Brookhaven Bus Accident Lawyer
Passengers and occupants of other vehicles could face serious injuries in a bus accident. When bus drivers fail to use the proper care and skill to keep their riders and others on the road safe from injury, the bus driver could be liable for the accident. However, bus companies can often be held liable for their drivers’ mistakes as well.
Working with an attorney can help give your case the strength it needs to take on bus companies and their legal teams in order to get you compensation for your injuries. Pursuing damages through an insurance claim on your own can often end with low-dollar settlements that do not cover your needs in full.
For a free review of your potential injury case, contact the bus accident lawyers at The Carrion Law Firm today at (718) 841-0083.
Suing a Bus Company vs. a Bus Driver in Brookhaven, NY
When a driver causes a crash, they are usually personally on the hook for the accident. This means that they could be sued – under certain circumstances – and forced to pay damages to the victims of their negligence. However, things are a bit more complicated when it comes to New York’s no-fault rules, plus many accidents involving bus drivers can be filed against the bus company instead of the driver alone.
Suing for Bus Accidents
New York’s no-fault laws often mean that a lawsuit is blocked unless your injuries are very serious. As a bus passenger, you would be covered by the driver’s no-fault insurance regardless of who caused the accident. This could cover potentially very high amounts, as bus companies and bus drivers are required to carry insurance capable of covering injuries for the many passengers who could be injured in a crash.
However, this no-fault insurance might cover only a portion of your damages and will not cover pain and suffering. If your injuries are sufficiently “serious” and meet definitions under New York’s insurance laws, then you can sue instead and potentially claim full damages against the driver and the bus company.
If someone else caused the accident, then the bus insurance should cover you first. Then, any additional damages can be claimed against the at-fault driver if your injuries were severe.
If you were in another car when you were hit by a bus driver, then your own/your driver’s no-fault insurance covers you first, and you can sue the bus driver/bus company if your injuries were severe.
If your injuries were not serious enough, then you might be limited to an insurance claim only, but our bus accident lawyers can help you determine whether your injuries are serious enough and what insurance coverage you could be entitled to.
Suing a Bus Company
If the bus driver was working within the scope of their job duties as a bus driver when the accident occurred, then you should be entitled to include the bus company in any lawsuits you might file against the driver. Employers are often held vicariously liable in place of their employees for the accidents that they cause while fulfilling their job duties.
In the case of a bus driver causing an accident while driving a bus, there are very few scenarios where the bus driver would be off duty or acting outside the scope of their duties. If, however, the bus driver does go rogue and take the bus on a personal errand, then the bus company should not be considered at fault for its driver’s actions. The most common way that bus companies try to fight the claim that the driver was acting within the scope of their duties is by claiming that the driver was violating company policy, such as in cases of drunk driving or even speeding. However, these cases still involve questions for the judge and jury, and our attorneys can fight to hold drivers accountable even in these edge cases.
Bus companies might also be liable for their own mistakes, making them share at least partial responsibility for the crash. Bus companies are often the ones to maintain and repair their vehicles, and any equipment issues could be their fault.
Additionally, both drivers and companies are held to strict state and federal regulations regarding their service, vehicle safety, and driver safety. Violations could be the company’s fault, making them partially liable for the crash.
Damages for Injured Bus Accident Passengers in Brookhaven, NY
As mentioned, bus passengers and other people injured in bus accidents are often limited in the damages they can claim unless they show that their injuries are “serious.” In an insurance claim, you are often limited to only a portion of the medical bills and lost wages in your case, up to the limits of what the insurance policy covers. If you have serious injuries, then you can often claim additional damages above and beyond these limits in a lawsuit or a claim against the driver’s or bus company’s liability insurance.
In a basic insurance claim, you can receive up to 80% of lost wages with a maximum of $2,000 per month. You can also get $25 per day for up to a year to cover other expenses. All medical expenses should be covered in an ideal claim. However, all of this leaves damages that are not reimbursed in full.
When you file a lawsuit or liability claim against the at-fault driver, then you could be entitled to claim 100% of your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Damages for pain and suffering are particularly important in many cases, as they cover the intangible losses, like the fear, mental anguish, lost enjoyment of life, and other harms related to your injury. Filing a lawsuit might also be the only way to get your economic damages covered in full, so it is certainly worth exploring.
Call Our Bus Accident Attorneys in Brookhaven, NY
To get help with your case, call the bus accident attorneys at The Carrion Law Firm today at (718) 841-0083.