Injuries from a bus accident can involve mild to moderate injuries that might interfere with your ability to work for a few days. Alternatively, a bus accident could leave you with life-altering injuries that require ongoing medical care and massive expenses, all while you are disabled and unable to work.
Our Trenton bus accident lawyers can help you get the compensation you need no matter how serious your injuries were. Our lawyers can file your case against the at-fault driver or the bus company itself and work to get you the compensation you deserve.
For a free review of your potential injury case, call our bust accident lawyers today at (732) 838-9769. The attorneys at Legal Care New Jersey are prepared to take your call.
Determining Fault for a Bus Accident in Trenton, NJ
Trenton has all kinds of bus services, from NJ Transit buses to private bus companies to local school buses, and more. Any of these buses could be involved in a crash and cause serious injuries for passengers, pedestrians, and drivers and passengers in other vehicles. Who you sue for your bus accident case will depend on who was involved and how the accident happened, but the following are the most likely parties to sue:
The Bus Driver
Bus drivers can be held personally accountable for the accidents they cause while driving. Bus drivers are required to follow the rules of the road and might even have additional requirements to follow. For example, the “legal limit” for DWI for bus drivers and other commercial drivers is lower in NJ (.04%) than the normal for other drivers (.08%). There are also many other commercial driving rules they need to follow, such as limits on how long they can drive for without breaks.
The bus driver can be held liable whether you were a passenger on the bus, walking on foot, riding a bike, or driving/riding in another car when the accident happened. However, a bus driver must have actually done something wrong to be held liable. Often, buses are hit by other drivers, and the bus driver is just as much a victim as any passengers in the bus. Talk to our bus accident lawyers about whether the bus driver contributed to the accident in your case.
If you were riding in the bus when another driver crashed into your vehicle, then you could be entitled to sue the other driver for the crash. This case works a lot like any other car accident case. However, the bus company and bus driver will often have high-dollar no-fault insurance that is designed to cover you – at least in part – regardless of who caused the crash. This insurance could potentially supplement the damages you would otherwise be able to claim from another driver.
The Bus Company
Bus companies can often be held liable for a bus accident under two different legal theories.
First, our bus accident lawyers can often file a lawsuit against the bus company for an accident that their employee caused. Bus drivers work as representatives of the company that hired them, so the bus company can often be sued for an accident that their driver caused while working as an employee, within the scope of their duties.
Second, the bus company might have done something dangerous or negligent in its own right that makes them share liability for the crash. One common way this happens is when there is a problem with the bus itself. Bus companies are usually responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of their vehicles, so any equipment issues could be their fault. Alternatively, bus companies are often held responsible for “negligent hiring” after giving a driving job to a driver that they should have known was too dangerous. For example, if their driver actually lied about having a commercial license or the company failed to run a background check that would have shown a history of vehicular assault or DWI, then the company could be liable. The same is true for “negligent retention,” when a company keeps a known dangerous driver on staff.
Keep in mind that bus companies often have insurance that can cover accidents even if their driver is not at fault, so you might have a case against the bus company or their insurance in nearly any bus accident case.
Suing for Injuries in a Trenton Bus Accident Case
Our bus accident lawyers can help you determine whether the various insurance policies that might cover you after your accident will provide enough relief. Often, a lawsuit is necessary to recover compensation that is not covered by insurance in New Jersey.
NJ no-fault insurance policies typically cover only a part of your medical bills and lost wages. Additionally, they do not typically cover pain and suffering damages or allow lawsuits unless your injuries meet NJ’s “serious injury” threshold. Ultimately, an insurance claim might not pay what you need, and you will need to go to court to get the full amount of your damages paid.
Our bus accident lawyers can help prove that your injuries meet this serious injury threshold by pointing to medical records showing that your injuries will be permanent or that they involve certain types of broken bone injuries. Meeting this threshold is important because you typically cannot sue if you do not meet this limit. If you were covered by an “unlimited right to sue” policy, however, you could be entitled to sue for your injuries from the outset.
When your case goes to court in a lawsuit, that does not necessarily mean that it has to go all the way to trial. Injury cases can still be settled at this stage, potentially saving you time and legal fees. Talk to our bus accident lawyers about whether any settlement offers are appropriate or whether you should move forward with a trial.
Call Our Trenton Bus Accident Attorneys Right Away
For help with your bus accident case, contact Legal Care New Jersey’s bus accident attorneys right away. Our phone number is (732) 838-9769.