Edison Bus Accident Attorney
If you live in Edison, then you probably already know that it’s most famous as the former home of Thomas Edison’s research laboratory. However, as one of Middlesex County’s largest towns, Edison is also home to thriving businesses, especially along Essex Avenue and U.S. Route 1, the longest north-south road in the United States.
As a result, some individuals who live in bustling towns like Edison depend on buses as their primary mode of transportation. Additionally, New Jersey Transit has bus routes that connect Edison to the rest of the state. Taking the bus—whether public, school, or otherwise—is often hailed as one of the safest forms of transportation.
While this is true, bus accidents do occur, and the vast majority of them are preventable. Negligent bus drivers, bus companies, and motor vehicle drivers can all cause dangerous bus accidents, which may result in severe injuries and fatalities.
Suffering injuries from a bus accident can be a monumental life event that introduces multiple types of trauma to accident victims. Beyond the physical pain of injury and recovery, accident victims must cope with the emotional stress of an injury, lost income from missing work, and increased medical expenses from treatment for their injuries.
If you were in a bus accident in or around Edison, consult a qualified bus accident attorney who can help you with your personal injury claim. Bus drivers and bus companies must comply with numerous regulations on the road, insurance policies covering buses are often large, and bus accidents typically injure multiple people. All of this makes bus accident claims highly complex.
Contact the Edison Bus Accident lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, for a free case evaluation at (732) 287-6890 to determine your eligibility for recovering damages related to your injuries and learn about your options going forward.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, Advocates for Bus Accident Victims
The qualified personal injury attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, have over four decades of experience advocating for injured accident victims, including those who have suffered injuries in bus accidents. The firm’s commitment to case preparation, seeking justice, and client service has led to the recovery of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for its clients.
A recent bus accident case the firm handled resulted in a jury verdict of $5.7 million for the client. A young boy broke into an unattended bus and released the emergency brake, causing the bus to start moving. The runaway bus struck our client’s eight-year old daughter, whose body became pinned under one of the wheels. Tragically, the young girl died, devastating her entire family. The court awarded $5 million to the parents and $700,000 to the girl’s brother, who almost became a victim himself.
This case serves as an example and does not guarantee a favorable outcome in your bus accident case. Each accident has distinct facts that determine its value for the court and insurance adjusters. Regardless, the legal team at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, diligently pursues the best outcome for all of our clients given their specific circumstances.
“Great experience with skilled legal individuals that know what they are doing.” -Nesha G.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, Represents Individuals With Severe Bus Accident Injuries
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the Federal agency responsible for regulating commercial vehicles, including buses. FMCSA estimates that over 15,000 bus accidents occur on the nation’s roads and highways each year, resulting in about 25,000 injured people. Injured bus accident victims may suffer a wide array of injuries depending on the circumstances of the accident.
For example, higher speeds typically lead to more severe injuries, head-on collisions lead to different injuries than T-bone accidents or bus rollovers, and victims might be passengers on the bus or in another vehicle. Also, keep in mind that buses are bigger than passenger vehicles, which means buses also weigh more and create more force upon impact.
Examples of bus accident injuries that can lead to a personal injury lawsuit include:
- Fractures. A broken bone or two isn’t often a case for a personal injury lawsuit, especially under New Jersey’s no-fault insurance laws. However, multiple breaks in the same bone or multiple fractures throughout the body can cause victims to experience permanent complications. These injuries might heal, but it’s unlikely that the affected areas will ever be the same as before the accident. These types of fractures also often require painful surgeries that can include reconstruction with steel plates, screws, and pins, whether temporary or permanent. Even after successful surgery and extensive recovery, victims might suffer chronic discomfort, pain, and arthritis for years to come.
- Brain injuries. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is among the most serious injuries a bus accident victim can experience. Even so-called mild brain injuries may cope with symptoms and struggles for the rest of their lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the long-term impact of a TBI is similar to a chronic disease. Bus accident victims who suffer a severe brain injury from a direct or indirect head trauma have to cope with lasting effects. The CDC reports that TBIs affect four main areas of function: cognitive function, motor function, sensation, and behavior. The effects of a TBI can seep into all aspects of a victim’s life, impacting them physically, emotionally, and socially.
