Bus accidents can be both financially and emotionally draining, not to mention frightening. Whether you were on a cross-country adventure or just commuting to or from work or school, these accidents can cause serious injuries.
It’s important to recognize that bus accidents are different from standard vehicle accidents and should be handled by an experienced New Jersey bus accident attorney who understands all the components of these complex cases. Don’t hesitate to contact the bus accident attorneys at Petro Cohen P.C. today.
Types of Buses in New Jersey
There are many different types of buses that operate in New Jersey. For your personal injury claim, it might matter which type you were on. Types of buses may include:
- School buses,
- Municipal transportation vehicles,
- Airport or hotel shuttles,
- Private charter buses,
- Church buses,
- Tour buses, and
- Private bus lines.
If you have sustained injuries while riding in a bus as a passenger, or if your car was struck by a bus, your options for compensation might be different from someone involved in a regular vehicle accident. A New Jersey bus accident lawyer who is familiar with the state’s personal injury law can help you maximize your financial relief.
Common Causes of Bus Accidents
If you have experienced an injury or property damage because of a bus accident, it is important to determine the cause of the accident so that you can identify who is liable for your damages. There are a few common causes of bus accidents.
Whether the bus driver or the driver of another vehicle was at fault, distracted driving is a common cause of bus accidents. Examples of distracted driving include texting, changing music, picking something up off the floor, or dealing with other passengers in the vehicle.
Commercial bus drivers actually have limits on how long they can be behind the wheel without taking a break. These rules are similar to the laws in place for commercial truck drivers, and they are designed to keep the driver, the bus passengers, and other drivers on the road safe.
The bus company, or the entity that owns or operates the bus, is required to make sure their vehicle fleet meets all safety standards. Many buses are old and do not have seat belts and other safety equipment. If the failure to upgrade a bus falls outside of what is reasonable, the bus company might be liable for your damages.
Buses should be adequately maintained. If equipment like the brakes or power steering fails, it could be the fault of the manufacturer that provided a specific part, the bus company for failing to maintain the bus, or the mechanic who installed the part.
Heavy rain or snow can impact visibility or cause unsafe road conditions, such as ice or large puddles. Wind can also cause large debris to block roadways.
Weather can cause poor road conditions, but in some cases, roads are not repaired in a timely manner or lack proper warning about the condition of the road. Missing or downed traffic signs can also cause bus accidents.
Bus Accident Injuries
There are a lot of variables that influence the types of injuries that occur in bus accidents. The point of impact, the speed of the vehicles, and your position on the bus can all make a big difference. Some common bus accident injuries include the following:
- Broken bones,
- Cuts and lacerations,
- Torn ligaments and tendons,
- Internal bleeding,
- Nerve damage or nerve injuries,
- Spinal cord injuries,
- Internal organ damage, and
- Head injuries.
These injuries could be minor and heal on their own, or they might require medical care. Even if you think your injuries are minor, receiving proper care as soon as possible is crucial to protect your well-being and give yourself the best chance of making a full recovery. Keeping accurate records of all expenses related to your injuries will help your New Jersey bus accident attorney prove the value of your case and pursue a settlement or award that fairly compensates you.
Who Is Liable for Bus Accidents?
It is important to determine who is liable for your bus accident as soon as possible. This will determine the next steps you need to take to proceed with your claim. Some potentially responsible parties in bus accidents include the following:
- The bus driver,
- The driver of another vehicle,
- The company that owns the bus,
- The organization or government entity that owns the bus,
- The mechanic who maintains the bus,
- The manufacturer of a defective part, or
- The municipality responsible for maintaining the road.
In some cases, multiple parties might be liable. It is important that your New Jersey bus accident attorney has experience bringing claims against government entities as well as companies that may be responsible for their own behavior or the behavior of their employees.
Compensation for Bus Accident Injuries
The amount of compensation available for bus accident injuries depends on the circumstances of the accident and the extent of your injuries. In most cases, you will be eligible to receive economic and noneconomic damages.
Economic damages cover the actual expenses associated with your bodily injuries and with property damage. This includes all medical costs like emergency care, doctor visits, follow-up treatment, medication, and more. It also includes lost wages for the time you were unable to work or will not be able to work in the future. Your injury prognosis also affects how much compensation you can receive. If an injury requires life-long care, you would be eligible to receive more compensation than someone who required minor surgery and suffered no long-term effects.
Noneconomic damages are less straightforward but very important. An injury often affects you emotionally and physically as well as financially. Noneconomic damages compensate you for the emotional toll an injury has taken. These damages can include compensation for pain and suffering, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, and other emotional hardships an accident caused you.
Choosing a New Jersey Business Accident Lawyer
The award-winning team at Petro Cohen, P.C. has handled thousands of personal injury claims throughout New Jersey. Our attorneys have decades of experience helping our clients get the compensation they need and deserve. We are proud to provide compassionate representation when you need it the most. The emotional and financial burdens of injuries from a bus accident can be a lot to carry alone. We are here to help, and we work on contingency, meaning that we do not get paid until you do. Contact us to schedule your free case consultation.