Bus & Truck Accidents
In the United States, over 700 million passengers are transported by bus every year. New York City boasts one of the nation’s most extensive systems totaling 5,710 rides per week and more than 2.5 million passengers per week. Contrary to popular belief, buses are not safer than cars. Bus accidents occur regularly, despite generally strong safety records. In fact, per million miles, bus and car accidents are almost the same. The University of Michigan’s 2010 study entitled “Type of Motor Carrier and Driver History in Fatal Bus Crashes” stated that 63,000 buses are involved in crashes each year. It also stated that “transit and school bus drivers were the least likely to contribute or cause an accident, while intercity and charter buses were associated with significantly higher odds of the driver error”.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 234 fatal bus accidents in 2014. Common causes of accidents include bus company negligence, bus driver negligence, bus driver fatigue, bad weather, blind spots, left turns, another driver, and bus fires.
The most common bus accidents are front, back, and side collisions. They also involve stationary objects, pedestrians, and bystanders. In addition to injuries and fatalities, accidents can also cause substantial property damages. Driver’s failure to yield is the most frequent cause of bus accidents and drivers over age 55 are more likely to cause accidents. In the categories of negligence, employers are sometimes at fault for not providing proper training, not carrying out proper, regular vehicle maintenance, and not complying with government regulations.
In 2014, of the 29,989 fatal crashes on the Nation’s roadways, 3,649 (12.2 percent) involved at least one large truck or bus. In addition, there were an estimated 6,035,000 nonfatal crashes, 472,000 (7.8 percent) of which involved at least one large truck or bus.
According to the Federal Motor Safety Carrier Safety Administration, in 2009, there were 5.5 million truck accidents recorded in the United States which resulted in $48 billion worth of damages both to people and property. In 2010, in New York State alone, there was 11,572 truck crashes reported with an astonishing 45% of those taking place between 6 am and noon. Most of these accidents were due to driver fatigue after a long night of driving. The statistics compiled by the New York Department of Motor Vehicles corroborates this and further shows that human factor was to blame for almost 80% of truck accidents in 2010.
Under the federal law, New York truck drivers must be certified every two months to prove both physical and mental fitness to drive. Strict health criteria that preclude a history of diabetes, heart disease (or any other cardiovascular problem), respiratory distress, high blood pressure, rheumatic, arthritic, orthopedic, muscular, neuromuscular and/or vascular diseases, epilepsy, mental or psychiatric illness, are also required. Drivers must also see at least 20/40 (Snellen) and not rely on a hearing aid. A log book detailing their “hours of service”, including how much they slept and rested, and how much time they spent loading, unloading, driving, stopping, inspecting, fueling and eating is also required. Truck, van and bus drivers are also prohibited from consuming alcohol at least four hours before driving.
Deregulation efforts have resulted in longer hours and tougher conditions, spending longer stretches of time away from home, and with often over 65-hour-work weeks.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration combines totals for bus and truck injuries. In 2014, on a national scale, there was a total of 100,000 buses and large trucks involved in injury crashes that affected 132,000 people.
In 2014, of the 29,989 fatal crashes on the Nation’s roadways, 3,649 (12.2 percent) involved at least one large truck or bus. In addition, there were an estimated 6,035,000 nonfatal crashes, 472,000 (7.8 percent) of which involved at least one large truck or bus. For more information on large truck accidents.
More facts about traffic accidents:
One out of seven traffic fatalities is caused by a collision with a large truck.
On the nation’s roads in 2014, there were 29,989 fatal crashes - with 12.2% (3,649) involving at least one large truck or bus.
An estimated 6,035,000 non-fatal crashes in 2014 with nearly 8% (472,000) involving at least one large truck or bus.
Nearly 80 percent of all large truck accidents involve more than one vehicle other than the truck.
Truck accidents often involve drivers with out-of-state licenses, multiple insurance policies and companies cutting corners on tires, safety inspection and weight limits -- putting profits before public safety.
SUING FOR BUS & TRUCK ACCIDENTS IN NEW YORK / LEGAL REPRESENTATION IN NEW YORK
You might be entitled to compensation for medical expenses (both current and future), income loss (both current and future), physical pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, emotional distress, or loss of enjoyment of life if you or a family member, spouse or partner have been injured or died in a bus or truck accident due to the negligent actions of bus or truck drivers / companies,
New York is a Pure Comparative Negligence State, meaning that you can receive compensation even if you are partly to blame for the accident. If you are 30% at fault for the accident, you may still be entitled to receive 70% of the compensation. Truck accidents may involve several defendants from multiple states and are often tried in federal courts, so the complexity is greater than for car accidents. Many lawyers in New York are unwilling to take on bus and truck accident cases because of their complexity.
At Gurfein Douglas in New York, our lawyers are fearless and meticulous. We pride ourselves on fighting until our clients get the justice and the compensation they deserve. In addition to law degrees, our firm’s principals Richard Gurfein and Preston Douglas also have degrees in engineering and biochemistry which gives them an edge over other motor vehicle accident attorneys in New York.
At Gurfein Douglas you can rely on the scientific training of our two partners to uncover technical details of your bus or truck accident lawsuit that the untrained eye might miss. Our bus and truck accident attorneys know what insurance companies look for in evaluating claims, how to make the most beneficial settlement offers and how to best prepare your case.
One of our most successful cases involves a $6,783,203 settlement after a verdict was reached in the trial of Brenda Lewis versus the New York City Transit Authority when a young boy’s legs were run over by a city bus.