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Who is liable in a bus accident?

Millions of people ride Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) buses in New York City every year. And for the most part, these trips are safe and comfortable journeys with well-trained drivers behind the wheel.

But because New York City is so crowded with all types of commuters, sometimes bus accidents happen due to sudden stops, pedestrians in the roadway, bicyclists or poor vehicle drivers.

In general, buses are considered common carriers, defined as an entity or a business with the job of transporting people or goods from point A to point B for compensation.  This includes municipal buses, school buses, commercial buses, taxi cabs and some kinds of trucks.

Because common carriers are responsible for the lives of several people, they are required to show a high degree of safety when it comes to transporting them.  This includes obeying all traffic laws, and not making any risky or hazardous maneuvers.  But when this doesn’t happen, and accidents take place due to their negligence, riders, other vehicle drivers, or pedestrians can be compensated for damages.

The key to winning a bus accident case is to determine who is actually liable.  This may sound easy on the surface, but in reality, it can be a complicated matter.  Several parties, ranging from the bus driver to the owners of the bus, or even a passenger that distracts a driver, can all be held accountable for contributory negligence if it can be proven they are at least partially at fault.

Sorting all of these issues out is not an easy task and can be challenging to an attorney who will also be going up against firms with substantial legal resources and a goal to pay out as little as possible.  While it will take some time to sort out the details, it’s important to be as accommodating as possible to ensure you get full compensation forexisting medical bills, future medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Isaacson, Schiowitz&Korson LLP proudly serves New York City, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Long Island, Nassau and surrounding communities.  Contact us for a free consultation at (212) 267-6557.