A bus accident can have devastating effects on the victim and result in life-altering serious injuries. However, when you examine some bus accidents, there can be questions about whether or not legal action is appropriate. The idea that a personal injury lawsuit follows every accident is not always true, especially when the bus driver appears to have done nothing wrong.
Bronx Man Left With Serious Leg Injury After A City Bus Accident
In June 2017, a Bronx man tangled with a city bus and sustained a serious leg injury. The eyewitness accounts reveal that, as the bus was making a right turn, the man walked into the side of the bus as it was moving. He damaged one of the side panels, and then was dragged under the bus until it stopped. Those same witnesses stated that the man’s leg looked to be significantly damaged, and there were even fears that the man could lose the leg.
This bus accident might look like a clear case of driver negligence, and it may even support legal action for the victim. But there are plenty of questions that need to be answered before a personal injury lawsuit can be filed.
Establishing Fault After An Accident
Investigators will look at several elements of the incident to try and establish blame. Was the bus safely on the road when it made its turn or was it too close to or on the sidewalk? Did the driver run a red light and catch the victim off-guard, or was the driver following all traffic laws? Was the driver incapacitated in any way, or was he a clean employee doing his job?
The victim may not be blameless in this, and his actions may negate any chance of bringing forth a lawsuit. Why did the victim walk into the side of a moving bus? Was the victim incapacitated in any way? Was the victim watching where he was walking? Did the victim illegally attempt to cross the street when the bus had the right of way?
For now, in this particular accident, the hope is that this man did not lose his leg. But there is a legal aspect to this accident that will have to eventually come out. The victim and his family do not have to accept the formal report filed for the incident as they can challenge it in court. However, challenging an official accident report would require evidence that the victim may never be able to produce.
What Happens After A Bus Accident?
The laws associated with bus accidents are part of the common carrier set of laws that govern intra and interstate transportation. Whether the bus company is privately owned or run by the municipality, it is subject to the transportation laws established by the state and local governments.
Since buses serve the public, they fall under a stricter set of guidelines when it comes to driver negligence. Someone who is injured in a bus accident or by a bus would file their case under a different set of laws that apply specifically to public transportation. Not only are bus drivers under closer scrutiny because they serve the public, but the fact that buses charge a fee also puts them into a different type of legal category.
Because bus services fall under the government’s jurisdiction, the time frames for filing a personal injury lawsuit are different. Normally you would have three years to file a personal injury lawsuit in New York City, but the government has special guidelines. Those guidelines are:
- You must file your claim for a lawsuit within 90 days of the incident occurring. If you do not file the proper claim within 90 days, then you cannot file a lawsuit.
- The City of New York can deny your claim, even if you file it in time.
- If the city approves your claim, then you have one year from the date of the incident to file your lawsuit.
A bus accident is a serious event that can cause significant property damage and injuries. If you have been involved in a bus accident, then you need to file your claim quickly if you want the chance to file a lawsuit to get the compensation you deserve.