- Soft tissue neck injuries. The impact of a bus accident can cause a person’s neck to rapidly move back and forth, which causes soft tissue damage. This damage, commonly referred to as whiplash, is the most common injury that occurs in a traffic accident. Mild whiplash heals quickly, but more severe cases can leave victims with lifelong chronic headaches, shoulder pain, neck pain, and more. In severe cases of whiplash, the symptoms can also include lower back pain or arm pain. The extent of a whiplash injury depends on which tissues in the neck were damaged, how severely they were damaged, and whether or not vertebrae, discs, or the cervical spinal cord suffered damage, as well.
- Back injuries. Bus accident victims who suffer back injuries potentially face a lifetime of pain or discomfort. The impact of a collision causes the body to move into all types of weird positions, which can lead to broken vertebrae and herniated discs and other injuries along the spine. Individuals who suffer severe back injuries typically require one or more surgeries to correct the problems caused by their injuries. Even after a surgery that doctors deem successful, many back injury victims must diligently follow a pain management regimen, which can include cortisone injections, highly addictive painkillers, and special implanted devices.
- Spinal cord injuries. Often referred to as the most costly of all injuries, spinal cord injuries typically result in lifelong complications, at the very least. Unfortunately, many spinal cord injury victims experience some loss of function, but those who suffer severe injuries can lose all function from the neck down, known as tetraplegia. The brain, spinal cord, and nerves make up the body’s central nervous system. The spinal cord, which is actually a bundle of nerves, transmits signals to and from the brain from the rest of the body. This means spinal cord injuries that occur close to the brain cause more loss than those that occur near the tailbone. Many spinal cord injury victims suffer permanent damage, some of which can result in a lifetime of wheelchair confinement. When families cannot care for a spinal injury victim, he or she might need to live in a long-term care facility.
- Amputation. Fortunately, amputations don’t occur often. However, amputation of a limb after a bus accident usually warrants a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. Bus accidents can cause passengers and those in other vehicles to get pinned in their cars, under a seat, or under the bus. If too much time passes, crushed limbs begin to die and get cut off from receiving blood flow from the rest of the body. Tragically, doctors cannot always restore blood flow and, in that case, must choose to amputate to save a victim’s life. Amputees must deal with permanent scarring and disfigurement in addition to the mental trauma of losing an arm or leg.
Bus Accidents Are Preventable
We refer to traffic collisions as accidents, even though they aren’t really accidental. Usually, bus drivers, bus companies, and other potentially liable parties make choices that directly or indirectly lead to bus accidents. Even poor weather isn’t enough to deem a collision accidental. Rather, driver response or poor maintenance can make driving in poor weather treacherous. Injuries and fatalities from bus accidents occur because of negligence or intentional harm.
Some causes of bus accidents include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving without proper rest or sleep
- Texting and driving
- Driving while distracted—distractions include eating and drinking, daydreaming, adjusting climate controls, adjusting radios, and programming a GPS.
- Passing improperly
- Failing to yield to others on the road
- Following too closely, especially in inclement weather
- Speeding or driving too fast for traffic or weather conditions
- Defective buses or bus parts
- Poor preventative maintenance leading to failed brake systems, tire blowouts, and other mechanical failures
- Overloading a bus past its capacity
- Poorly maintained roads
- Malfunctioning traffic control devices
Seeking Damages After an Edison Bus Accident
New Jersey law allows for bus accident victims to seek damages for losses related to their accidents and injuries in civil court if another party’s careless choices, negligence, or intentional actions caused the accident. If you reach a settlement with the insurance company involved in the claim or the court rules in your favor, you can receive compensation for the following losses related to your injuries:
- Medical treatment costs not covered by your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, including ambulance and emergency services, hospital stay, surgery, diagnostic imaging, followup care, and prescriptions
- Future medical treatment expenses for catastrophic bus accident injuries, which require ongoing treatment and/or nursing care in a long-term residential care facility
- Costs for rehabilitation, including visits to physical therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, and others who can help bus accident victims regain lost function and cope with the physical and mental aspects of a permanent disability
- Costs for assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, crutches, canes, and artificial limbs
- Lost wages for missing work due to a bus accident, injuries, hospitalization, and treatment
- Lost earning capacity when a bus accident causes a catastrophic injury prohibiting a return to work or seeking any other gainful employment
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium with a spouse
- Loss of quality of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Punitive damages in cases of gross negligence and intentional harm for up to five times the amount of other damages or $350,000, whichever is greater
If you lost a loved one from fatal injuries suffered in a bus accident, you should determine your eligibility to seek compensation for your losses, which will depend on your relationship with the deceased. New Jersey law permits eligible survivors to seek compensation in a wrongful death claim. Claimants may recover some of the previously listed damages, including any costs that they absorbed for a memorial service, visitation, or funeral, as well as costs for burial or cremation.
