There are almost 60,000 bus accidents every year in the United States. Hundreds of people are killed and thousands more are injured.
Many of these accidents occur due to a bus driver’s negligence. Whether the accident occurs as a result of poor driving, distracted driving, the failure to yield the right of way to pedestrians, vehicles and bicyclists, or simplying going to fast, the operator of a vehicle and the operator’s employer is responsible for injuries that occur because of such behavior. The operator and their employer are also responsible for injuries that occur because of an accident caused by the failure to properly maintain and/or equip the bus with proper, functioning parts.
If you have been injured in a bus accident, you must protect your rights. In New York, there are strict requirements and short deadlines for making a claim against a city, town, or authority responsible for operating buses. In fact, the law requires that an injured party file a “Notice of Claim” before they are permitted to start a lawsuit. A notice of claim must be filed within 90 days of the accident. A lawsuit may not be commenced before the notice of claim is filed, and generally, the City, town, or authority is given 30 days to adjust (settle) the claim. In most instances, the claim is not settled and a law suit will be started. The city, town or authority is also entitled to demand a “50-h hearing.” This hearing is named after General Municipal Law Section 50-h, which gives the municipal entity the ability to conduct the hearing. The hearing is similar to a deposition. The claimant swears an oath to tell the truth and is questioned in front of a court reporter that transcribes everything that is said. The municipal entity is also entitled to conduct a physical examination, but this is frequently, though not always, waived.
Once all of these conditions have been satisfied, a law suit may be started. The statute of limitations within which a lawsuit must be commenced against the City of New York, its agencies, the New York City Department of Education, and the Metropolitan Transit Authority, are all one year and 90 days. Due to these extremely short deadlines, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel as soon as possible.
If you have been injured in a bus accident you have the right to receive compensation. For instance, you are entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages to compensate you for your inability to work, your pain and suffering as a result of your injuries, and the changes that happened in your life because of that pain. Injuries arising from these accidents have a ripple effect that only become worse with time. Seeking medical treatment and protecting your legal rights ensures you a secure financial future and also starts you on a path to recovery.
There are laws in New York State to protect you from being injured in a bus accident. Being struck by a bus, or being involved in an accident as a passenger can result in serious injury, and could prevent you from working to support yourself and your family. Call Gorayeb & Associates to begin the process of retaining compensation and security for you and your family.