Hempstead Bus Accident Lawyer
Using public transportation like the bus is common on Long Island, and people rely on buses daily. If the bus driver is negligent, passengers and other drivers might be badly injured in bus accidents.
Bus accidents are often caused by factors including distracted driving, fatigued drivers, or inexperienced drivers. They might also be caused by problems with bus equipment or even other drivers on the road. The tricky part of a bus accident is figuring out whom to hold liable. While bus drivers are often the primary defendants, the private bus company that employs them might be vicariously liable, and the government could be liable when public transit buses are involved. To have the defendants held liable, we must prove their negligence, which requires establishing four critical legal elements. Bus accident cases are sometimes worth a lot of money because injuries tend to be severe.
Call The Carrion Law Firm at (631) 910-7493 for a free case review with our bus accident lawyers.
Causes of Bus Accidents in Hempstead
One of the leading causes of bus accidents is bus driver negligence. Bus drivers are behind the wheel of an enormous vehicle full of passengers, and the driver must constantly be aware and alert. For example, if the driver is distracted by their phone, talking to a passenger, or otherwise not paying attention to the road, they could cause a severe crash.
Buses are complicated machines, and they are decked out in various pieces of equipment designed to help the bus run smoothly and ensure safety. If something fails to work properly, an accident becomes more likely. For example, buses are equipped with emergency exit windows and roof hatches so people can quickly get off the bus in case of an accident or other hazards. If these hatches cannot open properly, passengers might get hurt.
Other drivers on the road often cause or contribute to bus accidents. Buses are very heavy vehicles and cannot stop on a dime. If another driver abruptly cuts off the bus, the bus driver might have no time to hit the brakes to avoid a collision. The situation worsens if the bus driver is speeding when the other driver cuts them off. We can help you understand how your crash happened so we can hold the right parties accountable.
Whom to Hold Liable for a Bus Accident in Hempstead
We assess damages and gather evidence to help us prove that the defendant should be held liable for your injuries. In cases where the cause of the accident is complex, it could be hard to determine who should be held liable. We are familiar with these kinds of cases and will assist you in figuring out liability.
The Bus Driver
People injured in bus accidents often turn to the driver of the bus as the main defendant. This makes sense, considering the bus driver’s negligence is usually the crash’s proximate cause. While the driver should have insurance to help cover your damages, it might not be enough. Injuries from bus accidents can be devastating, and one bus driver’s insurance policy might only provide limited coverage. Our team can help you figure out if other parties should share liability.
Private Bus Company
The bus driver’s employer could also be liable under a special legal rule known as respondeat superior. According to this legal doctrine, an employer may be vicariously liable for injuries caused by the negligence of an employee.
Our bus accident lawyers can help you sue the bus company that hired the negligent driver who caused your accident. Remember, this might only be possible if the bus driver’s negligence occurred while they were performing work as part of their job duties. If the bus driver was not authorized to drive that day or did something not part of their job, the company that hired the driver might not be vicariously liable.
If the city operated the bus in your accident – many buses used for public transit are owned and operated by municipalities – you might have a case against the local government. Suing the government is a bit different than suing a private entity, and there are some extra hurdles you might need to overcome.
First, when you sue a municipal entity, you must submit a notice of the claim to the proper government authority. Under G.M.U. Law § 50-E, you have 90 days from the date of the bus accident to submit your notice of claim to the city. If the notice is late, you might be unable to sue the city for damages. This is a very tight time frame, and you should speak to a lawyer about your case as soon as possible.
How to Prove Liability for a Hempstead Bus Accident
Proving liability in bus accident cases usually means proving how the defendant was negligent. Negligence is not some subjective opinion on the defendant’s behavior but is defined by law. To prove negligence, we must establish the factors of duty, breach, causation, and damages.
Duty refers to the defendant’s legal obligation owed to the plaintiff. In bus collisions and many other auto accident claims, the defendant owed a duty to drive with reasonable safety under the circumstance while obeying the traffic code. Considering that the defendant might be a bus driver tasked with transporting numerous passengers, their duty might be very strict.
Next, we must show how the defendant breached their duty. The breach might be unique to your case, but traffic violations, distracted driving, or bus malfunctions are common.
To establish causation, we must show how the defendant’s breach of their legal duty was the direct and proximate cause of the accident. The defendant might claim that some other intervening force caused the accident, and we must be prepared to combat such claims.
Finally, we need to establish the existence of your damages. You cannot sue for injuries that never happened, and we need to show how your injuries are real and not hypothetical or merely close calls.
Call Our Hempstead Bus Accident Lawyers Today
Call our bus accident lawyers at The Carrion Law Firm at (631) 910-7493 for a free case evaluation.