If you lost a loved one in a bus accident, an experienced Edison bus accident lawyers can determine the viability of a wrongful death suit and advise you on the best course of action for you and your family.
Edison Bus Accident Frequently Asked Questions
Whether your accident involved a school bus, a transit bus, or an intercity bus, seeking compensation for injuries can be complex. Here are some questions that our Edison, New Jersey clients frequently ask about bus accident claims.
Edison Bus Accident FAQs
Like much of the northeastern U.S., Edison is home to commuters. More than 13 percent of Edison commuters rely on mass transit to get to work each day. Besides adults, children also travel through Edison on buses.
The Edison Township Public Schools provide free bus service for elementary and middle school children who live more than two miles from their school. High school students living more than 2.5 miles from the school also have access to bus transportation. The high level of commuting means that many large, hard-to-maneuver vehicles travel on congested Edison roadways.
Additionally, Edison has experienced bus driver shortages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Driver shortages cause competition between trucking companies and other public transit providers for licensed drivers. They also lead drivers to make risky decisions, like driving while tired or ill or working before receiving adequate safety training.
Edison bus accident victims can seek compensation for their losses through personal injury claims. If you hire a bus accident lawyer, they will begin by submitting a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance provider. This demand outlines the accident, documents expenses, and requests compensation. Upon receiving this demand, an insurance adjuster analyzes the claim and decides whether to deny the claim or offer the victim compensation.
The at-fault party’s insurance adjuster works to help the insurance company avoid large payouts. To do so, they may engage in some questionable tactics. If the victim does not have a lawyer and does not understand how much compensation they should receive, the adjuster may take advantage of this to devalue or deny the claim. Having a lawyer on your side to advocate for you can help you avoid these tactics.
Upon receiving the demand, the insurance adjuster can either choose to pay the claim, offer an out-of-court settlement for an amount less than the claim’s value, or deny the claim. Your bus accident lawyer can negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company. However, if the insurance refuses to offer fair compensation, your lawyer can file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf.
Not necessarily. Only 4 to 5 percent of all personal injury claims in the U.S. go to trial; most claims settle before they ever see the inside of a courtroom. A party can make or accept a settlement offer during litigation as long as the court has not decided the matter. All parties have valid reasons to avoid litigation, including expenses and uncertain trial outcomes.
There is no way to determine which claims will wind up in court, and it is an important option to have if the insurance provider refuses to compensate you fairly. You want to have the assistance of a lawyer who is comfortable fighting for your right to compensation, whether in negotiations or courtroom litigation.
In New Jersey, the time limit for filing a personal injury lawsuit is usually within two years of the injury date. However, there are different rules for filing a claim against a public entity. When filing a claim against a public entity, the victim must submit a notice to the appropriate government agency within 90 days of the accident.
Because public entities operate many buses, the shorter time limit often applies in bus accident cases. The rules for filing may change or be different in your area, so speak with a lawyer near you to find out when you need to file your claim.
If a bus accident in Edison injured you, speak with an experienced bus accident lawyer as soon as possible to protect your right to file a lawsuit. If you cannot file a lawsuit, the insurance provider has little reason to offer you a fair settlement, meaning you could lose out on your opportunity to obtain compensation for your losses.
Liability is the legal responsibility a negligent at-fault party has to compensate others for their related losses.
The many potential sources of liability in bus accident cases include:
- The transit authority that operates the buses and provides commercial passenger vehicle insurance
- The bus driver whose negligent actions caused an accident
- Other drivers whose negligent actions caused a bus accident
- The bus driver’s employer or the owner of the bus that must ensure the driver has proper training and licenses
To prove who is liable for the bus accident that resulted in your injuries, you must establish:
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care to operate their vehicle safely and legally.
