Atlantic City Bus Accident Attorney
Bus tours are a popular way to enjoy Atlantic City. Sightseeing tour buses make frequent stops in heavily trafficked areas. The Jitney buses provide transportation along Pacific Ave. boardwalk and local sites. In addition to tour companies, New Jersey Transit Corporation is a state-owned public transportation system that operates state-wide bus and rail systems.
When drivers or bus companies make mistakes, they can cause terrible accidents. Any motor vehicle accident is frightening, but a crash involving a bus can be devastating.
If you were injured in a bus accident due to someone else’s negligence, the experienced bus accident lawyers at The Levin Firm can protect your rights and help you seek the compensation you deserve.
The Levin Firm’s Award-Winning Team
The attorneys at The Levin Firm represent individuals who sustained injuries in preventable accidents. We help injured individuals file personal injury cases that stem from bus, car, truck, and motorcycle accidents—as well as medical malpractice, wrongful death, and product liability cases.
Our past legal experience has provided us with a deep understanding of the law, and you can rest assured that if you retain us to handle your case, we will use our knowledge and skill to pursue maximum compensation on your behalf. We pride ourselves on our zealous advocacy and client-centered approach, and we bring compassion and understanding to the table when we represent accident victims. Let us put our resources and knowledge to work on your case while you focus on your physical and mental recovery.
Due to the high-quality legal services that we provide to all of our clients, we have earned local and national recognition, including from the National Trial Lawyers Association, Super Lawyers, and Avvo. We have offices conveniently located in several different locations, including in Atlantic City, and our attorneys are available over the phone and online.
If you or a loved one sustained serious injuries in an Atlantic City bus accident, contact us today for a free consultation. You can ask us questions, discuss your legal options, and determine your eligibility to pursue compensation for your injuries. Reach out today, and we will get back to you within 24 hours.
Why You Want to Hire Us
Bus accidents can prove overwhelming for involved individuals, especially if they sustain serious injuries. You may even need to miss work while you undergo expensive medical procedures and rehabilitation.
If you suffered long-term or permanent injuries, you may never return to work, and you may need ongoing care for the rest of your life, including costly home modifications to accommodate your injuries. Facing a rigorous recovery is hard enough without considering the financial impacts and accompanying stress that many accident victims face.
Let an experienced Atlantic City bus accident lawyer handle the legal complexities of your case, including compiling evidence, interviewing witnesses, and negotiating with at-fault parties, while you focus your efforts on your treatment and recovery. Contact The Levin Firm today for a free consultation with a member of our legal team. Review our case results and client testimonials to learn more about the services we provide.
If you sustained serious injuries in a bus accident in Atlantic City, an attorney from The Levin Firm can help you determine your eligibility to pursue compensation for the full cost of your injuries. We regularly represent accident victims, and we aren’t afraid to take a case to trial if settlement negotiations prove unviable. We have experience litigating personal injury cases, and we’ve earned a reputation for aggressive representation and advocacy.
Insurance companies know that we mean business, and our involvement in a case may result in an immediate increase in the at-fault party’s settlement offer in your case. Eliminate financial stress from the picture by allowing us to pursue maximum compensation on your behalf. The more time you have to focus on your rehabilitation, the more likely you are to recover from your injuries and get back on your feet.
Why are Atlantic City bus accidents different from the average car accident?
Millions of people rely on buses for transportation to work or school or for trips. After driving, one of the most common ways Americans commute is public transportation, such as buses.
Generally, buses are a convenient and fairly safe means of transportation, but even one crash is too many. According to recent statistics, buses were in 230 of a recent year’s 33,654 deadly crashes. Eighty-three of the fatal accidents involved a city bus and 84 involved a school bus. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported approximately 65,000 bus accidents nationwide in another recent year. That year, New Jersey had nine fatal bus crashes and 2 fatal school bus crashes.
According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, of the buses involved in fatal accidents in the last decade, approximately 12 percent were intercity buses, 35 percent were transit buses, and 40 percent were school buses.
The main reason bus accidents are so dangerous is their size. Most cars weigh about 3,000 pounds, while most city buses weigh between 25,000 and 40,000 pounds. They are also 35 feet to 50 feet long, about 8 feet wide, and hold 25 to 60 people. The average school bus carrying a full load of children weighs about 42,000 pounds. Because its center of gravity is high in comparison to a car, it is more prone to roll-overs than the average vehicle. If a crash involves a bus and a smaller vehicle or a pedestrian, the consequences are usually serious.
