Being involved in a bus accident – as a passenger or motorist – is a frightful, traumatic experience. Victims are often scared, unsure of their legal options, and dealing with pain and property damage after an accident. A New York City bus accident lawyer can help you fight for the compensation you rightfully deserve. Contact the Law Offices of Brian J. Elbaum today to schedule your free case evaluation.
Bus Accident Lawyer | MTA Injury Attorney in New York City
Millions of New Yorkers rely on bus operators to get them safely from Point A to Point B. And millions more share the roadway each day with commercial and public buses. Bus operators have a responsibility to protect their passengers and safely share the road. When they fail to meet that responsibility, their negligence can have life-altering consequences for victims. Whether you were a passenger or a motorist that collided with a bus, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Our New York City auto accident lawyer wants to help. Our legal team has helped numerous bus accident victims in New York fight for maximum compensation for their injuries. We bring extensive knowledge of bike safety laws, as well as thorough investigative skills to the table. Let us provide you with a strong defense of your rights so that you can focus on your recovery.
Causes of Bus Accidents
Bus operators must take care to protect passengers and other motorists on the road. Failure to adhere to traffic requirements, follow regular maintenance, and adhere to other safety codes can put others in harm’s way. Common causes include:
- Impaired driving
- Reckless driving
- Failure to follow traffic safety laws
- Distracted driving
- Unsafe equipment
- Improper maintenance
This type of accident can involve you in several ways, including as a passenger, a motorist, or a pedestrian. No matter how you were involved, you may be entitled to financial compensation for any injuries and property damage that you incur. A few common scenarios include:
- Bus Passengers – Passengers can be injured when riding a bus that’s involved in an accident. Operators have a responsibility to protect you. If the driver or bus company failed to follow proper safety protocol, you may be entitled to compensation.
- Motorists – For motorists, colliding with a bus is one of the scariest types of accidents. Your sedan, truck, or van doesn’t stand a chance against a 30-ton bus. Unfortunately, this type of accident often results in severe injuries for motorists. If you were struck by a bus while driving, you may have a strong case for compensation.
- Pedestrians – Cyclists and pedestrians can be struck by buses, and often this type of accident can be life-threatening. If a bus operator acted negligently, you may be entitled to compensation.
Do I Need to Hire an Attorney?
Bus accident cases are often complex and require in-depth knowledge of local bus laws and regulations. Our New York City bus accident lawyer specializes in these types of cases and has a deep understanding of the legal requirements of bus operators.
In other words, if you have been involved in a bus accident, it’s important to contact a personal injury attorney with experience in this type of case. Your lawyer will help you manage the entire process and will thoroughly investigate your accident to determine who was at fault. When you hire an attorney, your lawyer will help:
- Investigate your accident and collect evidence
- Investigate the bus company and their safety record
- File claims on your behalf
- File lawsuits on your behalf, if you choose to
- Reconstruct the accident with expert help
Similarly, a qualified attorney helps protect you against the bus company. Bus operators in New York are protected by aggressive legal departments and insurance companies. They do not care about your safety; they’re focused on the bottom line. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for victims to have claims ignored or denied. A lawyer helps you recover the maximum compensation quickly and protects you against bullying behavior.
What Type of Compensation Is Available?
After a bus accident, you might be left with mounting medical bills and rehabilitation costs, and be experiencing financial strain because you had to spend time away from work. You may have lingering pain, and your vehicle may be damaged or inoperable. Compensation is available to repay you for any costs directly related to your accident.
There are two main types of compensation available for victims. They include compensatory damages and punitive damages.
Compensatory damages cover your financial and non-financial costs related to your accident. They can be used to help you pay for:
- Medical bills, rehabilitation costs
- Recoup lost wages or lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Long-term disability
Punitive damages are reserved for cases of gross negligence and malice. If a bus operator did not take proper safety steps, they can be financially punished by the court. This type of damage is awarded on top of any compensatory damages, and the amount is determined by a jury if your case goes to court.
Steps to Take If You Were Involved in a Bus Accident
In the immediate aftermath of an accident, you may be in shock, suffering from serious injury, and unsure of your legal rights. There are steps you can take to stay safe and protect your case. We recommend following these steps:
- Seek Medical Care – Call 911 and receive medical treatment for any injuries that you have.
- File a Police Report – Even if you were uninjured, it’s important to call 911 and talk with investigators. Filing a report will help protect your case. Share any details you have with investigators, but DO NOT admit fault.
Collect Evidence from the Scene – Take photos of any injuries that you have, as well as photos and videos of the accident scene. Also, collect name and contact information for any witnesses.
- Do Not Admit Fault – Investigators and insurance companies will want to know who caused the accident. DO NOT admit fault. This will hurt your case. If you admit fault, and later it’s determined you did not cause the accident, your case can become more difficult to pursue.
- Seek Legal Advice – Contact a New York City bus accident lawyer as soon as possible. Victims have a short timeframe for filing claims. The sooner you contact an attorney, the stronger the case you can build.
Can I file a claim if my child was injured on a school bus?
If you’re here, there’s a good chance that you have a son, a daughter, a grandson, or a granddaughter who was on a bus, on their way to school, and was involved in an accident. Assuming we’re talking about a school bus, the question often comes up, “do I have a case against the school?” The answer is potential, yes, you do. You also have a case against the bus company because typically what happens is the school will enter into a contract, or the municipality will enter into a contract, with a bus company to ensure the safe transportation of students to the school.
That said, there are some claim issues you have to be aware of. If it’s a municipality, you have to file what’s called a notice of claim. Typically that has to be done within 90 days, but it really depends on the municipality. It’s very important that you hire a competent New York City bus accident lawyer who can guide you through that process and make sure that the Notice of Claim, and whatever other documents that have to be filed, are filed timely.
Avoid Talking with Insurance Companies
You may feel compelled to contact your own insurer to inquire about medical benefits or vehicle repairs and you may hear from the bus operator’s insurance company. In both cases, we recommend that you seek legal counsel prior to talking with insurers. Insurance companies, even your own, care much more about the bottom line than your safety or financial concerns. They’re notorious for fighting, denying, or ignoring claims. Your New York City bus accident lawyer will protect you from aggressive behavior and fight vigorously for the compensation that you deserve.
Contact a Bus Accident Lawyer Today
If you were involved in a bus accident in New York, our legal team wants to help. We offer extensive experience in this type of case and have helped hundreds successfully fight for the compensation they deserve. Contact the Law Offices of Brian J. Elbaum for a free, no-obligation case review. We’ll provide you with legal options and determine if you have a case.