Fourteen passengers and the bus driver were taken to area hospitals for treatment after a flatbed truck collided with an MTA bus in the neighborhood of Jamaica during Thanksgiving week. No one was initially charged in the incident, but the driver of the truck accused the bus driver of speeding while admitting at the same time that he had been moving into traffic after waiting at a stop sign.
Public Transit Not Accident Free
Using public transportation is generally a good option, but buses, subways, and other transit options aren’t completely worry-free. In New York City alone, dozens of people inside and outside city buses are injured, and several are killed every year in major and minor accidents.
In June, for instance, a city fire truck on its way to a fire crashed into a bus in Astoria, injuring fourteen (including two firefighters on the truck). That collision could have been much worse, as the surprise and sudden impact caused the bus driver to swerve onto the sidewalk. The bus nearly crashed into customers at a sidewalk café and was stopped from crashing into a building only because it first struck two parked cars. In October, a woman was struck and killed by an MTA bus while crossing the street in the financial district; she was dragged for five blocks after the collision.
Buses are not the only place where accidents and injuries happen. One MTA worker was killed and another seriously injured last month when they were struck by a G-train at the beginning of a repair shift. Passenger injuries of some kind or another are almost a daily occurrence on the subway. Sometimes, there are multiple injuries in a single day, as happened on one unpleasant day last June.
The System at Fault?
While some of these injuries and deaths are caused by an individual’s own carelessness, or a criminal act by another, or some other circumstance outside the responsibility of the transit system operator, victims can sometimes show that their injuries were caused by the action (or inaction) of those managing the system.
In some places, government entities such as the MTA cannot be sued, but in New York State this outmoded idea of sovereign immunity does not apply. If the operators of the system show negligence, the injured party is able to sue to recover damages. There are other important considerations, such as whether the MTA knew of a dangerous condition and allowed it to continue, and while claimants only have a limited time in which to file a claim, legal action is an option.
However, there may be other, more appropriate parties to target. For example, in the Queens bus accident, it might prove to be the case that the bus driver did nothing wrong. In that situation, anyone injured on the bus who chooses to pursue legal action might instead have a case against the driver of the truck or the trucking company.
Queens Truck and Bus Accident Lawyer
At Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP, our team understands the many details that need attention during the process of a car, bus, or truck accident claim. If you’ve been the victim of a motor vehicle crash, especially one involving a large or commercial vehicle, give us a call at 1-800-VICTIM2 (842-8462) or contact us online.
We’ll schedule a consultation—free of charge—to go over the details of the accident and help you understand the legal process moving forward. The financial losses and physical injuries you’ve suffered may be severe, but you are entitled to recover compensation from those who caused them. Let us find a way to help you do that.