Countless people on Long Island and in New York City rely on public buses to get to and from work or other destinations. The operators of bus lines in New York have an obligation to do everything possible to ensure the safety of their passengers. Bus passengers, pedestrians, motorists, and others can suffer injuries in accidents caused by negligent bus drivers or bus companies.
Anybody who suffers harm from a bus driver’s negligence should contact a Long Island bus accident lawyer quickly. Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP, handles tough injury cases and our case results include many six- and seven-figure recoveries for our clients. Seek out a free consultation today.
For a free legal consultation with a bus accidents lawyer serving Long Island, call 516-451-7900
How Common are Bus Accidents?
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the primary provider of public transportation services in New York City, reported 21,823 total bus-related crashes over 31 months recently, or an average of 23 per day, resulting in 2,520 injuries and 14 deaths. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported that New York had the highest number of fatal bus crashes in the United States over the past 25 years, with 156 such accidents causing 172 fatalities.
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Bus Companies on Long Island
Bus companies in the Long Island area include the common public transportation options and many charter bus companies that people often use for private purposes.
Some of the major bus companies in the New York City area include:
- Hampton Jitney
- Academy Bus
- Brooklyn Charter Bus Company
- Bus Charter Nationwide
- Campus Coach Lines
- East Coast Charters
- Empire State Bus Corp.
- GVC, LTD
- Hoyt Transportation Corp
- Huntington Area Rapid Transit (HART)
- Legacy Tours NJ
- Long Island Charter Bus Company
- Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Regional Bus Operations
- Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE)
- New York Bus Service (NYBS)
- New York Charter Bus Company
- New York City Transit (NYCT)
- Suffolk County Transit (SCT)
New York Bus Accident Process
Bus companies are responsible for protecting their passengers as well as the pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motorists on the road. New York has multiple bus operators throughout the greater New York City area. All these buses operate within the city and transport Long Islanders to and from the city, and thousands of people rely on the operators for safe transportation.
Some people who can be involved in bus accidents include bus passengers, drivers, occupants of other motor vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists. After a bus accident, there is a good chance that you will hear from an insurance company within a few weeks with a settlement offer.
You need to remember that insurance companies are never on your side, regardless of how concerned or compassionate an agent may sound on the phone. In the end, their ultimate goal will be getting you to accept a lump-sum settlement that is likely to be much less than what you deserve.
In some cases, they may even refuse to offer you a settlement that covers your losses. If this occurs, your lawyer will likely file a lawsuit on your behalf to pursue compensation. If your case does not settle while your lawsuit is pending, your attorney will represent you in court and present your case to a judge or a jury.
For this reason, it is always in your best interest to retain an attorney after an accident. When you hire a Long Island bus accident lawyer, they can conduct an independent investigation into the cause of your crash and then work to ensure all negligent parties are held fully accountable.
Time is of the essence in bus accident cases as the statute of limitations can vary significantly depending on the circumstances of your crash. If you fail to file your claim in time, you can lose your right to recover compensation for your injuries and other losses.
While New York Civil Practice Laws and Rules (CVP) §214 establishes a three-year statute of limitations (time limit) for filing personal injury actions, you will only have two years to commence an action for wrongful death. Furthermore, city or other governmental entities may operate a bus or can own many school or seemingly private buses, which involve stricter time limits in which you must file claims within as little as 90 days.
For this reason, you must seek legal representation as soon as possible.
After a bus accident, to protect your rights:
- Seek Medical Attention – No matter whether you think you suffered an injury or not, always make sure to see a doctor after a bus accident. Many injuries have delayed symptoms, and it can be challenging to prove causation when you wait days or weeks to visit a hospital. Getting medical care immediately after an accident also creates a medical record, which will be invaluable for your following personal injury claim because this document will be immediate proof of injuries and also contain guidance about recommended care.
- Call the Police – The bus driver should take this step themselves, but if they do not, you should certainly take the initiative. A police report can be an important document for establishing liability in any claim you make.
- Document Injuries and Evidence – When it is possible, you should try to take photographs of the accident scene. Also, take pictures of your injuries before they have time to heal so you can show them at their worst. If there were witnesses to the crash, try to get their contact information. It’s also a good idea to keep a journal detailing your recovery over the weeks and months after your accident. Make notes of any pain, sleeplessness, or other issues you experience as you heal.
- Contact Our Long Island Bus Accident Lawyers – Retain an attorney to help navigate the legal maze that awaits you. Do not ever think that fault is clear-cut and that you can negotiate your own settlement because insurance companies relish having victims trying to represent themselves. Insurers know how to trick victims into saying things that ultimately damage their claims. In some cases, saying the wrong thing to the insurance company can result in the denial of your claim.
