Although we have far fewer buses on the roads in the Hudson Valley than in New York City, it is still a common occurrence to see various kinds of schoolbuses, municipal buses, commuter buses, and tour buses. Passengers, drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists should know that there are many possible ways that a bus can be involved in or cause an accident, crash or injury. Some of the most common causes include:
- Poor maintenance
- Negligent driving decisions
- Driver fatigue
- Weather or road conditions
- Blind spots
- Bus fires
- Driver distraction
- Weight distribution problems
There are three common ways you could be involved in a bus accident:
Bus Crash or Accident as a Passenger
If you are a passenger involved in a bus accident, and you have your own auto insurance in New York State, you may be partially covered by your own no-fault insurance, and the bus company and insurer are not required to pay first-party benefits to you. No-fault insurance covers scenarios resulting from the normal use and operation of the bus, so if the cause of injury was from a sudden stop, reckless driving, or an intoxicated driver, you would have a good chance of obtaining some compensation from no-fault insurance.
If you slip and fall while the bus is completely stopped, no-fault insurance may not apply, and you’d have to pursue compensation directly from the bus company or other responsible party.
If you are not covered by an insurance policy, if your economic losses are higher than $50,000, and if your lost wages exceed the limit of $2,000 a month, you may wish to pursue action against the bus company or the operator of the bus.
If your child was injured on a school bus due to the negligence of the bus operator, then action can be pursued against the bus driver, bus company or school district.
Bus Crash as a Driver
If you are injured in a car-bus accident and you are driving, and you have auto insurance in New York State, your own no-fault insurance may cover up to $50,000 in damages as well as 80% of your lost wages up to a limit of $2,000 a month. If your damages exceed that, and the accident was caused by the bus driver/company’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation from them and their insurance company.
Bus Crash as a Pedestrian or Cyclist
Just as in the other scenarios, no-fault insurance covers pedestrians and cyclists. If you do not have no-fault insurance, or your damages exceed the thresholds of what no-fault insurance covers ($50,000 in damages and 80% of lost wages up to $2,000/month), and the injury was caused by the negligence of another party, you may be able to seek compensation from them.
If you’ve been injured in a bus accident, the clock starts ticking immediately on being able to receive compensation for your injuries and lost wages. To learn about your legal options, give us a call at 845-600-0000 to receive a free consultation from our team of personal injury lawyers in Poughkeepsie, NY and Kingston, NY.