57 On Board Tour Bus From Hudson Valley Hospitalized After Crash On NY
Our New York bus accident lawyers know how devastating a bus accident can be. Every year, thousands of bus accidents occur in the state of New York and the nation as a whole. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics estimates that there were 60,000 bus accidents nationwide in 2018. According to the New York Police Department, over 200 busses were involved in accidents in November 2020 alone. Assuming 200 is the average per month for New York City, that means over 1,200 bus accidents will occur in the city in a single year. Bus accidents are commonplace, and they can be dangerous for both drivers and passengers. For over two decased, our New York City bus accident lawyers have represented people who are injured in bus crashes and accidents, including cases where buses hit other cars, buses hit pedestrians and even cases where buses crashed into a bridge.
Another tragic accident occurred recently, where a tour bus headed from the Hudson Valley crashed on the New York Thruway about 25 miles west of Syracuse, sending 57 people to the hospital. The crash happened Saturday afternoon, Aug. 14 on westbound I-90 near Exit 40 (Weedsport) in Cayuga County when it exited the roadway for an unknown reason and rolled over onto the grassy shoulder, according to New York State Police. All 57 occupants, including the driver, were transported for injuries ranging from minor to serious.
The crash is still under investigation and more information will be released as it becomes available, police said.
A bus accident is almost always a disorienting experience for the victims who live through them. Immediately after an accident, if you do not appear too injured, call the police if no one else has done so. It is important that the accident is reported as soon as possible, as any accident must be reported by law. It also has the benefit of allowing you a fresh and immediate recollection of the event if you provide a statement to the officers who show up at the accident scene. However, if you or your fellow passengers are severely injured, it is understandable to seek medical attention first and speak with the police at the hospital.
The steps you should take after a bus accident are much the same as those you would take if you were involved in a crash while driving your own car. As you wait for the police, begin documenting the event. Take photos or videos of the scene and the license plate of the bus and other vehicles involved in the accident, collect contact information from the drivers involved and other passengers, and begin noting down the various details of the accidents. Once you have spoken with the police and provided your information to them, seek medical attention for your injuries. A doctor’s statements and records will be vital when you approach your insurance company for coverage or speak with an attorney about pursuing a lawsuit.
Finally, unless you have an attorney present, do not speak with another party’s attorneys or investigators. Large bus companies, both private and public, will have attorneys and investigators seeking the best resolution for the company, not you. Do not agree to a meeting and do not answer their questions as they may seek to mislead you and undermine your case.
New York has clearly set rules and regulations in place to help eliminate the need for legal action in the event of an accident, and usually, that need is stopped specifically by one’s own auto insurance policy.
In the event that a victim is not covered by such a personal auto policy, then a bus company or its insurer is responsible for paying the first-party benefits. Every bus company is required by NY Veh & Traf L § 312 to provide proof of insurance when registering their vehicles in the state of New York. They may satisfy this requirement through a commercial auto policy with an insurance company or through a certificate of self-insurance where the company is able to financially cover themselves.
In either case, the first-party benefits of an insurance policy will cover the basic economic losses of your personal injuries. These losses can include medical expenses, lost wages, and similar costs up to a maximum of $50,000 dollars. Additionally, every commercial auto insurance policy must include liability coverage in varying minimum amounts depending on the circumstances of an accident. All policies must also provide uninsured motorist coverage in equal minimum amounts as the minimum amounts required for liability insurance, in order to cover accidents with uninsured vehicles or hit-and-run motorists.
New York has empowered its courts to determine compensation amounts proportional to liability for personal injuries. For this reason, it’s important that you take every step to prove the liability of an at-fault party, as this will determine how much compensation you receive. However, this is not often a simple matter when a bus accident occurs due to the number of people that can be involved, and it is best if you speak with an attorney immediately so that you can go over the facts of the case together and understand who to sue.
Oftentimes, accidents are caused by a driver making a poor decision that heightens the risk of, and ultimately causes an accident. If this is the case, the company may be liable as well as the driver if the driver was intoxicated or taking medications that inhibited their ability to operate a vehicle. A company is responsible for making sure that their drivers are trained and prepared for driving their vehicles every day, and a failure to do so breaches their duty to ensure the safe transportation of riders.
If another vehicle collides with the bus, then you will need to consider the other vehicle’s driver as a potentially liable party. Their actions may have been reckless or negligent, and if so, they should be held responsible for part of your compensation as well.
The police reports and the accident documentation performed after an accident are all good starting points for determining fault. With these, you have a good base of evidence to draw from to reconstruct the moments leading to, during, and immediately after a crash. Additionally, all of the contact information you gathered will allow your attorney to call eyewitnesses to the stand and to verify if the drivers involved had safe driving records before this crash occurred.
If you were injured in a bus crash, call our New York bus accident lawyers for a free consultation.