Boston Bus Accident Lawyer
Have you been injured in a bus accident in the Boston area? You may be entitled to compensation. Contact Rubenstein Law to see how we can help.
Bus accidents can range in severity from minor fender benders between two transit buses to catastrophic multi-vehicle crashes involving injuries or fatalities. These wrecks can involve any type of bus, from school buses and private charter buses to commuter buses. No matter the circumstances surrounding the incident, any person injured in an accident involving a bus should seek legal advice to protect their rights and ensure fair compensation for injuries or damages they suffered.
Are Bus Accidents Common?
Bus accidents may not always make the front page news, but they are a common occurrence. The sheer number of buses on the roadways any given day means that accidents can and do happen, often with devastating consequences for those involved.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, buses contributed to 5,237 fatal crashes in 2019, a two percent increase from 2018.
Despite progress toward improved safety guidelines, tragedies still occur. In 2019, Massachusetts had 4,489 bus crashes resulting in 279 injuries, according to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Several of these were Boston bus accidents.
Different Types of Bus Accidents
Bus accidents can be traumatic and cause severe injury or death. Understanding the different types of bus accidents is crucial for knowing your legal rights and options. A Boston bus accident lawyer can represent those involved in the following types of collisions:
School Bus Accidents
Tens of millions of children ride on school buses every year to get to and from school, and Boston alone has a fleet of 620 traditional school buses that transport around 21,000 students daily. Unfortunately, accidents involving these buses are more common than you might think.
Based on the National Safety Council's statistics, 54 school bus accident victims died in crashes nationwide in 2020.
Public Transit Bus Accidents
Everyone has experienced the morning rush to work on time or the late-night dash home from a party with friends. Many commuters view public transportation as a convenient alternative to driving cars. This means using the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). Despite being heavily regulated by state and federal regulations, public transportation is not immune to accidents.
Each year, the United States experiences almost 60,000 public transit bus accidents. Although most of these accidents only result in property damage, they do cause hundreds of deaths and injuries. In 2018, 8,515 bus accidents led to injuries, and 231 resulted in death.
Private Bus Accidents
Private bus accidents occur when a privately owned and operated bus is involved in a collision. The government has set safety regulations for private bus companies, including regular inspections, driver training, and safety equipment. These vehicles, like other buses, pose a danger to bus passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists.
For example, in November 2022, a shuttle bus crashed in a Boston suburb, resulting in one death and over two dozen injuries, including the driver. The bus was part of a regular shuttle loop between Cambridge and Boston. According to a witness, the bus struck multiple trees.
Types of Private Buses
Private bus companies in the U.S. transport more than 600 million passengers annually, and they are growing in popularity as a long-distance travel mode. Many private bus companies offer free Wi-Fi, reclining seats, and on-board restrooms, making them an attractive option for many travelers.
Common types of private buses include:
- Charter buses
- Tour buses
- Shuttle buses
- Sleeper buses
- Party buses
- Luxury buses
- Executive buses
Common Bus Accident Injuries
Boston is no stranger to the unfortunate reality of bus accidents. While most bus accident injuries are minor, some can be serious and may even lead to permanent disability or death. Here's a brief summary of typical bus accident injuries:
Head Injuries: Head trauma caused by bus accidents can range from mild concussions to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, nausea, confusion, memory loss, vision problems, and ear ringing. TBIs can cause long-term physical, cognitive, and emotional difficulties lasting months or years after the initial injury.
Spinal Cord Injuries: Spinal cord injuries happen when there is damage to the nerves in the spinal column. Depending on which part of the spine that's injured, symptoms may include paralysis or loss of sensation in parts of the body below the injury site and pain or burning sensations. These types of catastrophic injuries often require extensive rehabilitation and medical treatment and can result in long-term disability or paralysis.
Internal Injuries: Internal organ damage is another frequent injury from a bus accident due to blunt force trauma. Common internal injuries include broken ribs, lacerated organs such as the spleen or liver, internal bleeding, and punctured lungs. These injuries can be challenging to detect since they do not always have visible signs or symptoms until later.
Fractures: Broken bones are also common after a bus accident due to the amount of force involved. Fractures may occur anywhere on the body, including arms, legs, wrists, ankles, and ribs, depending on where you were sitting at the time of impact. Treatment for fractures includes immobilization with a splint or cast and physical therapy to help restore mobility after healing.
