Bus accidents are far more common than people realize and are often far more dangerous. Time and again, we see bus accident victims left with severe injuries, high debts, and few options for help.
A lawsuit against the bus driver and the bus company can help you get financial compensation to cover your vast damages. Potential damages might involve staggering medical bills, property damage, losing wages from missing work, and other expenses. You should also factor in any mental or emotional trauma caused by the accident. We should first examine the bus driver and their employer for liability, although other parties might have also played a role in the accident. To get compensation, you can begin by assessing possible insurance options before preparing evidence and legal strategies for a lawsuit. Much evidence will probably come right from the scene of the accident. If the evidence here is scant, we can explore other areas related to the accident.
Our bus accident lawyers of Legal Care New Jersey can be reached at (732) 838-9769, and they can schedule you for a free case review to begin your case.
Potential Damages in Newark, NJ Bus Accidents
One of the most important elements of your bus accident lawsuit is your damages. Damages reflect everything you lost, experienced, or endured because of the accident. Some damages are measured in dollars and cents, while others are more subjective.
Considering how severe bus accidents often are, you likely needed emergency medical care and were treated at the hospital. In some cases, accident victims must stay in the hospital for a long time or receive ongoing care for complex injuries. In such cases, medical bills might be astronomical.
Depending on your injuries, you might have taken time off from your job to rest and recover. If your injuries were particularly severe, you might be on an extended leave of absence or even must quit your job. Our bus accident lawyers can help you determine how much income you missed out on and how much you might miss out on in the future and factor that into your total damages.
Bus accidents are not just physically harmful but also psychologically distressing. Many bus accident survivors live with serious mental and emotional trauma, often for years. While the experience of psychological trauma does not exactly come at a monetary cost, we can convince a jury to award you compensation based on these experiences.
Liability for Bus Accidents in Newark, NJ
It might seem unnecessary to ask your attorney about who should be held liable. For many, the obvious choice is to sue the bus driver. While this is certainly an option we should look into, it might not be the only option.
The Driver of the Bus
Many bus accidents are the result of driver negligence, not intentional behavior. For example, the driver might be distracted behind the wheel or absentmindedly run a stop sign. Even though their behavior was unintentional, the bus driver can still be held liable for their negligence.
Other drivers might have been reckless and contributed to the crash. Perhaps the bus driver was dangerously tailgating the driver in front of them, and, in a fit of road rage, the other driver brake-checks the bus. Since buses are too big to stop short like that, they might have hit the other car and swerved into the other lane, injuring more people. Both the bus driver and the driver who committed the brake-check can be sued.
Private Bus Companies
If the bus involved in the crash was a private bus (e.g., charter or tour bus), you can sue the person, business, or company that employed the driver.
The idea that you can sue an employer for an accident caused by an employee comes from the legal theory of respondeat superior. Under this theory, employers may be held vicariously liable for injuries and damages caused by an employee’s negligent behavior. The key is to show that the negligence occurred within the scope of the employee’s job, meaning they were on duty and in furtherance of normal job functions when they caused the accident.
Certain intentional or criminal behaviors, like drunk driving, are not covered by respondeat superior. However, you might be able to sue the bus company under a theory of negligent hiring if we can prove the bus company knew the driver was unfit when they hired them. For example, if the bus driver was drunk when they caused the crash, and the bus company knew the driver had a history of DUIs when they hired them, you can sue the bus company for negligently hiring the driver.
Public Transportation Authorities
Public transportation in and around Newark is plentiful, especially considering its proximity to New York City and the Newark Liberty International Airport. Unfortunately, accidents involving public transit buses are not uncommon. In such cases, you might have a valid case against the public entity operating the transit system.
NJ Transit is the entity that operates much of the public bus routes, including park-and-ride services. NJ Transit is owned by the state, making it a public entity. According to N.J.S.A. § 59-8-8, claimants must submit a notice of their claim to the appropriate authorities within 90 days of the bus accident. If timely notice is not provided, you might lose your right to sue the government.
Evidence You Can Use in a Bus Accident Lawsuit in Newark, NJ
One important way we can present evidence of your claims is through photos and videos. If you took photos of the accident right after the bus crash, we can use those photos to establish critical details surrounding the accident scene. If these details are disputed at your trial, your photos can help you prove the truth.
We should also check the bus for security cameras. Many buses, whether public or private, have security cameras. In some cases, there are even cameras on the outside of the bus recording other drivers. This footage might be extremely important in an accident case.
Even if we cannot obtain photos or videos from the accident, we can find witnesses. Passengers on the bus, other drivers, or even pedestrians walking by the scene can testify about what they saw.
Call Our Newark, NJ Bus Accident Attorneys to Talk About Your Claims
You can reach our bus accident lawyers of Legal Care New Jersey at (732) 838-9769, and they can arrange a free case review to start your lawsuit.