For millions of New Yorkers every year, bus travel is part of their daily lives – from going about their daily business to getting to and from school, to traveling across the country. While not as frequent as car accidents, bus accidents, unfortunately, do occur from time to time, and because buses tend to be very large vehicles, the scope for serious injury, or even death, is, of course, greater than that of accidents involving cars. In addition, buses do not usually have safety belts, which also increases the chance of injury.
There are many reasons why bus accidents occur but according to the DMV, the most usual culprits are;
- defective equipment
- driver fatigue
- dangerous roadways
- driver negligence
- unsafe speeds
- improper vehicle maintenance
- inadequate driver training
- adverse weather conditions
As well as the above however, a bus accident might occur if a passenger attacks the driver, or if schoolchildren are being unruly or noisy on a school run, causing the driver to become distracted. On public and private buses, some parents are happy for their children to move around the bus unsupervised, which could lead to them falling and hurting themselves or others. People might being moving about the bus as it takes a corner too quickly, or may slip on the steps on their way to or from the restroom. Loose luggage may fall from storage racks, thus causing injury, or someone might trip on a bag left in the aisle. There are myriad scenarios whereby accidents can, and do, happen.
Naturally, because buses are large vehicles, carrying many passengers, the chances of injury are increased too. Common injuries arising from bus accidents are;
- traumatic brain injury
- severe lacerations
- dislocated joints
- herniated discs
- broken bones
If you are unfortunate enough to be injured as a result of someone else’s negligence – whether as a passenger or driver of another vehicle, a passenger on the bus, or a pedestrian – you will, quite naturally, want to understand your rights when seeking fair compensation, in order to cover your medical bills, loss of wages, damage to property, and of course, emotional trauma.
Going it alone may mean years of to-ing and fro-ing with insurance adjusters, and could quite possibly result in a low payout, if any at all. By their very nature, insurance companies are notorious for tabling sums considerably lower than you may be entitled to, simply because they are not in the business of being generous, nor are they particularly interested in justice and fairness. In addition, their initial proposal will almost always be low as a way of testing the water; in other words, to see how well you know your rights, and how much a fight you are prepared to put up.
Under federal law, bus companies have a duty of care toward their passengers, regardless of whether the company is publicly or privately-owned; therefore, almost anyone injured as a result of a bus accident has an actionable case.
In Part 2, I’ll talk about how to go about picking a bus accident lawyer, and how to make sure you get the best possible legal representation, for the best possible outcome.
If you have been injured in a bus accident in New York City, you may wish to speak to New York City bus accident attorneys as soon as possible. Our expert personal injury lawyers at Antin, Ehrlich, and Epstein LLP will determine the best course of action in order to get you the settlement you are entitled to. Contact us today on 212-221-5999 to schedule a free, no obligation, consultation.