Albany Bus Accident Attorney
Suffering serious injuries in a traffic accident in Albany, including those involving buses, is a traumatic event that causes bus accident victims physical pain, emotional trauma, and sometimes, financial hardship.
If you, your child, or another loved one were injured in an Albany bus accident, New York law permits you to seek compensation for losses related to your injuries from the party responsible for the accident.
You should not have to cope with the financial burden from medical treatment costs and lost wages because of a negligent bus driver or bus company. Bus accident claims are notoriously complex. They often include multiple parties and massive insurance policies, making it in your best interest to consult with an experienced Albany bus accident attorney who knows how to navigate these large claims.
The skilled legal team at Finkelstein & Partners understands the challenges that bus accident victims and their families face in the aftermath of a bus accident. Contact our Albany office for a free case evaluation to discuss the details of your bus accident, determine your eligibility for compensation, and find the best path forward for your individual circumstances.
Finkelstein & Partners Helps Albany Bus Accident Victims Seek Justice
The experienced attorneys at Finkelstein & Partners have represented hundreds of injured clients throughout New York since the firm’s genesis in 1959, including those who have suffered injuries in bus accidents. The firm’s commitment to justice and client service has led to hundreds of millions of dollars in jury verdicts and settlements.
Not all bus accidents occur because of the bus driver or bus company. In a recent case, our client was a school bus driver who suffered injuries after a distracted truck driver struck the rear of the school bus. Our client needed neck and shoulder surgery and couldn’t return to work. We secured a total settlement of $910,000 for our client, which was the sum of the insurance claim against the truck driver and an additional claim against the school district.
In another recent case, Finkelstein & Partners secured a $475,000 settlement who was hit by a school bus. Our client waited at a bus stop with her older siblings when the bus driver ran over her foot. The child suffered severe scars. After a long fight with the insurance company, we finally settled our client’s case the night before the scheduled trial date.
The above cases are only examples of potential outcomes for bus accident claims handled by Finkelstein & Partners. We cannot guarantee a specific financial outcome for your Albany bus accident claim. Several factors impact the value of a claim and the amount of compensation you could receive. We can, however, diligently investigate your bus accident and pursue the maximum amount of compensation commensurate with your injuries and related losses.
Bus Accident Injuries We Handle at Finkelstein & Partners
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) estimates 15,000 bus accidents across the nation each year, leading to even more injuries. Fortunately, not all bus accidents lead to injuries. Bus accident victims’ experience varies based on the speed at which the crash occurred, the location of the crash, and whether the victim was in a car, the bus driver, or a bus passenger.
If you have suffered severe Albany bus accident injuries, you need to consult with an attorney. You should also consult with a lawyer if you are unsure about whether your injuries warrant legal action. It’s better to know than to miss out on the opportunity to recover compensation for medical expenses and lost wages.
Examples of bus accident injuries we handle at Finkelstein & Partners include:
Some broken bones heal quickly without long-term physical consequences. Yet, other times severe fractures, especially multiple broken bones or multiple fractures in the same bone, make it less likely that bus accident victims will recover completely from their injuries. Treatment for fractures includes mobilization, physical therapy, and sometimes one or more surgeries. In the most severe cases, bus accident victims face lifelong discomfort and pain at the site of their injuries.
Bus accidents can lead to direct and indirect head trauma that sometimes causes traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Even the mildest concussion can have lifelong effects for accident victims.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those who suffer a TBI potentially face long-term struggles with:
- Memory, logical reasoning, and other functions related to thinking
- Vision, balance, numbness, tingling, ringing in the ears, and other functions related to the senses
- Communication, expressing ideas and feelings, and understanding ideas and feelings
- Anxiety, depression, anger, social appropriateness, increased aggression, and other struggles related to personality and emotions
Brain injuries are especially dangerous and sometimes hard to detect in infants and young children, whose brains do not develop until age 20. Sometimes parents do not notice the symptoms of a brain injury until their child misses one or more important developmental milestones.
Bus accident victims can suffer a wide range of neck injuries, including soft-tissue injuries and damage to the vertebrae in the neck. The force of a crash causes the neck to move back and forth, often leading to injuries.
Neck sprains and strains often referred to as minor whiplash, typically heal completely with proper rest and care. Torn soft tissue in the neck and fractured neck vertebrae can lead to chronic pain and discomfort for accident victims. Recurring migraines or headaches are especially common among those with severe neck injuries.
Even the most minor back injuries from a bus accident can have a lasting impact on someone’s life. Back pain, no matter how severe, makes it difficult for accident victims to find comfort while sitting, standing, or lying down. In severe cases, bus accident victims who suffer back injuries must undergo one or more surgeries to fix broken vertebrae, bulging discs, and other maladies related to the spine. Surgery alleviates pain for some, but others still face a lifetime of pain management to cope with their injury.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Suffering a spinal cord injury in a bus accident is among the most costly and devastating injuries someone can experience. Spinal cord cells do not regenerate and heal the same way other cells do. Minor spinal cord injuries cause swelling and bruising, sometimes leading to a full recovery once the swelling subsides.
