Brooklyn Bus Accident Lawyers
Experienced Bus Accident Lawyers In Brooklyn, NY
Every day, millions of New Yorkers rely on public transportation to get them around the city. But when accidents happen and people are hurt, they need help getting care and compensation. At Rosenberg & Rodriguez, we help public transportation injury victims recover from bus, subway, or train accidents in Brooklyn and throughout New York City.
Our firm’s experienced Brooklyn bus accident lawyers are here to help and guide you through this tough time. We fully understand what victims and their families go through after an accident, which is why we offer comprehensive legal support and advocacy. If you or a loved one were injured due to negligence on behalf of the NYC Transit Authority, Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), or another city/state agency, please do not hesitate to contact our personal injury firm today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
5 Common Causes Of Brooklyn Bus Accidents
Drivers frequently start and stop buses as they make their way through busy city streets, which puts them at risk of hitting other vehicles, bicyclists, pedestrians, or stationary objects. In some cases, inattentive bus drivers do not operate the doors correctly and hurt boarding or exiting passengers. Common causes of bus accidents include:
1. Bus Driver Error
The majority of bus accidents are caused by driver error, which is defined as any action (or inaction) on the part of the driver that deviates from the standard of care a reasonable person would use in similar circumstances. Examples of driver error include driving while distracted, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, failing to obey traffic signs and signals, and other forms of less-than-safe driving practices.
2. Failure To Properly Inspect & Maintain The Vehicle
Buses need regular check-ups, inspections, and maintenance to keep working properly. When bus operators or companies neglect the needed maintenance to keep their passenger safe they may be at fault. Contacting a Brooklyn bus accident attorney should be your next step.
3. Defective Design Or Manufacturing Of The Vehicle
Vehicles can have a multitude of defects, such as tires that lead to blowouts or rollovers, brakes that cause collisions, faulty bus doors that injure passengers, and lighting systems with electrocutions or slip and fall accidents.
4. Hazardous Roads
Large vehicles, like buses, are more vulnerable to accidents on poor road conditions. The government entities in charge of upkeeping public roads may be held responsible for any casualties or damages that result from hazardous street design or maintenance.
5. Poor Weather Conditions & Visibility
Driving a bus is more difficult during hazardous weather conditions like snow, ice, or fog. Drivers must follow the proper safety protocol and drive with extra care to avoid accidents. If they don’t take these precautions and get into an accident, they can be held legally responsible.
Common Types Of Bus Accidents In Brooklyn
Though most people think of bus accidents as collisions with other vehicles, passengers can suffer injuries in a variety of different ways, including:
Getting On Or Off The Bus
The bus driver, or the bus company’s responsibility for your safety, starts when you try to board the bus and doesn’t end until you safely disembark. So if you somehow trip and fall while getting on or off the bus, then the party responsible could be held liable—this includes the driver, company, or another related individual. This might happen if, say, the driver parks in an unsafe spot next to a pothole or uneven surface.
While On The Bus
If a bus driver becomes distracted, they may slam on the brakes to avoid an accident. If this happens, you could hit the seat in front of you or suffer from whiplash. Alternatively, flying debris might strike you if there is an actual crash. People often wonder about the rules surrounding seat belts on buses manufactured after November 2016–all new motorcoaches and certain classes of large buses must have them installed according to federal law. Even though it isn’t required by law that passengers wear a seatbelt when one is available—it’s still wise to do so.
Equipment Malfunction Or Another Person
If a bus is badly designed or manufactured, it may cause an accident on the road or individual injuries to passengers. This can include interior components of the bus, such as loose bolts or damaged flooring. In some cases, someone else on the bus may attack or injure passengers.
The Process Of Filing A Bus Accident Claim
There is a variety of evidence you could use to back up your personal injury claim if you were injured in a bus accident. These buses are almost always run by public entities, so there are many different records that can be accessed to show negligence. Some examples include employment documents and maintenance or trip logs from the driver’s employer. If the employer is, for example, a city or school, then additional documentation like accident reports might also be available.
While all car accidents have different forms of evidence, many of these can also be useful in bus accident cases. These include police reports, witness accounts, and video footage from both traffic cameras and any onboard buses. In your claim, our team may be able to utilize this type of evidence as well as:
- MV-104 report
- Video cameras inside the bus
- Bus Operator’s report about the accident
- Supervisor’s Accident Investigation Report
- SSD 1 Report
- Paddle Report for subject bus and bus driver
- Trip Sheet
- Fitness for Duty test results of the bus driver prior to the subject accident
- Bus Driver’s claims department file
- Copies of reports generated by the defendant bus company
- Bus Driver Qualification File
- MCMS reports for the past 90 days prior to the accident.
- Schedule 4014
Requesting additional information from the defendant’s bus company, including photographs or documentary evidence, is crucial to follow up on. At Rosenberg & Rodriguez, we request countless items routinely, but we’ve found that it’s important tenaciously to pursue these demands until a response is given by the bus company’s representatives. In many cases, the defense lawyers representing the bus company will state they don’t have the information requested or simply provide an objection.
