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.
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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:
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.
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.
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:
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:
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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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:
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.
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…