Bus accident claims in New York are much different from your traditional car accident claims. Many different parties can be involved, often complicating liability and how a claim moves forward.
In some cases, you may have as little as 30 days to notify a bus company about a claim you intend to file against them. When you were the driver of another vehicle involved in a bus accident, you should be aware that many bus companies are going to, in turn, try to claim that you were the party who was at fault for causing the collision.
When a child suffers injuries on a school bus, and a bus driver is negligent, you may be filing a claim against that bus driver. Some school districts have their own employees working as bus drivers, but some bus drivers can also be employees of bus companies.
A company or a school district can be liable when a school bus driver is at fault. The good news for victims is that the larger entities often have deeper pockets than the negligent drivers, who usually do not have the resources necessary to pay significant judgments. The best way to determine all potentially liable parties is to discuss your case with a Long Island bus accident lawyer as soon as you can.
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What are the Different Types of Bus Accidents?
No two bus accidents are ever the same, as there is always an assortment of complicating factors that makes every single unique. You should never assume that your bus crash was just some standard wreck because chances are excellent that there were individual elements that will differentiate your claim from many others. Bus accident types include bus-car collisions, bus-pedestrian accident, mechanical bus malfunctions, loading accidents and slip and fall accidents.
- Bus-Car Collisions – One of the most common kinds of bus accidents involves buses striking other motor vehicles. Some of these crashes are admittedly the fault of other negligent drivers, but bus drivers can also be responsible. Bus passengers are always entitled to compensation when they suffer injuries in these kinds of wrecks.
- Bus-Pedestrian Accidents – Buses are large vehicles, and bus operators are not always aware of the people on the street in the vicinity of the buses. The result can often be buses striking pedestrians, and such collisions usually cause severe injuries.
- Mechanical Bus Malfunctions – Some bus accidents are not necessarily the result of bus driver negligence but instead some kind of problem with the ability to operate the bus safely. In such cases, a bus owner or maintenance company can be liable for failure to properly repair or maintain a bus.
- Loading Accidents – Many passengers on buses suffer injuries in accidents involving when buses stop to pick up or drop off passengers. In many cases, victims of these accidents are entitled to compensation.
- Slip and Fall Accidents – Bus drivers again have an obligation to ensure the safety of passengers, and bus companies can be liable when passengers fall while on buses because of dangerous or unsafe conditions.
Common causes of bus accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Bus driver error or inattention
- Bus driver inexperience
- Lack of proper training or necessary license
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
- Bad weather
- Poor road conditions
- Defective or faulty parts
- Failure to obey traffic rules
- Reckless or aggressive driving
- Improper bus maintenance
- Dangerous roadways
- Dangerous rural roads and bridges
- Defective parts and equipment
- Intersection accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- Right-of-way accidents
- Rollover accident
- Wrong-way crashes
Some bus accidents that seem unavoidable may actually result from someone’s negligence. In addition, in some cases, it may be difficult to identify who the negligent party is. For this reason, you should always talk to a lawyer after a crash. Failing to do so can mean missing out on significant compensation for your losses.
Types of Bus Accident Injuries
Bus accidents may cause several different kinds of injuries for victims. While some people are fortunate to walk away completely unscathed, many others will often be dealing with complications from injuries in a bus crash that can impact them for several months, years, or even the remainder of their lives. In the most severe cases, victims may be unable to earn a living or live without full-time medical assistance.
You need to know that insurance companies are not fair in evaluating injury claims. Moreover, most insurers are likely to claim that your injuries are not as severe as you are claiming because they simply do not want to pay any sizable amount of compensation that is likely necessary. You should retain an attorney for assistance in proving the true nature of your injury claims and recovering every last dollar available to you.
Some of the most common kinds of injuries in bus accidents often include:
- Fractures and Broken Bones
- Strains and Sprains
- Back Injuries
- Eye Injuries
- Head Injuries
- Knee Injuries
- Leg Injuries
- Neck Injuries
- Nerve Injuries
- Tendon Injuries
- Burn Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Hearing Loss
- Limb Loss
Victims need a doctor to fully evaluate any injury as soon as possible after a bus accident. The better a doctor’s documentation of an injury is, the better the victim’s chance of recovering of their economic and non-economic losses.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Long Island Bus Accident Lawyer
If you or your loved one recently sustained any kind of injuries in a bus crash in the greater Long Island area, you should seek legal help without delay. Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP has a record of success in handling these types of claims, so you can be confident that you will have an attorney on your side who knows what will be required to get total and fair compensation for all of your losses.
Our firm will be by your side the entire time, so you never have to worry about dealing with an insurance company or anybody else on your own. Call (631) 451-7900, or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation with an experienced accident injury lawyer in Long Island.