Public transport vehicles follow specific rules to protect passengers and other road users from accidents. Such measures include inspection, installing seat belts, and ensuring that travelers do not change seats when the vehicle is moving. Despite these rules, public transportation accidents happen all the time and are capable of causing severe injuries and even death.
Victims of such accidents can seek compensation from the party responsible for the collision, and a Buffalo public transport accident lawyer may be able to help. Some of the damages potentially recoverable include:
- Emergency care expenses.
- Cost of transport to treatment facilities.
- Cost of adaptive equipment like wheelchairs.
- Expected future medical expenses.
If you suffered injuries in a public transport accident, reach out to Morelli Law Firm at (212) 751-9800 for a consultation and case analysis.
The Difference Between Public Transport Accidents and Other Auto Accidents
Unlike cars, some buses do not have enough safety devices—such as seat belts and side airbags—to reduce impact and protect occupants during a crash. They also carry many passengers, which increases the risk of severe injuries even further.
Furthermore, most public transport vehicles are massive and need more time and distance to stop when braking. If a driver spots an obstacle on the road when speeding, they might lose control and run into other cars or pedestrians. The impact of this collision can have a devastating impact on everyone involved.
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Causes of Public Transport Accidents
Studies have shown that the majority of traffic accidents occur because of a driver’s error. In an effort to prevent this, the law holds commercial drivers to a higher standard than most other motorists. They must pass various background checks and undergo frequent drug tests. Still, some companies do not check if their drivers meet these requirements and may not conduct the drug tests as needed. As a result, they may hire unqualified drivers, which can increase the risk of accidents.
The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) also requires public transport buses to undergo an inspection every six months. This routine can involve the assessment of individual auto parts and the working condition of the vehicle. However, some bus owners may fail to make the repairs identified in the inspection, which increases the risk of breakdown and a collision. Other frequent causes of public transport accidents include:
- Failure to observe road safety measures.
- Tired drivers.
- Operating the vehicle under the influence of drugs.
- Poor positioning of road barriers and signs.
- Driving too fast for weather conditions, like heavy rainfall.
- Reckless and aggressive driving.
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What to Do After a Public Transport Accident
After an accident, the first thing one should do is request emergency medical care and call the police. If your injuries prevent you from handling these steps yourself, someone else at the scene can get help. Whether at the scene or soon afterward, it is crucial to undergo a medical check-up even if there is no bleeding or physical pain. This measure can help identify and treat the injuries that may not show any signs at the time, such as whiplash.
In case there are any witnesses, you can ask for their contact details, as you may need the information when requesting compensation. It would also be best to take pictures of the injuries and the scene to serve as evidence. These details can help when filing a claim for the injuries suffered. Other vital information to gather after an accident is the responding officer’s name and their badge number, as their testimony may be helpful in your case.
Liable Parties in a Public Transport Accident
Various parties can be responsible for a public transportation collision, depending on the factors that caused it. For instance, a driver should observe all road safety measures and drive cautiously. If they failed to follow these rules and caused an accident, they may be liable for the damages.
Employers should also train their drivers and ensure that vehicles are in the right working conditions. Public bussing companies can therefore be accountable for losses if a faulty part or an untrained driver causes an accident. Other parties that can be responsible for these accidents include the following:
- Pedestrians and cyclists without the right of way
- Other negligent drivers
- Municipalities responsible for road maintenance
- Passengers who fail to observe the rules regarding conduct on public transportation
Due to the shared duty of maintaining public vehicles and observing safety rules, many parties may be accountable for an accident. A Buffalo public transport accident lawyer can assess the nature of a collision to identify the cause and the party responsible.
If you suffered injuries in a public transportation accident, you can determine the party at fault and claim damages. Reach out to Morelli Law Firm at (212) 751-9800 for a case review.
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How to Prove Liability in a Public Transport Accident Case
Road accidents can occur for many reasons, so it is crucial to identify the party at fault when requesting compensation. A Buffalo public transport accident lawyer can investigate how a collision occurred and get the evidence necessary to prove liability. For example, they can analyze skid marks to determine if the bus driver was speeding during the accident. They may also discuss the case with medical and collision experts who will examine the evidence to determine the nature and extent of the damages.
To establish the party liable for the collision and estimate your damages, your lawyer may gather the following types of evidence before filing a claim:
- Police statements about the accident
- Photographs of the injuries suffered
- Receipts of medical costs incurred in treating injuries
- Witness statements
- Traffic camera and video footage showing how the crash occurred
- A forensic expert’s report
Contact Morelli Law Firm for a Public Transport Accident Case Evaluation
At Morelli Law Firm, we can investigate how a collision happened and identify the party at fault. Filing a settlement claim can help you recover the medical costs incurred from a public transport accident, as well as damages like lost income and loss of the ability to enjoy some activities.
Our lawyers may also offer legal advice on the various steps and decisions involved in the claim filing process. Reach out to Morelli Law Firm accident lawyers at (212) 751-9800 to assess your case.