Causes of Bus Accidents
Boston bus accidents can arise for many reasons. The liable party can range from the bus operator to a fellow motorist. However, there are about 9 common reasons that bus accidents occur. Common causes of bus accidents include:
- Driver negligence
- Distracted driving
- Driver fatigue
- Poor weather conditions
- Mechanical failure
- Unsafe turns and lane changes
- Improper maintenance
- Impaired driving (alcohol or drug use)
Speeding, in fact, caused one of the most horrific public transit accidents in U.S. history. In 1972, a speeding chartered bus owned by New Orleans' transit system crashed from an elevated expressway, resulting in the deaths of 29 individuals and injuries to many more. The bus driver was charged with negligent homicide but later cleared of the charges. This catastrophic event highlighted the significance of implementing and enforcing safety measures in public transportation systems.
Need a Bus Accident Injury Lawyer?
Boston residents can trust Rubenstein Law for reliable legal help after a bus accident. Our Boston bus accident lawyers specialize in protecting clients from the financial woes of being injured in a wreck. Without proper legal representation, you could end up facing financial ruin from medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses that pile up when you get injured through no fault of your own.
We have over 30 years of experience handling personal injury cases and have delivered successful results, collecting billions of dollars in settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients. Most importantly, we offer a free consultation, and you don't pay us anything unless we win.
How a Boston Bus Accident Lawyer Can Help You Win Your Case
You will likely suffer from serious injuries, emotional trauma, and financial stress after being involved in a bus accident. An experienced bus accident injury lawyer can protect your rights and help you get the necessary compensation it will take to keep you from getting set back financially due to the accident.
There are many ways a skilled Boston bus accident lawyer can be your guide through the aftermath of an accident, such as:
Navigating the Legal System – Experience is crucial when dealing with legal matters, particularly complicated bus accident claims. For instance, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates commercial buses that travel across state lines. A Boston bus accident lawyer can help you understand the complexities of your case and ensure that all of your rights are protected.
Providing Resources – In addition, an experienced Boston bus accident lawyer will have access to resources that can help strengthen your case and increase your chances of success. These resources include:
- Legal research databases
- Accident reconstruction specialists
- Medical professionals to provide supportive testimony
- Private investigators
- Courtroom experience
Getting Fair Compensation – A skilled Boston bus accident attorney can handle settlement negotiations with insurance companies for fair and full compensatory damages for your injuries and losses. Insurance companies often try to exploit unsuspecting individuals who don't understand their rights or how much they should receive after being injured in a bus accident. Being represented by our Boston bus accident attorney can help ensure the insurance company pays a fair settlement and if they don’t we are prepared to take the case to trial.
Who Is at Fault in a Bus Accident?
During a busy morning commute, a shuttle bus carrying numerous passengers attempting to arrive at work on time swerved to avoid a pothole and crashed into a parked car.
The collision caused passengers to be thrown about, resulting in several injuries and one individual's death. The question arises as to who bears responsibility for the accident: the bus operator for swerving, the city for not repairing the pothole, or the bus company who hired the driver?
Determining fault may be more complex than it appears. Let's examine each party who could possibly be held liable for the incident.
The Bus Driver - The bus operator is usually the first person who comes to mind when you think about who might be at fault in a bus accident. And in many bus accident cases, the driver may be held liable. For example, if the driver was speeding or if they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then they would likely be found at fault.
The City - In the scenario above, a pothole caused the bus driver to swerve and crash. So, is the city at fault for not repairing the pothole sooner? It's possible. Suppose there's evidence proving the city knew about the pothole and did nothing to fix it within a reasonable amount of time. In that case, the city could be held liable for any accidents or injuries that resulted from it.
The Bus Company - The bus company could also be held liable for this accident. For example, if evidence shows they did not properly maintain the bus or hired an unqualified driver, they could be found at fault. Likewise, if the company fails to provide proper safety training to its drivers, it could also be held responsible for any accidents or injuries.
Multiple parties could be liable for a bus accident, depending on what happened up to and during the accident. For example, another liable party could be the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority or a bus manufacturer. An experienced Boston bus accident lawyer will investigate all aspects of your case to determine all at fault parties to get the maximum compensation you deserve.
Common Bus Crash Damage
The purpose of damages in a civil lawsuit is to compensate the injured party or parties for the losses and harm they have suffered due to the accident. If you've suffered serious injuries in a bus collision, a Boston bus accident lawyer could help obtain the following financial damages:
- Economic Damages: These are the monetary losses you've incurred due to the accident. They include medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. If you cannot work or lose wages because of your injuries, you are entitled to compensation. You may also be able to seek adequate compensation to recover future lost wages.
