New Jersey Bus Accident Attorney

Large and sturdy vehicles make us feel safe as a passenger. When that same vehicle gets into an accident on New Jersey roads, however, the results can be terrifying.

As a bus passenger, you may not wear a seat belt, so you get tossed around. If you are in another vehicle, getting struck by the sheer weight of a bus can cause life-altering injuries.

When this happens to you or to a loved one, you deserve legal representation from a New Jersey bus accident attorney that puts your best interests at heart. You also have many questions about what to do next, how to pay your medical bills, and how to protect yourself.

Our experienced team of  at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, can help. We have many years of experience helping bus accident injury victims in New Jersey, just like you. Figuring out what to do next is confusing, but with support from the compassionate team at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, the complex personal injury process becomes easier to overcome.

Types of New Jersey Bus Accidents

Whether you regularly take public transportation, or you drive to work or around New Jersey every day, you are likely to encounter buses. When buses come into contact with other vehicles, the results are often devastating. Because of the sheer size and weight of buses, they can destroy other cars, and potentially ruin lives.

100 fatalities per year regularly cause accidents:

  • School buses account for 40 percent of fatal crashes
  • Transit buses account for 35 percent of fatal crashes
  • Intercity buses account for 13 percent of fatal crashes

All of these buses are large and heavy, which means they cause serious damage when they are involved in an accident. In New Jersey, there are100 fatalities per year. These buses range in type, but can all cause you injury.

New Jersey Bus Accident Causes

School buses account for about 100 fatalities per year. Children do not wear seat belts on a school bus. When the bus is involved in an accident, the impact can toss the children around the vehicle, causing deadly injuries. Most of these accidents are preventable, but knowing where to place blame can present challenges.

Bus Driver Negligence

Bus drivers hold the lives of their passengers in their hands. The law requires bus drivers to complete and pass special certification to get a bus driver’s license. But this does not mean they are immune to causing accidents.

Bus drivers, like pilots, may not operate the bus for extended periods of time. They must also abide by speed limits, traffic signals, and the same rules of the road that you do when you drive your car. Sometimes, bus drivers are distracted by a text, a passenger, or another accident. Sometimes, however, the driver was poorly trained and that means the bus owner could also be to blame.

Bus Company Negligence

When a bus driver is negligent, usually their employer is, too. The law requires bus companies to make sure their drivers are well trained, properly licensed, and their fleet of buses regularly receives maintenance.

Not all bus companies play by the rules. When they don’t, you could end up in the hospital. Bus companies may:

  • Avoid training drivers
  • Not properly screen drivers
  • Fail to maintain buses
  • Fail to address maintenance issues

Bad Weather

You may think if bad weather is to blame, then you are out of luck, because you can’t bring a personal injury claim against the weather. The truth, however, is that weather doesn’t cause many accidents—it’s the choices that people make when driving in inclement weather that cause accidents.

Bad weather requires careful driving by a trained professional. If the bus driver drives too fast or without proper training for the bad weather conditions, the driver and the bus company could face liability for your injuries.

In many bus accident cases, you may not know if the bus driver, bus company, or both are liable for your injuries. That’s why you need our trusted New Jersey bus accident lawyers. Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, can review the facts and help you determine who to hold accountable for your suffering.

Common Bus Accident Injuries

Buses are extremely large and heavy vehicles. When they come to a sudden and abrupt stop, they can inflict serious injury on passengers of the bus and of other vehicles. In fact, people in smaller vehicles often find themselves with worse injuries than passengers on the bus.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a bus accident, whether while riding a bus or in another vehicle, you may face serious injuries, including:

  • Whiplash
  • Broken bones
  • Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Amputation
  • Burns

Your injuries, even seemingly minor ones, may come with substantial medical bills. When you face recovery from a bus injury, the last thing you need to worry about is how to pay your bills. That should be the responsibility of the at-fault party.

To help keep you focused, work with a seasoned bus accident lawyer in New Jersey. When you do, you can get help holding the negligent party liable for your injuries so you do not have to pay out of pocket.

Government Claims Present Unique Challenges

Generally, buses are owned by private companies called common carriers. They have a duty of care to you and other drivers and passengers on the road. When they breach that duty, they can be held liable for the accident and your resulting injuries.

Sometimes, your bus accident involves the government. This happens when you are involved in an accident with a city bus or other transit bus owned by the city or state. Filing a personal injury claim against the government is a complex and time consuming process. But this should not prevent you from taking action to protect your rights.

