inexperience: Driving a bus is substantially different and more difficult than driving a passenger vehicle. Bus drivers must get a commercial driver’s license and undergo special training. Still, the less experience that a person has driving a large commercial bus the more prone they are statistically to becoming involved in an accident.
Speed: Excessive speed is one of the most common causes of all collisions. Bus drivers often underestimate how quickly they can stop at any given speed. The truth of the matter is that buses take much longer to stop than smaller vehicles due to their weight.

It is absolutely critical that evidence is properly preserved after an accident. What may have caused or contributed to an accident may not be immediately understood. For example, a tire blowout could cause a bus to become unstable and veer off the road. It’s best to look at an accident with an open mind and explore how it could have happened. Ultimately, a thorough investigation into any collision could help reveal its cause. Depending on the cause of any crash, there could be numerous liable parties.

Sources of Liability For Bus Accidents

All bus drivers are expected to exercise due care in order to avoid causing accidents. They must obey all relevant traffic regulations. Pursuant to New York Vehicle & Traffic Law S1101, “It is unlawful and, unless otherwise declared in this title with respect to particular offenses, it is a traffic infraction for any person to do any act forbidden or fail to perform any act required in this title.” When a bus accident occurs and someone is injured or killed, there are a number of entities that could be held at fault.

  • Bus Driver: Every driver is ultimately responsible for the decisions and negligent actions that they engage in. If a bus driver commits a traffic infraction such as making a dangerous turn and causes a collision, they could be held liable. In many situations, their employer could be liable as well.
  • Private Bus Companies: A bus company could be vicariously liable for the negligent actions of their employees, insofar as the tortious conduct was reasonably foreseeable and a natural consequence of a worker’s employment.
  • Municipal Bus Companies: Many bus companies such as the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) are government owned. When their drivers act in a negligent manner and cause an accident, the municipal entity that controls them could be held at fault. It’s important to keep in mind that accidents with state or city buses have very short statute of limitations. Victims must file a notice of claim within 90 days after the accident.
  • Third Party Contractors: Not everyone who works with a bus company is their employee. A third-party contractor could potentially be liable for a crash if they negligently hired a bus driver. For example, a potential bus driver may have had their commercial license revoked.
  • Bus Manufacturers: The company that manufactured a bus or its component parts could be liable for a collision. If any part of a bus brakes down, this could lead to a catastrophic collision. In the United States alone, nearly 33,000 accidents happen due to tire failures.

Demonstrating liability is not a totally straightforward process. It requires a lot of work. In general, negligence claims must demonstrate four things in a court of law: duty, breach of duty, causation and damages. Unfortunately, bus companies will do everything in their power to deny liability after any collision. If you’ve been injured in a bus accident and you’re trying to resolve your case, there are a number of steps that you should take.

What To Do After A Bus Accident

It can be difficult for someone to know what to do if they’ve been seriously injured in a bus accident. It’s important to try to remain as calm as possible and, if you can, get to someplace safe because sometimes people are hit by a second or third vehicle after an initial collision. A fatal collision can be especially difficult for a family – emotionally, financially and otherwise. What follows below are just a few steps that you should take in order to preserve your rights after a collision.

  • Call 911 so that you can receive medical help and so that the police can document the scene.
  • Seek medical attention as early as you can. Many people fail to seek medical attention after an accident because they assume they’re fine. However, your body is pumping with adrenaline after a collision which can mask an injury.
  • Do your best to document what you can. Take pictures of the accident scene and get the names and phone numbers of any potential witness.
  • Don’t make any statements to insurance agencies regarding your injury.
  • Speak with an experienced bus accident attorney. An attorney can take steps to help preserve evidence and to protect your rights.

Victims of bus accidents may be entitled to substantial compensation for their accident. Damages can help cover lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration FMCSA requires buses that can carry 16 or more passengers to have at least $5,000,000 worth of liability coverage. It’s always a good idea to speak with an experience bus accident attorney after an accident. It doesn’t cost anything to hire an attorney and they don’t get paid unless they are able to successfully resolve your case.

Getting Help After A New York Bus Accident

glkHave you or someone that you care about been injured in a New York bus accident? There are a number of laws designed to protect your rights. Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to help with whatever you need. We care deeply that accident victims are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. We understand how difficult it can be to deal with a serious injury or death from a bus accident.

The New York bus accident attorneys at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. have devoted their careers to helping accident victims. They are extremely knowledgeable and can answer any legal questions that you may have. Even if you suspect that you may be partially at fault for a collision, you may still have a valid legal claim. No matter the circumstances of any crash, we can investigate the unique facts of your case free of cost and let you know if we can help. You’re always welcome to reach out to us anytime at 800-529-9997.

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