New York Bus Accident Attorneys
Whether you live in New York City, Albany, Buffalo, or anyplace in between, it’s likely you have encountered buses on the road or you may even regularly ride the bus to get to and from work and around your city. Maybe you’ve taken a bus to get out of the city for a weekend, or your kids ride the bus to and from school. In any case, riding a bus is the safest mode of ground transportation.
However, this does not mean that bus accidents never happen. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) estimates that almost one million buses are registered and operating in New York and across the nation. Some of these buses are improperly maintained, some have unqualified drivers, and some have negligent drivers. These factors, coupled with poor weather, road damage, or heavy traffic conditions, begin to reveal how deadly and dangerous bus accidents can occur.
Regardless of the specific cause of a bus accident, the vast majority are preventable. Individuals who suffer injuries face a great deal of emotional and physical pain in the aftermath of a bus accident. Severe injuries and fatalities can devastate victims and their families and place a large financial burden on a household. If you or your child has sustained serious injuries in a bus accident, you need to consult our experienced New York bus accident lawyers to see if we can help you with your bus accident claim.
The skilled personal injury attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, represent accident injury victims throughout New York. Contact us today for a free case evaluation at (877) 565-2993 to learn about your options for recovering compensation after a bus accident.
“If it were not for the integral legal team of experts at Jacoby & Meyers I would not be where I am today with my recovery. 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.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, Gets Results for Injured Clients
The award-winning legal team at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, has more than 40 years of representing clients who have been injured in traffic accidents, including those who have sustained serious bus accident injuries. The firm’s dedication to client service and professional excellence has led to the recovery of millions of dollars in damages for our clients.
In a recent case, a jury awarded clients $5.7 million after their daughter, who was eight years old, died from fatal injuries when a runaway bus struck her. She was pinned under the wheel after another young boy broke into the bus and released the emergency brake.
Some more recent examples of our results in New York traffic accidents include:
- $5 million for a client who was injured in a multi-vehicle crash
- $1.27 million for a client who was injured in a Bronx auto crash
- $740,000 after a client suffered injuries in an accident on the Brooklyn Bridge
- $525,000 for a client who suffered injuries in an accident when another driver ran a stoplight
- $475,000 for a child whose school bus driver ran over her foot
- $400,000 for a client who was injured when another driver ran a red light
- $247,000 for a client who was injured in a crash when the other driver was speeding
These are only examples of past cases and do not guarantee a particular outcome for your bus accident case. Each crash has specific factors that determine its values. The experienced bus accident lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, have the resources to investigate an accident, gather evidence to support a claim against the at-fault party, and pursue the best outcome possible given an individual’s specific circumstances.
Severe Injuries from Bus Accidents
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 15,000 bus accidents occur across the United States every year. This leads to about 25,000 bus accident victims who suffer injuries. The extent and types of injuries that a bus accident victim can suffer depend on specific factors of the accident, such as how fast the bus and other vehicles were traveling, the location of impact on the bus and vehicle, and where the injured person was sitting on the bus or in the other vehicle. Buses are large vehicles, and their heavy weight leads to severe accidents due to increased force upon impact.
Some severe injuries that a bus accident victim may experience include:
- Broken bones aren’t always severe, life-changing injuries. Yet, when a bus accident victim suffers multiple fractures or multiple breaks in the same bone, chances for a complete recovery are slim. Even after one or more surgeries and physical therapy, victims can still suffer pain, discomfort, and stiffness in the area where their fractures occurred for the rest of their lives.
- Head traumas from bus accidents can lead to minor cuts and bruises and mild concussions, but they can also lead to severe, potentially fatal, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that the long-term impact of a TBI can cause lifelong struggles with cognitive thinking, motor function, sensations, and memory.
- Neck injuries can be minor events that heal in a few months after a bus accident. Not all victims are that lucky. Severe whiplash, the most common neck injury from traffic crashes, can lead to lifelong chronic neck pain, stiffness, and recurring headaches. The impact of an accident jerks the neck back-and-forth quickly, causing damage to the soft tissues in the neck.
- Back injuries are among the most serious and life-altering injuries that an individual can experience in a bus accident. Regardless of whether a person with a back injury tries to sit, stand, or lie down, they will likely struggle with pain and discomfort. Severe back injuries, such as broken vertebrae and herniated discs, typically require one or more surgeries. Even after surgery, those who suffer back injuries can experience pain and discomfort for the rest of their lives.
- Spinal cord injuries are one of the most expensive injuries that a bus accident victim can suffer. The spinal cord doesn’t heal itself like the rest of the human body. Some minor spinal cord injuries might not cause permanent damage once the swelling goes down in the affected area. Unfortunately, most spinal cord injuries result in permanent damage that leads to varying levels of functional loss. Injuries to the spinal cord in the cervical area of the neck are the most dangerous and can result in permanent loss of all function below the neck, typically referred to as tetraplegia.
