Our Experienced Bus Accident Lawyers Explain Some Important Things You Need to Know if You Were A Passenger Hurt in a Bus Accident
Buses are a popular mode of public transportation, especially in New York. They are generally safe due to their size, but passengers are still at risk of injury if the bus is involved in an accident. Here are some important things you should know if you were hurt in a bus accident.
What Do I Need To Prove (and Win) A Bus Accident Case?
Passengers injured on a bus must prove that their injury was caused either by the negligence of the bus operator or any other driver involved in the accident. This can be done by establishing, for example, that one of the drivers went through a red light, or struck another vehicle from behind or was careless in some other way that would enable a passenger to hold a driver responsible.
In addition, you must prove that your injury is a qualifying injury under New York’s Insurance Law. To prove a qualifying injury you must establish that your injury fits into one of the listed categories under this law. Sometimes this is easy. For example, if you sustained a fracture in the accident, you have satisfied this legal requirement because “a fracture” is listed as a qualifying injury.
If your injury is not specifically listed, however, the defendant may make an application to dismiss your case claiming that your injury is not legally sufficient.
Bus companies have additional responsibilities to passengers because of their status as a common carrier. As a result, a bus company must:
- Do a proper background check on employees, so that every bus driver can legally and safely drive a bus;
- Properly maintain and repair the bus;
- Maintain a safe environment on the bus;
- Ensure that the bus is not overloaded with passengers.
Another potential basis for a bus operator’s responsibility is the location where you are left to get off the bus. Under the law, bus drivers must drop passengers off at a safe location. This means that a bus driver cannot let you disembark in the middle of a busy street putting you at risk of being struck by a vehicle; or in front of a pothole because of the risk that you could step down, twist and injure yourself.
Who Owns The Buses In New York City?
Another important thing to know about bus accident cases is that many buses are not privately owned. For example, public buses operated in Manhattan and Bronx, New York are operated by the Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority. This is a municipal defendant, and as a result you are required to file a Notice of Claim within 90 days of the accident. If you fail to do so, and do not get permission to file a late Notice of Claim, your case is over before it even started.
The notice of claim requirement applies to all municipally owned/operated buses. As a result, it is important to identify whether your accident happened on a bus that was owned or operated by a municipality. Additionally, the statute of limitations, or the time you have to file a lawsuit against a municipal defendant, is much shorter than the time permitted against private defendants.
Do Injured Bus Passengers Get No-Fault Benefits?
Passengers on buses are entitled to No-Fault benefits. These benefits cover the cost of medical and hospital bills as well as lost earnings and other related expenses. If you are an injured bus passenger, you must first file for No-Fault benefits with your own car insurance, even though your car was not involved in the accident. Only if you have no other available No-Fault insurance coverage, can you make a claim for No-Fault benefits with the bus company.
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If you have any questions about the bus accident that caused your injury, you can contact our experienced bus accident lawyers by email or calling (800) 762-9300. You can also simply fill out one of our case intake forms and we will have one of our attorneys get right back to you.
You May Also Be Interested In:
- Can I Settle My Bus Car Accident Case?
- Do You Need To File a Notice of Claim If I Had An Accident on a Bus?