The New York Daily News reported on October 31, 2019, that 10 people suffered injuries when a bus on the BxM11 route on Madison Avenue rear-ended a BxM10 bus stopped at a red light. Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) spokesman Tim Minton told the Daily News that the collision was a low-speed accident and an investigation was underway.
Bus accidents that result in serious or fatal injury will be investigated by carrier and other agencies, but victims hurt in bus accidents will be better served by hiring an attorney to represent them. An experienced bus accident lawyer will perform their own investigation and can identify negligence on the part of the bus driver, the bus company, third party maintenance company, or another driver. Victims of bus crashes could be entitled to significant compensation, so it is crucial to hire an experienced lawyer to help secure it.
Some of the most common causes of bus accidents include, but are not limited to:
- Driver Fatigue — The federal Hours of Service rules limit the number of hours bus drivers can work in a given day and week. These rules are in place to ensure that the driver is well-rested before operating the vehicle, but drivers and the companies that hire them are often in violation of these requirements. They might try to cover up Hours of Service violations after an accident, possibly by destroying or falsifying records. You will want to have an experienced attorney preserve this evidence before it is lost.
- Road Rage — Bus drivers are expected to drive responsibly at all times, but drivers can become flustered, frustrated, and angry. Slowed or stopped traffic, unruly passengers, and other factors can impact a driver’s mental state, and they may drive aggressively or recklessly as a result.
- Speeding — Like any motorist, bus drivers are expected to obey speed limits, bus drivers also have strict schedules they are expected to comply with. Some drivers might speed to get caught up, or merely might not be paying attention to their speed and the posted limit. Speeding poses a danger to everyone on the road, particularly because buses require a lengthy distance to stop and cannot maneuver to avoid collisions as easily as smaller vehicles.
- Difficult Passengers — Bus drivers may have to deal with passengers who are distracting or simply make driving more difficult. A bus driver could simply eject an unruly passenger from the bus, but drivers who try to continue to operate while dealing with a difficult passenger could be distracted and cause an accident.
- Alcohol or Drug Consumption — Bus drivers are held to the same strict limit imposed for all drivers of commercial vehicles in the United States, which is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit of only 0.04. This is only half the legal limit for drivers of traditional passenger vehicles, and a bus driver who causes an accident because of drug or alcohol use will likely face criminal charges as well.
- Faulty Parts and Maintenance — While bus drivers are often assumed to be the cause of most bus accidents, the fault can also lie with the company that owns the bus, a third party company responsible for maintaining it, or the manufacturer of the vehicle. Buses that are not properly maintained often become involved in accidents when key mechanical elements do not perform as intended, leaving drivers powerless to avoid crashes.
- Distracted Driving — Bus drivers are prohibited from using personal devices such as cell phones while they are driving, but some drivers will still attempt to talk or text on their phones while driving. Other possible distractions for a bus driver could include numerous controls on dashboards or even rubbernecking when a driver is distracted by another crash outside the bus.
Contact a New York and Long Island Bus Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been severely injured in a bus accident, you’ll want a team of lawyers with the right experience handling your case. Don’t turn to an apathetic or inexperienced attorney for help. Instead, hire Finz & Finz, P.C., so that you can rest assured that your case will be handled with the right attention and skill.
Finz & Finz, P.C., has a record of success that includes a $5 million verdict against a bus company in a wrongful death case involving a driver killed in a collision with a bus. You can have our firm help you understand all of your legal options when you call (855) TOP-FIRM or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.