Brooklyn Bus Accident Statistics [Updated 2022]
According to recent data from the New York City Department of Transportation, bus accidents are on the rise in New York City. In 2017, there were over 1,000 reported bus accidents in the city, up from 700 in 2016. These figures represent an increase of 33% year-over-year. The majority of these accidents resulted in minor injuries and property damage, while more serious incidents led to serious injuries or fatalities.
In order to reduce the number of bus accident fatalities and casualties each year and make public transportation safer for all users, NYC officials have proposed several initiatives aimed at increasing passenger and street safety awareness, creating better public transit infrastructure, and enforcing stricter regulations for drivers. Additionally, new technologies such as cameras that monitor driver performance may soon be implemented in buses throughout the Big Apple. Below are some additional statistics about bus accidents in New York:
- According to the New York Post, “MTA [Metropolitan Transportation Authority] buses racked up at least 21,823 crashes, collisions, and other mishaps over 31 months beginning in 2015 — an average of 23 per day.”
- MTA accidents from 2015 to 2018 resulted in approximately 2.7 injuries per day, or 2,520 total injury victims, in addition to at least 14 deaths.
- School buses were involved in at least 180 accidents, from 2015 to 2018.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who Can Be Found At Fault For A Bus Accident?
You can only receive compensation if someone else was negligent. In a Brooklyn bus accident, this becomes more complicated as there could be multiple parties at fault. The negligent parties may have been:
- Bus Driver – If the driver was acting recklessly or was distracted, then he or she could be held directly responsible. Although this is the most common cause of bus accidents, there are often underlying factors that a Brooklyn bus accident lawyer can help you uncover.
- Bus Company or City Transit Authority – If a bus company puts its drivers in conditions that may lead to more accidents, then the company may be held liable for any injuries you suffer. For example, if a bus driver is required to work excessive hours or come into work while ill or injured, the bus company might share liability for your injuries. If a bus driver has caused multiple accidents in the past or if they regularly put passengers and others on the road at risk, you may want to sue the bus company for compensation. The bus company is also responsible for properly maintaining the bus so it can safely travel city streets.
- Manufacturer – Accidents caused by bus failures, such as brakes, tires, or engines are often due to a manufacturer error. To avoid these accidents and protect those who use the bus and others on the road, manufacturers must test their products for quality assurance. If a part fails because it wasn’t made correctly, then the company that created that part may be held responsible for any resulting accident.
- Maintenance Company – If a company outsources its maintenance, the liability for any damage caused by poor upkeep is shared. Many underestimate the role that maintenance companies may have in accidents, however, these companies can be at fault more than you might think.
What Is The Average Compensation For Bus Accident Injuries?
While many bus companies or drivers maintain high levels of liability insurance, this does not mean there are no limits to the amount of compensation you may receive. The average compensation for a bus accident injury will depend on:
- Who caused your accident? Though the bus driver may be liable for your accident, you could get compensation from multiple parties depending on who caused or contributed to the accident. By doing this, you might increase the total amount of money that you receive for your injuries.
- How many people suffered injuries in your accident? In bus accidents, it’s not uncommon for several people to be injured because more people and vehicles are involved than in a standard traffic accident. When multiple parties suffer injury, the limits of the bus driver’s insurance policy may go into effect sooner, which would then limit the compensation that each party can receive.
- What did your injuries cost you? The amount of money you get for your injuries from the accident claim depends on how much the injury has impacted your life. If you have had to spend a lot on medical bills, then you will likely receive more compensation than someone who suffered less severe injuries.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations For Bus Accident Cases In Brooklyn?
Cases have a statute of limitations, meaning there is a deadline by which you must file a lawsuit. For most Brooklyn bus accident cases, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of injury. However, filing a suit against the government follows different rules than those for private defendants.
If you wish to take legal action against a government entity, you must file a notice of claim within 90 days of the injury. By doing so, you are putting the government entity on notice that you intend to sue. The requirements for filing a notice of claim may vary depending on which agency you are suing; however, if you fail to file one within 90 days, you will lose your right to file suit altogether. Therefore, it is essential that you act quickly.
Contact Our Brooklyn Bus Accident Lawyers Today
Unfortunately, some defendants attempt to evade accountability by placing the blame on the injured party. With so many people involved, bus accident lawsuits can take a long time. Operators, carriers, municipalities, motorists, and insurance companies will all try to avoid taking responsibility. At Rosenberg & Rodriguez, we understand how important it is to resolve the lawsuit quickly so that you can begin healing both mentally and physically.
Our Brooklyn bus accident lawyers are passionate about helping our clients in NYC recover from their bus accident injuries. We know that often times this process requires extensive medical treatment and costly rehabilitation, which is why we make sure to give our clients the personal attention they need. Don’t hire a lawyer who doesn’t have the experience necessary to take on all of the entities involved in a bus accident – retain a lawyer that will get results; call us today for a free consultation.