Accidents involving buses can lead to catastrophic injuries to passengers, pedestrians, and people in other vehicles. Many buses in New York are operated by private bus companies who provide tour and charter buses throughout the state. When there is a bus accident, it may seem evident that the negligence of the bus driver was the cause, but a bus company can also be held accountable.
A bus company may be negligent in hiring the driver that caused the accident. The driver may have had a DUI conviction or another traffic-related offense on his or her record, but the bus company failed to perform a background check and allowed the driver behind the wheel. The company may also have failed to check the driver’s work history or check references. This was the case in the fatal September 2017 bus crash in Queens. A driver plowed a charter bus into a New York City bus, killing himself and two others. It was revealed that he had lost his job with the MTA after a drunk driving incident two years prior. Yet he was allowed to drive a bus for a private bus company.
A private bus company may also be held liable for an accident if it failed to adequately train the driver before allowing him or her to operate the bus. Some drivers are not provided enough behind-the-wheel training before they get on the road. In a rush to get things moving, a bus company may send a driver out on the job before that driver feels comfortable driving such a large vehicle.
Sometimes a bus crash is not caused by the driver but results from an issue with the bus itself. Bus companies are required by state and federal law to perform regular maintenance and conduct inspections on the buses in their fleets. A failure to properly maintain the bus can lead to problems with a bus’s brake system, turn signals, or other parts of the bus. This could, in turn, lead to a bus accident.
Bus companies are regulated by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). However, many of these companies continue to operate despite safety violations. If you are concerned about a particular bus company, you can check the safety ratings of private bus companies on the FMCSA’s Safety Measurement System. The database also includes information about a company’s inspection history and any violations. In addition, the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) published a report in September identifying the ten most dangerous bus companies operating in New York City based on information from the FMCSA.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have been representing injured New Yorkers for over 50 years. 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