With buses making up much of public and private transportation in New York City, bus accidents are an all too familiar occurrence on our streets. Whether you were a passenger, pedestrian, or passenger car driver, you have a right to seek compensation for the injuries you sustain in the bus accident. Recovering compensation for a bus accident can be complicated; a New York City bus accident and injury lawyer can help.
Call the attorneys at Buttafuoco & Associates for help today: 1-800-NOW-HURT.
The Type of Bus Matters in a Bus Accident
Every type of bus operates under different types of ownership and liability rules. Some buses fall under government jurisdiction, which can make filing an injury claim quite difficult. Even private corporations with their strict liability rules and large legal defense teams can make the claims process daunting.
Here is what you need to know about accidents with these common types of busses.
Private charter buses are under the ownership of a private entity, usually to serve an event. School field trips, corporate retreats, and similar events commonly use private charter buses to transport their attendees.
These buses fall under the same regulations as all passenger transport vehicles, but that does not mean drivers and charter bus companies will always operate within the regulations.
New York City buses operate under the supervision of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority New York City Transit Authority (MTA). An accident with or on one of these busses will fall under the jurisdiction of the MTA, a government entity.
Filing a claim against the city, with its strict time limits and filing process, can be quite difficult.
School bus drivers must operate in a safe manner to get children to school and back to their bus stop. Your child’s school district is responsible for hiring competent and safe drivers, as well as utilizing fleet services to keep buses in good working condition. A negligent driver or poorly maintained bus can lead to a serious accident.
Sight-seeing tour buses are a form of private charter bus available for hire by any person. Similar to a city bus in the type of use, the difference with these charter buses is that a corporation runs them, rather than the city.
Interstate passenger buses include carriers such as Greyhound and Megabus that travel within New York State and to other states. These can be especially complicated if a New York resident suffers injury on one of these buses out of state.
Shuttle buses commonly provide transportation to and from airports, although they also exist for transportation to doctor’s appointments and hospitals. Determining liability in a shuttle bus accident can be difficult if one company owns the bus but its drivers are from another company.
Determining Liability in a Bus Accident
Safe operation of busses can require the work of several different parties. For example, while the City of New York owns and operates MTA buses, there can be independent mechanics involved in their upkeep, and unions involved in the employment of drivers.
(Note: Even though MTA is under the ownership of the City, you would not file a claim with the City Comptroller’s Office. A New York bus accident lawyer can help you determine liability for an MTA accident.)
Determining liability starts with evidence of how and why the accident occurred. If the accident was a driver error, the driver and his employer may be the only ones liable. If a mechanical failure caused the accident, it might be the party that owns or maintains the bus, or even the bus manufacturer if it was a defective design or part malfunction that caused the crash.
In bus accidents where the cause is not immediately clear, you may need an expert witness such as an accident reconstructionist to provide testimony on your behalf. Witness statements and police reports are also important to proving the accident details and determining liability.
Seeking Damages after a Bus Accident
When a bus accident causes serious injuries, victims and their families are entitled to certain damages. These damages can include:
- Lost wages or earning capacity
- Medical costs for current and future care
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral costs
- Long-term disability
- Punitive damages
Buttafuoco & Associates takes the guesswork out of filing injury claims and chasing down liable parties. We do all the evidence gathering and paperwork filing for you, allowing you to concentrate on recovering. Call us at 1-800-NOW-HURT to schedule an appointment for a free consultation.