New York City Commercial Bus Accident Lawyer - Wrongful Death Claims
What are the factors that must be proven in wrongful death suit involving commercial bus accidents?
How Commercial Bus Accidents Can Lead To a Wrongful Death Claim
Commercial bus accidents tend to result in far more injuries to the drivers of passenger vehicles than to the drivers of the buses that are involved. That’s because the size and weight of commercial buses make them much more capable of withstanding the impact that results from an accident.
After someone has been killed in an accident involving a commercial bus, the surviving members of that person’s family may have the option of filing a wrongful death claim to recover damages.
In order to be successful, however, claimants must have sufficient evidence to prove that a commercial bus driver was at fault.
The question then becomes a simple one: What is a fault in a wrongful death suit related to a commercial bus accident?
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
It is first important to define a wrongful death claim, which will make it easier to understand why this type of legal action may be possible after the death of a loved one in a commercial bus accident.
A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit by the family members of a person who died as the result of some type of event or action by the defendant. This type of claim asserts that the defendant’s negligence or intentional act caused the victim to die.
It’s important to remember that one of the main elements of this type of civil action is the belief on the claimant’s part that the victim would still have been alive if not for the negligent or intentional act of the defendant.
It is also important to remember that a wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit, which means the burden of proof is not as challenging as in a criminal proceeding. To prove a wrongful death lawsuit, the claimant must show that a ‘preponderance of the evidence’ shows that the defendant is liable for the victim’s death.
In other words, a claimant must prove in the minds of reasonable people (the jury or a judge) that it is more likely than not that the defendant is liable for the death.
The are elements that must be present for a claimant to prove that a defendant was at fault in a wrongful death civil action, including:
- The defendant had a duty to the claimant
- The defendant breached that duty intentionally or through negligence
- The defendant caused the victim’s death through the intentional or negligent action
Negligence In Commercial Bus Accidents
To prove negligence in mass transit accidents, a claimant must establish the four elements discussed earlier.
The first element is duty, and that can be quickly established, because buses, commercial trucks, taxis, commercial airplanes, cruise ships, and passenger trains all fall under the designation of a ‘common carrier.’
These are carriers who move people or shipments from one area to another, and in most states, common carriers have the highest duty to protect passengers and to provide for their safety.
The second element is a breach of that duty, and a commercial bus driver who acted in a dangerous manner such as speeding, failing to break, or making an unsafe lane change, can be described as breaching his or her duty to passengers.
The third element is that the defendant’s actions caused the victim’s death, and if a claimant can show that the breach of duty directly caused the fatal accident, that element can be established.
Finally, a claimant must establish that the loss of their loved one has or will harm them financially (loss of future wages, income or valuable services) or that a minor child has been deprived of a parent’s nurture care and guidance.
In wrongful death claims, claimants must often present evidence such as a recreation of the accident or proof that the commercial bus was mechanically unsafe, expert witnesses, and eyewitnesses.
It’s important to remember that there is a statute of limitations on filing wrongful death claims. In New York for example, a claimant must file this suit within two years of a victim’s death. (1)
The Role of a New York City Commercial Bus Accident Attorney
Commercial bus accidents that result in fatalities can be devastating for everyone involved. Surviving family members of a victim who died in a bus crash can seek legal action through the services of a New York City commercial bus accident attorney.
Although negligence can be challenging to prove in wrongful death suits related to commercial bus accidents, claimants have the right to seek legal relief in these circumstances.
New York City Commercial Bus Accident Lawyer Jonathan C. Reiter. 212-736-0979
Prior results cannot and do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future case. Recoveries always depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case, the injuries suffered, damages incurred, and the responsibility of those involved.