When you file a claim after a city bus accident, your claim may receive a denial. This happens because governments do not have the same rules as private companies, so they may deny your claim under different standards. It’s hard to know when the government rules apply and when they don’t, and that’s why you may need a lawyer at your side to help you overcome these challenges and hold the government liable for your accident and your subsequent injuries. Don’t try this alone.

Steps to Take After Your New Jersey Bus Accident

The steps you take immediately following your bus accident can play an important role in your ability to recover compensation for your injuries.

Following these steps may help you recover faster and get back to your regular life.

  1. Call 911. After any accident where there are injuries, it’s a good idea to call for help. When the police arrive, they may speak with you and with witnesses. They may also create a diagram of the bus accident in a police report. This objective report can help show who is to blame for the accident and your injuries.
  2. Do not refuse medical help. When the police arrive, they may bring medical personnel with them. Do not refuse their help. Your adrenaline is pumping and you may have injuries you do not know about. After your bus accident, go see your regular doctor. They can give you a full evaluation and may want to see you frequently to ensure your recovery is progressing.
  3. Take pictures and speak to witnesses. If you are able, take pictures of the bus accident. You want pictures of the bus, any other vehicles, the entire accident scene, and your injuries. These images can help paint a picture of your pain and suffering. Also, speak with witnesses. Some people will not wait around to speak with the police so you at least want to get their contact information so we can speak with them later. They may provide insights about the moments leading up to your bus accident that could help determine who is at fault.
  4. Keep a journal. As you progress through your recovery process, you may forget the daily struggle and hurdles you had to overcome to get back on your feet. By keeping a journal, you can better recall what it took for you to get better. This can show what you endured on your path to recovery and will help us maximize your financial recovery.

Finally, speak with our skilled and experienced bus accident lawyers in New Jersey. Bus accidents are complex, and often require the keen eye of an experienced team representing your best interests. Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, has what it takes to negotiate with the insurance companies and the resources necessary to maximize your financial recovery. Call now to see if we are a good fit for your case.

Damages to Seek

Depending on the severity of your bus accident injuries, you could face a long road to recovery. But you should not face this road alone, nor should you be the one paying for your medical assistance.

When you work with Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we can work together to try to get you compensation for:

  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning potential
  • Loss of companionship
  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation costs

Many bus accident victims fail to understand what their recovery will cost. That’s where Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, comes in to help. When you work with us, we can help you create an accurate estimate of your future medical needs. You may face:

  • Extended periods of time out of work
  • Inability to return to the same type of work
  • Long hospital stays
  • Surgeries
  • Rehabilitation in a facility
  • In-home care
  • Prescription drug costs

If you do not factor in your future medical needs, you could quickly find yourself in financial hardship. And that is not a place you want to be when your sole focus should be your physical recovery. Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, can help lift that burden, taking on the complex legal issues you face so you can put your effort and energy into your recovery.

Settlement Offers

Once we have created an accurate estimate of your future medical needs, we can then begin negotiations with the insurance company of the at-fault party. Without that estimate, we don’t really know the true value of your claim, and neither do you.

That’s what an insurance company hopes for, especially when they know you are not using the services of a New Jersey bus accident attorney. They know you are out of work and they know you have medical bills piling up. They hope you have not thought about your future needs so they offer you a quick settlement. You may get excited about it but do not take the offer until you have spoken with a lawyer you trust.

Most likely, the settlement offer is a lowball offer that will not have enough funds to cover your future medical needs. What’s worse, when you sign the low-ball settlement offer, you may waive your right to bring any future claims against the insurance company for your injuries related to this bus accident. You may not realize the funds were not enough to cover your future needs until it is too late. That’s why we urge caution.

Working with us, we can negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company to try to maximize your financial recovery. While most personal injury claims settle out of court, some insurance companies refuse to be reasonable, and we may have to take your case to trial. If that happens in your case, you want a lawyer representing you with the experience you deserve. Not all law firms have the resources to take on a personal injury trial. We do.

New Jersey Bus Accident Frequently Asked Questions FAQs

Many people in New Jersey take public transportation. It’s a cheap and efficient means of transportation. Our children ride school buses to and from school each day. When we send our children on their way or we step on the bus heading to work, we don’t think about what could happen if the bus got into an accident.

