Riding in a bus is generally a safe and easy way to get around NYC. We see them on the streets all the time. The New York Transit Authority reports that 8 million people make a trip on their buses every day.
The National Transportation Safety Board did a study on fatalities while riding in a car or bus vehicle and found that the passenger car occupant fatality rate was five times the rate of deaths while riding in a bus.
Even though riding in a bus is pretty safe, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll never get hurt. In some cases you may get more severe injuries because buses are not equipped with the same safety features you see in a car such as seat belts and air bags. Buses also have a higher risk of a rollover, which means you will likely get ejected from your seat in the event of a serious accident.
What Causes a Bus Accident?
While not an exhaustive list, here are some of the reasons a bus may get into an accident.
- The driver falls asleep at the wheel or is otherwise driving impaired.
- Defective bus equipment.
- Failure to observe traffic laws.
- Road conditions and construction problems.
- Vehicle handling problems and / or defects.
- Weight distribution problems which affects stability.
Aside from a bus getting into an accident, you may also be injured if you are walking to or from your seat, and the bus driver makes a sudden stop or hard acceleration. They are supposed to wait until all passengers are seated in order to move away. If an elderly or infirm person needs more time to get to their seat, but the bus pulls away, that’s a recipe for disaster.
Bus accident lawsuits can be complicated, because your lawyer needs to be well-versed in NY traffic laws, as well as regulations that govern bus operators like the NYTA. The MTA may have a separate set of rules and regulations.
There may be multiple parties responsible for your injuries, including:
- Other vehicle drivers.
- City and state government entities.
- The bus driver.
- The management company (who manages and maintains the buses).
What to do
It can be difficult to determine which party is at fault, so it’s always a good idea no matter what kind of accident you get into to take a lot of pictures with your phone to help us with your investigation. Get statements from witnesses and write down as much information about what happened as possible.
If you are injured in a vehicle owned or operated by the New York City Transit Authority you will need to file a notice of claim within 90 days of the accident or your claim will be denied. It is very important that you or a member of your family secure immediate and competent legal counsel as soon possible.
Taking the right legal action after a bus accident in NYC with an experienced law firm such as Daniella Levi and Associates, P.C. can provide you with the compensation that you deserve. When you call our New York bus accident lawyers and come in for your free consultation, we’ll be able to get the process started without delay.