- Non-Economic Damages: These are the intangible losses you've suffered from the accident. They include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. Because these damages are more difficult to quantify, they often require testimony from experts such as doctors, psychologists, or life care planners to prove.
- Punitive Damages: These damages punish the liable party for negligence. Punitive damages can be substantial, but they're challenging to recover. In Massachusetts, the standard for awarding punitive damages is high, and courts rarely award them to plaintiffs.
An example of punitive damages in a bus accident would be if a bus company knowingly allowed a driver with a history of reckless driving to continue operating a bus, leading to an accident causing serious injury or death.
- Wrongful Death: This is damage available to the surviving family members of those who have died due to someone else's negligence. In wrongful death cases, courts can award compensation for the economic and non-economic losses resulting from the death, including medical expenses, funeral expenses, and lost wages.
What to Do After a Bus Accident
Being involved in an accident is a harrowing experience. But the stakes are even higher when that accident involves a large vehicle like a bus. If you've been involved in a bus accident in Boston, there are specific steps you need to take to ensure that you protect your legal rights and give yourself the best possible chance of receiving compensation for your injuries.
1. Get Medical Care
After a bus accident, seeking medical attention right away is essential, even if you feel fine. Some injuries, such as internal bleeding or traumatic brain injuries, may not show symptoms immediately. Seeking prompt medical attention allows you to get an expert evaluation of your injuries, start treatment early, and create a record of your injuries for insurance claims or lawsuits.
2. Gather Evidence
If you can, take photos of the scene, vehicle damage and any visible injuries you sustained. You should also get the contact information for witnesses who saw the accident, because these witnesses can provide valuable testimony later if your case goes to trial.
3. Call a Boston Bus Accident Attorney
Set up a free consultation with a personal injury attorney specializing in Boston bus accidents. A seasoned attorney can handle the investigation, evidence gathering, and insurance and settlement negotiations, allowing you to concentrate on your recovery.
What Do Bus Accident Lawyers Do?
Boston bus accident lawyers specialize in evaluating, preparing, and litigating bus accident claims related to injuries sustained on buses or from collisions between buses and other vehicles or pedestrians.
We represent the client's best interests in any legal dispute arising from a bus accident. Our experienced professionals have an in-depth understanding of the state laws and regulations that govern these situations.
We will explore all avenues for compensating bus accident victims for their injuries. The primary objective of our Boston bus accident attorneys is to protect our client's rights throughout the legal process and deliver exceptional results by helping them recover the highest possible damages for their injuries.
Questions to Ask a Bus Accident Lawyer
Being in a Boston bus accident can cause serious, long-term physical and emotional pain. If you or someone you care about has been hurt in a bus accident, you may want to know more about your legal options.
Finding an experienced and knowledgeable Boston bus accident attorney who can help you protect yourself, your family's welfare, and your rights is essential. Here are some of the most critical questions for a Boston bus accident lawyer.
What Are Your Fees?
Asking about fees upfront can help ensure there are no unexpected costs down the line, so inquire about legal fees before signing any contracts with a prospective attorney.
At Rubenstein Law, our Boston bus accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means the lawyer's fee is a percentage of the client's settlement amount. You pay nothing up-front or out-of-pocket and you only pay if and when we win your case.
What Kind of Evidence Will Be Needed To Prove My Case?
Your attorney should be able to provide information regarding what kind of evidence they need to build a strong case on your behalf. This proof could include witness interviews, medical records, police reports, photographs, and other documentation supporting your version of events leading up to the accident.
How Long Will My Case Take?
The duration of bus accident cases depends on factors such as injury severity, medical costs, case complexity, and negotiation tactics. An experienced lawyer can give an estimated timeframe, but unexpected events can prolong the case.
According to a study cited in Forbes, the average time between injury and settlement award takes close to 12 months. However, some bus accident victims received compensation in less than two months.
Get Legal Support for Your Bus Accident Case
You're injured, and you need a lawyer. But how can you be sure that a lawyer is right for you?
Knowing who you should trust regarding something as important as your personal injury case is hard. You could end up hiring a lawyer who doesn't have your best interests at heart, which could mean losing the money you deserve.
Rubenstein Law is different. We don't charge any fees unless we win your case, so you can be sure that we're fighting for you every step of the way. With over 30 years of experience and billions of dollars in settlements and verdicts, we're confident we can get you the best results.