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Bus Accidents

If you've been injured in an accident or on the job, the attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP have the knowledge, skills, and experience required to hold the party responsible for your injury accountable.

Last Updated: 07-11-2023

New York City Municipal Bus Accident Lawyers

According to the New York Public Transit Association, more than half of all New Yorkers use public transportation. One of the city’s most popular types of public transit is municipal buses. While bus travel is generally safe, human error can sometimes lead to terrible accidents that cause devastating injuries.

If you were injured in a municipal bus accident in New York, you could be entitled to recover compensation for financial expenses and other damages you suffered in the wake of the crash. At Hach & Rose, LLP, our New York City bus accident lawyers understand the financial strain of medical bills and the rehabilitative care many accident victims face. If you can’t work while recovering, you and your family could quickly fall into debt.

You deserve a chance to hold the at-fault parties accountable if you were injured due to negligence by the bus driver, carrier, or another entity. However, bringing a claim or lawsuit against a government entity like a municipality is difficult. You will only have a small window of time to take legal action, and municipal bus companies are famous for undervaluing bus accident claims where firms aren’t willing to go to trial to fight for your rights. You need an experienced trial lawyer who isn’t afraid to litigate your case if necessary. We have successfully recovered over half a billion dollars on behalf of our clients. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Most Common Causes of New York City Municipal Bus Accidents

Numerous issues can cause municipal bus accidents, but human error and negligence usually play a role. Some of the most common causes of bus accidents in New York include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Driver fatigue
  • Intoxicated driving
  • Inexperienced drivers
  • Failure to properly train and supervise drivers
  • Negligent bus maintenance
  • Speeding
  • Reckless driving
  • Following too closely (tailgating)

Anyone can be affected by a municipal bus accident in New York, regardless of whether they use public transportation. Typical types of bus accidents include:

  • Collisions in which passengers on the bus or occupants of other vehicles are injured
  • Buses striking pedestrians or bicyclists on the street
  • The improper raising or lowering of the lift mechanism during boarding or exiting causing passengers to fall and injure themselves
  • Failure to alight, where bus drivers let passengers out in an unsafe location, where they are hit by another vehicle or fall in a pothole

Who is Liable for a New York City Municipal Bus Accident?

The primary defendant in a New York City municipal bus accident lawsuit will usually be the NYC Transit Authority. However, other municipal bus companies could potentially be held liable as well, depending on the bus involved in the accident. These include the MTA Bus Company, MABSTOA, MTA Staten Island, and other municipal bus lines in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island.

While government entities often have sovereign immunity, which protects them from civil liability if a government or city employee causes an accident, exceptions exist. Many courts do not consider entities such as cities and municipalities to have sovereign immunity. Because municipal buses are part of public transit, you should be able to bring a claim against the municipal entity that operates the bus. Still, bringing a claim against the government is complex, so it’s best to seek an attorney’s advice. To bring a successful case, you’ll need to be able to back up your injury claim with evidence.

Some common types of evidence you (or your attorney) may want to seek out include:

  • Bus camera footage – Almost all buses owned by municipal entities in New York have internal and external cameras. If the bus had these cameras, it should have captured the accident. This footage can provide irrefutable proof of fault and significantly strengthen your case.
  • Driver information – At the accident scene, you should collect identifying information such as the bus driver’s name, badge number, the bus line, and the bus route. As soon as possible after the crash, try to jot down notes about everything you can remember, including the direction the bus was traveling and the intersection closest to the accident scene.
  • Any accident reports – If a bus is involved in an accident, a dispatcher will come to the scene to conduct an internal investigation and create a report. If law enforcement is called to the scene, they will create their own accident report, including descriptions of your injuries, an initial determination of fault, and witness contact information.
  • Witness testimony – If any nearby witnesses saw the crash occur, you should ask for their contact information. Your attorney may contact them to give a statement or testify on your behalf at trial.

A skilled New York municipal bus accident lawyer can help you identify the at-fault party or parties, determine all possible sources of compensation, and prove your case in court.

How Cameras on New York City Buses Could Help Your Case

As mentioned above, New York City Transit Authority buses now have video cameras. Cameras on New York buses can provide several benefits if a crash occurs. Some of these benefits include:

  • Evidence: Cameras can capture footage of the crash, which can be used as evidence in investigations and court proceedings
  • Accountability: Cameras can help determine who was at fault for the crash, which can lead to accountability for those involved
  • Safety: Cameras can help identify and address any safety hazards on the bus, which can help prevent future crashes
  • Insurance: Footage captured by cameras can be used to support insurance claims, which can help with the financial cost of a crash
  • Deterrent: The presence of cameras may deter reckless or dangerous behavior on the bus, which can help to improve overall safety

It is imperative to take immediate legal action to ensure the responsible party will be required to preserve video footage after a crash.  Attorneys Michael Rose and Chris Cellante recently resolved a case during a trial against the New York City Transit Authority.  The bus driver initially denied failing to stop at a stop sign at the time of the accident, but after being confronted with the video evidence of the accident, the case was settled for $2,500,000.

Statute of Limitations on New York City Bus Accident Claims

In New York, most personal injury cases have a three-year statute of limitations. However, if you are suing a government entity, including a municipality, the statute of limitations is much shorter. You only have 90 days to file a notice of claim with the appropriate municipal entity. If you do not file your notice of claim within this window, you will most likely forfeit your ability to recover compensation for your medical expenses and other damages.

Injured in a Municipal Bus Accident in New York? Our Team Has the Track Record of Success You’ll Want on Your Side

The Hach & Rose LLP team has extensive experience helping those injured in bus accidents in New York. Whether you were injured while riding as a passenger on a city bus, if a bus hit you while walking or riding your bike, or if a bus hit your car, injuring you, we could help. Some example verdicts and settlements include:

$2,300,000 verdict– A bus hit our client, and the municipality refused to offer a fair settlement. We took the case to trial, and a jury awarded our client $2.3 million for their injuries.

$1,450,000 settlement – A city bus turned left in front of our client’s vehicle, striking it and forcing it into a light pole. Our client injured his back, causing severe pain and limiting his ability to work.

$525,000 after liability verdict – Secured for a client injured when a bus driver let him off the bus in an unsafe spot, resulting in him being struck by a passing automobile.

$275,000 settlement – Our client was hit by a small bus while loading a flatbed truck. After the accident, the driver of the bus fled the scene. Fortunately, a fellow motorist that witnessed the accident followed the bus after it left, and the police stopped the fleeing driver. Our client was taken to the hospital with neck and back injuries, including herniated discs.

Please visit our results page for more successful verdicts and settlements.

Contact a New York Bus Accident Lawyer Today

If you were injured in a municipal bus accident in New York, you need legal advocates prepared to go to trial and vigorously defend your rights. Contact a New York personal injury attorney at Hach & Rose, LLP today to get started on your claim. We have the resources to investigate the accident thoroughly and gather the necessary evidence to establish liability.

Our skilled litigators have extensive experience going toe-to-toe with municipal bus companies and will do everything in our power to maximize your potential compensation. Reach out to Hach & Rose, LLP today for a free consultation.

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