Legal Issues Surrounding the Recent Tragic School Bus Accident By Michael Joseph on September 21, 2023

It was a tragic day for the Hudson Valley community after news broke that a high school bus carrying students and a few teachers had crashed on I-84, killing two adults, including the school's band director. This is a massive blow to everyone who knew and loved the deceased, and the community is still in shock. However, amidst the grief and sorrow, it is essential to take a sober look at the accident's facts and analyze them. In this blog post, our Westchester bus accident lawyers will do a detailed analysis of the bus crash that occurred on I-84 and understand what led to the accident.

The bus accident occurred on a rainy afternoon on I-84; the bus was carrying high school students and teachers heading back after a band performance. The bus lost control, rollover, and landed on its side in the car's front area; two adults in the bus died on the spot, and several others were injured. According to eyewitness reports and preliminary investigations, the bus driver was driving faster than was reasonably safe for the road conditions at the time of the crash and probably lost control of the vehicle due to the slippery road conditions.  While the authorities have yet to release the investigation report, it is essential to note that speeding or reckless driving can contribute significantly to the cause of a bus accident. New York's V.T.L. 1180, not only requires that drivers operate vehicles under a certain speed limit, but even when operating within the speed limit, the law requires that they drive at a safe speed for the road conditions and make adjustments for weather conditions. 

Further investigation also showed that the bus was carrying more people than its recommended capacity. This is another factor that could have led to the fatal outcome, as overloading a bus makes it difficult for the driver to control the vehicle's movement, particularly when operating in inclement weather. High school buses are often responsible for ferrying students to and from events and ensuring their safe transport is a top priority. In particular, schools must adhere to recommended seating capacity, which ensures the bus, remains stable when in motion.

The incident's aftermath saw emergency medical services attend to the scene and transported injured students to the hospital for treatment. However, several students were reported to be in critical condition, with some requiring acute medical attention. The accident could have been worse, and the emergency medical team's swift response helped to prevent further loss of life. Nevertheless, the scale of the tragedy has again brought into sharp focus the importance of creating policies and initiatives that prioritize road safety and emergency medical response.

The bus crash on I-84 Hudson Valley was a tragic event that has left the community in shock, grief, and pain. It is heart-wrenching to know that a bus carrying students and teachers can have such a catastrophic event. However, we must take a sober look at the facts and analyze them to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. This includes adhering to recommended seating capacity when carrying passengers, ensuring bus drivers maintain safe speeds and fostering policies that will bolster emergency medical services. Together, we can ensure that our roads are safe for everyone.


Bus accidents can have devastating consequences, both physically and emotionally. If you or someone you know has suffered injuries in a bus accident, it's important to seek legal counsel and understand the requirements for filing a personal injury lawsuit. New York's laws are a guantlet for the unweary, because while a family is mourning the loss of a loved one or an injured passenger is recovering from their injuries, New York law requires that you take certain actions to protect yourself.  First, with buses, the law is counterintuitive concerning who pays the medical bills. If the passenger on the bus was employed by the school, they receive workers compensation benefits. For students involved in a bus accident, if the student lives in a household that owns a car, the student or thier parents, have to apply to their own insurance company for no fault benefits. No fault benefits includes payment of medical bills. So even though a child was hurt on a bus, the medical bills have to be paid by the parent's car insurance. Even more unusual, New York law requires that the parent or injured passenger submit a no fault application within 30 days of the accident, or they may not receive any benefits, and will be stuck with the medical bills. If there is no car in the household, only then does the bus company have to pay the medical bills, but the injured person or their parent, still has to submit a no fault claim within 30 days to the bus company's insurance carrier. 

New York law also has laws that protect munipalities including school boards. If the bus was owned or operated by a School District, the injured party needs to serve a notice of claim within 90 days to preserve their right to sue. The notice of claim must also be served on the correct entity which can be tricky because often times school districts are independent of local towns or villages.

By establishing liability, notifying the appropriate parties, documenting your injuries, and filing your lawsuit within the applicable deadline, you can take the necessary steps to secure the compensation you or your loved one deserves. Remember, you don't have to navigate the legal process alone. An experienced  personal injury lawyer can guide you through every step of the process and help you get the justice you deserve.

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The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC

Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC

The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC, has been helping injured victims recover compensation for their injuries for over a decade. Our attorneys are members of several prestigious organizations, including: 

  • New York State Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • New York County Bar Association
  • Westchester County Bar Association

To request your free initial consultation with our team, call our New York City office at (212) 858-0503 or our White Plains office at (914) 574-8330. You can also request a case review online.

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