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Bus Accidents Attorney
Travel by bus is a way of life in New York City and other bustling urban centers. The landscape is dotted with school buses, tourist buses, coaches and mass transit. Bus travel remains an efficient and cost-effective mode of transport. The sheer size of a bus (and the fact that many lack safety belts) also gives riders a sense of security — one that may not always be justified.
Yet because of the very size of these vehicles, bus travel can be dangerous. According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, more than 200 fatal bus crashes occur in the U.S. every year; thousands more bus accidents result in serious injuries. Additionally, the rate of such accidents has been increasing. Given the potential severity of injuries occurring on buses , it’s critically important to understand what to do in the event of a collision.
What to do if you’ve been in a bus accident
Bus accidents differ from auto accidents in several key respects. First, the size of a bus can create a much more violent collision, and one that includes a larger number of cars. The added passenger capacity of a bus also means that the number of injuries occurring in a single collision may be much larger. Because buses often lack seat belts, air bags and other safety mechanisms, these injuries can also be quite severe in nature.
If you’re involved in a bus accident, either as a passenger, a pedestrian or the driver of another vehicle, there are some immediate steps you should take to help protect your physical and financial well being. The first of these steps is examining yourself for injuries and helping others who may need assistance. Even seemingly innocuous injuries can have devastating results (internal bleeding, for example), so if you have any concerns about your health, it’s vitally important that you seek medical treatment at once.
You should also attempt to document everything possible at the scene of the accident. Track down names and numbers of witnesses; ask the relevant authorities for insurance information and other data. Take photos or videos at the scene. You may wish to speak to law enforcement officers and ask for a business card, so you can track down the accident report once it’s available. Finally, once things have settled, you may wish to consult with an attorney.
Choosing the right attorney for your bus accident claim
Because of the nature of bus accidents, they can be more complex than auto collisions in terms of insurance claims or litigation. Bus companies often carry their own insurance which can differ significantly from standard auto coverage. The payout of such coverage could be influenced by the number of people injured, the severity of the injuries and jurisdictional law. For example, a policy that offers pooled coverage may have a set amount available for all claimants to divide.
For this reason, it’s critically important to consult with an attorney who has specific experience with bus accidents. These cases can be quite complex, so a law firm that specializes in bus accident litigation generally has the requisite expertise to ensure that you receive all to which you’re entitled.
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