Injured In A Bus Accident In New York City?
Queens, New York, is a bustling borough known for its vibrant culture, diverse communities, and thriving transportation network. While the city's buses are essential for daily commuting, they can also pose significant risks when accidents occur. Many are bus transportation to move around the city, whether a city bus, tourist bus, private bus, or other type of bus. The more buses traveling on the busy streets of New York, the more accidents are likely to happen.
Whether you have been hurt as a passenger on a bus in transit, or a bus collided with you as a pedestrian, cyclist, vehicle driver, or motorcyclist, an adept New York bus accident attorney can help you pursue justice and compensation for all damages. At Davidoff Law, we understand the challenges you may face after a bus accident, and we are here to provide expert legal counsel and support.
Causes Of NYC Bus Accidents
Driver Negligence: Bus accidents in Queens often result from driver negligence. Bus drivers are responsible for safely operating their vehicles, adhering to traffic laws, and ensuring the safety of passengers and pedestrians. Negligent actions such as speeding, distracted driving (e.g., texting or talking on the phone), running red lights, or failing to yield the right of way can lead to devastating accidents.
Poor Maintenance: Maintenance issues with buses can also lead to accidents. Buses are subjected to extensive wear and tear due to constant use, and if they are not adequately maintained, mechanical failures can occur. Brake failures, tire blowouts, and steering problems are just a few examples of maintenance-related issues that can result in accidents.
Adverse Weather Conditions: Queens experiences a wide range of weather conditions throughout the year, from heavy snowfall in the winter to rainy days in the spring and summer. Adverse weather can significantly impact road conditions and driver visibility, making accidents more likely. Bus operators must adjust their driving behaviors and take precautions during inclement weather to reduce the risk of accidents.
Inadequate Training: Insufficient training of bus drivers can contribute to accidents. Drivers should be well-versed in safety protocols, emergency procedures, and defensive driving techniques. Inadequate training may result in drivers making poor decisions when faced with unexpected situations on the road.
Bus Company Negligence: Bus companies have a duty to ensure the safety of their passengers. If they fail to properly maintain their vehicles, provide adequate training to drivers, or enforce safety protocols, they may be held liable for accidents that occur as a result of their negligence.
Common Injuries Associated With Bus Accidents
Bus accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, some of which may have long-lasting consequences. Common injuries associated with bus accidents include:
- Fractures and Broken Bones
- Head and Brain Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Internal Injuries
- Emotional Trauma
Preserving Important Evidence Following Your Bus Accident
After a bus accident in Queens, it is crucial to preserve important evidence that can be instrumental in establishing liability and securing compensation.
Key steps to follow for preserving evidence include:
1. Seek Medical Attention
Your health should be your top priority. Seek medical attention immediately, even if your injuries seem minor. Medical records will serve as crucial evidence of your injuries and treatment.
2. Document the Scene
If you are physically able, document the accident scene by taking photographs or videos. Capture images of vehicle damage, road conditions, traffic signals, and any relevant signage.
3. Collect Witness Information
Speak to any witnesses present at the scene and obtain their contact information. Witnesses can provide valuable statements that corroborate your version of events.
4. Obtain a Police Report
Contact the local authorities to report the accident. A police report will document the details of the accident, including the names of the parties involved, witness statements, and any citations issued.
5. Preserve Physical Evidence
Preserve any physical evidence related to the accident, such as damaged personal belongings, clothing, or vehicle parts. This evidence can help establish the severity of the impact.
6. Gather Medical Records
Keep records of all medical evaluations, treatments, and prescriptions. These documents will demonstrate the extent of your injuries and the medical expenses you have incurred.
Who Is Liable For A NYC Bus Accident?
Determining liability in a bus accident case can be complex, as multiple parties may be involved. Depending on the circumstances, potential liable parties may include:
Bus drivers are held to the same standards and laws that all other drivers must abide by. Drivers are required to use designated stops to pick up and drop off their passengers. If they stop at an unsafe or unmarked area to let people off the bus, they can be held liable when someone is injured. If the bus driver's negligence or reckless actions caused the accident, they may be held personally liable. This could involve distracted driving, speeding, drunk driving, or other negligent behaviors.
The bus company that employs the driver may also be held responsible if they failed to properly maintain the vehicle, provide adequate training, or enforce safety protocols. If the bus is under the authority of the MTA or any other agency, they may be found to have allowed inexperienced drivers to operate the vehicle without proper training. These entities are also responsible for ensuring a bus is well-maintained. If a company fails to maintain the vehicle, such as brakes or tires, and they fail, causing a collision, the entity may be held liable for the injuries sustained in an accident.
In some cases, other drivers on the road may share liability for the accident if they contributed to the collision through their own negligent actions.
Manufacturers of the parts used or replaced on buses could be liable, if the bus had been equipped with defective components that failed, making it impossible for the driver to control it.
If road conditions or traffic signals were a contributing factor in the accident, a government entity responsible for road maintenance and traffic control may bear liability.
There are many moving pieces when it comes to who is liable for a bus accident in NYC. It could be one of these examples, or all could share a percentage of liability. Determining liability often requires a thorough investigation, including collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, and consulting with accident reconstruction experts.
Legal representation is crucial to navigate the complexities of bus accident cases and hold the responsible parties accountable. It is best to call on a NYC bus accident attorney who has experience, both in negotiating the terms of a settlement, or filing a lawsuit if a fair settlement offer does not arrive in a timely manner.
Determining Compensation In A NYC Bus Accident Case
If you have been injured in a bus accident in Queens, you may be entitled to compensation for various damages. Compensation can cover:
- Medical Expenses: You can seek compensation for all medical expenses related to your injuries, including hospital bills, surgery costs, medication, and rehabilitation.
- Lost Wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, you may be eligible to receive compensation for lost income, including future earning capacity if your injuries are long-term or permanent.
- Pain and Suffering: Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life, may also be included in your compensation.
- Property Damage: If your personal property was damaged in the accident, such as your vehicle or personal belongings, you can seek reimbursement for repair or replacement costs.
- Wrongful Death Damages: In cases where a bus accident results in a fatality, surviving family members may pursue a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and the emotional toll of losing a loved one.
How Long Do I Have To File A Bus Accident Claim In NYC?
In New York, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim is three years. A statute of limitations is the timeframe in which you have to file a lawsuit. If your suit names a government agency you have significantly less time to file, only 90 days. That is why it is imperative that you connect with a New York City bus accident attorney with a breadth of experience resolving bus accident claims as soon as possible after the incident. There are requirements and specific details which must be documented and submitted, and a lawyer who has experience will ensure that the claim is filed correctly, and within the time restrictions under New York state law.
Davidoff Law Has Your Back.
If you have been injured in a bus accident in the city, you should contact Davidoff Law right away. There may be multiple investigations into the accident, as buses carry many passengers, many of whom may have been injured and are seeking compensation. The NYC bus accident attorneys at Davidoff Law understand the law, the process, and how to negotiate a fair settlement, and could work diligently to pursue the compensation you deserve. Let us put our knowledge and expertise to work for you. We can start with a simple consultation to help us better understand your experience and allow us to evaluate your case.