With the growing population here in New York City and more people using public transportation, accident's involving buses has been on the rise. We have represented many people who were pedestrians struck by buses while crossing the street. Despite having the green light and being in the designated crosswalk we have seen time and time again buses striking pedestrians causing life changing injuries.
In addition, with more buses on the road, car on bus accidents occur frequently. Recently, Leav & Steinberg, LLP was retained by a client who was unhappy with his present attorney. He was a driver for an Access-A-Ride vehicle transporting handicapped patients. While driving he was struck by a cement median that had been pushed by a taxi coming in the opposite direction on the other side of the median. This taxi it turns out was rear ended by an aggressive bus driver at such a force to send the taxi into the cement median which was laid out daily for traffic restrictions. Through aggressive litigation Leav & Steinberg was able to get the bus driver precluded from offering any defense to the case and had the New York City Transit Authority precluded from offering any evidence even from their supervisors who came on the scene.
After some negotiations the matter resolved for $125,000.00. The Plaintiff had sustained a neck injury but had also had a prior neck injury as well as a subsequent neck injury which was nearly impossible to distinguish from the subject accident.
In addition, NYCTA has started to use the accordion buses in New York City. Those are the buses that have the middle in rubber and allow the bus to have additional passengers seated on the extension part. However, with inadequate maintenance of these rubber accordion's we have been seeing more and more accidents involving people who fall inside the bus when the weather outside is inclement and rain or snow is leaking or seeping into the bus. Just last year we resolved a case of a woman who was injured when she fell at the back of the bus where the accordion was overhead. Through investigation and litigation we were able to show that it was more likely than not that the wetness described by client was coming from an ill maintained accordion. At the trial, before jury selection we were able to get the New York City Transit Authority to resolve the matter for a woman who had a serious back injury.
Finally, the most important advice we can share with prospective clients is that if you are injured due to a bus, you should make sure you report your accident to a supervisor or the bus driver and also be confident in demanding that the facts of how you were injured be reported to them in your own words and that you are not pressured to say something you don't agree with.
At Leav & Steinberg we are aware that NYC is growing and becoming busy. Using buses and seeing more buses is a part of life. Being injured by a negligent bus driver or by a improperly maintained bus should not be part of life.