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Rear-end bus collision raises questions involving driver's negligence

Mass transit serves an important purpose in crowded municipal centers like New York City. From a policy perspective, public transportation offers both efficiency and safety. Fuel resources are allocated among dozens of riders, rather than individuals. Mass transit operators are also often subject to additional safety requirements, such as employer-provided training, municipal and/or state regulations, and licensing.

These are some of the reasons why thousands of New Yorkers elect options like the subway or buses, and why school districts offer school buses to students. Unfortunately, when a public transportation accident occurs, the number of injured passengers can be much higher than other types of motor vehicle accidents.

In a recent example, a school bus collided into another school bus on the Palisades Interstate Parkway north of New York City. Between 40 to 60 students required attention at nearby hospitals for minor injuries. Officials are still investigating the cause of the rear-end collision.

A mass transit accident may implicate special issues of personal injury law. The preliminary question is whether another driver's negligent actions caused the accident. If yes, the next question is whether the driver's employer might also be liable, perhaps for failing to adequately train the employee or keep equipment properly maintained. A bus driver must also have a special driver's license, which may be another area to examine.

Next is an investigation of causation, where an attorney will look for evidence of negligence behind the wheel. Our law firm has the experience and resources to conduct such an investigation, even consulting with accident reconstruction experts when necessary to build a persuasive trial narrative.

Source: Fox News, "Dozens of students injured in school bus accident on New York parkway," Oct. 17, 2016

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