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 Coffinas & Cannavo, P.C. are committed to helping victims get the compensation they deserve.
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.
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.
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:
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.
In addition to ordinary traffic collisions, certain other types of accidents typically involve buses:
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.
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.
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 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.
Given the sheer size, weight, and high occupancy of buses, injuries can be life-threatening. Common injuries include the following:
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:
Due to the complexity of these cases, having a skilled and experienced Bus accident attorney on your side is absolutely crucial.
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:
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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.