Whether you were hit by a bus in a car or injured as a passenger, the New York Bus Accident guide was created by New York personal injury attorney Leslie Krause to help residents know their legal rights after a wreck.
Millions of New Yorkers rely on public transportation every day to get to work, school, visit the doctor, and even just go out and shop for necessities. If you or someone you love was hurt in an accident while riding a bus, call us right away to schedule your free consultation with our New York bus accident lawyer.
It’s Not Just Bus Passengers Who Get Hurt
Of course, it’s normal to think that the passengers of the bus are the ones who are most often injured in a bus accident. While that can and does happen, victims of bus accidents can also be pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, passenger vehicle drivers, and passengers.
It Can Be Difficult to Determine Liability
Like other accidents that fall under the umbrella of personal injury, New York bus accidents require a legal concept known as negligence. This means that person A has a legal duty of some kind to person B. If person A does not fulfill their legal duty and person B is hurt because of it, there may be a legal claim for negligence against person A.
Of course, that’s a very simple explanation. In reality, it’s not always that simple to determine liability. With bus accidents, there are multiple parties who may carry at least some liability for the accident including bus drivers, a private company, the city, or a company that manufactured a defective part that was installed. These are just examples of potential defendants. A New York bus accident lawyer plays an important role because their job is to help the victim and their family sort out the facts, protect the best interests of the victim, and ensure that the victim is treated fairly.
Bus drivers may be at least partially responsible for the accident if they didn’t receive proper training, are engaged in distracted driving, drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (even if it is a medication they were prescribed), or commit a traffic violation. The bus company or the city may be at least partially responsible for the accident if they didn’t perform proper and timely maintenance on the bus involved, weren’t following the laws, didn’t adequately train their drivers, or didn’t hire drivers who are properly qualified.
Most Common Injuries Caused by New York Bus Accidents
The severity of the injuries that may be caused by a New York bus accident depends on several factors. For example, a pedestrian who is struck by the bus may be more severely injured than someone riding inside of the bus or inside of another vehicle. Of course, we also know that’s not always true. Serious injuries can and do occur regardless of whether someone is inside of another vehicle. Buses are massive vehicles. They take longer to slow down and stop. They’re heavier than passenger vehicles.
The most common injuries suffered from New York bus accidents include:
- Serious head injuries (including traumatic brain injuries)
- Neck and back injuries that result in permanent pain and reduced mobility
- Broken bones (including skull fractures)
- Permanent disfigurement
- Serious burns that may require skin grafts and cause extreme pain and disfigurement
- Mental anguish
Compensation Accident Victims Are Entitled to Receive
Physical and mental injuries, as well as property damage, from a bus accident may entitle the victim to receive financial compensation. The most common types of compensation include:
- Medical bills resulting from the bus accident (including hospital bills, lab fees, physical therapy, surgery, prescriptions, and follow-up visits)
- Lost wages
- The loss of future earning potential
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of quality of life
- Pain and suffering
To learn more about compensation, you should discuss the facts surrounding your potential claim with our New York bus accident lawyer. The consultation is free.
Filing an Insurance Claim
Filing an insurance claim is generally one of the first thoughts people have when they’re involved in any sort of vehicle accident, including New York bus accidents. It is certainly a possibility to file an insurance claim, but there’s no guarantee that the insurance company will treat the victim in a fair and honest manner. They may offer less than the claim is worth and hold off on paying out in an attempt to pressure the victim into accepting a small settlement. If the victim signs the settlement agreement, they may sign away their right to file a lawsuit and they may not be entitled to receive help with future medical expenses that arise because of the injuries from the accident.
A New York bus accident lawyer can be a beneficial advisor during the settlement process. They can review the settlement agreement and let you know whether they believe what’s being offered is fair. They can also negotiate on your behalf. Don’t face the insurance company, the city, or the private company that owns the bus on your own. Make sure that you have someone on your side who has the sole job of looking out for what is in your best interest.
Frequently Asked Questions | New York Bus Accident Guide
What Should I Do If I’m Injured as a Passenger on a Bus?
If you were in a bus accident in New York and have a serious injury, it’s important that you make sure the police officer who comes to make the report, or the bus driver who’s making a report, has your name. It is important to establish that you were on that bus during that accident so that you can secure whatever rights you have from the damages you sustained due to that accident. Bus accidents are not all that different from car accidents or motorcycle accidents or pedestrian knock-downs, in that you have PIP payments, or no-fault payments, that will cover your hospital course, your hospital admission, your hospital tests, and your doctor appointments.
Also, you can sue the person at fault to get monetary damages for the injuries that you sustained. The person at fault may be the bus driver, the people who own the bus, or maybe the other vehicle who caused the accident. It doesn’t really matter which, but the most important thing is, if you’re in a bus accident, you want to establish that you were in the bus at the time of the accident. You want to make sure that that bus driver or that police officer takes your name. It doesn’t hurt, either, to take the bus driver’s name so you can remember who that driver is, what happened, and what person was driving when the accident occurred.