What are the most common causes of Atlantic City bus accidents?
Buses often operate on busy city streets, congested with traffic, bicyclists, and pedestrians. As with all motor vehicle accidents, contributing factors often include distracted driving, drinking, and aggressive driving.
Common causal elements in bus accidents include:
- Bus driver error. This is the most common cause of bus accidents. Those who drive buses, as well as those in charge of bus companies, have a legal obligation to use the highest duty of care when operating a bus. There are many traffic laws concerning speeding, turning, yielding, and passing. There are also strict regulations concerning required rest breaks for bus drivers. Unfortunately, drivers sometimes work under pressure to make their stops on time, so they may speed or ignore rest breaks. Texting and cell phone usage are among the leading dangerous driver distractions. Bus companies may fail to hire and properly train qualified drivers.
- Failure to regularly inspect the vehicle. Faulty buses can result in accidents. Therefore, buses must be systematically inspected, maintained, and repaired when needed. This means not only the engine, brakes, and tires, etc., but also includes interior parts and accessories, such as lights marking emergency doors and windows. Inspections may seem unimportant until a malfunction causes a bus accident.
- Manufacturing or design defects. Faulty brake systems and tires can cause deadly collisions. Buses may not be structurally sound. Malfunctioning bus doors or faulty electrical systems may injure passengers.
- Weight distribution. A bus’s high center of gravity makes it more prone to tipping and rollovers.
- Road hazards. Bad weather always affects road safety. Ice, snow, fog, or precipitation can make it very difficult for bus drivers to see. This is especially challenging for inexperienced drivers. If roads are poorly designed or maintained, the governmental entity in charge of public roads may be responsible for a resulting accident.
What are the most common kinds of Atlantic City bus accidents?
Bus accidents can involve both stationary and moving buses. When we hear about a bus accident, we usually think of a collision between vehicles, but there are other possible types of accidents, such as:
Getting on or off of the bus
Entering and exiting is especially dangerous for children riding a school bus, but people of any age can get hurt getting on or off of a bus. Other vehicles may be inattentive or fail to obey the school bus stop sign and injure a child. An exiting bus passenger may get caught in the doors. If the driver parks too close to an uneven surface or a crumbling curb, the passenger may trip. The steps may be badly worn, slippery, or lack handrails. People have also been injured while waiting at the bus stop.
Injured while riding the bus
Even seated passengers may fall or bang their heads when there is a sudden start or stop. Sometimes the driver slams on the brake due to traffic. When that happens, a passenger may lurch forward and hit the seat in front or suffer from whiplash. The force may expel bags and other belongings that can hit and injure passengers.
The use of seat belts on buses is an ongoing debate. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires a three-point seat belt (lap and shoulder seat belts) on school buses weighing less than 10,000 pounds, but regulations concerning seat belts on bigger school buses are up to each state. Following a fatal school bus crash in New Jersey, a New Jersey law requires all newly built school buses to have shoulder seat belts in addition to lap belts.
Injured by an equipment malfunction
If the bus or any of its parts, including interior components, are badly designed or manufactured, it can pose a danger to the passengers. Wear and tear on a bus that is not maintained properly can also cause passenger injuries. For example, if the tread on the floor of the bus is worn or uneven, someone may trip or slip.
Injured by another person
In some cases, someone else on the bus is a danger to others. Reports in New Jersey and across the country describe robberies and violent physical attacks on the passengers or driver of the bus.
What are some common injuries associated with Atlantic City bus accidents?
Injuries resulting from bus accidents range from minor to catastrophic or life-threatening.
Severe injuries may include:
- Spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries;
- Neck injuries, such as whiplash;
- Blunt force trauma to organs or internal bleeding;
- Fractures; or
- Disfigurement and scarring.
Who may be liable for an Atlantic City bus accident?
The first step in obtaining compensation is determining who may be liable for the bus accident and resulting injuries. Your first thought may be that the bus driver was at fault. When you board the bus or put your child on a school bus, you expect that driver to remain vigilant behind the wheel. However, there may be other parties at fault, such as other motorists, bus companies, and manufacturers of bus parts.
Every bus accident is different, but potentially liable persons or entities may include:
- State and local government. If you were injured while riding on a public bus that crashed, the government body that owns the bus could be responsible for your damages. For example, the New Jersey Transit may be liable for the actions of its bus drivers and chief operators. There are special rules if a claim involves a governmental agency. Many government agencies have limited liability in lawsuits and special deadlines apply.
