Bus Accident Lawyers in New York City Help You Get Compensation
When you climb into a bus, the possibility that it may crash while you’re on board probably never crosses your mind. After all, you just don’t hear about bus accidents that often. While they are less common than most other vehicle accidents, relative to the number of buses operating today, bus accidents happen more often than you might think — even here in New York.
Unfortunately, when bus accidents do happen, the damages tend to be extensive. The vehicle’s heavy weight, coupled with the large number of passengers aboard — most of them completely unrestrained — escalates the potential for catastrophic harm.
Bus operators are subject to special, very strict safety laws. Anyone who operates a large transit vehicle in New York owes a high duty of care to their passengers and the other people on the road. When they behave negligently, victims are entitled to compensation from them for the full cost of their injuries.
Even if someone outside of the bus causes the crash (a car driver in the other lane, for example), victims are still able to recover for their damages from the at-fault party under New York personal injury law.
Of course, as with most vehicle accidents, corporate intervention in the claims process can leave victims frustrated. Insurance companies, bus owners, tour operators, and local government might get involved, all in an effort to reduce their financial liability. Victims can’t count on at-fault parties to step up to the plate and pay what they owe without an aggressive attorney stepping in.
That’s where we come in. As New York City bus accident lawyers, our firm has helped New Yorkers recover significant financial compensation after an injury involving a bus, mass transit vehicle, or common carrier. We have a long track record of standing up to the insurers and corporate bigwigs on the other side and successfully demanding that they pay our clients what they deserve.
In every case, our goal is to maximize compensation and put you in the best possible position to recover for a better tomorrow. We care about the safety of New York’s people and passengers, and we believe we make a real difference in the cases we take on.
Our attorneys work closely with clients who have suffered serious injuries and understand what you are going through and how disruptive a bus accident can be to your life. We have fought for compensation for many clients over the years, and can do the same for you. When you have us on your side, we will work tirelessly to take the burden off you by handling all dealings with insurers and the legal hurdles involved with getting you the compensation you deserve.
We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss the circumstances of the accident and your injuries, address your concerns, and determine the best way to move forward. We work on a contingency basis, so there are no fees unless and until we win a settlement for you.
For a free assessment of your situation, call us today.
How Our Bus Accident Lawyers in NYC Help
Having a Lawyer on Your Side Can Make a Big Difference
The NY auto accident attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers have decades of legal experience and a winning track record, and we provide top-notch client service. We have won large settlements and jury awards on behalf of clients injured in vehicle accidents, and we are prepared to do the same for you.
When you have us on your side, we will:
- Meet with you to listen to the details of your accident, determine who the at-fault parties are, and what type of settlement to fight for
- Gather evidence, such as videos from traffic cameras; police, ambulance, and medical reports; and bus company accident records
- Interview witnesses, other passengers, police officers, and first responders
- Handle all legal requirements, court appearances, and paperwork in a timely manner in accordance with New York deadlines
- Hire experts to reconstruct the crash scene and testify on your behalf as to fault and the effects of your injuries on your life and your family, as well as the care you will require into the future
- Handle all communications and negotiations with insurance companies and their attorneys to arrive at a fair settlement
- Build your case and take it to trial if necessary.
After your accident, it is important to move quickly to get legal help, as New York has a statute of limitations — a deadline for filing personal injury cases. According to New York law, (https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/CVP/214) you generally have three years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit. If a claim is being brought for wrongful death, the claim must be brought within 2 years from the date of death, and if the claim is against a municipality the time is significantly shorter. If you miss these deadlines, the courts are likely to refuse to hear your case, so call our bus accident lawyers immediately to get started.
Call Kaplan Lawyers PC (516) 399-2364
Bus Accident Attorneys Must Prove Negligence
We Look to Hold All Negligent Parties Liable
To win your lawsuit, we must prove that that the defendants in the case were negligent and at fault for causing your injuries. Legally, this means we must show the existence of the following elements:
- Duty – The defendant had a duty of care not to harm you.
- Breach – The defendant breached that duty through actions or failure to act.
- Cause – This violation was directly related to the accident that caused your injuries.
- Damages – You suffered damages as a result.
