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Understanding Bus Accidents
Traveling by bus is commonplace for many throughout Nassau County, with the Nassau Inter-Count Express offering services throughout the area and beyond. School and coach buses are also familiar sights, ferrying students and vacationers alike. Despite this everyday occurrence, bus accidents can lead to several injuries or fatalities due to the vehicle's size and passenger capacity.
As operators of such large vehicles, bus drivers must have a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) and fulfill specific physical, vision, and hearing requirements. They also need adequate training and are limited by law in the number of hours they can drive daily and weekly.
Regulations and Safety Standards for Buses
Buses, akin to trucks, are governed by strict state and federal laws to ensure the maximum safety of passengers, drivers, and pedestrians alike. Regular inspections are mandatory, during which every aspect of the bus is scrutinized - from mechanical components like brakes and tires to operational elements such as emergency exits and lighting. All these inspections serve a critical purpose: ensuring that the bus operates at its optimum safety levels. Regulatory bodies demand rigorous adherence to these safety standards, and any deviation can lead to hefty fines, suspensions, or even license revocations for the operating companies.
In the unfortunate scenario of a bus accident, the complexities of these regulations can often become a significant factor in determining liability. It's crucial, therefore, to engage a personal injury attorney with a comprehensive understanding of these laws as soon as possible. Time is of the essence, especially when government agencies are involved. The statute of limitations, or the timeframe for filing your case, is typically much shorter in such instances, and missing this window could potentially bar you from seeking the justice and compensation you deserve. Hence, immediate legal counsel becomes an essential step in the aftermath of a bus accident.
Shared Responsibility in Bus Accidents
Bus accidents may result from several factors, leading to multiple parties sharing the responsibility. These might include the bus driver, the bus company, or other drivers who may have contributed to the accident. This shared liability is known as comparative negligence under New York law. As a victim, you can bring a case against all parties responsible for the accident.
Some common causes of bus accidents include driver fatigue, lack of experience, drunk driving, distracted driving, illegal turns, and failure to yield the right of way to pedestrians or other vehicles.
Potential Damages in Bus Accidents
If you're involved in a bus accident, potential damages might include medical expenses, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, and compensation for emotional and physical distress. Damages for pain and suffering may also be applicable.
Negligence in Legal Terms
In the legal realm, negligence refers to a failure to behave with the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised under the same circumstances. This behavior typically involves actions but can also encompass omissions when there's some duty to act. Negligence is predicated on the notion that individuals must exercise reasonable care when they engage in actions that could potentially harm others. To establish negligence in a legal setting, it's essential to prove that the accused party had a duty to the victim, breached that duty, directly caused injury due to the breach, and resulted in damages.
Understanding Comparative Negligence
Comparative negligence, also known as non-absolute contributory negligence, is a specific legal doctrine that apportions fault among the parties involved in an accident. It considers the possibility that more than one party has contributed to the accident and accordingly assigns a percentage of fault to each party. This approach allows a damaged party to recover some amount, even if they were partially at fault. However, the recovery is reduced by the degree to which the damaged party's negligence contributed to the injury. For instance, if you're deemed to be 30% at fault in an accident, you would only be able to recover 70% of the assessed damages from the other party.
Contact the Law Offices of Stern and Stern
At Stern and Stern Law Offices, we've been serving Freeport residents and the surrounding areas for over a decade. Centrally located in the Village of Freeport, we offer convenience and local expertise. For a free consultation on your bus accident case, call us at 516-634-0345. Prioritize your safety and legal rights after a "Bus Accident".