Several people travel by bus in New York because the buses run till later in the evening and also because bus travel is less expensive than taking the train. Whether it is the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) that serves over 650 million persons every year, or the several private buses plying on the roads of New York City, busing is one of the most efficient and therefore, popular means of mass transit.
However, it is also important to remember that New York is infamous for its high rate of bus accidents which is one of the highest all over the country. Bus accidents are quite different from car accidents in terms of magnitude, and the laws governing compensation for bus accidents are therefore different from those for other types of accidents.
If you have been involved in a bus accident, it is important you seek help from an experienced bus accident lawyer in New York to initiate the process necessary to seek compensation.
Large Bus Collisions in New York City
Buses are large in size and weigh thousands of pounds. They have fewer safety features as compared to passenger vehicles. Buses may not have airbags and safety restraints like cars. This, along with the fact that large buses have a high center of gravity can make large bus collisions extremely dangerous. Persons injured during a large bus accident can suffer serious injuries that have devastating effects, and in some cases, the accident may also lead to a fatality.
What Are the Common Causes of Bus Accidents?
Bus accidents are generally caused due to faulty bus equipment or driver-related problems. Driving a large bus through the busy streets of New York City requires a lot of skill and experience. For this reason, a bus driver needs to match up to far more stringent licensing standards, testing procedures, and safety certifications as compared to those who drive other passenger vehicles.
Most bus drivers take extreme care when driving; however, it is possible for even the best driver to make an error that causes a grave bus accident. Some of the most common such errors are discussed below:
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
Bus drivers who consume alcohol or recreational or prescription drugs are more likely to drive in an impaired way, increasing the likelihood of an accident. Alcohol and drugs can severely impact an individual’s attention, reaction, and judgment, and this can affect their driving-related skills such as vigilance, braking behavior, and clarity of vision. While some drivers use these substances on the job, others may do so before their shift, but the effects of a hangover can be just as dangerous and impair their ability to drive safely.
Driving When Fatigued
A driver who is not sufficiently rested is at great risk of falling asleep on the job, leading to a grave accident. Driver fatigue can result from working for long hours, or physical tiredness or sleep deprivation. Certain medical conditions such as sleep apnea may also cause loss of sleep in the night, leading to daytime drowsiness and fatigue. Fatigued driving may cause short or microsleep episodes and it takes only a few seconds of lost concentration to cause a major mishap.
Long hours of work can cause a driver’s mind to wander at the wheel and this momentary distraction can severely hamper their reflexes. In some cases, drivers may even use their cell phones to talk or text or check their social media feeds when driving. This type of distracted driving can be even more dangerous to not just the bus passengers, but also to others on the road.
Aggressive or Reckless Driving
Frustration with heavy traffic can cause drivers to grow aggressive in their driving. Unrealistic schedules that do not factor in traffic may also put undue pressure on bus drivers, causing them to speed, and drive recklessly to meet their schedules. Despite possessing driving abilities that meet up to higher certification and licensing standards, bus drivers may slip into aggressive driving that puts the lives of several people at risk.
Faulty Bus Equipment
As per the law, buses need to be maintained in a good working condition with periodic checks and inspections and the necessary regular maintenance. The MTAs mechanics carry out regular work on buses to ensure the tires have the necessary air pressure and to address any mechanical issues in the bus equipment. However, there are occasions when problematic issues may go unnoticed; in other cases, the bus equipment may develop a sudden, unexpected snag and all such situations can cause a serious bus accident that may even result in death.
Types of Buses in New York City
When a bus accident takes place, several factors will decide what happens during the personal injury lawsuit. Of all these, the type of bus involved in the accident is the most important. Different types of buses that travel on the roads of New York include:
MTA or Public Bus
Every day, there are close to 6000 buses dispatched by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), and public buses are one of the most preferred forms of mass transit in New York City. A New York Post study of bus accidents in 2015 revealed that over a 31-month period, more than 21,800 bus accidents involved MTA buses. This works out to a worrying average of 23 MTA-bus accidents per day which poses a grave danger to persons using such buses.
Besides the MTA, several private companies such as Peter Pan, Greyhound, MegaBus, and Bolt Bus also operate buses on the streets of New York. Several commuters use these private buses to get across the city and to also travel from NYC to other major metros. Not all bus companies take care to hire well-qualified, trained, and capable drivers or to monitor their driving techniques. This can greatly increase the risk of bus accidents.
New York is a popular tourist destination, several bus companies operate tour buses to help tourists visit several landmarks and monuments. The stop-and-go nature of these buses can be quite dangerous on the crowded streets of New York. Double-deckers tour buses can be even more dangerous because, in the event of a bus crash, passengers riding on the top may get ejected from the bus and end up suffering grave injuries or even a fatality.
With more than a million students studying in public schools in New York City, it comprises one of the largest school districts in the entire country. Several parents use the school bus to transport their children to and from school. Drivers of these types of school buses need to make sure they drive within the permitted speeds and allow children to cross safely after alighting. However, data shows that a large number of school buses can be involved in fatal accidents compared to other bus types.
Contact Our New York Bus Accident Lawyers Today
Being injured in a New York bus accident can be a traumatic situation. You may need a long time to recover from the injuries you sustain. If you lose a loved one in such an accident, it may take you days to recoup your emotional health. In this kind of situation, it can be difficult to pursue the legal procedure necessary to claim the compensation that is due to you. For this reason, it is critical you get in touch with a knowledgeable, experienced, and skilled bus accident attorney at the earliest.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an MTA bus accident, or any other bus accident, getting your compensation can be a very long drawn process. The amount you receive will depend on several factors and having a skilled bus accident lawyer can make a huge difference to the outcome of your personal injury lawsuit.
Some bus accidents are due to driver errors; others may be caused by the fault of pedestrians or motorcyclists. Whatever the type of accident, you may require legal help to provide evidence of the fault and to ensure the concerned individual is held responsible for their actions. Sometimes, their insurance company or legal assistance team may try to manipulate you to accept some amount in the settlement which is quite likely to be far lesser than what is your rightful due.
If you or a loved one has been in a bus accident in NYC, contact Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP today at (800) 660-2264 to schedule a free consultation. Our bus accident attorneys will pursue your claims for damages, to cover the costs you have incurred on your medical and hospital bills, lost income or wages, emotional distress and pain, suffering and loss of life enjoyment, and any disability or reduced earning capacity that may have resulted from the bus accident.
Our team of lawyers has several years of experience dealing with different types of bus accidents in New York. Our relations with bus accident experts can help us build a better case to determine the maximum compensation to which you are entitled to the injuries you have suffered.
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