Pedestrians often face hazardous circumstances in New York City due to the significant number of accidents that occur daily involving motor vehicles. Many pedestrians are injured in pedestrian accidents involving buses, trucks, vans and other commercial vehicles. A certain number of these types of accidents involve pedestrians and workers who are on sidewalks that are invaded by runaway vehicles.
In one recent accident, a mini school bus jumped onto the sidewalk at the corner of Third Avenue and East 85th Street where it struck and injured four Doe Fund trainees. These are formerly homeless persons who are in a work trainee program sponsored by a non-profit organization. They were waiting to receive their daily assignments when they were struck.
The victims suffered serious injuries, although all four were expected to survive. The bus driver remained at the scene and received a citation for failing to yield to pedestrians. One of the workers claimed that the driver should have been given a Breathalyzer test, but it was not done.
The driver claimed that his brakes failed and he could not control the vehicle. In any event, it is likely that each of the four injured individuals has a viable claim for personal injury damages against the driver and the company or agency that owns the buses. Even where there are mechanical failures claimed, negligence will still likely be attributed to the driver and the owner.
Usually, where the driver claims a mechanical defect, he or she does not prove the alleged defect by relevant evidence. The driver and the owner will likely be liable for damages in those situations. In other pedestrian accidents, the driver and owner may be liable based on failing to maintain the vehicle’s systems in good operating condition. In New York City, as well as elsewhere, a business entity that runs a fleet of buses may not knowingly put a vehicle with bad or failing brakes out in public use without facing the consequences of being held to monetary compensation to injured victims.
Source: abc7ny.com, “4 injured when school bus jumps curb on Upper East Side“, Feb. 13, 2017