NYC Bus Accident Lawyer

As with any form of motorized transportation, there are certain risks if you’re a bus passenger or you encounter a negligent bus driver while driving your own car. If you’re injured in a bus accident, let us explain what comes next.



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According to statistics compiled by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there are 247 fatal bus accidents, and 14,800 injury-causing crashes every year, on average. If you or a loved one was hurt in such an incident, you face numerous challenges as you try to recover, in addition to securing the financial compensation that you’ll need to cover your losses. Therefore, it’s essential to speak with a New York bus accident lawyer about your rights and legal options.

While there are some similarities between bus collisions and car crashes, the underlying legal issues in these and MTA accidents are far more complicated. Our NY personal injury lawyers at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. is prepared to tackle these hurdles. With decades of experience, and a history of success, which includes hundreds of millions of dollars recovered for injury victims, we know how to represent you and what it takes to secure what you need in these cases.

Contact us online or call 212-490-5700 to schedule a free, no-risk case evaluation. There are no up-front fees, and you owe nothing until we win you compensation.

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Causes of Bus Accidents in New York

FMCSA statistics reveal the frequency of bus accidents, but they’re also informative about some of the factors that contribute to these deadly crashes. The data covers all types of bus transportation, including intercity, school, tour buses, and other vehicles designed to carry nine or more people.

Many accidents are due to these bus driver errors:

  • Speeding or traveling too fast for conditions;
  • Taking curves too quickly for a high-profile vehicle;
  • Not allowing enough time to stop or turn;
  • Failure to yield to a vehicle or pedestrian with right-of-way;
  • Distracted driving, such as using a cell phone, talking on a two-way radio, texting, and other risky acts;
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs; and,
  • Many others.

In the practice of personal injury law related to bus accidents, these acts may amount to legal negligence. You may be eligible for monetary damages if you can prove that the bus operator breached his or her duty to drive safely and their breach was a direct cause of your injuries. Depending on their liability and any other responsible parties involved, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and others.

Liability in Bus Accident Cases

There are three key concepts regarding liability that make bus accident claims more complex than other claims. Generally, it’s best to discuss what occurred with a New York bus accident lawyer. That way, you can get an accurate assessment of your circumstances, from someone who can protect your interests and explain your next steps.

No-Fault for Insurance Claims

With regards to filing a claim after a bus crash, it’s important to note that New York is one of a few states that follows a “no-fault” rule for insurance purposes. This means that victims of motor vehicle crashes must typically file an injury claim with their own insurers. This is designed so you can recover compensation regardless of who was to blame for the accident.

However, there are limitations in a no-fault claim. You cannot recover compensation for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and related losses. Plus, you can only seek compensation up to the limit of your policy.

There are some notable exceptions to no-fault rules in New York:

  • If you recover compensation under your own insurance policy and still have additional losses, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible bus driver and related parties.
  • You suffer from a “serious injury” as defined by New York law.

Identity of the Parties

In a bus accident lawsuit, it is critical to determine the specific type of bus operation involved. The key distinction is whether the organization is a public entity, as opposed to being hurt in a tour bus accident involving a private company.

There are special procedures for actions against the government. Personal injury claims against public entities in New York must proceed under the New York Court of Claims Act. If you or your child were hurt in a school bus accident, this law would govern the proceedings against a school district.

An additional complication related to the identity of the parties is that some public entities have their own procedures for filing a bus accident injury claim, including:

  • The New York City Transit Authority (TA);
  • The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA); and,
  • The MTA Bus Company

How You Were Injured

A final consideration on liability is your status as a victim, because an accident claim from a bus passenger is different from one filed by the driver or passenger in a vehicle struck by the bus.

As you can see, liability issues are exceedingly complicated in bus accident claims. Don’t put your rights at risk by communicating with the bus company and their insurance provider directly or trying to represent yourself. Trust a New York bus accident attorney to handle the legal details.

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Potential Parties in a Bus Crash Claim

Any personal injury claim that involves employee-employer, agent-principle, and other contractual relationships means there may be multiple parties. Your New York bus accident lawyer can advise you on how the laws work, but some potential parties may include:

  • The bus driver;
  • A travel agent or company, in the event of a tour bus accident;
  • A bus management organization;
  • The school district or board and the company under contract for a school bus accident;
  • Megabus, Greyhound, or other bus companies that operate as private carriers;
  • The manufacturer of dangerous, defective parts installed on a bus; and,
  • Others, depending on your case.

Rely on Our New York Bus Accident Lawyers

Being injured in a NYC bus accident is a serious situation. Your injuries are likely very severe, requiring long and exhaustive treatment. You may have even lost a loved one. It’s hard to know what to do when such a tragedy happens, but that’s why you need skilled, knowledgeable, and committed legal assistance from the beginning.

At Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., we serve clients throughout New York City and the surrounding counties. We have decades of experience, a record of holding negligent parties accountable, and always pursue maximum compensation. Let us review how you came to be injured, identify who’s to blame in your bus accident, and fight to make sure you get everything you deserve.

Call us at 212-490-5700 or contact us online to request a free, no-risk consultation. There are no up-front costs and nothing unless you recover compensation.

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After meeting a half dozen lawyers at different firms, I decided to go to Hecht, Kleeger and Damashek. As soon as I met Jon Damashek, I knew I had to look no further. Mr. Damashek made me feel at ease…

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