Four Injured as MTA Bus Careens Over Brooklyn Sidewalk

According to news reports, an MTA bus suddenly drove onto the sidewalk on May 19, around 6:20 p.m. The bus accident occurred near the intersection of Brownsville’s East New York and Ralph avenues. The bus struck two parked vehicles, a street sign, and three small trees.

No one on the bus was injured in the accident. Four people sustained injuries because of the bus accident, including one pedestrian.

It is believed that the bus driver lost control of the vehicle because of a medical episode. As of the date of the news report, the bus driver had not been suspended, but he was not driving a bus, pending the results of a review by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the New York Police Department.

The MTA provides service for first responders, health care workers, and other essential employees during the coronavirus pandemic.

Bus Accidents Can Cause Serious Injuries

Millions of people ride the New York City MTA buses each year. They depend on these buses to get to work and run errands throughout New York City. Unfortunately, riding an MTA bus can be dangerous.

According to a story in the New York Post, non-collision injuries on MTA buses increased by 11 percent from 2018 to 2019. A little under one-half of the injuries were sustained because of “throwing movements” during a bus ride.

In addition to the injuries sustained on the bus while it is in motion, passengers are injured in slips and falls while boarding and exiting the buses. Bus collisions are also responsible for many of the injuries riders sustain on MTA buses.

Common bus accident injuries include, but are not limited to:

  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injury
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Sprains and strains
  • Lacerations and soft tissue damage

Pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motorists involved in a bus accident can also sustain serious injuries. Buses are large vehicles. Therefore, the risk of catastrophic injuries from a collision with a bus for non-riders can be very high.

What are the Causes of Bus Accidents and Injuries?

Bus accidents and injuries occur for a variety of reasons. Unsafe conditions on the bus could be a factor in some of the injuries. However, traffic accidents involving buses are often caused by driver error.

Some of the causes of bus accidents in New York City include, but are not limited to:

  • Distracted bus drivers
  • Fatigued or drowsy bus drivers
  • Bus drivers who are under the influence of illegal drugs, prescription medications, or alcohol
  • Inexperienced and poorly trained bus drivers
  • Failure to obey traffic signals or traffic laws
  • Bus drivers failing to see pedestrians and other vehicles because of reduced visibility
  • Negligence and carelessness of other motorists
  • Failure to maintain buses adequately
  • Defective buses or bus parts
  • Speeding or following too closely
  • Negligent hiring and supervision of bus drivers

Proving that the MTA is responsible for a person’s injuries after a bus accident is required to recover compensation from the city. However, because a government entity is involved in the claim, the claims process is different from other traffic accident claims.

You Must File a Notice of Claim to Protect Your Rights After an NYC Bus Accident

A Notice of Claim must be filed with the MTA within 90 days of the date of your injury. The MTA has just 30 days to respond to the notice. If the matter is not resolved, the accident victim may file a lawsuit, but there are strict and short deadlines.

It can be beneficial to talk to a bus accident lawyer as soon as possible after an injury on an MTA bus. The MTA may accept liability for a claim, but it will try to minimize any compensation that it must pay for an injury claim. Also, the MTA will search for any reason to deny liability for the claim, including errors in the claims process and lack of information provided by the accident victim.

What Should You Do After a Bus Accident?

If you are injured on an NYC bus, ask witnesses for their names and contact information. Witnesses often leave the scene before police officers arrive. Document your injuries by seeking medical treatment as soon as possible.

Contact a bus accident lawyer as soon as possible. As stated above, the MTA claims procedures have strict deadlines and requirements for filing injury claims. Failing to file the required Notice of Claim can result in being barred from filing a lawsuit against the MTA for damages and losses related to a bus accident.

Fighting the MTA for fair compensation after a bus accident without an attorney can be difficult. An attorney has the resources, skills, and knowledge to mount an aggressive investigation into the cause of the injury. Your attorney also investigates whether other individuals or parties could be liable for your injuries, such as another driver, government entity, or company.

Mirman, Markovits & Landau, P.C.
291 Broadway 6th Floor
New York, NY 10007
(212) 227-4000