New York Greyhound Bus Accidents
No matter where you are travelling on a Greyhound bus, this can raise questions about liability and who is responsible for paying for your injuries when you have been hurt in such an accident. If you were recently hurt in a Greyhound bus crash, you need a New York Greyhound bus accident attorney on your side.
The company may be denying your right to recover compensation and refusing to accept any responsibility, but you may be wondering who will pay your medical bills after an accident that could have been prevented. If you believe that the driver was negligent and engaged in any type of behavior that put you and other passengers at risk, this information needs to be shared in court with the help of an experienced lawyer. If the injuries were severe, you may be able to get support for your medical bills.
Greyhound buses have been in service for nearly 100 years, but unfortunately, the company is often involved in serious accident lawsuits. A Greyhound bus accident attorney in New York will be the most important person you rely on as your case moves through the justice system. There more than 4,000 destinations across Mexico, Canada and the United States served by Greyhound. Although many people believe that this is a great source of worry free travel, an alarming number of Greyhound bus crashes have led to concern. Anyone could be hurt in a bus accident, and the party managing the bus line or the driver could be held responsible. Far too many of the most common causes of bus accidents are due to negligence.
If you or someone you know was recently harmed while riding a Greyhound bus, or if you have had to bury a loved one in a fatal Greyhound accident, you have the right to pursue for monetary compensation. The usual tactics engaged in by major corporations applies to Greyhound as well and they will often dispatch their legal teams and investigation teams to minimize their liability as soon as possible.
This can be an overwhelming experience for an accident victim, who simply wants his or her medical bills paid. It is important to speak with a Greyhound bus accident lawyer in New York, who has a proven track record of success; carrying out comprehensive investigations on behalf of victims.
There are many different types of compensation to which you may be entitled in a successful Greyhound accident claim, be it in settlement outside of court or in litigation. These include hospital bills, lost income, medical therapy, emotional anguish and any other losses that are directly tied to your injuries. Many of the Greyhound driver fatigue rules in recent accident claims are not being appropriately enforced.
Although Greyhound shares that safety is their number one priority as a company, a CNN investigation found that the bus line does not employ or enforce their own rules designed to prevent driver fatigue. This is a rule that stipulates that a driver should stop every 150 miles and get out to inspect the vehicle to ward off fatigue problems. Drivers are encouraged to stretch their muscles, do some exercises and get fresh air, but a review conducted by CNN found that the company does not enforce this rule in a broad range. The company argued in a recent lawsuit that they are unable to enforce these G40 rules because it would cost them money. Many cases have led to multi-million-dollar awards for people who have been seriously injured. You can expect that a passenger will be asked to provide a recorded statement immediately after the incident has occurred, answering questions about the moments leading up to the crash. You should not anticipate that anything carried out by Greyhound or their insurance company is in your best interests or will protect you going forward. Rather you need to have your own attorney review everything and provide you with further information about how to best protect yourself in this overwhelming situation.
On August 28, 2006, a Greyhound Lines, Inc. bus headed from New York to Montreal, Canada was involved in a horrific accident in Westport, New York. The Greyhound bus skidded off Interstate 87, the Adirondack Northway, between Exits 30 and 31. According to a report in the New York Times, five people died in the accident. At least 30 were seriously injured and had to be transported to area hospitals. Unfortunately, bus accidents involving motor coach bus companies such as Greyhound, Trailways, Peter Pan, and Megabus that result in serious personal injury or death are far from rare. Furthermore, victims of bus accidents are not only passengers on the bus. Motor coach bus accidents also result in injury to occupants of other vehicles and sometimes to pedestrians. When such an accident is caused by the negligence of Greyhound, then the injured victims have the right seek financial compensation from Greyhound and any other negligent party. If you or a family member was injured in an accident involving a Greyhound bus, it is important to immediately contact an experienced New York Greyhound bus accident lawyer who will review the facts of your case and explain to you the process for seeking compensation from those responsible for the injuries you suffered.Common Causes of Greyhound Bus Accidents
Just like accidents involving buses from other bus companies and accidents involving other types of vehicles, there are many reasons that Greyhound buses are involved in accidents.
