MTA Bus Crashes: Can Injured Riders Recover Financial Damages?
Assessing the legal challenges New York riders face in attempting to hold the MTA accountable for damages caused by a bus crash.
Every week approximately 11 million people utilize the bus system operated by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority for their daily commute. Over 800,000 vehicles are in operation within the massive transportation system. Although most riders make it to their destinations safely, some become involved in accidents while riding the bus.
There have been several MTA bus accidents reported in the media in recent months. One bus crash in Brooklyn earlier this year resulted in 25 people becoming injured.
Source: NY Daily News Report “MTA bus and 2 cars involved in crash that injures at least 23 people in Brooklyn”
“Officials said a BMW struck a Nissan Altima on Utica Ave. in East Flatbush. The impact knocked the BMW into the path of a B46 bus. Three people were clinging to life and more than 20 were treated at a hospital. Police were investigating the crash.”
In another more recent MTA accident that also occurred in Brooklyn, 14 people sustained injuries.
Source: CBS New York Report “14 Injured In MTA Bus Accident In Canarsie”
“NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Fourteen people were injured, two seriously, in a bus accident in Brooklyn, according to authorities.”
When such an event takes place, there can be challenges for riders left with medical expenses and other damages who seek compensation from the MTA. Not all bus accidents involving the MTA are the fault of the authority or its operators; however, some are. Common causes of reported MTA bus crashes include speeding, a failure on the part of drivers to obey traffic rules, and other acts of negligence.
Riders who become injured in a MTA bus crash and are left with medical bills and other damages typically have questions about steps they can take to get recovery from those responsible. However, there are challenges when it comes to determining to what extent the MTA may be accountable. In cases like the aforementioned crashes, early investigations suggested liability on the part of the passenger vehicle drivers involved, which leaves open the question of who injured bus riders should name in a liability claim.
According to New York based bus accident attorney Jonathan C. Reiter, who is one of a limited number of attorneys in the state who handle legal recovery claims involving the MTA, thousands of civil claims have been filed against the MTA in the last decade with many warranting payouts. The attorney notes however, “rarely are there cases where the process of obtaining recovery from the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority is not met with challenges.”
Common challenges reportedly faced by injured accident victims in these cases include:
Being unable to obtain investigative information
Having limited access to communicating with the MTA in filing a complaint
Criminal charges being filed against another party over an accident, which may indicate limited liability of the MTA
Difficulty finding an attorney willing to take on a case involving a legal claim against the MTA
Although challenges to holding the MTA liable for injury claims persist, as indicated by data from the state Comptroller, civil claims against the authority have surpassed $1 billion in the last two decades. Therefore, injured victims may be able to recover financial losses if they have valid claims. Speaking with a lawyer who specializes in MTA accident cases can help individuals better understand what their legal options are in such cases.
Jonathan C. Reiter Law Firm, PLLC
Hear the attorney’s legal perspective on MTA accident matters via YouTube.
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