Accidents on an MTA Bus
Non-collision bus customer accidents, which did not involve a collision, increased 11% from August 2018 according to the MTA and reported in the New York Post. Of the 494 accidents reported, 207 of them were the result of what was described as "throwing movements." 207 may not seem like a lot, but to the injured passenger, or their family if the passenger dies as a result of the accident, it is one too many. If it happens to you, you may be due compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost income. To collect damages you must follow MTA rules and guidelines.
Is the MTA Liable?
This is the question MTA attorneys will ask. Even if the answer is "yes," their goal will be to minimize any compensation. Basically, for the MTA to be held liable, two critical elements must be satisfied:
- A Notice of Claim must be received within 90 days of the incident.
- The notice must show that either the MTA was negligent or the driver was negligent by not following MTA policy.
After receiving the Notice, the MTA has 30 days to respond. There will be a hearing. If the matter goes to court, the injured party has one year and 90 days to file a lawsuit. If the passenger died as a result of the injuries, the family has two years to file suit.
The Notice of Claim
It is always a good thing to remain at the scene of the accident and to ask for witnesses to support your claim. It may be difficult to prove a particular driver on a particular bus caused the injury, if you get off and walk away. Take detailed notes describing the facts of the matter, including the driver's id. The notice must include the following:
- 1. Your full name and contact details.
- 2. The deceased victim's details, if appropriate, and your relationship to the victim.
- 3. Your attorney's contact details if you appropriate.
- 4. Date, time, and location of the accident.
- 5. Injuries and damages you suffered as a direct result of the accident.
- 6. Other relevant circumstances surrounding the incident.
Proving Your Claim
Nothing is simple or straightforward when it comes to matters of law. The MTA's attorney will be looking for missing information or anything unclear that can be used to your disadvantage. You must show that:
- - The MTA had a duty to protect you as a passenger. (E.g. if the driver was off-duty, then he or she was not in the employ of the MTA at the time.)
- - The MTA breached its duty in some way. (E.g. the driver had not completed their training, so should not have been driving.)
- - Your injury was a direct result of the breach of duty, or
- - Your injury was a direct result of the driver's negligent actions.
- - Your injury resulted in your suffering damages (medical expenses, lost income, etc.) so you are entitled to compensation.
In a nutshell, you are entitled to damages if you suffer injury because either the MTA or a driver is at fault. To receive the damages you must meet MTA Notice of Claim standards, and you must have enough supporting evidence to prove your claim is fair. The MTA will be represented by an experienced attorney, so it makes sense that you are.
If you have suffered injury while getting on, traveling on, or getting off an MTA bus, and would like to seek legal advice, then please just click here to contact us.