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Who May Be at Fault in a Car Crash Involving a City Bus?

When a New York City bus collides with other vehicles and people are injured, the legal aftermath is complicated by a number of factors. Several parties may be at fault, including pedestrians. Buses are generally more difficult to maneuver and harder to stop. Due to a bus’s size and weight, it is likely to cause greater damage. And city buses are owned and operated by a public authority that enjoys a certain level of immunity from claims. All of this makes establishing liability and recovering fair and adequate compensation more difficult than in most auto accidents.

In New York, all parties whose negligence or other conduct contributed to an accident may be held responsible in proportion to their fault. In a bus accident, each of these parties may have some degree of liability:

  • Bus driver — Examples of bus driver negligence include driving while intoxicated or fatigued, allowing the vehicle to become overloaded and texting while driving.
  • The MTA — In New York, the Metropolitan Transit Authority and its subsidiary, the MTA Bus Company, operate the city bus system. The authority can be found negligent in hiring unqualified drivers, not enforcing safe driving practices and not maintaining safe equipment.
  • Pedestrian —A pedestrian who dashed into the street or ahead of the bus may be found contributorily negligent.
  • Drivers of other vehicles — Another car may have made an abrupt turn or swerved into a bus’s path, causing a collision that might involve multiple vehicles.
  • Maintenance or parts providers — Bus accidents may result from defective parts or substandard servicing of buses.
  • The city — If an accident was caused in part by a poorly maintained roadway, the injured party can take action against the city agency responsible for the road’s condition.

Since city buses are owned and operated by the MTA, a government agency, there is a special deadline for filing claims that applies. Individuals seeking damages from the MTA must file a Notice of Claim with the authority within 90 days of the date of the accident. If the claim alleges that poor road conditions contributed to the accident, separate notices to other responsible agencies are also required.

Due to the complexity of New York bus accident claims, it is advisable to enlist the help of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who can perform an in-depth investigation. The evidence gathered will be pivotal in obtaining the compensation you deserve from any individual or entity that directly or indirectly contributed to the bus accident.

The Licatesi Law Group, LLP represents New York auto accident victims and their families, pursuing fair and adequate compensation for their injuries. To arrange a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, call us at 516-227-2662 or contact us online at our Uniondale or Brooklyn office.

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