Driver fatigue. One of the most common causes for motor coach bus accidents is driver fatigue. Greyhound bus drivers drive long distances with few stops and few breaks. Not only has the Centers for Disease Control found fatigue to be a leading cause of bus accidents, but members of the motor coach industry have also acknowledged that driver fatigue is a problem.
In 2013 a horrific Greyhound bus accident in White Deer Township, Pennsylvania left one person dead, and several others severely injured. While traveling along a highway, the bus struck the rear of a tractor-trailer. According to Cleveland.com, while Greyhound asserted that the driver suffered a medical emergency, it was determined that it was more likely that the driver fell asleep. In fact, one injured victim received a multimillion jury verdict against Greyhound, including a significant punitive damage award based on Greyhound failing to enforce safety rules related to preventing driver fatigue.
A 2018 incident involving a Greyhound bus traveling from Phoenix to Dallas was partially captured on video. According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, passengers became worried when the bus started to swerve. Passengers reported that the driver was dozing off at the wheel and refused demands from the passengers that she pull over. Fortunately, there was no accident or injuries.
Intoxicated driving. Driving while under the influence of drug or alcohol is not just a problem with individuals driving sedans and other private vehicles. Unfortunately, it is also a problem for people who drive commercial motor coaches. As an experienced New York Greyhound bus accident lawyer will explain, there are special standards that bus companies must follow to help prevent drivers from driving while intoxicated, including adherence to federal regulations established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. For example, bus drivers must submit to random alcohol testing. Despite these rules, drivers of buses as well as other types of vehicles, continue to drive while intoxicated.
In January 2019, Erika Nixon was driving a Greyhound bus in Jackson, Mississippi, when it overturned, injuring several passengers. Passengers reported that Nixon was speeding and lost control of the bus. According to WLOX, police officers reported smelling alcohol on Nixon. A breathalyzer test confirmed their suspicions. Her blood alcohol level was.15, well over the legal limit. Nixon was arrested and charged with felony aggravated DUI.
Distracted driving. Distracted driving has become a huge problem over the last 2 decades. Seemingly everyone uses a cell phone-- even while driving. In New York it is illegal to drive while using a portable electronic device. Portable electronic devices include cell phones, tablets, PDAs and laptop computers. Prohibited activities on an electronic device include talking on a handheld phone, drafting, sending, reading, accessing, or browsing emails, text messages and websites, view or transmitting images, taking or capturing images or photos, and playing games.
Poor maintenance. If a bus is not properly maintained, it could malfunction limiting the driver's ability to properly maneuver it. Bus drivers and bus companies have a duty to inspect their vehicles to identify problems and repair any problem. Failure to do so can result in serious accidents. For example, if a bus's tires are worn, underinflated or have some other detectable defect, a blowout could occur while the bus is traveling at a high speed, causing the driver to lose control. In the case of a defective tire, not only might the bus driver be liable for injuries sustained in an accident, but the bus company, the company charged with maintenance, and the manufacturer of the tire may also be responsible. According to WashingPost.com the Westport Greyhound bus accident was precipitated by a tire blowout. If there was indeed a blowout and if Greyhound or any of its employees or contractors were negligent, if investigators determined that poor maintenance lead to the accident, Greyhound may very well be financially liable to the accident victims.
In 2015 a Greyhound bus accident was reportedly caused by faulty equipment, even though the bus had recently undergone a full maintenance check only days prior to the accident. The Atascosa County, Texas accident left 2 dead and dozens injured.
Actions of passengers. Accidents have been caused by the actions of passengers. On October 3, 2001, a passenger attacked and killed Greyhound bus driver in Tennessee, causing the bus to barrel into traffic. The resulting accident left dead and over 30 injured. In a similar type of incident the following year in California, a passenger attacked the driver, leading to the bus rolling off of an embankment. Two passengers died and several others were injured.Determining Fault
As an experienced New York Greyhound bus accident lawyer will explain, a determination of fault must be made in order to determine who is legally and financially responsible for the accident. Greyhound Lines, Inc. will only be legally responsible for an accident if the driver or some other Greyhound employee or contractor was at least partially negligent. For example, if accident scene investigators looking into the cause of the Westport accident concluded that the tires on the bus were obviously threadbare, leading to a blowout, then authorities would likely point to the negligence of Greyhound as well as the company responsible for maintaining Greyhound's buses as the cause of the accident. However, we do not represent Greyhound or anyone else associated with the Westport accident. We have no opinion as to liability.
