Recent NY bus accident raises question of legal remedies for victims

Can bus accident victims qualify for legal remedies? Yes, but it may require specific legal procedures.

Public transportation generally provides a safe and efficient way to get around town. But bus accidents, just like any other motor vehicle accident, can result in serious injuries. Those who are injured in a bus accident may wonder whether they have any rights or legal remedies to help cover the costs that result from the accident. The answer will depend on a number of factors. A recent accident out of Brooklyn provides an opportunity to navigate these factors and help other victims understand the types of questions they must ask to determine what remedies are likely available.

The accident involved a Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) bus and two other vehicles. The accident was serious and emergency responders took multiple passengers to local hospitals for treatment. New York City Transit management arrived shortly afterwards and are looking into the details of the accident.

The first question the injured passengers would likely look into, after seeking medical treatment, is who was at fault. In motor vehicle accidents, the crash is often the result of negligence. Was the bus driver negligent? Was another driver negligent? The term negligence is a legal one that refers to someone's failure to do something. This term generally requires the victim establish four elements: duty, breach, causation and damage. The duty, when driving, is to operate the vehicle with care. This is generally a given. A breach occurs if the driver failed to operate the vehicle with care. The court usually requires evidence to establish this element in these cases. Next, that the breach caused or at least partially caused the accident and finally that the accident led to damages. Examples of damages include hospital bills and missed work.

Before moving forward with a negligence claim for a bus accident, the victim will also need to gather information about the driver. Is the driver an agent of a school, a government employee? The answer to these questions can impact the progression of the case. If the bus were a school bus or a city bus, as is the case here, the bus is likely owned by a government entity. A case involving the government involves special procedural requirements. This is a very important question as a failure to plan for this early on could result in lost time and unnecessary expenses when moving the case forward.

The main takeaway from this post: legal remedies are available for those who suffer catastrophic accidents or who lose a loved one due to a mass transit accident. Victims do not need to navigate these cases on their own. Legal counsel can fight for your rights and better ensure you receive these remedies while you focus on getting well.