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Brooklyn Bus Accidents Lawyer

Buses provide a vital transportation link in Brooklyn and surrounding boroughs. Each day, millions of New Yorkers step onto an MTA bus to get to school or work or to run errands. Thousands more ride private buses into Brooklyn as tourists or business visitors. With so many buses on the road, collisions with pedestrians or motorists are unavoidable. These wrecks leave many people with serious, sometimes life-altering injuries.

If you or a loved one was hurt in a bus accident, do not hesitate to call or reach out online. The O’Connor Law Firm is available to meet for a free case evaluation any day of the week.

Types of Bus Accidents

Our legal team has helped clients injured in all sorts of bus accidents, including:

  • Rear-end collisions. A bus can crash into the back of a vehicle stopped in front of it. In some situations, the bus might even ride up over the car, at least into the back seat. These accidents are often deadly to motorists.
  • Head-on collisions. A bus can weave or drift into an adjoining lane and slam head-on into oncoming traffic. Head-on collisions, even at relatively low speeds, are very dangerous.
  • Rollovers. Because a bus is long and thin, it is less stable than other vehicles. A bus could roll onto its side when the driver makes a sudden movement or if the bus is “tripped” by something, such as a gravel shoulder.
  • Single bus accidents. Some buses crash without being struck by anything. Often, the bus is cut off by a motorist and the bus driver takes defensive action, sending everyone into a ditch.
  • Pedestrian accidents. Buses and pedestrians do not mix, especially in areas with heavy foot traffic like Brooklyn. Some bus operators do not look for pedestrians and strike them when backing up or when making a turn. Many pedestrians die because of the force generated in these types of crashes.
  • Sudden or abrupt stops. Sometimes bus operators will forget a passenger has pressed the stop button and hit the brakes too hard and too fast, causing the bus to come to a sudden and violent stop sending passengers falling to the floor of the bus causing serious injuries.

These are some of the more common accidents involving buses. If you were hurt, contact our Brooklyn attorney to review your case.

Driver Error Causes Many Bus Accidents

Most accidents are probably caused by driver negligence or error. Driving a bus is difficult to work. Like everyone else, bus drivers sometimes are not as careful as they should be. They can cause collisions because they are:

  • Tailgating
  • Driving too fast for conditions
  • Driving while fatigued
  • Chemically impaired
  • Driving aggressively
  • Passing illegally
  • Driving while distracted
  • Failing to yield

Sometimes, the bus driver is not to blame. Instead, a different motorist out on the road could crash into a bus or cut them off, causing an accident. These drivers are careless or negligent as well.

Other Causes of Bus Accidents

As an experienced attorney, Brian J. O’Connor knows the importance of establishing liability. To that end, he carefully reviews the factual record to identify all causes of the collision.

In addition to driver error, some accidents are caused by a defect on the bus. This could be a design defect or manufacturing defect. Often, a component part could malfunction, causing the bus to become uncontrollable. 

Alternatively, poor maintenance could be at fault. A careful mechanic should identify problems and fix them competently. When service is lacking, the bus becomes dangerous.

Other collisions might stem from a road defect. Unclear markings, missing stop signs, and large potholes can contribute to collisions. If so, the entity responsible for the road bears some liability for your accident.

How to Sue for Compensation

The person or entity responsible for the crash should pay compensation to injured victims. If a bus driver was to blame, then under New York law you can typically hold his employer automatically responsible. This is the law of “vicarious liability,” and it means that you can bring a claim against the bus company.

If you were injured on a city bus, then suing the Transit Authority or MTA Bus Company might be the right step. However, bringing any type of municipal claim is a challenge because the process is much different than if you were hit by a Greyhound or another private bus.

For example, when suing the government, a victim must file a “notice of claim” within 90 days of the accident, otherwise, they cannot sue in court. The notice allows the government time to investigate and possibly settle the claim.

Seeking Compensation for Serious Accidents

Any number of people are hurt in bus accidents. Passengers in both the bus and a vehicle on the road could suffer traumatic injuries. Many buses do not have seat belts, so riders get tossed around during any type of crash. They can hurt themselves when they strike another passenger or the floor.

Some of the more serious injuries victims suffer in bus crashes include:

Compensation should be commensurate to our client’s losses. For example, the injuries listed above often require expensive medical treatment, including ongoing rehabilitation. If the injury is permanent, then our clients will need continuing care, such as at-home assistance or prosthetics.

We can also seek compensation for lost income and property damage. These losses are often considerable. As an example, your vehicle might have been completely totaled, in which case you are entitled to a replacement.

Pain and Suffering & Other Losses

Not all losses suffered in a bus accident are monetary in nature. Serious collisions often cause devastating, sometimes permanent injuries which dramatically impede a person’s wellbeing. These kinds of losses are worthy of compensation under New York personal injury law.

After surviving a collision, some of our clients cannot walk. They might be unable to sleep and either sink into depression or suffer from anxiety whenever they are in a vehicle. Some cannot leave their homes and, consequently, withdraw socially from friends.

These negative consequences deserve compensation. Our Brooklyn bus accident lawyer can seek monetary damages for pain, suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and disfigurement or disability.

How Our Firm Can Help You

Bringing a bus accident claim is not the same as suing for a car wreck. When another passenger sedan slams into you, there is often little debate about liability. An insurance company might drag its feet, but it ultimately will settle when liability is clear.

Bus accidents present different challenges. For one, you might have no idea who is to blame for the wreck. An investigation might open, involving the police and other government officials to try and pinpoint exactly what happened. Accident victims need their own advocate if they hope to bring a successful claim.

Evidence is often hard to find in bus accidents. Neither the MTA nor private bus companies want to hand over information concerning their fleet maintenance or the employment history of their drivers. But this information can be critical when assessing liability for your crash. Let us obtain the evidence you need to make out a proper claim for compensation.

Another difference involves the amount of liability the bus company is facing. When dozens of people are hurt, the company is looking at a large settlement. Accordingly, they might fight more aggressively to reduce the total amount of compensation they pay.

Speak with a Brooklyn Bus Accident Lawyer Today

Brian J. O’Connor has the experience and resources necessary to represent bus accident victims in Brooklyn. If you call, he will meet for a confidential case evaluation to review the severity of your injuries and other facts, such as who is at fault for the crash. Call our firm today or send an email. 

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Take the First Step, I Look Forward to Helping You.