Scores of commuters choose to ride the bus in New York. While traveling by bus is often safe, accidents do happen. Unfortunately, people become injured in bus accidents, sometimes severely. Bus accidents might lead to some confusion as injured persons wonder who is liable for their damages. Essentially, any party that contributed negligently might be held liable.
Suing the negligent parties
To assess negligence, an attorney may examine who was at fault, who had a duty to prevent harm and other factors. Often, the investigation involves determining how and why the accident took place. If a driver with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority took to the road intoxicated and caused an accident, an injured party may sue the driver and the city. The driver’s inebriated state would likely satisfy negligence standards, and the MTA might also share in the negligence.
An attorney may ask: Did the driver show up at work impaired? Were people aware that the driver had substance abuse issues? If the MTA knew but did not address the matter, then the MTA might be equally liable for damages.
Lawsuits and accidents involving other parties
What happens if a bus’s brakes failed? Questions may arise about whether the MTA or the driver knew about the problem. If a third-party provided faulty repairs, then that party might be negligent. Did the MTA’s management ignore complaints about brake problems on a particular bus, or were poor inspection and quality control procedures performed? Actions and non-actions could open doors to liability.
A bus driver could perform his or her job the right way but still get into an accident with a passenger car driver. If the bus driver came to a complete stop at a red light and a drunk driver rear-ended the bus, liability may rest solely with the driver who hit the bus. However, there could be other issues of negligence present. What if someone held onto a safety handrail in the bus, and it turned out that the handrail was loose? Poor maintenance could lead the bus company into legal trouble.
Bus accidents might involve negligence committed by several parties, including the bus driver, the bus company or another third party. A personal injury attorney representing an accident victim may file suit against all liable parties.