New York City is one of the most hectic cities in the world, traffic-wise. Transportation data giant, INRIX, ranks the Big Apple the second most traffic-congested city in America and the third-most congested in the world. Myriad problems accompany that distinction, including frequent motor vehicle-related accidents and serious or fatal injuries. Public transportation eases the strain of navigating the city by car, but traveling by MTA bus, school bus, and private bus can present its own risks.
The size of buses makes accidents involving them more serious than other motor vehicle collisions. Buses weigh 10,000 pounds and more. While the mass of a bus gives bus passengers a protective advantage in some cases, it often leads to catastrophic injuries and fatalities for pedestrians and occupants of vehicles the bus strikes. Bus accident victims require lifetime medical treatment and create overwhelming financial and emotional burdens.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration annually documents national bus accident data. Its most recent Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts publication confirms that bus accidents are rare. Of 976,161 buses registered countrywide, just 227 were involved in crashes last year, resulting in 264 fatalities. Bus accidents cause injuries and fatalities at a far lower rate than auto and passenger truck crashes. That is, however, little consolation for injured victims and families who must live with the consequences.
Bus Companies Should Pay for the Damages They Cause
Ivan M. Diamond believes that even a single bus injury or fatality is one too many. It is this belief that drives him to represent victims of personal injury exclusively, working hard to preserve their rights and recover every penny of compensation they deserve. Attorney Diamond understands the heavy physical, emotional, and financial toll personal injuries can take on victims and their families. His mission is to help injured New Yorkers recover from their trauma.
Bus accidents happen infrequently, but when they do, they cause catastrophic injuries and fatalities. Bus passengers can sustain serious injuries but pedestrians and private passenger vehicle occupants are even more at risk. When a smaller vehicle collides with a bus, serious injuries are usually inevitable. The 10-year NHSTA School Transportation Study shows that 70 percent of fatal bus crash victims were in another vehicle, 20 percent were pedestrians, and 9 percent were riding bicycles.
Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems 2018 statistics document vehicular accidents as the cause of 51 percent of traumatic brain injuries. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center 2018 SCI Data Sheet confirms vehicle accidents as a causative factor in 38.3 percent of spinal cord injuries. The size and weight of the vehicles involved are critical factors in causing these catastrophic injuries. When a large bus strikes a much smaller vehicle, bicyclist, or pedestrian, the weight-driven impact causes these and other injuries:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back, neck, and spine injuries
- Severe soft tissue tears and strains
- Shattered or fractured bones
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Internal damage
- Loss of bodily functions
- Severe Burns
Who Is Liable for a Bus Accident?
New York statutes hold a vehicle owner and operator financially responsible for death or injury resulting from negligence. Sometimes the evidence indicates several potentially responsible parties in a bus accident:
- Driver: A bus driver’s actions behind the wheel, and also negligent maintenance, improper inspections, and drive time violations cause accidents.
- Employer: A common carrier/employer, school system or an independent transportation company are liable for their driver’s actions and for damage caused by vehicles they own and control. If an employer knew about a driver’s adverse record or safety issues, they are responsible for negligent hiring and negligent entrustment.
- Bus owner: When a school or transport company leases a bus, the owner shares liability for maintenance issues or defects.
- Maintenance contractor: A maintenance company is responsible for improper or inadequate fleet care and maintenance.
- Bus manufacturer: A manufacturer is legally liable for accidents caused by bus defects.
- Contractual liability: Owners, lessors, and other parties sometimes transfer their liability via hold harmless and indemnification arrangements or a duty to defend agreement.
What Damages Can I Recover for Bus Accident Injuries?
Personal injury settlements usually include economic damages and general damages.
Economic damages include expenses incurred and projected future losses.
- Lost income
- Diminished income capabilities
- Medical expenses
- Prosthetics and mobility devices
- Physical Therapy
- Transportation costs
- Home care and services
General damages compensate for an injured person’s emotional and psychological losses. They include these and other factors.
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional issues
- Spousal and family relationship issues
- Loss of bodily functions
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Permanent disabilities
Under certain circumstances and where an injured person proves a responsible party’s actions were wanton and reckless, or malicious, a jury may also award punitive damages.
What Defenses Do Liable Parties Allege?
Because serious and catastrophic injury bus accident matters often involve large damages claims, settlement negotiations sometimes break down. When potentially liable parties must defend themselves, they often turn to several well-worn arguments that experienced personal injury attorneys like Attorney Diamond can help clients navigate around:
- No negligence: The driver and other responsible parties try to prove they did not act in a manner likely to cause foreseeable harm to the plaintiff.
- Comparative negligence: Under New York’s “pure comparative negligence” statute, if a defendant proves the injured person’s conduct contributed to victim’s own injuries, damages will be reduced by the percentage of the victim’s fault.
- No defect: In cases in which there is evidence a vehicle defect caused a bus accident, bus manufacturers may go to great lengths to defend their product.
- Damages: When liability is difficult to dispute, responsible parties may push back on the issue of the size of damages the plaintiff should receive.
Attorney Diamond has the knowledge and experience to investigate and litigate bus accident matters in and out of New York area courts.
Contact The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond for Help With Your Bus Accident
If you or a family member were seriously injured in a bus accident in any one of the five Boroughs, Attorney Ivan M. Diamond may be able to help you recover substantial compensation. Call The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond at (718) 588-2000 or complete the contact form to schedule your free consultation.
The Law Offices of
888 Grand Concourse #1L
Ivan M. Diamond
Bronx, NY 10451
Phone: (718) 588-2000
Ivan M. Diamond is available for home and hospital visits, as well as weekend and evening appointments.
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