New York Bus Accident Lawyer
Bus accidents in New York City can result in serious injuries and even fatalities. According to data from the New York City Department of Transportation, there were 8,000 bus accidents in New York City in 2020. These accidents resulted in over 2,000 injuries and 12 fatalities. In addition, a report from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles found that in 2019, there were 807 bus accidents involving school buses, transit buses, and other buses in New York State. These accidents resulted in 8 fatalities and 1,306 injuries. These accidents can be caused by a variety of factors, including driver error, equipment failure, and poor road conditions. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident in New York, it's important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. A skilled New York bus accident lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates can help you understand your legal options and work to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.Law Related to Driving Buses in New York
Driving a bus in New York requires adherence to specific laws and regulations to ensure the safety of passengers and other road users. Failure to follow any of these rules can lead to an accident and potentially leading to liability on the part of both the driver and their employer. Some of the laws related to driving buses in New York include:
- Commercial Driver's License (CDL): In order to drive a bus in New York, a driver must possess a valid CDL. This requires passing a written test and a driving skills test, as well as meeting other eligibility requirements.
- Hours of Service: Bus drivers are subject to federal and state hours of service regulations, which limit the number of hours they can drive in a day and week. This is to prevent fatigue-related accidents, which can be especially dangerous when driving a bus.
- Drug and Alcohol Testing: Bus drivers are subject to drug and alcohol testing, both pre-employment and during employment. This is to ensure that drivers are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol while operating a bus, which can impair judgment and reaction time.
- Vehicle Inspections: Buses must undergo regular inspections to ensure they are in safe operating condition. This includes inspections of the brakes, steering, tires, and other critical components.
- Passenger Safety: Bus drivers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their passengers. This includes ensuring that passengers are seated and belted while the bus is in motion, making regular safety announcements, and responding appropriately in the event of an emergency.
- Traffic Laws: Bus drivers are required to follow all traffic laws, including speed limits, traffic signals, and right-of-way rules. Failure to do so can result in accidents and endanger the safety of passengers and other road users.
- School Bus Safety: Drivers of school buses have additional safety requirements, such as activating flashing lights and stop signs when picking up or dropping off students, and maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles.
Overall, driving a bus in New York requires adherence to a variety of laws and regulations aimed at promoting safety on the roads. Bus companies and drivers should be familiar with these laws and take steps to ensure compliance and prioritize safety.Top Causes of Bus Accidents in New York
Bus accidents can be devastating, causing serious injuries and even death. In New York, bus accidents are unfortunately all too common, with thousands of accidents reported every year. The causes of these accidents are varied, but some of the top causes include:
- Driver error: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driver error is a leading cause of all types of motor vehicle accidents, including bus accidents. Driver error can include things like distracted driving, speeding, and reckless driving, which can lead to loss of control of the vehicle, collisions with other vehicles or objects, and other types of accidents. It is important for bus drivers to be properly trained and for bus companies to have safety protocols in place to minimize the risk of driver error-related accidents.
- Mechanical failure: Buses are complex machines that require regular maintenance and upkeep. When maintenance is neglected, or parts fail unexpectedly, it can lead to accidents. Common mechanical failures include brake failure, tire blowouts, and steering malfunctions.
- Poor road conditions: New York's roads are notoriously busy and poorly maintained in some areas. When road conditions are poor, it can make driving a bus even more dangerous. Potholes, uneven pavement, and other road hazards can cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle.
- Passenger behavior: While bus drivers are responsible for ensuring the safety of their passengers, sometimes passenger behavior can cause accidents. For example, if a passenger is standing when they should be seated, or if they are blocking the driver's view, it can lead to an accident.
- Weather conditions: New York's weather can be unpredictable, and extreme weather can make driving a bus even more dangerous. Snow, ice, rain, and fog can all make roads slippery and difficult to navigate, leading to accidents.
- Inexperienced or poorly trained drivers: Finally, sometimes accidents happen because a bus driver is inexperienced or poorly trained. This can be due to inadequate training or insufficient experience behind the wheel of a bus. When drivers are not prepared for the unique challenges of driving a bus, it can lead to accidents.
Overall, there are many factors that can contribute to bus accidents in New York. Whether it's driver error, mechanical failure, or other factors, it's important for bus companies to take steps to prevent accidents and keep their passengers and drivers safe. This can include things like regular maintenance, driver training, and a focus on safety above all else.Why Bus Accidents are So Dangerous
One of the reasons that buses can be dangerous and victims of bus accidents often suffer serious injuries is because buses are large, heavy vehicles that can weigh up to 30,000 pounds or more. When a bus collides with another vehicle or object, the force of the impact can be significant, causing serious damage and injury. In addition, unlike cars and other passenger vehicles, most buses do not have seat belts for passengers and do not have other safety features such as airbags. This can make it more difficult for passengers to remain seated and can increase the risk of injury in the event of an accident.