What is the First Step I Should Take After a Bus Accident?
If you are in a car that is hit by a bus and you are injured, the first thing you should do is take care of your injuries. It is very important that you immediately go to a hospital or that you immediately go to your private physician and see what your injuries are. Buses are huge motor vehicles. They cause a lot of damage. When you’re bounced around in your car, whether you’re wearing your seat belt or not, after being hit by a bus there are many possible injuries that could happen to you, either right away or be found out later in the day.
It’s very important that the first thing that you do is go to the hospital. Go to your doctor. Have them check you out. Have them take x-rays. Have them take whatever test is necessary, depending on what’s bothering you, to make sure that you’re okay. If you’re not okay, have them treat your injury immediately so that you’ll be okay sooner rather than later.
What Mistakes Can I Avoid?
The common mistakes that people will make when seriously injured in a bus accident in New York is not telling the bus driver or the police officer that they were on the bus. When you’re in a bus accident, there are many people involved, and later you want to make sure that you can prove you were on that bus. It’s very important when they take the names, be it the police officer or the driver or whoever else is there investigating the accident, that your name appears on the list of people on the bus when that accident occurred.
The second mistake would be not going immediately to medical care. Even if you think that, perhaps you’re not injured and nothing’s bothering you, you never really know because you are kind of in shock when you’re in an accident. Go to the hospital; let them check you out. Go to your private physician; let them check you out. Make sure that you’re physically okay. Bear in mind, these medical bills are paid for by the insurances. This will not come out of your pocket. It doesn’t cost you anything to make sure you’re healthy, and it’s very important to make sure you are.
Another mistake is talking to the insurance people. Don’t talk to insurance companies; they’re not your friend. Hire a lawyer. The lawyer will take care of you. The lawyer will represent you. The lawyer will do the best for you to make sure all your rights and benefits are protected and that the insurances pay out everything that you deserve for the injuries that you sustained due to this bus accident.
Should I Speak to the Insurance Companies?
If you are seriously injured on a bus in New York, I absolutely recommend that you never talk to the insurance company, period. Talking to the insurance company will never help you. The insurance companies have special investigators who try and get to the injured parties immediately, to get as much facts as possible out of them, with a purpose of avoiding or paying as little as possible. Insurance companies have one goal; they are in business to make their shareholders money. They are not in business to pay you the maximum amount of money. They are not there to help you. They are there to find out information, and get you to sign forms, and make statements that will hurt you later in your suit.
The first thing you should do is hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you, and either let that lawyer speak on your behalf to the insurance company or have that lawyer present when you speak to the insurance company. You should have that lawyer review every single form that is mailed into the insurance company about your accident. You need protection. You’re the little person. The insurance company is a big corporation and they can, will, and do take advantage of the little people. Have a lawyer fight for your rights.
How Do I Choose the Best Attorney for My Case?
When you are seriously injured in a bus accident, you need to find a lawyer who is only doing accident cases. You don’t need the lawyer who will do a divorce, and do your will, and do your closing on your real estate, and then also do an accident case. That’s not someone who only does accident cases. You want the person who day in and day out does only accident cases. That is the attorney for you.
You want the attorney who’s going to know exactly what forms must be filed, how to protect your rights, and how to push your case as quickly and as hard as possible to make you the maximum amount of benefits as soon as you can. You need to research and look to find that attorney, to meet that attorney, to be comfortable with the attorney. Also, you want an attorney who’s going to be there for you. You don’t want someone who’s going to meet you for five minutes and brush you off to never see you again.
In my office, when a client calls, I will call back whenever they want to speak to me. If a client wants to meet with me and discuss things, we set up an immediate appointment. I am always there for my clients; I am never too busy for them. If they want to know the status of the case, I will tell them. They don’t have to call repeatedly to never get a response. That’s not someone who’s doing a good job for you. You want someone who’s working hard for you, who’s there for you and is explaining to you the process, as you’re going through this process, after you’re injured in an accident. Get yourself someone who knows what they’re doing so that you won’t be sorry.
How Do I File a Claim?
The steps are not much different from other motor vehicle claims. The most important thing is to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. That personal injury lawyer will guide you and have you file the correct forms to protect all your rights. The bus you were in during the accident could be a bus owned by a municipality; it could be a bus owned by the school system; it can be a private bus; it can be an out-of-state bus, etc. You must have an experienced trial attorney to determine who owns that bus and what type of bus it is, so all your rights are protected by having all the filings that need to be done in a timely manner.
What Are Some Commons Causes of Accidents?
The answer is lousy drivers. Sometimes the bus driver is distracted. Sometimes the car in front of him is distracted, especially in Manhattan. It’s pretty much a game to cut off the bus and get in front and try not to be behind the bus. It’s a very difficult situation when you’re in a bus. Most drivers are very professional, they’re very experienced, and they’ve been driving buses for a long period of time. They really do the best to drive in traffic and not to get into accidents.