While bus accidents tend to better protect bus passengers because of the size of the vehicle, the same cannot be said for pedestrians or passengers of other vehicles impacted by a bus accident. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a bus accident while riding a city bus, tour bus, school bus, or as the passenger or driver of another vehicle hit by a bus, you deserve legal representation that will aggressively fight to protect your rights.

Are buses dangerous?

Buses are one of the most common forms of transportation across the United States and particularly in New Jersey. People frequently use buses for public transportation to get to and from work. Tourists use buses to tour our many sites. Children use buses to get to and from school. Over 4,000 children suffer injuries in school bus accidents each year. Most buses, however, lack some safety features that exist in most other vehicles: seat belts.

To answer this question, buses are not dangerous when operated correctly. Even without seat belts, buses are extremely large vehicles that decreases the likelihood of major injuries while riding a bus that’s involved in an accident. It does not, however, prevent major injuries to pedestrians or passengers of other vehicles. In fact, because of the sheer size and weight of buses, people not on the bus tend to suffer even more serious and life-threatening injuries.

Even knowing that a bus is designed to take a hit and protect its riders, people can and do suffer serious injuries. When this does happen to you or a loved one, speak with a New Jersey bus accident lawyer at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, who can help protect your rights and maximize your financial recovery.

What injuries are common after a bus accident?

Over 300,000 injuries occur each year from bus accidents. These include:

  • Broken bones
  • Whiplash
  • Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Cuts and scrapes

Your bus accident injuries are unique to you. Whether you have been injured on a bus or you were in another vehicle, you should not be on the hook for your medical bills when someone else caused the accident where you were injured. To cover your medical bills, your best bet is to work with a seasoned bus accident injury attorney in New Jersey who can guide you through the complex personal injury claims process.

Who is responsible for the bus accident?

When you suffer injuries in a bus accident, your goal is to get better. Focusing on your physical recovery gives you the best chance of making a full and complete recovery from your injuries. Determining who is to blame for your injuries is much more challenging. It’s important to know who caused your accident so you know who to file a claim against to cover your medical expenses. This process becomes easier when you work with a trusted New Jersey bus accident attorney.

The first place to look for fault is with drivers. Whether the bus driver was at fault or another driver who ran into the bus is to blame, understanding that driver caused the accident is an important step to covering your medical expenses. To be a bus driver, it requires special licensing. But that doesn’t mean the driver would never be to blame in an accident. Maybe they were distracted by another passenger, their phone, or they were speeding. No matter the reason, the bus driver could be to blame in your accident.

If the bus driver caused the accident where you suffered injuries, the bus company or the owner of the bus may also be liable. Bus companies must carry insurance to cover accidents. Even if you were riding a city bus, the government must also carry insurance to cover any accidents that happen. Although recovering damages from the government is more challenging, do not let it deter you from filing a personal injury claim.

Is it difficult to bring a claim against the government?

Sometimes, your bus accident is caused by a government entity. If you frequently ride public transportation in New Jersey, you know the government runs some buses. While the government may have caused your accident, it may also prove challenging to win a claim against it.

Governments, like individuals, must carry insurance to cover accidents. But sometimes their insurance coverage is not enough to cover your injuries and medical bills. When that happens, filing a personal injury claim is your next course of action. Suing the government is a complex and difficult process. When you work with a skilled and experienced bus accident lawyer in New Jersey, your claim is given the attention it deserves when your lawyer helps you bring a claim against the government for your injuries.

Suing the government may be a challenging process, but it is a process we are ready to help you overcome. We have helped many bus accidents victims just like you successfully bring a claim against the government. Your injuries may be serious and require extensive medical procedures. These do not come cheap. Just because you were injured on government property, that does not bar you from bringing a claim. It just means the experience of your lawyer is all that much more important.

What do I do after a bus accident?

After your bus accident, you may be confused about what your next steps should be and how to best protect yourself.

To give yourself the best chance of recovering from your injuries, follow these steps.

