It should not come as a surprise to hear that New York controls one of the biggest bus fleets in the country. This is because the state has more than 5700 public buses in use. Bus services are in big demand, and millions make use of the New York Transit Authority every year. Not only are busses more affordable than trains, but they offer transportation late in the evenings as well. Hence the reason why the popularity of riding the bus keeps growing among citizens with busy lifestyles. Unfortunately, this efficient means of transportation has led to several accidents. And in certain instances, these accidents were fatal.
If you are the victim of an accident while using the MTA, do not delay in contacting us right away. The Buffalo bus accident lawyers at Cellino Law have decades of experience handling these cases. More specifically, we can provide critical advice regarding the compensation you deserve. In addition, we help you through the claim process while giving you the best possible representation. One thing we understand is how emotional and challenging this time can be for you, especially when you have no clue where to begin.
Keep in mind that your injuries can alter your life forever. Lacerations and burns, losing a limb, head injuries, these problems cannot simply be wished away. And in some cases, you can lose a loved one. If you find yourself the victim of a bus accident, contact our Buffalo personal injury lawyers for help.
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What Do The Statistics Say About Bus Accidents In New York?
On any given day, there are several different types of buses driving on the streets of New York. These range between school, tour, public, and private buses. It is up to the Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA) to ensure their public bus services function at a high and safe standard. But the truth is that accidents still occur, regardless of the mandate that is in place.
As it stands, more than 400,000 school buses are responsible for transporting an average of 25 million children on a daily basis. Naturally, there are measures in place to keep everyone safe during, especially the kids. For example, the drivers are specifically directed to never travel faster than the speed limit, given it is their responsibility to get all passengers home safely. But the system is not perfect, and accidents do take place. In fact, the accident rate is increasing compared to other buses. During 2018, 117 fatal school bus accidents occurred and 5% of this total were passengers on the bus. Another 4% make up for the drivers of the bus, while victims in the other car stood at 70%, pedestrians at 17%, and bicycle riders at 2%.
Public Transportation Buses
For the most part, public transportation buses fall under the control of the MTA. You should also know there are different types. These include city, suburban, tour, and inter-city buses. From the reports published by the MTA based on non-collision injuries suffered on these buses, there is a clear increase from 442 in 2018 to 494 in 2019. Injuries sustained due to throwing movements increased by 5%, making up 207 of the latest report.
But why exactly are these numbers climbing? The main reasons, according to the MTA, involve heavy traffic and the drivers of the buses. And the part drivers play is usually very significant, seeing as they usually try to avoid hitting either pedestrians, cyclists, or other cars when the accident takes place. There is also the matter of fatigue and the extensive hours some drivers work. This leads to them being less alert and more prone to get into an accident.
There is no question that tour buses contribute substantially to the economy of New York. On average, it is a service that generates about $100 billion from visitors that are eager to visit the amazing landmarks associated with the city. But tour buses are definitely not immune to accidents, even though their accident numbers are lower than school and public buses. Most tour buses are double-deckers and tourists prefer sitting at the top for the best view. However, this increases the risk of getting flung from the bus during an accident, which can cause extensive injuries. This is why tour bus companies are required to only hire drivers with the necessary skill before taking on any passengers.
The number of bus injuries is based on three scenarios, namely collision accidents, non-collision accidents, and slip and fall accidents (boarding or exiting the bus). There was a slight reduction in slip and fall accidents from 163 in 2018 to 160 in 2019. But the same cannot be said about bus collisions or sustained injuries from collisions. These have increased by 1.2% and 1.8% respectively in 2019.
Becoming familiar with statistics like those mentioned above helps you to prepare to a certain extent. Yes, accidents can happen at any time and nobody can predict the future. But at least you have some perspective on how likely accidents are prone to happen, which you can use to live a safer life.
What Steps Should You Take After A Bus Accident?
Due to lives being lost and permanent injuries, everyone can agree that bus accidents can turn into very tragic experiences. And even though you feel you deserve to be compensated after suffering through an accident, you are not guaranteed this compensation. This is based on your actions after the accident. In other words, you have to go through the necessary process if you want compensation. Because if you think you are in pain right now, it will hurt more when your lawyer tells you there is nothing you can do, seeing as you did not follow the right steps. So, avoid frustration and additional pain by following the steps given below after a bus accident in Buffalo, New York.
Call The Police
Regardless of whether you were injured or not, call the police after the bus accident and file a report. Give them all the details you can, but be cautious about admitting any faults. Once the authorities have investigated the wreck, they will write up a report based on what they find. You, on the other hand, should focus on making the 911 call. Especially when nobody else does because it works in your favor.
Stay At The Scene Of The Accident
It goes without saying that being part of a bus accident is traumatic. And you are likely to be very shaken up after the ordeal. But whatever you do, do not leave the scene of the accident. It is critical for your case to stay put. While you wait, check on the other parties involved, as well as yourself. You might not show any signs of injury immediately, so it is recommended to still get medical attention, even if you think you do not need it. It happens that symptoms can surface days after.
Get Details And Information
The odds are very good that there will be witnesses that saw what happened. Take it upon yourself to gather their details, which include their contact details and names. Testimonies from witnesses can help to strengthen your case and get you a step closer to compensation. At the same time, gather details from the bus driver, as well as the other drivers that form part of the accident. Also, acquire their insurance information and write down the license plate.
Take Recordings Or Photographs
In order to aid your lawyer in establishing a strong case, try to record the scene of the accident. Whether you do it with video or photos, record the position of the vehicles, the damages you suffered (if applicable), and definitely take photos of the injuries you may have sustained. The more footage or images you can record the better.
