New Jersey Bus Accident Attorney
Each day, millions of Americans ride buses to work, to school, and to get to other daily activities. For many New Jersey residents, the bus is their only mode of transportation. With so many buses traversing our roadways, accidents are inevitable. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that almost 500 people are killed in bus accidents every year. Hundreds more are injured daily.
Common Causes of Bus Collisions
Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari has handled many New Jersey bus injury accident claims. These are some of the common causes of bus collisions:
- Bus driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Bus driver fatigue
- Bus driver inattention
- Faulty bus equipment (particularly brakes and tires)
- Careless operation of the bus
- Failure to allow passengers to be properly seated before proceeding on the bus route (causing passengers to fall)
- Failure to yield to pedestrians, resulting in pedestrian knockdowns
Compensation for New Jersey Bus Accident Injuries
As bus passengers are not, in most cases, restrained with seatbelts, there is a high potential for serious injuries when an impact occurs. Common bus accident injuries include:
- Fractured bones
- Torn ligaments and tendons
- Lacerations and bruising
- Facial injuries
- Head injuries (especially concussions and skull fractures)
Being injured in a bus accident can have both immediate and long-term consequences. You will have medical expenses and pain and suffering, and may have to take time off work to recover from your injuries. Serious or catastrophic injuries leave the injured facing life ahead with damage impacting future earning potential as well as quality of life.
Passengers and pedestrians are very rarely at fault for causing a bus accident and are therefore almost certainly entitled to damages for injuries. New Jersey claims arising from bus accidents often include:
- Past and anticipated medical and therapy expenses
- Lost wages and anticipated lost earning capacity
- Home and vehicle modifications (such as wheelchair ramps)
- Pain and suffering, disfigurement, and loss of quality of life
- Wrongful death damages (for those who have lost a loved one)
Bus Accidents and Insurance Companies
If you have been injured in a bus accident, you will need medical treatment, and determining which insurance company gets the bill can be a confusing matter. Some buses are required to provide insurance coverage for medical treatment of injured passengers, while other bus companies may not carry sufficient insurance to cover the cost of damages. Our New Jersey bus accident lawyers will ensure that your medical bills are submitted to the correct insurance company and sort out the paperwork associated with your claim so you can focus on your health and recovery.
Insurance companies often fail to have your interests in mind when attempting to settle a claim. The company’s representatives are concerned with minimizing payouts to protect the company’s bottom line. We can skillfully negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, protect your interests, and will fight for the full and fair compensation that you deserve.
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Bus Accident Claim in New Jersey?
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, various parties may be held liable in bus accident injury claims, including:
- Bus drivers: The driver may be at fault for accident if he or she fails to operate the bus in a safe manner or per the rules of the road.
- Drivers of other vehicles: Other drivers sometimes cause collisions with a bus when they violate traffic laws and fail to operate their vehicles properly.
- Bus companies: If the bus was not properly maintained and its state of disrepair contributed to the accident, the bus company may be held liable for damages.
- Bus manufacturers: The manufacturer may be found liable if a manufacturing defect contributed to the accident or injuries sustained in the collision.
- Vehicle maintenance companies: Faulty maintenance can lead to equipment failure and accidents, in which case the maintenance company may be liable for injuries.
- Local and state agencies: When the bus company is a subcontractor to a municipal or state agency, that agency may be liable for injuries if negligent bus maintenance caused or contributed to the accident.
Statute of Limitations for Bus Accident Claims
There is a time limit imposed by law (statute of limitations) for personal injury claims in New Jersey – typically two years from the date of the injury. If you are filing a claim against a government agency, however, the time limit is far shorter. Notice of your intention to file a bus accident claim must be submitted to the appropriate office within 90 days of the incident (unless you were a minor at the time the incident occurred, in which case you have 90 days from the date of your 18th birthday). If you miss the filing deadline, your claim for damages could be forever barred.
Some Notable Bus Accident Settlements
Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari has successfully handled many New Jersey bus accident claims. A few examples of our bus accident injury settlements include:
- $1,505,665.75 – Motor Vehicle – Bus Accident – Wrongful Death
- $1,200,000 Settlement – Pedestrian Struck by Bus
- $900,000 Settlement – Bus Accident Head Injuries
- $675,000 – Pedestrian Trapped by Bus
Contact Our New Jersey Bus Accident Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a New Jersey bus accident, you need to speak with an attorney experienced in handling matters of this nature. Contact a New Jersey vehicle accident lawyer at Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari today. We can help you pursue appropriate claims against the bus company, the state or municipality (if warranted), or any other responsible party. We can be reached at (973) 635-5400.