Several bus crashes in upstate New York over the last few years have been cause for concern. Some of them involved recreation for vulnerable members of society. Crashes have occurred, for example, because elderly people gathered to ride a tour bus to Atlantic City or take another group pleasure trip. In a recent rollover bus crash west of upstate Syracuse, almost five dozen people had to go to the hospital right away for emergency care.
The tour bus was traveling to Niagara Falls from Poughkeepsie. It crashed near Brutus on the New York State Thruway. In connection with the rollover, many accident victims suffered serious neck and head injuries, along with lacerations.
Most people don’t have enough saved in case of serious injuries. Bus drivers and companies may be held accountable when their negligence or other fault causes a crash. In order to establish a bus driver’s negligence caused your injuries, our lawyers would need to show it’s more likely than not: (1) you were owed a duty to use reasonable care, (2) breach of the duty to use reasonable care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. For example, the court would likely find a breach of the duty to use reasonable care where a bus driver causes an accident because he is under the influence of alcohol. Other actions by a driver that might breach the duty to use reasonable care include falling asleep at the wheel, distracted driving, and speeding.
Sometimes a tour or bus company is negligent in its hiring, supervising, or training of bus drivers. Buses are enormous, heavy vehicles. They can be challenging to operate, and it is crucial that bus companies conduct proper background checks, inspections, and maintenance. Certain steps should be taken behind the scenes to ensure that passengers, and others with whom the bus driver shares the road, are adequately protected.
Injuries stemming from bus accidents tend to be severe because there are no seat belts to hold passengers in place. Often there are multiple passengers who are thrown from their seats and suffer catastrophic or serious injuries from a secondary impact. There will be insurance policy limits that may play a significant role in whether you can recover and how much the recovery will be. A tour bus company, or another bus company, may be looking for ways to limit its exposure. It is crucial to have a seasoned lawyer by your side, advocating for you and your rights with the defendant, its insurers, and its attorneys, along with the mediator, judge, or jury involved in the lawsuit.
We may need to investigate or retain an accident reconstruction expert so that all potentially responsible parties can be held accountable. Damages we may be able to recover if we can establish liability include both economic and noneconomic losses. Economic losses may include medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, wage loss, and household services, if the injuries are severe such that you can’t clean the house, take care of children, or the like. Noneconomic losses arising out of a bus accident can vary dramatically depending on the harm that the jury believes would naturally flow from the types of injuries you suffered and your own circumstances. These damages can include pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment, and more.
With 35 years of experience litigating on behalf of those injured as a result of others’ negligence, Mark A. Siesel is well-positioned to represent you if you’ve been injured in a bus accident. He is a seasoned White Plains personal injury attorney who represents accident victims across New York in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, along with Westchester, Putnam, Kings, Orange, Dutchess, Sullivan, Rockland, and Ulster Counties. Call him at (914) 428-7386 or complete this online form.