Never Admit Fault
Admitting any type of fault on your part after a bus accident is a very big mistake. No matter the situation, admit nothing because it can significantly damage your case. Of course, investigators and insurance companies are going to dig until they find the cause of the accident. And by admitting fault, you only cause trouble for yourself, especially when you had no involvement whatsoever. At the very least, you complicate the case and make it more challenging to get compensated.
Get Medical Help
A medical report from a doctor serves as crucial evidence for a claim. This is why you should get checked out by a medical professional as soon as you can. It does not matter if you have sustained injuries or not. As mentioned earlier, the symptoms of certain injuries surface only days afterward, and you do not want to risk your health after such a traumatic experience.
Consult With A Lawyer
Yes, you are more than welcome to file a claim without the help of a lawyer. But this is probably the worst thing you can do under the circumstances. For starters, you are personally involved and your state of mind can be volatile during this time. Secondly, you probably do not have the skills or experience to take on such a complicated case. For example, how do you handle it when the responsible party denies liability?
A hurdle like this complicates the matter substantially, which is why Cellino accident lawyers are at your disposal. We have the skill and experience you need to get through this claim successfully. Whether you were on the bus, walking down the road, or driving in a car, we are the people you want to speak with.
Common Injuries Caused By Bus Accidents
For the most part, injuries sustained during a bus accident are catastrophic and require medical attention as quickly as possible. Given the size of the bus and the people on it, there is a good chance the injuries can be life-threatening. Some of the most common injuries include:
- Dislocated and broken limbs
- Back injuries or injuries to the spinal cord
- Limbs that are severed
- Internal bleeding
- Facial fractures
- Brain and head injuries
- Emotional and mental trauma
- Neck injuries
Expect the treatment of these injuries to drain you both financially and emotionally. But this is why you get to put in a claim for compensation because you want to focus on regaining your life. And when the injuries are fatal, family members have the right to claim compensation. Unfortunately, no amount of money can restore a life that has been lost.
Possible Damages You Can Receive After A Bus Accident
It is safe to say that bus accident victims experience a horrific ordeal. Not only do they suffer from physical injuries, but they can also develop emotional injuries that hinder the way they live. But seeing as every situation is unique in some way, determining the damages you can receive depends on various criteria. These include:
- All the medical expenses (past, present, future)
- Rehabilitation costs such as physical therapy
- The loss of wages when you are not able to work
- Future earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Inability to enjoy life’s pleasures as before the accident
- Punitive damages
- Other costs incurred due to the accident
Who Can Be Held Responsible After A Bus Accident In New York?
Unfortunately, there is no straight answer to this question. This is because bus accidents are usually complicated and there can be several parties involved. But here are some of the parties that could be held responsible.
A driver can be held accountable for several reasons. These include reckless driving or driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics, a lack of necessary skill, or committing traffic violations when they know it is wrong. Basically, a negligent driver will definitely become a focal point in terms of placing blame.
Bus Company Or Employer
Accountability can go as far as the bus company because they have certain responsibilities as set by law. For instance, they have to make sure the buses are well maintained and road-worthy. At the same time, they have to vet their drivers carefully based on skill and experience. If the bus company fails to uphold these responsibilities, it can be held responsible.
There are instances when bus accidents are caused by manufacturing defects. When this happens, you are more than welcome to put in a claim against the bus manufacturer.
Bus accidents in New York are not always caused by the driver or the company. There are scenarios where third parties are the cause, such as pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers. Even if this is the case for you, you are still allowed to put in a claim against the person that caused the accident.
How Much Do Buffalo Bus Accident Lawyers Charge?
You will be happy to learn that hiring a bus accident lawyer costs nothing unless the lawyer is successful with the claim. Also known as working on a contingency basis, you only have to pay if you win the case, not if you lose it. So we invite you to call us and arrange a free evaluation of your case. Also, there are no upfront fees to worry about. The only time you need to pay us is after we win.
Determining Fault In New York
Just like with receiving damages, there is no straight answer to this question. Only after the bus accident attorney is done with the investigation can the guilty party be identified.
How Much Time Is There To File A Bus Accident Claim?
The answer depends on the bus company involved. For example, if the bus you were on belongs to the city filing the claim immediately is recommended – as you only have 90 days to do so. But if the bus company is privately owned, more time is allowed.
Reasons For Calling A Lawyer?
An attorney near Buffalo can help prove your bus accident claim by:
Filing The Lawsuit And Preparing For The Case
Take note that a bus accident lawyer serves a valuable purpose. On top of handling the investigation to determine the party at fault, they prepare the case and gather all the necessary evidence to see the case through.
Trust in a bus accident lawyer to handle any negotiations and settlements for your needs as a top priority. Our attorneys will not stop fighting until you get the compensation you deserve.
Representation In Court
Going to court is an overwhelming experience that requires strong preparation. But this is what bus accident lawyers are there for. Let them do the talking and get all the evidence together in a way that will convince the court that you deserve to be compensated.
Schedule a Free Consultation With A Buffalo Bus Accident Lawyer
If it happens that you or anyone you love becomes part of a bus accident due to negligence, take action, and call Cellino Law now. As we stated in the beginning, we completely understand that you are facing a daunting task after suffering a very traumatic experience. Do you really want to burden yourself with all the complexities associated with filing a claim too? Because there is a good chance the party at fault will fight the claim and complicate matters.
Leave the fighting to us while you focus on getting your life back to where it needs to be. Yes, tragedies happen and sometimes they cannot be prevented. But we are there to support you if the tragedy could have been avoided. Just call our Buffalo injury law firm at (800) 555-5555 and get the help you deserve.