What to Do After a Bus Accident
Nassau County Bus Accident Lawyer Serving You
With the high level of traffic in New York and the myriad of people using public transportation, there is a higher likelihood of bus accidents. In fact, the beloved state of New York is home to one of the highest rates of bus collisions in all of the U.S. That being said, our legal team understands that pursuing compensation after this type of incident may appear daunting.
Knowing what information you should take down after the collision, who to talk to, and when to obtain an attorney can all greatly benefit the overall chance that your personal injury claims get compensated.
Discover the steps you should take and contact the Law Offices of Charles R. Gueli as soon as possible, as time is of the essence in these cases. If you have been injured in Long Island, do not hesitate to take the necessary steps to recover the compensation you deserve!
What are the first steps I should take after a bus collision?
The moments following a bus crash are critical. It is essential that you obtain certain information to help your case later down the road. More importantly, you must make sure to take care of yourself physically and attend to anyone else on the bus that may be in critical condition.
Listed below is a clear outline of some of the steps you should take immediately after a crash:
Check on the health and well-being of others around you, as well as yourself.
This may be easy to overlook, especially if people begin to panic and are in a state of shock. It does not matter whether you feel fine or without injury, you should seek appropriate medical attention as soon as possible. Internal damage can often occur without the victim even being aware of the injury.
Get the appropriate evidence.
Once you make sure that everyone is safe, probably the next most important step is to make sure that you obtain all the evidence you can. You will need as much proof as possible just in case the bus owner or driver attempts to dispute your injury claim. Take note of signage, street lights, signals, the cross-streets and capture as many pictures as you can.
Do not talk about who is to blame with anyone.
While this may seem odd, it is important that you do not talk with anyone else on the bus, especially the driver about what party may be at fault. Anything you say then could be used against you later, even if it does not seem like you are admitting guilt or claiming anything outright.
Call local police.
It is always a good idea to contact the police to report the bus accident, as is true of any motor vehicle accident. Chances are someone on the street may have already notified the police after witnessing the accident, but it is always good to call yourself just to make sure. They will be able to take down details, investigate any evidence, question the bus driver to decipher if they were under the influence or distracted while driving, as well as handle all of the other legal aspects.
Talk to witnesses to obtain any additional information.
Anyone who witnessed the crash as a bystander can probably provide additional information that may end up strengthening your case. They may be able to tell you whether or not they saw the driver perform an illegal action, what the street looked like at the time of the incident and other pertinent facts.
By following these steps, you could be significantly helping your claim later down the road as you seek financial recovery for your injuries.
How do I determine who is liable?
When looking to place liability for the accident on the bus driver, managing company or the bus itself, there are a few different aspects to consider. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has put together a list of regulations and rules that bus owners and drivers must comply with. If they fail to keep up with their end of things and accident occurs, responsibility for any damage will most likely be placed on them.
With legal assistance from a knowledgeable Nassau County personal injury lawyer at our firm, we can look at the appropriate evidence and decipher which guilty party is to blame.
There are certain common errors and issues that can occur related to each of the three categories, including the following:
- Fatigued bus drivers: The FMCSA makes it mandatory for bus drivers to take breaks and have time to rest in between their shifts to help avoid bus accidents due to fatigue. They require for bus companies not to make their drivers work longer than 10 hours, after having at least 8 consecutive hours off prior to that shift. There are other additional rules and a lawyer can help you investigate to see if the driver was breaking any of them during the time of your collision.
- Improper bus maintenance: It is up to the bus owner to make sure that each of their vehicles is up to safety standards before they take on passengers. Making sure that all the seats are secure, the brakes are not giving out and that the steps onto the bus are not broken are all different aspects of the bus that the managing company should be looking out for on a daily basis. Any error could automatically make the bus company at fault.
- Issues with the roadway: On occasion, the issue at hand could have been a direct result of poor highway maintenance. It is up to the city or state governments to keep the streets clear of debris, properly managed without potholes or other treacherous hazards, and with adequate signage to warn bus drivers of roadwork. If any of these problems can be identified as the root cause of the collision, you may be able to seek restitution from the corresponding local government.
No matter who may be liable, you will most likely necessitate the skills of a personal injury attorney who has experience with this sort of case. We at the Law Offices of Charles R. Gueli have the diligence, passion and knowledge to know where to look for evidence, where to investigate and how to ultimately get you the help you deserve.
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Many large firms take on clients, seeing them only as another case number and not as an individual struggling through a difficult time. Our compassionate legal team understands your situation and will work personally with each and every client, treating each case with the care that it deserves. Working on a contingency fee basis, you do not have to worry about paying unless we recover financial help on your behalf.
We also offer a free case evaluation for our potential clients to fill out online that is completely risk free. There is a three year statute of limitation for personal injury cases in New York, so it is important that you act quickly.
If you prefer, you can also talk with our Long Island injury lawyer over the phone about your case as we offer a free consultation! Call us at (516) 628-6402 today!
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