In bus accidents, there may be multiple parties responsible. Our auto accident lawyers would look to name them all in your lawsuit, as they may all have insurance and assets that can go toward a settlement. In addition to the bus driver, who may have driven recklessly or committed traffic violations, defendants may include:
- Bus companies – New York bus companies have a duty to screen, hire and train competent drivers to perform regular vehicle maintenance on a regular basis, and comply with government regulations. If they fail to do so, they may be held liable for crashes.
- The bus and part manufacturer, if the bus or its parts were defective and failed.
- Other motorists, if they were negligent and drove recklessly and collided with a bus or caused the bus driver to lose control.
- A road maintenance company that left debris in a road.
- A municipality that failed to fix road problems or post warning signs for hazardous conditions.
Our Kaplan PC bus accident attorneys would investigate your case thoroughly to identify all potentially liable parties, as they all may have insurance and assets that can go toward a settlement.
Damage Awards Our Bus Accident Lawyers May Recover
You May Receive Both Economic and Noneconomic Damages
The term “damages” refers to both the losses and injuries you received and the compensation you receive from the parties you are suing — the defendants in the case. In a successful case, New York allows you, the plaintiff, to recover a settlement that covers:
Economic damages – for monetary costs such as:
- Medical and rehabilitation bills, current and anticipated for the future
- Lost income from being unable to work
- Property damage.
Noneconomic damages – for more intangible damages that do not have a specific dollar value but negatively impact your life, including:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of quality and enjoyment of life
- Disfigurement, or permanent loss of limb.
While economic damages pay your bills, non-economic damages go directly to benefit you as compensation for the pain and suffering resulting from the accident, and they often are the largest part of a settlement.
Punitive damages – In some rare cases, where a defendant acted extremely egregiously and recklessly, such as by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you may also be awarded punitive damages. These are intended to punish the defendant and to deter such actions in the future.
Possible Amounts of Damage Awards
No lawyer can tell you exactly what your damage award amount will be, as amounts can vary widely in a bus accident case. Depending on the factors involved, they may range from the thousands to the millions of dollars. Factors that will be considered include:
- Your actual costs and monetary losses
- The seriousness and permanence of your injuries and whether they require continuing care
- Your age, family situation, and health before the accident
- Your earning capacity and whether you will be able to work in the future
- Whether a death is involved
- The extent of fault of the defendants
- The availability of insurance coverage and assets of the defendants
- Whether you can settle the case through negotiations, or if it has to go to trial
- The inclination of the individual judge and jury
- The skill of your attorneys in building and presenting your case.
New York does not have a damage cap for personal injury cases, and the more permanent and severe the injury and the greater the impact on your life, the higher the award may be. It’s best not to come up with an amount to demand until the full extent of your injuries is known, as injuries can worsen over time.
All these factors will be taken into consideration when our attorneys evaluate what your case may be worth during your consultation. We know how to get results for our clients and make sure they don’t get taken advantage of, and we will fight for the optimum compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Bus Accidents
Buses have a tremendous responsibility to keep the public safe. We all count on them to carry us from one destination to another, and when they accept the precious responsibility of safeguarding New Yorkers and their loved ones, there is absolutely no excuse for careless behavior.
Sadly, bus drivers and the companies that employ them aren’t always as careful as they should be. Common causes of bus accidents include:
- Bus driver fatigue
- Inadequate training
- Overly demanding schedules that keep drivers on the road for long hours
- Distracted driving / texting while driving a bus
- Negligently hiring someone who is not qualified to drive a bus
- Reckless driving
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Making unsafe lane mergers
- Clipping cars in other lanes
- Failing to modify driving behavior in adverse weather
- Inadequate bus maintenance
- Manufacturing defects in the bus
- Violation of traffic laws and/or bus regulations.
Types of Bus Accidents in New York
Our experienced New York bus accident lawyers are available to help with any of the following:
- New York City bus accidents
- Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) bus accidents
- Port Authority Bus Terminal (PABT) injuries
- School bus accidents (all New York school systems & private schools)
- College bus accidents
- Private tour bus accidents
- Charter bus accidents
- Double-decker bus crashes
- Trolley injuries
- New York City Subway injuries
- Tramway accidents
- Shuttle van accidents
- Any other bus or mass transit injury in New York.
