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New York City Bus Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one suffered serious physical injury or you lost someone close to you in a bus accident, you may be entitled to compensation.  Bus companies and their drivers owe it to passengers to operate buses safely.  When their carelessness or that of others turns an ordinary ride into a tragedy, victims face an uphill battle in proving liability. The New York bus accident attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo P.C. are committed to helping victims get the compensation they deserve.

Bus Accidents new york

Backed by formidable resources and a proven record of success, our bus accident attorneys stand ready to take on complex bus accident litigation. We routinely go up against top attorneys representing large bus operators and their insurers.  Over the last decade alone, we have recovered over $2 billion on behalf of accident victims, including those involved in bus crashes and other mass transit accidents in the New York-New Jersey area.

Bus Accidents in New York

A motorbus resembles a fortress on wheels. Once on board, passengers entrust their safety to professional, licensed bus drivers and the companies that employ them. Given these layers of protection, bus accidents occur far less frequently than other types of automotive accidents.  However, the mistakes of bus operators often cause much more serious, major accidents. Even where the accident involves other motorists, cyclists, or pedestrians who may have partially been at fault, there still may be liability to support a claim based upon the bus driver’s actions or inactions.

Our bus accident attorneys have a wealth of experience and a history of success handling bus accidents involved seriously injured people.  Put that knowledge to work for you.  Call us for a free consultation or contact us now.

Bus Crashes

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), bus crashes kill hundreds of people and injure thousands more every year.  Most crashes are caused by the bus driver’s failure to recognize a dangerous situation or to react appropriately to avoid a collision. Other common causes of bus accident injuries include the following:

  • Inattention/distraction
  • Fatigue
  • Bus fire
  • Brake Failure
  • Excessive speed
  • Disregarding weather conditions
  • Obstructed views
  • Illegal maneuvers
  • Hearing/vision problems
  • Inadequate evasive action
  • Defective equipment
  • Improper maintenance
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

This list demonstrates that many serious bus accidents are avoidable.  To test just how preventable bus accidents are, the FMCSA collected data on New Jersey buses in the largest comprehensive study of bus crashes ever done.  The data showed human error was responsible for 90% of all fatal crashes. And most often, it was the bus driver who was at fault.

Other Types of Bus Accidents

In addition to ordinary traffic collisions, certain other types of accidents typically involve buses:

  • Rollovers
  • Injury to passengers while getting on or off the bus
  • Overpass collision

Types of Buses Involved in Accidents

Just as not every cause of an accident is the same, there are various types of buses on the road today. Depending on the kind of bus, special safety considerations or legal rules may apply.

School Buses

Of all the different types of buses, the most likely to be involved in a fatal accident are school buses, even though schoolchildren are much more likely to wear seatbelts. School bus drivers owe a special duty to the children they transport. For example, in New York, the law requires school bus drivers to take special care to make sure children cross the street safely.  In some circumstances, failure to properly instruct children on how to cross or failure to alert other motorists can be a basis for a lawsuit where a child is injured.

City Buses

The New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) controls over 5,700 buses. This enormous fleet services 2.4 million passengers on average per day. Another 3,000-plus New Jersey Transit buses navigate the same metropolitan region.  Overall, these city buses are a relatively safe way to commute. Even still, such a massive commuter volume still translates to about 200 fatalities every year in New York and New Jersey alone.

Private Bus Companies

Private buses are a broad category that includes tour buses, charter buses, and even 15-passenger vans.  A major issue for some corporate bus companies is bad hiring practices and a disregard for safety regulations. When bus companies don’t comply with government safety standards, the risk of accident and injury skyrockets. For example, companies flagged by the FMCSA for poor safety standards were 79% more likely to be involved in a crash. For smaller companies with fewer than 15 buses, the risk more than doubled. No violation better-predicted accidents than citations for unsafe driving. Tragically, bus companies’ ignoring safety standards is all too common.  Recently, the New York State Senate investigated the safety records of 249 bus companies. Only about half of all bus companies had a clean record with zero violations. About one in five companies had enough serious violations to require government intervention. Multiple of the most egregious offenders were involved in recent crashes that were fatal or caused mass injury to dozens of passengers. Unfortunately, even some of the most dangerous bus companies were allowed to continue operating.

