Driving a bus is no easy task, especially in a crowded urban neighborhood like New York City. While buses are larger than passenger vehicles and offer added protection to passengers in the event of a crash, passengers can still suffer serious injuries—sometimes even fatalities.
Bus accidents are common in the Brooklyn area with two major ones occurring just in the past few months. In May, 15 people were injured in Brooklyn when an MTA bus and garbage truck collided and then crashed into a car. In June, an MTA bus sped down a Brooklyn street in reverse when the driver exited the bus and forgot to set the parking brake. The bus hit 10 vehicles and injured a pedestrian before slamming into a church.
Passengers expect to travel on a bus in safety. If you suffered serious injuries in a bus accident, it’s important to identify the liable parties so you can file a claim for compensation. Read on to learn more about common bus accidents and how to determine the possible negligent parties.
Common Types of Bus Accidents
Bus accidents are typically caused in the same way as car accidents, with the same factors in place. Common causes of bus accidents include:
- Intoxication/drug or alcohol use
- Lack of room for maneuvering (common in urban areas)
- Road conditions
- Vehicle handling issues/equipment defects
- Lack of proper maintenance/passenger safety
There are several parties who could be held liable for a bus accident. Liability is determined by the cause of the accident, and negligence is not always clear-cut.
Bus accidents tend to fall under common carrier law because buses are used for business purposes. Common carriers provide transportation services for a fee. Therefore, they are held to higher standards. They must operate in the safest manner possible and use the highest degree of care when transporting passengers. If an accident is caused by poor maintenance, lack of training, or fatigue or speeding on the part of the driver, then the carrier can be held liable.
Sometimes bus accidents are beyond the control of the bus driver or employer, however. For example, if the accident was caused by a malfunctioning part, then the manufacturer could be held responsible. If a third party—such as another driver or a pedestrian—acted in a reckless manner and caused the crash, then he or she could be at fault.
Work with an Experienced New York Bus Accident Lawyer
If you were involved in a bus accident, don’t lose out on your rights to compensation. If you were injured, you may be able to receive financial recovery for medical bills and other damages. To learn more, call The Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum to set up your initial consultation with an experienced MTA accident lawyer. Contact our Brooklyn office at (718) 237-5586 today.