- The at-fault party breached the duty of care by acting unsafely or illegally. For example, a bus driver who drives while impaired by alcohol breaches the duty of care. Or, another driver who attempts to pass a stopped bus with its lights flashing and its stop arm extended breaches the duty of care.
- The breach caused an Edison bus accident which injured you.
- Your injuries resulted in losses.
If your loved one died in an Edison bus accident, you could seek compensation for your loss through a wrongful death claim.
A personal representative files a wrongful death claim for the estate on behalf of the family members, which can result in compensation for:
- The loss of financial support provided by the decedent to their loved ones
- Loss of care, companionship, instruction, and guidance
- The value of household services that the decedent performed that family members must now do or hire to have done
- The decedent’s final medical costs, as well as the costs of a funeral, burial, or cremation
As with other bus accident claims, the statute of limitations in New Jersey for wrongful death claims is generally two years. However, it can be shorter if the liable party is a public entity.
If a known hazard on the bus or at a bus stop caused your slip and fall, you could seek compensation under a theory of premises liability. Premises liability laws require the property owner to inspect the property for hazards that could injure guests.
The owner or possessor must promptly mitigate hazards or place a prominent warning nearby. Because buses transport the public, drivers must ensure that aisles and stairways are free from liquid, debris, or other obstacles that could cause a guest to slip, trip, and fall.
Individuals injured on a bus or at a bus station in the following ways should speak with an experienced Edison bus accident lawyer about filing a bus accident claim:
- Accidents resulting from a known hazard such as heavy, fast-moving traffic or known criminal activity at the location where the bus driver drops a passenger off
- Accidents caused by unruly passengers on the bus or those permitted to enter the bus with a weapon
- Injuries to bicyclists or pedestrians resulting from a traffic collision involving a bus
- Accidents injuring the occupants of other vehicles as a result of the bus driver’s negligence
Many people hesitate to hire a lawyer to help them seek compensation because they fear they cannot afford one. However, bus accident lawyers generally work on a contingent fee basis. Under a contingency fee agreement, you do not pay for your legal team’s services until your claim reaches a favorable outcome through a negotiated settlement or a court award.
You enter a contingent fee agreement when you and your lawyer decide to begin working together on your claim. The agreement outlines the services your legal team will provide and the payment terms, which usually constitute a percentage of your settlement or award.
After resolving your case, your lawyer will collect your compensation. They will deduct the agreed-upon percentage for their services, pay any other debts they contractually agreed to settle for you, and forward the remainder of the settlement or award to you.
Bus accident lawyers also generally provide a free case evaluation. During the evaluation, you talk to the lawyer about your claim, ask questions about the process, and learn more about their services.
Most bus drivers must obtain a commercial driver’s license and comply with federal regulations. Because buses are so much larger than other vehicles on New Jersey roadways, they carry hefty insurance policies. The number of federal rules and regulations bus drivers must follow also complicates bus accident claims.
The experienced Edison bus accident lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP have extensive resources to help us attain successful results for our clients. For your free case evaluation, call us or contact us online.
Contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, After an Edison Bus Accident
The skilled legal team at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, is here to help you in the wake of a bus accident. We have the experience and the resources to investigate your case, devise a strategy against the defendant, and handle negotiations and communications with insurance companies, while you focus on rehabilitation and recovery. We also fight for our clients in the courtroom, especially when liable parties don’t want to offer fair compensation.
If you live in or near Edison and have suffered injuries in a bus accident, contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, online, visit our Edison office at 1929 Route 27, open a live chat with us, or call us at (732) 287-6890 for a free case evaluation to discuss your bus accident and resulting injuries.
Edison, NJ 08817
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“I’m really grateful for the settlement my lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers helped me to obtain. I was badly hurt when another driver crashed into my card. The driver was carelessly. My team at Jacoby & Meyers didn’t let the reckless driver get away with it. I’m really glad I made the call to Jacoby & Meyers and would suggest anyone hurt in a car crash do the same.”
Review by: Jose V.
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