Bus travel is one of the safest modes of transportation, even in Queens. However, because there are more people on a given large vehicle, more people are at risk of injury or death in a bus accident. The intense combination of airport, event, and commuter rush hour traffic contributes to a growing number of car accidents in Queens. MTA city buses and commercial vehicles, likewise, can be a source of significant risk if something goes wrong. In many incidents, especially those involving pedestrians or bicyclists, the consequences can include severe injuries or even fatalities. Many elements can lead to a bus collision. These include but are not limited to:
- Distracted or inexperienced drivers who are unfamiliar with New York roads
- Drivers who are preoccupied with their navigation system, phone, or other electronic device(s)
- Bus drivers who don’t see smaller vehicles nearby
- Intoxicated drivers
In Queens’ many crowded urban neighborhoods, bus drivers must be especially focused and practice proper care in safeguarding their passengers. Bus drivers and company owners are responsible for their passengers’ safety, as well as others on the road. A good portion of accidents are unforeseeable, but more occur due to the lack of exercising due care. Negligence is often an issue in bus collisions as well as car accidents.
In addition to public bus transportation, private bus companies only add to the problem. With over 3,000 private bus companies across the country, many of them operate all over the Big Apple. The multibillion-dollar industry is packed and diverse, including operators with scheduled intercity services ranging from corporate buses to small businesses with only a few buses. In NYC, various discount lines, such as Chinatown buses, run across many neighborhoods in Queens.
Others contract with casinos in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut to transport New Yorkers all day long. The sheer number of buses on any given day can create mayhem when it comes to moving traffic along safely. While drivers share a significant portion of responsibility for any given accident, bus companies can also be held accountable. Bus owners can be liable for negligence, in the form of failing to oversee their employees and maintaining the practice of proper rules and regulations.
In the State of New York, if you’re injured by or on a bus, such as an MTA vehicle, train, or subway, you must file a Notice of Claim within 90 days of the accident. If you miss the 90-day mark, you might permanently lose your right to sue for damages. Once the MTA or another entity receives your notice of claim, they will investigate and may offer you a settlement. Do not be surprised if the settlement is less than you deserve. It’s best to contact a bus accident attorney who knows the ins and outs of not only dealing with the tedious administrative process, but also how to recover the most compensation for your injuries, lost income, property damage, medical care, and pain and suffering.