  1. Call the police. When you call the police, they often create a police report of the accident. This report, which includes a diagram, may also include statements from drivers, passengers, and witnesses. Having this objective report from the police can help us show who caused your bus accident and who should be on the hook for your medical expenses.
  2. Seek medical attention. When you call the police, most likely emergency medical personnel will also arrive at the accident scene. Do not refuse their help. You may have injuries you cannot see and you want to have those treated as quickly as possible. After the accident, you should also see your doctor. Your doctor can evaluate you and compare your health to previous visits. This helps to show the severity of your injuries and how they were caused.
  3. Speak with witnesses. While the police may speak with witnesses, the police may not arrive on the scene immediately. Some witnesses will not stick around for the police to arrive so, at the very least, it’s good practice to get their contact information so your bus accident injury lawyer can speak with them later.
  4. Take pictures. Bus accident scenes can be large and difficult to navigate, so be careful when taking pictures. If you can, take pictures of the bus, the entire accident scene, any other vehicles involved in the accident, and your injuries. Having these images documenting the accident and your injuries is an important step in recovering compensation for your injuries.
  5. Keep a journal. Over time, your injuries will heal, your pain will dissipate, and your life will return to normal. Those are all great things and we will be happy when you have made a full and complete recovery. But your damages need to include compensation for the long road you endured to get better. Writing daily in a journal about your progress and your pain levels can help to paint a picture of the roadblocks and hurdles you had to overcome during your recovery.
  6. Speak with the New Jersey bus accident lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP. Working with a seasoned New Jersey personal injury attorney can give you a leg up in your personal injury claim. It is a complex process that requires strict adherence to deadlines and documentation production. If any deadlines are missed, you may not collect any compensation for your injuries.

Working with a trusted personal injury attorney in New Jersey can help you to recover the money you need to help cover your medical bills. You did not cause the accident, so you should not bear any responsibility for the medical bills you face.

What damages could I receive?

Each year, more than 500,000 families turn to bankruptcy to relieve their medical debts. This shows the astronomical costs associated with medical care. A tragic and frustrating situation for many, bankruptcy becomes the only option. But it does not have to be that way after your New Jersey bus accident.

When you work with a skilled and experienced New Jersey bus accident injury lawyer, you may get compensation for:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of companionship
  • Lost earning potential
  • Medical bills
  • Rehabilitation costs

The beginning of your journey to recovery requires intense focus. You should place all of your effort and energy into your physical recovery. This means you do not have time to worry about how to pay your medical bills. That should be the worry of your lawyer.

When you work with a bus accident lawyer in New Jersey, you gain the knowledge and experience of all the clients they have helped before you. Our goal is to reduce your stress and worry about your medical bills and the legal process, so that you can focus on your physical recovery and get back on your feet as quickly as possible.

Should I take a settlement offer?

Many bus accident victims do not think about their future needs. The insurance company knows this, and will use this information to prey on you. Soon after your bus accident, you may receive a phone call from the insurance company representing the at fault driver. This might excite you because they offer you a quick settlement. But we urge caution.

The settlement offer you receive is most likely a lowball offer that may not cover all of your future medical needs. Unfortunately, you may not realize this until it’s too late. When you sign the offer, you may also waive your right to bring any future claim against the insurance company for this accident. We do not like to see this happen to people and we know we can help prevent it in your case. But we have to be your lawyer first.

Once you decide to work with us, we can help you create an accurate estimate of your future medical needs.

We do this by reviewing your medical records and prognosis and estimate what your future medical needs might be, which include:

  • Multiple surgeries
  • Long hospital stays
  • Rehabilitation in a facility
  • In-home care
  • Long periods out of work
  • Inability to return to work in the same capacity

All of these play a part in how much you can recover for your injuries. But you are unlikely to know this if you do not choose to work with a trusted New Jersey bus accident attorney who can answer all of your questions.

Why do I need a lawyer?

A bus accident injury claim is a complex legal process. It requires attention to deadlines and document requirements. It’s not a requirement, but we nonetheless always recommend that you work with a New Jersey bus accident lawyer when pursuing a claim.

Depending on the severity of your injuries, the type of accident you were in, who owns the bus, and who caused the accident, your compensation could vary. But one thing is clear—if someone injured you because of their negligence, recklessness, or carelessness, you deserve to recover all of the compensation you deserve for your injuries. You do that by working with a New Jersey personal injury attorney who can help you file your personal injury claim.

Speak With Our New Jersey Bus Accident Lawyers Today

Don’t delay. Your bus accident claim will not file itself, and you will not miraculously receive the settlement funds you need to fully recover without the help of a skilled New Jersey bus accident injury lawyer. You deserve an experienced team, ready to aggressively protect your rights. Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, would like to serve as that team.

“I highly recommend hiring Jacoby & Meyers should you ever find yourself injured in an accident, and an individual or company needs to be held accountable for their negligence.” -C.J.

Contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, online, call (877) 505-2368, or start a live chat today for your free case evaluation. We look forward to showing you how we can help you maximize your financial recovery, so you can focus on your health and a return to normalcy.