On the other hand, if the actions of a passenger on the bus or the driver of another vehicle led to the accident, then Greyhound would not be liable.
In determining fault, investigators will review all evidence at the scene and will interview witnesses. If the bus driver received a ticket from the police indicating that the driver violated a traffic law, then that would be strong evidence of fault. For example, if the driver is charged with DUI or ticketed for running through a red light, then the court will likely conclude that the driver and Greyhound are at least partially responsible for the accident.
However, the determination of fault is not always clear. Therefore, it is important to work with a Greyhound bus accident attorney in New York who has the experience and resources to investigate the accident and interpret evidence in order to make a determination of fault.Damages
Victims of bus accidents may be entitled to received several different types of damages from those whose negligence caused the injuries through personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits. It is important to note that accident victims will only be awarded damages if their injuries are serious and damages are proven. A few bumps and bruises will not be enough to sustain a personal injury claim.
- Medical expenses. The negligent party may be required to compensate the victims for their medical bills because the victims would not have accumulated such medical bills if they were not injured in the accident. Thus, the law requires that negligent party pay the medical expenses. This includes not only the medical bills that accumulated prior to filing the lawsuit, but medical bills accumulated since the lawsuit was filed as well as future medical bills. The victim must be able to tie the medical bills to the accident. Common medical bills related to vehicle accidents include emergency room treatment, hospital stays, visits to doctors, including specialists, therapy and rehabilitation, durable medical equipment such as a wheelchair, and prescriptions. To prove medical expenses, it is important that you keep detailed records of your medical expenses such as bills from doctors, receipts from any payments made, and correspondence from your health insurer. This documentation will be critical for you to recover not only your past medical expenses, but your future medical expenses.
- Lost wages and reduction in earning capacity. Victims of accident who are seriously injured typically miss work. In some instances, it a few days or a couple of weeks. In other instances it is several weeks or several months. Some injuries that victims suffer as so severe that the victim is never able to return to the same job or any job. Missing work puts a financial strain on victim and his or her family. The law recognizes that the financial burden should not rest on the shoulder of the victim. Instead, the person or company responsible for the accident should be responsible. Thus, the law allows the victim to seek damages based on lost wages, lost compensation, and diminished earning capacity that result from being injured due to another’s negligent behavior.
- Pain and suffering. The court may have also awarded damages to bus accident victims based on the physical and mental anguish they experienced due to their injuries and period of recovery. Pain and suffering can be based on the severity of your injury or whether your injury is permanent. For example, if you end up with a large, noticeable scar on your arm or face, a permanent limp, or an amputation, that will be a factor the court will consider in determining the amount of compensation you should receive for pain and suffering.
- Punitive damages. Punitive are not always awarded. They are reserved for cases in which the court determines that the actions of the at fault part are so reckless that the that person should be punished and ordered to pay additional damages. For example, a driver who is drunk and causes an accident may be ordered to pay punitive damages because it is foreseeable that driving drunk could lead to serious injury or death.
- Wrongful death. In the Westport Greyhound bus accident 5 people were killed. Undoubtedly, their relatives sought compensation for the loss of their loved ones. If your relative was killed in a bus accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for medical expenses, your loved one's pain and suffering and lost wages. In addition, compensation may be awarded to you for loss of consortium. Generally, only a spouse, child or parent would be able to seek damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Greyhound Lines, Inc. buses are not inherently dangerous. Nor are drivers of Greyhound Lines buses generally incompetent or negligent. However, those injured in Greyhound Lines bus accidents do have the legal right to hold the responsible party legally accountable whether it is the driver, the company, a passenger, another driver, or someone else. Claims based on injuries in a bus accident can be complicated. It is important that you contact an experienced Greyhound bus accident attorney serving New York to discuss your case. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience successfully representing victims of vehicle accidents who suffered catastrophic injuries. Contact us at 800.NY.NY.LAW (800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Brooklyn, Long Island, Suffolk County, Queens, Staten Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Bronx, and Westchester County.