- The bus company. The bus company and/or the driver’s employers are responsible for safely hiring, training, and supervising qualified drivers. Bus companies may also be at fault for accidents relating to bus maintenance and safety. Bus companies must maintain insurance to help cover damages in the event of a collision. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that if a bus company’s safety record is unacceptable, they are 79 percent more likely to have a bus involved in an accident.
- A third party. Other drivers and even other bus passengers may be at fault. Typically, there will be an investigation after a bus crash, which will help identify liable parties.
- Bus manufacturers and retailers. Buses are complicated vehicles. If faulty design or manufacturing of the bus or its components caused the accident, these companies might be liable.
- Bus maintenance companies. If a maintenance company fails to make safe and appropriate repairs, they may be liable.
Atlantic City School Buses
According to the Schoolbus Fleet, an estimated 471,461 yellow school buses take children to school every day. About 25 million elementary and secondary school children ride school buses. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that school buses generally have a good safety record, but even one injured child is one too many. School bus-related crashes killed 117 people nationwide in a recent year. On average, four to six children die each year while riding a school bus.
What are your rights after a bus accident in Atlantic City?
Bus accidents fall under common carrier law because buses provide transportation services for people. All drivers on the road have a duty to drive safely and carefully. Common carriers, such as those providing bus transportation, must provide a higher degree of care. If a bus driver or bus company does not uphold this higher duty of care, they are liable for the crash and resulting harm. A duty of care requires that the driver operate the bus with caution and close attention. If the driver or bus company fails to uphold this responsibility, the injured person can pursue legal remedies, including a lawsuit.
What is involved in an Atlantic City bus accident lawsuit?
Lawsuits over bus accident injuries are often more complex than for the average car accident, primarily because there may be more than one liable party. After the victim files a lawsuit, the parties complete the discovery process, which is an opportunity for both sides to gather evidence. About 95 percent of pending lawsuits settle before trial. If the case goes to trial, experts typically testify about the cause or causes of the crash and the personal and financial impact on the victim.
What compensation might you receive after an Atlantic City bus accident?
The severity and permanence of your injuries factor into the amount of compensation you may receive. In general, compensation covers medical expenses, including emergency care, hospital stays, ongoing medical care, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and adaptive medical equipment. Other financial compensation typically includes lost wages, loss of future earning potential and benefits, and other expenses caused by the injury. Other damages may include compensation for diminished quality of life, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering.
What is the statute of limitations for an Atlantic City bus accident claim?
New Jersey statutes section 2A:14-2 states that you have two years from the accident date to file a claim. However, claims against the government have much shorter deadlines. If you believe you have a case against the New Jersey Transit, a school system, or a government employee, you have 90 days from the date of the bus accident to file an official notice. Missing the applicable deadline may mean that you cannot pursue compensation from the other party.
What steps should you take after an Atlantic City bus accident?
The aftermath of a bus accident can be traumatic and confusing, but gather as much evidence as you can as soon as possible after the accident.
Make your priority to seek medical attention. You may feel alright after the accident, but some symptoms do not show up until later. A doctor’s care can prevent your injuries from becoming worse. Also, your medical records will be important if you pursue legal recourse.
The bus company and their insurance company will probably have investigators on the scene very quickly after the crash. You should consult an attorney before giving them a written or recorded statement. Avoid posting comments or photos on social media, as these could be damaging to your case.
If possible, take pictures of the bus, your injuries, the scene of the crash site, and traffic signs and signals. When you are able, take notes on details of the accident, such as where you were sitting, any unusual events that may have triggered the accident, and other information.
How can the Levin Firm’s Atlantic City bus accident lawyers help you?
In the difficult time following an accident, an experienced bus accident lawyer can relieve a great deal of stress. A bus accident lawyer has the skill and resources to investigate the crash, meet all necessary deadlines, gather and preserve evidence and obtain the necessary expert witnesses. They will handle calls and communications with the opposing side, attempt to negotiate an equitable settlement on your behalf, and represent you at hearings or trial.
If you were injured in a bus accident, you need an experienced, dedicated Atlantic City personal injury lawyer by your side to guide you through the process. For more information or a free consultation, please call the experienced, compassionate lawyers at The Levin Firm at (609) 250-2800 or contact us online.