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NYC Bus Accident Lawyer

A bus crash can injure dozens of passengers, motorists, truck drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. People who find themselves in this unfortunate situation need a lawyer who routinely handles bus accident cases.

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Private Buses

If the injury happened in a privately owned vehicle, a bus accident lawyer can deal with the bus company and its insurance company to make sure your claim gets the attention it deserves.

Private buses are owned and operated by private companies. Examples include:

  • Hotel and airport shuttles
  • Tour buses
  • Hop-on, hop-off sightseeing buses
  • Chartered buses
  • Private paratransit
  • Greyhound buses

Bear in mind that private buses may or may not charge a fee. But regardless of whether a private bus operator charges for the ride, its bus driver is subject to the same duty of care toward their riders.

Public Buses

Alternatively, if the injury was sustained in an accident involving a public bus, your attorney can ensure that you satisfy MTA’s requirements for personal injury claims.

New York City’s Department of Transportation provides transportation to public, non-public and charter school students.

Other public NYC transportation operators include:

  • Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)
  • MTA Bus Company (MTABC)
  • New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA)
  • Port Authority of NY and NJ
  • Manhattan, Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority (MABSTOA)
  • New York City Health + Hospitals (HH)
  • Staten Island Rapid Transit Authority

Many of these public transportation authorities operate buses, even if they merely use them for parking shuttles or temporary shuttles during outages.

Busses in New York City

Who is liable in a bus accident?

When you meet with a New York personal injury attorney, you will discuss which parties are liable for your injuries. You might consider pursuing a claim against the bus company, driver or other negligent party. Your attorney will determine who is responsible for your accident.

Bus Operator

Whether your accident happened on a public bus or a private bus, you can pursue a claim against the operator for their role in causing your injuries. Some theories your legal team may use to prove bus operator negligence include:

  • Negligent driving and operation
  • Negligent training
  • Negligent supervision
  • Negligent repair
  • Negligent accident procedures
  • Negligent cleaning and maintenance

The bus operator typically bears vicarious liability for any actions of its employees within the course and scope of their employment. Thus, even though the bus driver may have caused the crash by driving negligently, the employer can be held liable.

Bus Driver

Occasionally, a bus driver may bear liability for an accident. If the bus driver did something outside the scope of their job duties, they might be responsible for any damages that result.

For example, a public bus driver who disregards the MTA rule prohibiting bikes on buses and allows a passenger to bring a bicycle onboard may be liable for any injury to another passenger caused by the bike.

Bus Manufacturer

If a bus manufacturer sells a defective bus, it bears strict liability for any injuries the bus causes.

Bus Maintenance and Repair Depot

If the bus company contracts with a maintenance and repair facility, that facility may bear liability for any negligent repairs or maintenance that contributed to the accident.

Other Drivers

If your bus accident was due to the negligence of another driver, such as an improper lane change, you might have a claim against the driver who caused the accident.

Suppose that a vehicle driver cuts off your bus and the bus driver slams on the brakes. You may have a claim against the vehicle driver for negligence.

Common Carrier Laws In New York City

Buses are common carriers because they offer their services to people as a business. As such, they must obey specific laws and fulfill higher standards of care. The bus companies are responsible for abiding by all applicable federal and state rules for common carriers. Otherwise, they face liability for subsequent accidents and passenger injuries. Standards of care for public and privately-owned buses are numerous, and include:

Examining all applicable federal, state and city laws regarding bus operation can take hours. A personal injury attorney experienced in bus accidents has the resources to easily identify specific laws the bus company or driver may have broken in your particular case. There may be more than one party at fault for your crash. For example, another driver may have run a red light, but poorly maintained brakes prevented the bus from stopping in time to avoid a collision. You could potentially bring a claim against the other driver and the bus company, in this situation. Talk to an NYC bus accident attorney for help with assigning fault in your case.

If you decide to take legal action against the party that caused your injury, you can expect your attorney to seek the maximum compensation needed to cover your medical expenses and other economic losses.

Compensation For Bus Accident Victims In New York City

Minor bus accidents may not result in any significant injuries to passengers. These cases, while inconvenient, may not give passengers grounds to file claims against the bus company. A person must have suffered real damages to have grounds for a personal injury claim. These include physical injuries, emotional distress and property damage.

It is worthwhile to speak to an NYC bus accident attorney if you suffered these harms in a recent bus accident in New York City. If your injuries were catastrophic or caused temporary or permanent disfigurement or disability, you should certainly talk to a lawyer. Your case could secure substantial compensation if the bus driver, bus company or another party’s negligence caused your harms.

Going up against a governmental agency or private company can be difficult in the aftermath of a bus crash. The party may deny liability and attempt to refute your claim. Insurance companies might deny your claim or offer a settlement that doesn’t cover your damages. The best way to protect yourself after this type of accident in NYC is with a personal injury attorney.

Types of Bus Accidents in NYC

Bus accidents can happen in many ways. If you or a loved one suffer serious injuries in any of these accidents, you may have an injury claim.

School Bus Accidents and MTA Bus Accidents

School Bus in NYC

If you are a passenger on a school bus or MTA bus, you can suffer an injury when the bus driver:

  • Collides with another vehicle
  • Collides with a fixed object
  • Stops abruptly
  • Takes a turn too sharply

Just as bus drivers owe a duty of care to their passengers to drive safely, bus companies owe a duty of care to keep the bus reasonably safe.

The bus should be mechanically sound and safe from unreasonable hazards, such as broken handrails, damaged seats, and slick surfaces.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Bus drivers also owe a duty of care to other drivers with whom they share the road. If a bus driver causes an accident by violating traffic laws or making a dangerous maneuver, they should be held accountable.

Pedestrian and Cyclist Accidents

Buses have large blind spots. Unfortunately, some bus drivers do not check their blind spots as carefully as they should. The risk of a pedestrian accident is exacerbated because most riders stand near the curb while waiting for the bus and cross in front of the bus after exiting.

Similarly, bicyclists can be hidden in a bus driver’s blind spot.

If a pedestrian or bicyclist is struck by a bus because the driver fails to exercise reasonable care, they can file a personal injury claim against the bus driver or bus operator.

Paratransit Accidents

When bus drivers transport someone in a wheelchair, they must help the rider into the bus and secure the wheelchair. But this process can go wrong in several ways, including when the wheelchair:

  • Falls off the lift
  • Comes loose on the bus
  • Tips over

A fall could cause catastrophic injuries—like traumatic brain injuries—in any of these situations.

Inside New York City Bus

Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer After a Bus Accident

If you’ve been injured in a New York City bus accident, you should seek legal advice immediately. The compassionate legal team at Meirowitz and Wasserberg will review your case at no charge and advise you on how to proceed.

If you decide to take legal action against the party that caused your injury, you can expect your attorney to seek the maximum compensation needed to cover your medical expenses and other economic losses.

Put a dedicated personal injury attorney to work on your bus accident claim. Contact Meirowitz & Wasserberg to schedule a free consultation.

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