There are numerous reasons why bus accidents occur. These include improper bus maintenance, defective bus equipment, inattentive bus drivers, aggressive bus drivers, poor weather conditions or impaired visibility, and negligent drivers interacting with the bus.
In bad weather cases, bus drivers often fail to maintain the steps and platforms to their buses, allowing water, ice, snow and other debris to gather. In extreme cases, reckless drivers and drunk drivers have been permitted to obtain and maintain their bus driver licenses, placing riders at great risk.
When a bus accident occurs, the Law Offices of Mark S. Guralnick springs to action. We first investigate the cause of the accident:
- Was there a defect in the bus itself?
- Was the braking system fully functional and well-maintained?
- Is the bus manufacturer responsible?
- Was there a problem with the operation of the bus equipment?
- Who last maintained or repaired that equipment?
- Was the bus driver himself at fault?
- Or did the bus management company give the driver improper instructions, or bad training (or no training at all)?
- Was there another driver on the street who caused the accident?
- Was there a design defect in the street, or on the highway, or in terms of where a light or street sign was placed?
- Did the bus driver fail to take the necessary preventative steps or precautions for the safety of his passengers?
- Was the bus overloaded?
- Did the driver have safety equipment on board? Was it available for the use of the passengers?
- Was the driver tired, distracted, inexperienced, or taking drugs or alcohol?
- If the bus is part of a transportation authority or a government agency, are they are fault in any way?
These are the questions that we begin with, as we embark on a full and thorough investigation of your case.
Most buses do not require seat belts, and few are subject to the kinds of regulations one finds on airplanes. People can thus be found standing, sitting, and sleeping on board buses, unaware that an accident is about to happen. When an accident occurs, riders can be caught off guard. Without necessary safety precautions, they can sustain serious and life-threatening injuries, including spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injury, whiplash and neck injuries, broken bones including fractured arms and legs, back injuries, burn injuries, abrasions, contusions and lacerations.
If you have been injured in a bus accident, you must ensure that your attorney is not simply a car accident lawyer or a personal injury lawyer.
Bus accidents entail a keen knowledge of governmental immunity issues, jurisdictional questions, tort claim laws, common carrier liability issues, public transportation statutes and regulations, and bus mechanics and maintenance.
Bus accident lawyer Mark S. Guralnick is trained and equipped to handle these specialized issues and to protect the rights of bus accident victims. When you retain us to represent you in your bus accident, we will file the necessary claims notices and meet the preliminary notification deadlines on your behalf.
We will address jurisdictional questions at the outset, particularly in cases of tour buses and long-distance bus travel, where the bus may be crossing multiple state lines (while the bus company is headquartered in another state altogether).
We will gather police and accident reports, witness statements and other forensic evidence from the accident scene. We will develop a detailed portfolio of the victim’s injuries, damages and losses and work with all hospitals, doctors, therapists, and employers to document the true value of the case.
When the law permits it, we seek punitive damages for our clients in addition to the compensation for their injuries, lost wages, vocational impairment, and pain and suffering.
At the Law Offices of Mark S. Guralnick, our goal is not only to fairly and fully compensate the victim, but also to send a message to the bus driver and bus company (or transportation authority) that negligent and reckless conduct that imperils the safety or innocent people will not be tolerated.