Every day thousands of buses travel through the streets of New York City transporting millions of passengers. Buses owned by New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) account for 80% of the buses on the road. Due to their massive size, bus accidents can cause devastating injuries to passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers. If a bus owned by the City is the source of your injury, can the City be held liable?
Can the City be Liable?
In addition to being held responsible for negligent operation of the bus, the MTA can be liable for a bus accident if the agency has been negligent. This negligence can be based on different theories:
- Inadequate Training—the MTA is required to train their drivers before allowing them to operate a city bus. Some bus drivers are not provided with enough behind-the-wheel training before they are allowed to start driving. Training can be critical.
- Negligent Maintenance—the MTA is required to keep all of its buses in good working order. If an accident is caused by a problem with the bus that should have been recognized by the MTA, then the agency can be held liable.
Bringing a Claim against the City
The MTA is self-insured, meaning that you deal directly with the agency and not with an insurance company. Just as with any other vehicle, a bus is required to have insurance that will cover medical expenses and lost wages for individuals injured by the bus. If you are injured by an MTA bus, you should file a no fault claim with your auto insurance. If you do not have a car and have to file a no fault claim against the MTA, you must do so within 30 days, and claims for medical treatment must be submitted within 45 days of treatment. The MTA will pay the doctor or hospital directly. You must also file a timely claim for any lost wages (within 90 days of the accident).
If you can prove that the public agency (MTA) or the driver of the bus was negligent and that this negligence was the cause of your injuries, then you can file a lawsuit against the MTA. Lawsuits against the MTA are different from typical accident lawsuits. For one thing, in order to sue the MTA, you must first file a written notice of claim within 90 days of your accident. If you fail to file a timely notice of claim, and you fail to obtain a judge’s permission to file a late notice of claim, you can’t bring a lawsuit against the MTA regardless of whether or not you have grounds for a suit.
At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have been representing injured New Yorkers for over 50 years, and have successfully represented many plaintiffs injured by the MTA’s negligence. If you’ve been injured in a bus accident, contact us, and we will conduct a thorough and complete investigation to determine who may be at fault for your injury. Schedule a free consultation by contacting us online or calling us at 1-888-MED-LAW1. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español