Public Transit & Bus Accidents in New York City
When you climb into a bus, the possibility of it crashing while you’re on board probably never crosses your mind. After all, unlike airplanes and cruise ships, you just don’t hear about bus accidents that often.
Certainly, they’re less common than most other auto accidents. But 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.
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.
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:
- 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.
Our New York Bus Accident Lawyers Can 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.
Frequently Asked Questions If You Are In a Bus Accident
Do I need an attorney to handle my claim?
No. However, the insurance company employs an army of attorneys, claims specialists, and experts to win the case, so in order to get the compensation that you are entitled to 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 guarantee that you get everything that you are entitled to.
How long do I have to bring a claim?
The statute of limitations (or time in which a claim must be brought from the date of the accident) is 3 years for a personal injury claim. If a claim is being brought for wrongful death the claim must be brought within 2 years from the date of death. If the claim is being brought against a municipality the time to bring a claim is significantly shorter depending on who the claim is against so you should consult with an attorney immediately.
Can I bring a claim even if the bus driver wasn’t 100% at fault?
Yes. 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.
Do I have to pay any legal fees if I lose my case?
No. Our attorneys work on a contingency fee which states that if you don’t win your case we don’t get paid.
How much is my case worth?
If any attorney tells you that they know how much your case is worth before reviewing all of the documentation then they are lying or incompetent. However, our legal team has decades of experience and will maximize the value of your case.
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 client’s 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 you live with a family member who has car insurance, No Fault Insurance Law requires your insurance 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?
Yes. No Fault will also pay for lost wages, prescription costs, transportation to medical providers, and reasonable expenses for household services.
Can anyone sue to collect for pain and suffering if they were in a bus accident?
No. New York follows the rule of No Fault which 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.
What is the legal definition of a serious injury?
A serious injury has been 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.
How will I know if my injuries will be considered serious?
Many of the injuries sustained in bus accident cases become progressively worse with time so it is difficult to determine shortly after the accident. However 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 that 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