Bus Accident Attorneys Answer Frequently Asked Questions
Bus accident cases are extremely complicated, and after an accident, you are bound to have questions and concerns. While the best way to find out specific answers to your questions is to contact our office for a free consultation, here are some answers to questions our clients often ask:
Should I speak to an insurance company?
No, the less you say to an insurance company, the better. Insurance companies are out for profit and protecting their bottom line, so they will always try to get you to accept the lowest amount possible. The law requires private motorcoach companies to take out at least $5 million in insurance coverage, so they can hire skilled insurance defense lawyers who may employ tactics to get you to say something that can be used against you in your claim. Tell the insurance adjuster to speak to your attorney, and let Kaplan Lawyers PC handle all dealings and negotiations.
Can I bring a claim even if the bus driver wasn’t 100% at fault?
New York law follows the pure comparative negligence rule, which states that an injured party will receive compensation for their injuries from defendants in proportion to the percentage of the defendants’ contribution to the accident. For example, if a jury believes that the bus driver is 90% at fault but some other factor (possibly another driver) is 10% at fault, the insurance company for the bus driver is responsible to pay 90% of the claimant’s damages.
How long will it take to settle my case?
Every case is different, but our legal team utilizes the most advanced technology and aggressive legal strategy to expedite our clients’ cases, generally resolving cases years faster than any other firm.
How will my medical bills get paid?
If you were a passenger on a bus that is involved in an accident but have a car insurance policy of your own, or if you live with a family member who has car insurance, No Fault Insurance Law requires your or your resident family member’s insurance to pay your bills even though the car wasn’t involved in the accident. If you don’t have a household automobile insurance policy, then the insurance company for the bus is responsible for the bills. However, you must file a No Fault application with the insurance company within 30 days from the date of the accident; if you fail to do so, you have waived your right to file the claim for benefits.
Does No Fault pay for anything else?
No Fault will also pay for lost wages, prescription costs, transportation to medical providers, and reasonable expenses for household services.
Do I need an attorney to handle my claim?
Bus companies and their insurance companies have an army of attorneys, claims specialists, and experts, so in order to get fair compensation you will need to hire an attorney that specializes in this type of law. Our legal team has decades of experience and a proven track record of maximizing settlements, and we are in the best position to help you get everything that you are entitled to.
Bus Accident Lawyers Explain No Fault Insurance
New York’s No Fault rule states that you can only bring a successful claim if you have sustained a serious injury as defined by the New York State Legislature. This law significantly restricts an individual’s ability to collect money for pain and suffering.
A serious injury is defined as death; dismemberment; significant disfigurement; fracture; loss of a fetus; permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function, or system; permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member; significant limitation of use of a body function or system; or a medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than ninety days during the one hundred eighty days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.
The bus accident attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC recommend that you retain an attorney immediately so that all filings are completed to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to.
TOP 5 MISTAKES MADE AFTER A BUS ACCIDENT
- Admitting fault at the scene of the accident before you have all of the facts
- Not filing an accident report with the police
- Assuming you will feel better and not seeking medical attention
- Believing that the insurance company will deal with you fairly
- Not hiring an experienced attorney who will complete all filings to protect your rights and ensure that you will receive the compensation that you deserve.
Call Our New York Bus Accident Lawyers for Help
If you or someone you know has been injured in any accident involving a bus while in New York, the passionate team at Kaplan Lawyers PC can help. We take bus operators’ safety obligations very seriously, and we are prepared to aggressively pursue the justice you deserve.
Whether you’re a native New Yorker or were injured while visiting our great city, our bus accident lawyers can make a meaningful difference in your claim for compensation. And we won’t charge a penny unless we achieve a successful outcome in your case.
Don’t delay. Call Kaplan Lawyers today at (516) 399-2364 for your free consultation.
”Thank you so much for bringing our case to a rewarding close. Your attention and care and friendly approach was greatly appreciated. Our experience working with you has been overwhelmingly positive.” – Barbara Moazzam (Google Review)
Attorney Jared S. Kaplan
Attorney Jared S. Kaplan has focused his career on advancing his legal knowledge though the day to day practice of law. Jared is a partner in the law firm of Kaplan Lawyers PC in Syosset, New York and has been a practicing attorney for nearly 20 years. His career started in litigation, so Jared is aware of the pitfalls in litigation and uses that knowledge in the representation of his clients in complex matters. [ Attorney Bio ]