- Amputation happens less frequently than other types of injuries, but it has a drastic impact on victims and their families. A bus accident can cause one or more of a person’s limbs to get pinned or crushed in a vehicle or by a vehicle. Doctors who cannot save crushed limbs are forced to amputate to save an accident victim’s life. Amputation causes permanent scarring, and amputees must cope with massive amounts of mental anguish and emotional pain from the trauma of losing a limb.
Preventable Causes of New York Bus Accidents
Bus accidents, like other traffic collisions, are almost entirely preventable. Prevention might need to occur long before the bus is on the road. Other times, bus drivers make bad choices behind the wheel or encounter hazards caused by others. Preventable causes of bus accidents in New York include:
Drunk or Drugged Driving
Operating any kind of bus requires a driver to obtain a commercial drivers’ license. The FMCSA creates and implements the rules for those who hold CDLs. Like other commercial drivers, bus drivers have a stricter standard than the average motorist; they cannot have more than 0.04 blood alcohol content when driving, or they face serious penalties, such as fines and suspension. When bus drivers drink and drive or use drugs and drive, they put others at risk for a severe accident and injuries. Prescription drugs, when not taken in accordance with doctor’s orders, can also impair bus drivers and lead to a dangerous accident.
Federal law prohibits bus drivers from using their cell phones, unless they utilize the hands-free feature and only use one button to initiate or end a call. Even when bus drivers follow the letter of the law, many other things besides cell phone use can distract them and lead to an accident. Driver behaviors, such as eating and drinking, tending to passengers, reaching for something on the floor, adjusting climate controls, daydreaming, and focusing on events outside of the bus, can lead to an accident.
Driving without sleep or driving after continuously not getting enough rest can be as dangerous as drunk driving. In fact, the FMSCA’s research about sleep deprivation and driving reveals that 18 hours without sleep is akin to a 0.08 breath or blood alcohol level, double the legal limit for commercial drivers. Bus drivers who drive at night are especially at risk for drowsy driving or fatigued driving, as well as those with untreated sleep disorders and other health issues that impact a person’s rest. Fatigued drivers can put others in harm’s way by falling asleep at the wheel and causing a dangerous bus accident.
School bus drivers and city bus drivers need to keep strict time schedules, so they are less likely to travel over the posted speed limit unless they are running behind. However, the same scheduling pressure that prevents drivers from speeding can also lead to speeding or traveling too fast for conditions. For example, if abnormally heavy traffic or a snowstorm causes a delay, bus drivers are motivated to speed up when they have a chance. The faster a vehicle travels, including buses, the more difficult it is for the driver to control. Bus drivers who speed or don’t slow down during inclement weather can cause serious accidents and injuries.
Failure to Comply With Traffic Control Devices
It’s highly unlikely that a bus driver will intentionally ignore a stop sign, yield sign, or any other traffic control devices. However, distracted or impaired bus drivers might not process all of the information that they need to process while driving and thus fail to follow signs and signals. Third-party drivers are especially dangerous for school buses. If a driver doesn’t stop when a bus driver puts out his stop-arm, he or she might strike a student. Young children that are struck by a car, bus, or other vehicle have a very good chance of experiencing fatal injuries.
Negligent Bus Owners
Bus companies, bus owners, school districts, and New York’s cities and counties can all be liable for a bus accident if they don’t comply with FMCSA maintenance rules. Buses need inspections and must be roadworthy. Failure to perform proper maintenance can lead to dangerous mechanical failure, often resulting in an accident. Old worn-out tires and failed brake systems are two common culprits that can lead to a bus accident. A bus company that hires unqualified drivers and doesn’t properly train new drivers opens itself up to liability if one of its drivers causes an accident.
Poorly Maintained Roads
The State of New York, its counties, and its cities all share responsibility for maintaining roads throughout the state. This includes more than just patching potholes and clearing snow. Government entities are also responsible for fixing malfunctioning traffic signals, erecting traffic control devices where needed, and fixing fallen signs. Failure to properly maintain roads can lead to serious, potentially fatal accidents. Special rules apply when taking legal action against a government entity. If poorly maintained roads led to a bus accident that you were involved in, you need to talk to a bus accident attorney as soon as possible to determine your next steps.
Get Legal Representation After a New York Bus Accident
The experienced bus accident attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, are here to help you in the aftermath of a bus accident. Our team has the resources and dedication to build the best possible case against the party (or parties) that caused your bus accident injuries, while you concentrate on healing. When settlement isn’t an option, we are willing to litigate for our clients to seek justice.
If you have suffered injuries in a bus accident in New York, you deserve compensation for the full cost of your injuries. Contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, online, feel free to chat with one of our live representatives, or dial (877) 565-2993 for a free case evaluation to discuss your bus accident and injuries and to learn about your options.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP
39 Broadway Suite 1910,
New York, NY 10006