Another factor that contributes to bus accidents leading to serious injuries is that buses have a higher center of gravity than other vehicles, which can make them more prone to rollover accidents. In a rollover accident, passengers can be thrown around the interior of the bus, increasing the risk of injuries. In the event of an emergency, buses may not have enough exits or adequate evacuation routes. This can make it difficult for a high number of passengers to exit the vehicle quickly and safely, increasing the risk of injury and death.Common Injuries in New York Bus Accidents
Bus accidents in New York can result in a wide range of injuries, some of which can have devastating long-term effects on a person's health and wellbeing. As experienced New York bus accident lawyers who handle bus accident cases, we have seen firsthand the impact these injuries can have on our clients. Here are some of the most common injuries we have seen in New York bus accidents:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): TBIs are a common injury in bus accidents, particularly in accidents where passengers are thrown around the interior of the bus or hit their head on a hard surface. TBIs can range from mild concussions to more severe injuries that can have long-term effects on a person's cognitive abilities, memory, and mood.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Bus accidents can cause spinal cord injuries, which can result in partial or complete paralysis. These injuries can have a significant impact on a person's quality of life and may require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.
- Broken Bones: The force of a bus accident can result in broken bones, particularly in the arms, legs, and ribs. These injuries can be painful and may require surgery or other medical interventions.
- Whiplash: Whiplash is a common injury in rear-end collisions, which can occur in bus accidents. This injury can result in neck pain, headaches, and other symptoms that can impact a person's ability to work and carry out daily activities.
- Soft Tissue Injuries: Soft tissue injuries, such as cuts, bruises, and sprains, are common in bus accidents. While these injuries may be relatively minor, they can still cause significant pain and discomfort.
- Burns: Bus accidents can result in fires or explosions, which can cause burns. These injuries can be particularly painful and may require extensive medical treatment, including skin grafts and reconstructive surgery.
- Psychological Injuries: Bus accidents can also cause psychological injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. These injuries can have long-term effects on a person's mental health and wellbeing and may require ongoing treatment and support.
If you have been injured in a bus accident in New York, it is important to seek medical attention right away and to consult with an experienced New York bus accident lawyer who can help you understand your legal options. At our law firm, we are committed to helping our clients get the compensation they deserve for their injuries and losses. Not that there is a 3-year statute of limitations for bringing a personal injury case. However, in the case of suing a government entity such as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, there are special rules and shorter timelines.What to Do if You Are Injured in a New York Bus Accident
If you are injured in a bus accident in New York, it is important to take the following steps to protect your health and your legal rights:
- Seek medical attention: Your health should be your top priority after a bus accident. Even if you do not feel injured, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some injuries, such as TBIs, may not be immediately apparent and can have serious long-term consequences if left untreated.
- Call the police: Contact the police and report the accident. They will create an official report that can be used later as evidence in your case.
- Gather evidence: If you are able to, take photos of the accident scene, including damage to the bus and any other vehicles involved. Collect the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident.
- Contact counsel: An experienced bus accident attorney in New York can help you understand your legal rights and options. They can also help you navigate the complex legal process of pursuing compensation for your injuries and losses.
- Keep track of your expenses: Keep a record of all medical expenses, including hospital bills, doctor visits, and medications. Also, keep track of any lost wages or other expenses related to your injuries.
- Do not speak to insurance companies: Do not speak to insurance adjusters or representatives from the bus company without first consulting with counsel. Anything you say to them could be used against you later in the legal process.
By taking these steps, you can help protect your legal rights and increase your chances of getting the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. Remember, it is important to act quickly after a bus accident, as there are time limits for filing a claim in New York.Where Do Most Bus Accidents Occur in New York?
Bus accidents can occur anywhere in New York City, but some areas have a higher concentration of bus accidents than others. According to the New York City Department of Transportation, the following areas have been identified as high-risk locations for bus accidents:
- Times Square and the Theater District
- 34th Street in Manhattan
- Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn
- Jamaica Avenue in Queens
- Fordham Road in the Bronx
These areas are often crowded with pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles, which can make driving a bus more challenging. In addition, many buses travel long distances on highways and interstates in and around the city, which can also be high-risk areas for accidents.Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates
Bus accidents in New York can result in serious injuries and even fatalities. The most common causes of these accidents include driver error, reckless driving, and poor maintenance of the bus. If you have been injured in a bus accident in New York, it is important to seek medical attention right away and contact an experienced bus accident attorney serving New York who can help you understand your legal rights and options. With the right legal representation, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Brooklyn, Long Island, Queens, Manhattan, Nassau County, Staten Island, Suffolk County, Bronx, and Westchester County.