If you do get into an accident and you’re in a bus, it’s very important that you make sure that that bus driver or that police officer that comes to investigate the accident has your name. You want to establish that you were in the bus at the time of the accident. That’s the first thing you want to do when you’re in a bus accident. It’s very important that you give that information, so that when the time comes to say you were in the bus and get your no-fault payments, doctor bills paid, hospital bills paid or even to make a lawsuit, you were a passenger in the bus at the time of the accident.
Who Is Liable for the Accident?
When you’re injured as a passenger on a bus in New York, and you sustain a serious injury, you can sue the party who was responsible for that injury. That can be the bus company itself, that can be the other vehicle involved in the accident, or that could be both, or more if there are more vehicles involved. Each case is different. Therefore, you must analyze liability. You must analyze the police report. You must investigate what happened, and then you can determine who’s responsible. Your lawyer, an experienced personal injury attorney, can pursue the guilty parties and get you the money that you deserve for the injuries that you sustained.
Should I Take the First Settlement Offer?
When people are injured in a bus accident in New York, they should almost never take the first offer because it’s usually much too low. Negotiations go on between your attorney and the bus company’s insurance carriers, and these negotiations are very lengthy. The first offer is just that; it’s a first offer. It’s very minimal. It’s just the beginning. You should never take it. You should never rush to get money in your pocket. You want to get the maximum amount of money that you deserve due to the injuries that you sustained because of that bus accident. You want to take the time, the effort and the energy to make sure your injuries are maximized to their full value that you deserve. There is no rush. Take the time to let your attorney do their job and get you the maximum amount of money that you can get due to your injuries in a bus accident.
How Long Will This Case Take to Settle?
This is a very complex question because it has to do with a lot of different factors. It depends on what your injury is. How long it takes before we can determine the full extent of your injury has to do with how many people were injured on the bus. Are you the only person injured on the bus or are there 30 people injured on the bus? These all add into the length of time.
Sometimes the longest cases we have in this office are bus accident cases because there are so many people, and so many law firms, and it’s so complex. It often has to wind up in front of the judge who will sort it all out and then divvy out how much each person should get for their injuries that they sustained. Sometimes it can be very quick. It depends on many factors. No one can tell you a definitive timeline. Each case is different.
The thing that we do in this office is, if you’re seriously injured in a bus accident, we will immediately sue that bus and sue all the responsible people. We will be the first to court. We will pursue it as hard as we can, to get to the end of it as quickly as possible.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
To answer that question, you should immediately hire an experienced personal injury attorney. That attorney will determine who owns the bus, the purpose the bus was used for, and who needs to be notified about the claim and during what time-period should they be notified.
Some of these time periods are very quick and forms must be filed immediately. It’s very important you hire a qualified personal injury attorney right away, so we can analyze your case and we can file all the necessary forms timely so that you’re fully protected. Only then can you obtain the benefits that is your right to obtain, due to the injuries you sustained in that bus accident.
Can I Sue the School If My Child is Hurt on the Bus?
I have had many cases where children are injured on a school bus, and the parents want to know if they can sue the school. The answer to that depends on a lot of things. Who owns the bus? What type of bus was it? How was the accident caused? If the school bus is owned by the school but it had no fault, of course you’re not going to sue the school; you’re going to sue the operator that created the fault. If the school bus is owned by the school and it caused the accident, of course the school is responsible, and of course they have the proper insurances to cover your child’s injuries. The answer to that question depends on the facts. It’s certainly possible for you to sue the school for the injuries your child sustained when injured on a school bus.
Do Buses Have Special Insurance?
There are special provisions and laws that provide special insurance for buses. That’s very good for the passengers because usually the policy is much larger than the normal policy that you would find on motor vehicles. Buses need special insurance, and usually they have it.
What Compensation Am I Entitled To?
If you are seriously injured in a bus, in New York, you have many benefits available to you. The first benefit is called no-fault claims, or personal injury protection. That benefit pays for your hospital bills, hospitalization, emergency room stay, all expenses associated with the hospital, all doctor bills, and all medical bills. They can also pay for partial lost wages and incidental expenses.
In order to obtain these benefits, you have to file promptly and timely. That’s why it’s very important that you have an experienced personal injury lawyer to file these things for you, so you get all the benefits that are due to you. You can also make what’s called a third-party claim, and that’s the claim for your personal injuries that you sustained, for any other losses you sustained due to this accident.
How Much Will My Case be Worth?
An experienced lawyer will know how much money he can get for your injury based upon what the basic injury is, and all the nuances attached to the injury. That’s why it’s important you hire an experienced New York bus accident attorney who will do your job as quickly as possible, push your case as hard as possible, get you the most money as possible, and at the end of the case explain to you how much money he has, how much more money he thinks he can get, and if you should take this money. This is all based on experience, so it is vital that you get an experienced attorney.
Call Our Bus Accident Lawyers
If you’ve been seriously injured in a bus accident, there is no time to waste. Please call Krause & Glassmith, LLP as soon as possible to speak with one of our experienced and dedicated New York injury lawyers. We will fight to protect all your rights and get you the most full and fairest compensation that you deserve.