Common Injuries Associated with Bus Accidents

Given the sheer size, weight, and high occupancy of buses, injuries can be life-threatening. Common injuries include the following:

  • Paralysis
  • Disfigurement
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Severe back and neck injuries
  • Internal organ injuries
  • Burns

Responsible Parties

Bus accident litigation can be highly complex given the number and sophistication of the parties involved. For example, the law requires private motorcoach companies take out at least $5 million in insurance coverage. This affords them a strong defense by highly skilled insurance defense lawyers. As for public buses, additional timing and filing requirements are another obstacle for victims trying to assert a claim. Lawsuits can also involve multiple defendants, including the following:

  • The driver
  • The bus company as owner/operator
  • Equipment manufacturers
  • Other negligent drivers
  • The government and its employees

Due to the complexity of these cases, having a skilled and experienced Bus accident attorney on your side is absolutely crucial.

Compensation Types

There are many forms of compensation that you may be entitled to recover as a result of your bus accident, including but not limited to:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Doctor’s bills
  • Hospital bills
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Physical therapy
  • Lost wages
  • Future earning potential
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of life’s pleasures and enjoyment
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive Damages
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses

Our New York Bus Accident Verdicts and Settlements

  • Pedestrian Accident – $12 Million – A 39-year-old pedestrian in a crosswalk was struck by a bus making a right turn. She sustained crushing injuries to her right leg which may ultimately resulted in the loss of her leg.
  • Child Struck in Transit Authority Bus Accident – $5 Million – A 12-year-old pedestrian was struck down by a NYCTA bus. He suffered crushing injuries to his left foot and a closed head injury which resulted in mental deficits including impairments to his ability to concentrate, memory, and verbal skills.
  • Pedestrian Struck by Bus – $5 Million – A 57-year-old woman using the crosswalk was run over by a NYCTA bus which failed to yield right of way, resulting in loss of both legs.
  • Cyclist Dragged by Bus – $4.2 Million – A 27-year-old bicyclist suffered severe damage to her left arm when she was dragged and run over by a NYCTA bus whose driver carelessly failed to see her. She suffered degloving injuries and multiple fractures to her left arm, which required several surgeries including the insertion of hardware and skin grafting.
  • Pedestrian Struck by Bus – $5 Million – A 55-year pedestrian using the crosswalk was run over by a NYCTA bus which failed to yield right of way, resulting in a below-the-knee amputation.
  • Pedestrian Accident – $5 Million – An 89-year-old pedestrian was crossing 1st Avenue at its intersection with East 23rd Street in Manhattan when he was struck down by a NYCTA bus making a right turn. Plaintiff sustained severe crush injuries to his left foot and lower portion of his left leg, resulting in a below-the-knee amputation. He also sustained a fractured right hip and suffered aggravation of a pre-existing mild cognitive impairment.
  • Pedestrian Struck by Bus – $ 1.75 Million – A 27-year-old woman was using the crosswalk when she was run over by an MTA bus that failed to yield right of way, resulting in crushing soft tissue injuries to legs that led to Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD).
  • Pedestrian Struck by Bus – $1.6 – 72-year-old male pedestrian in a crosswalk was struck down by a NYCTA bus which failed to yield right of way, resulting in head injury with cognitive deficits, and injuries to his back, left shoulder and wrist requiring surgery.

View all verdicts and settlements

Contact a New York Bus Accident Attorney

If you need to speak with one of our experienced New York or New Jersey accident lawyers, we are pleased to offer a free consultation. To contact our New York City office in lower Manhattan, call (212) 732-9000.

Sources:

http://www.njtransit.com/pdf/FactsAtaGlance.pdf
https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/passenger-safety/legal-notice-motorcoach-operations
https://www.nysenate.gov/sites/default/files/press-release/attachment/violations_by_the_busload_full_report.pdf
https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/24
https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/safety/data-and-statistics/81121/2017-pocket-guide-large-truck-and-bus-statistics-final-508c-0001.pdf
http://web.mta.info/nyct/facts/ffbus.htm