New York Bus Accident Lawyer
There were 242 fatal bus accidents in 2011, and another 13,000 bus crashes that led to injury, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). While bus accidents can happen anywhere, the high volume of traffic coupled with the large number of city buses on the streets of New York City make Manhattan and other boroughs some of the most common locations for bus accidents.
Many people can be injured as the result of a single bus accident. Those who are passengers on the bus may be harmed, as well as the drivers and passengers of other vehicles involved in the bus accident. Bicycle riders, motorcyclists and pedestrians may also be injured or even killed as a result of a bus crash.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a New York City bus crash, the law entitles you to take legal action against the person responsible for causing the wreck. A New York bus accident lawyer at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., can help you to make a claim to obtain compensation for your losses.
Causes of Bus Accidents in New York City
Driver error usually plays a role in bus crashes. Buses are very large vehicles that require special skill to maneuver, especially through the crowded streets of New York City. While buses are driven only by those with special commercial licenses, professional drivers can and do make mistakes.
The FMCSA published The Bus Crash Causation Study, which was designed to reveal the top causes of bus accidents. In this study, analysts collected data on bus accidents from 2005 and 2006. Buses in the study included motor coaches, transit buses, school buses, large vans and small buses.
Based on the crash data, the most common causes of bus accidents included:
- Inadequate surveillance – This was the most common reason for bus crashes.
- Inattention – This was the second most common driver-related reason for bus accidents.
- Following too closely – Also known as tailgating, this was the third most common driver-related error associated with bus crashes.
- Fire – This was the top vehicle-related cause of bus injuries.
- Brake failure – This was the only other vehicle-related cause listed.
- Ice on the roads – This was the only environmental cause listed.
“Other/miscellaneous” driver errors were responsible for 20 percent of crashes caused by driver error.
Your Rights After a Bus Accident
Determining who is to blame for a bus crash is very important because the laws in New York allow injured victims to take legal action against those who are responsible for causing harm.
Your rights under New York law after a bus accident vary depending on the situation.
- Passengers on a bus could take legal action against whomever was to blame for the crash. This could include the bus driver and the entity that owned the bus, but it could also include the driver of another car if that other driver caused the crash.
- Occupants of other cars could take legal action against the bus driver and the company or governmental agency that operated the bus if the bus driver was at fault. However, New York’s no-fault insurance rules limit lawsuits over car accidents to only those involving serious injuries.
- Pedestrians or bicycle riders involved in a crash could take legal action against the bus driver and the owner of the bus if the bus driver was to blame.
The laws in New York view a bus driver as an agent of the company or government authority that he or she works for. If a bus driver is negligent in the course of his or her employment, the driver’s employer could be held responsible for the driver’s actions.
The company that operates the bus may also be considered negligent if it did something wrong. For example, if a bus company didn’t make sure that the driver had a commercial driver’s license and a clean driving record, this could be viewed as a failure of its hiring policy that makes the company negligent in the eyes of the law.
It is important to note that things can get very complicated if the bus driver is a government employee who works for a city, county, state or federal government agency. This is because of a rule called “sovereign immunity” that protects government agencies and employees from lawsuits, unless the case falls within certain exceptions. The sovereign immunity rules impose special notice requirements and limitations on cases in which you are allowed to sue the government. Generally, you have only 90 days from the date of the accident to file a claim against a New York City governmental body.
Injured in a Bus Accident? Contact a New York Bus Accident Lawyer
The accident attorneys at the New York City law firm of David Resnick & Associates, P.C., provide injured people with quality legal services in a professional and compassionate environment. If you’ve been hurt in a New York bus accident, you can rely on our attorneys to investigate your claim fully and to collect the evidence and testimony necessary to build a strong case on your behalf.
Let us get started on your case today. Just call 212-279-2000 or fill out our online form for a no-cost case review.