Top Questions about Bus Accidents in New York City
Every day, millions of New Yorkers and visitors use public transportation to get to work, school, and many other places the city has to offer. Unfortunately, taking the bus is not always safe. New York streets are congested and a bus accident not only create confusion, but also leave many people with serious injuries. If you have been involved in a bus accident, either as another driver or as a passenger, you may be able to file a claim for financial compensation.
What Injuries Are Common in Bus Accidents?
Buses are much larger and heavier than other vehicles on the road and as such, they can cause very serious injuries when they are involved in a crash with smaller vehicles and pedestrians. The majority of the time, those in smaller vehicles sustain much more serious injuries than those inside the bus. However, there are always exceptions and individuals on the bus sometimes become injured, too. Some of the most common injuries in bus accidents are as follows:
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Broken bones
- Permanent disfigurement or scarring
- Burn injuries
- Emotional distress
Unfortunately, the above are just a few of the most common injuries sustained in a bus accident. Regardless of the type of injury you sustained in a crash, you can file a claim for damages afterwards to recover your losses.
What Should I Do Following a Bus Accident?
After a bus accident in New York City, there are important steps to take. The most important of these include:
- Remain calm and stay in your vehicle, if possible.
- Turn on your hazard lights and only move your vehicle if it is blocking traffic. Remain where you are until the police arrive.
- Call 911 to report the accident
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible even if you feel fine. A doctor will look for injuries, such as internal bleeding or a concussion that may not be visible.
- Exchange your name and contact information with everyone involved in the crash. Locate witnesses and exchange this information with them as well.
- Take pictures and video of the accident scene, damage to the vehicles, and the injuries sustained.
- Never apologize or admit fault.
You should also contact a New York City bus accident lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. You will have to speak to an insurance company and it is always best to allow an attorney to speak to them on your behalf.
How is Liability Determined After a Bus Accident?
As with any other type of personal injury case, determining liability after a bus accident is based on the concept of negligence. Negligence is a person’s careless action or inaction that causes an accident in which another person becomes hurt.
Many people assume the bus driver was negligent and caused the crash. This may be true if the driver was speeding, driving while distracted, drove under the influence, or otherwise acted carelessly. However, there are other parties that may be liable for an accident, too. The company that owns the bus may be liable if they did not conduct a thorough background check on the driver, or they did not adequately train them to drive the bus safely. The bus company may also be liable if they did not fully inspect the bus, or if they did not properly maintain the vehicle.
If part of the bus was defective, such as the braking system, the manufacturer of that part can be held liable for an accident. Or, if the crash was caused by an improperly designed road, or debris on the road, the government entity responsible for building and maintaining the road can be held liable.
What Damages are Available to Bus Accident Victims?
After a crash involving a bus, accident victims can file a claim to recover compensation for their economic and non-economic losses. This compensation may include:
- Medical expenses, including transportation to doctor’s offices and mobility equipment
- Loss of wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Long-term disability
- Loss of consortium
The majority of bus accident cases settle out of court. However, when a case does go to trial, a jury may also award victims punitive damages, which are meant to punish the defendant rather than compensate victims.
Can You File a Claim After an Accident with a School Bus?
School buses are just as prone to getting into an accident as tour and city buses. You can file a claim against the bus driver if their negligent actions caused the crash. If fault lies with another party, you may also be able to file a claim against the bus company, the school, and perhaps even the school district.
Should I Accept a Settlement?
Shortly following the accident, either the bus company or the insurance company that represents them may contact you to offer a settlement. You should never accept or sign anything without first speaking to a lawyer. Insurers are sometimes eager to offer a settlement because they know they have a weak case. Also, your injuries may become worse and you may require more compensation in the future. If you accept a settlement right away, you cannot go back to the insurance company and claim more in the future.
How Long Will a Bus Accident Settlement Take?
No one can determine how long any personal injury case will take. The length of your case will depend on the extent and nature of your injuries, the number of people that were hurt in the crash, and the number of parties at fault for the accident.
Call Our Bus Accident Lawyer in New York City Today
If you have been hurt in a bus accident, our New York City bus accident lawyer at Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C. can help you claim the full settlement you deserve. Call us today at 1-877-ASK4SAM or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.