However, many spinal cord injuries involve injuries that lead to permanent functional loss. The injury’s location along the spinal column plays the largest role in determining the loss someone faces. As a general rule of thumb, injuries closer to the brain result in the most loss. For example, someone who suffers a spinal cord injury in their neck faces paralysis from the neck down, commonly referred to as tetraplegia.
Bus accident victims can suffer an amputation. They are rare, but when they occur, victims face massive physical pain and emotional trauma from losing a limb. Bus accidents create conditions where passengers or those in other vehicles sometimes get pinned under a seat or steering column. This leads to one or more crushed limbs, especially legs.
Emergency responders and doctors do everything possible to restore blood flow to the affected area. However, sometimes saving the limb is not possible. In these cases, doctors must make the tough decision to amputate to prevent infection from spreading throughout the body. Amputation leads to permanent scars, and many amputees face psychological struggles, such as phantom limb pain.
Most Albany Bus Accidents Occur Because of Negligence
Buses continue to be the safest form of ground transportation. Yet, each year thousands of crashes occur across the United States, resulting in thousands of injuries and hundreds of fatalities. According to the FMCSA, 13 percent of fatal bus accidents occur on intercity buses, about 40 percent of fatal bus accidents occur on school buses, and 35 percent of fatal crashes occur on transit buses.
Bus accidents are comparatively rare compared to other traffic accidents, but most occur because of negligence. Careless practices by bus drivers, bus companies, and other drivers lead to preventable and dangerous accidents. Negligent actions and behaviors that lead to dangerous bus accidents include:
Bus drivers in Albany and throughout the United States must hold a commercial drivers’ license (CDL), which means they must comply with federal driving laws and New York driving laws, including the ban on handheld electronic devices while driving.
Cell phone use is typically the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of distracted driving, but it’s doubtful you will see an Albany bus driver use a cell phone. However, bus drivers face a wide range of other distractions—some of which they can control. Examples include unruly passengers, eating, drinking, and watching an event outside the bus. Other distracted motorists can also cause a bus accident that includes multiple vehicles.
Sometimes bus accidents occur because other drivers cause an accident. Many drivers in cars, trucks, and other passenger vehicles get impatient when they have to wait for buses to stop and go. Some drive recklessly or aggressively and improperly pass stopped buses or fail to yield when a bus driver has the right-of-way.
Aggressive driving is especially dangerous for school children when they exit and enter a bus and on busy Albany streets like Central Avenue. Bus drivers can be guilty of reckless driving, but it’s more common among those that share the road.
Ignoring Traffic Control Devices
Bus drivers and other motorists often do not intentionally ignore traffic control devices. Yet, distracted drivers who miss a stoplight, stop sign, yield sign, or other traffic control device put bus passengers and others at risk for a dangerous collision.
These crashes usually occur at intersections, and at least one of the vehicles is traveling at the full posted speed limit, making them especially dangerous. Drivers in passenger vehicles who ignore stop-arms on Albany school buses risk striking a child crossing the road during pick-up or drop-off.
Poor Maintenance Practices
In Albany, the city owns the school buses for the City School District of Albany and the Capital District Transit Authority (CDTA). Bus owners, including the City of Albany, have a legal duty to maintain their buses in roadworthy conditions. This includes regular inspections, preventative maintenance, and fixing any known issues.
Buses that do not receive proper maintenance can break down at a critical point, cause drivers to lose control, and lead to serious bus accidents. Simple things like changing tires, filling up fluids, and servicing brakes sometimes make the difference between life and death for bus passengers.
Every motorized vehicle has a weight limit, including buses. Overweight buses and other vehicles are difficult to control, making it more likely for drivers to get in an accident. Overcrowded buses translate to dangerous overweight buses. Regular school bus and CDTA routes rarely suffer from overcrowding. However, special events might overcrowd CDTA buses, and private charter bus companies do not always follow the rules.
Poor Employment Practices
The City of Albany, school districts, bus companies, and any organization that hires bus drivers has a legal duty to hire qualified bus drivers. Those who do not have the skills they need must undergo additional training.
Holding a CDL does not substitute for training and experience. Bus drivers have far more responsibilities than truck drivers. They must keep passengers safe and deal with continuous stopping and starting in heavy traffic. Only experience and practice allow drivers to perfect these skills.
Bus companies and others who hire unqualified or inexperienced drivers or do not adequately train new drivers face liability for damages if one of their drivers causes a bus accident.
Get the Legal Help You Need After an Albany Bus Accident
If you or your child has suffered injuries in an Albany bus accident, you need to focus on healing and recovery. Let the experienced personal injury lawyers at Finkelstein & Partners handle the details of your claim and help you seek compensation for damages. Contact us today online or at (518) 452-2813 for a free case evaluation to discuss the details of your bus accident.
1707 Central Avenue
Albany, NY 12205