Legal Help After a Greyhound Bus Accident
Whether you are a passenger in a commercial bus or driving alongside one, you have the right to safety. When you purchase a ticket for a Greyhound bus or pass one on the road, you expect the driver to be attentive and the vehicle to function properly. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
If you have been involved in an accident with a Greyhound bus, your right to safety has been violated. The lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy understand just how frustrating this can feel and how draining it can be to file a claim against a major corporation. Having an experienced team of attorneys on your side can help you receive the financial compensation you deserve after an accident.
The lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy have secured some of the largest personal injury settlements in New York State including $6,000,000 for a passenger injured on a New York city bus. If you have been involved in an accident with a Greyhound bus, fill out our contact form or call us at 212-736-5300 for a FREE consultation.
Your Rights as a Greyhound Passenger
According to Greyhound’s customer bill of rights, you have a right to a safe ride on a well-maintained vehicle with an experienced and responsible driver. If the driver violates a traffic law, drives on roads prohibited to commercial vehicles, or commits any negligent act, your safety has been put at risk and your rights have been violated. Additionally, improper vehicle maintenance is also a violation of your rights as a passenger. If these behaviors lead to a crash, you deserve to be compensated for any injuries, pain, or financial hardships you may experience after an accident.
Who is at Fault in a Greyhound Bus Accident?
Determining fault in a Greyhound bus accident depends on which driver or entity committed an act of negligence that led to the crash. Greyhound drivers, drivers of other vehicles, and in rare cases, even passengers may be held liable for an accident. Read below to find out in what scenarios each person or entity may be at fault.
In many accidents involving a commercial vehicle, the company itself will be held liable for the crash due to the principles of vicarious liability and negligent entrustment. Vicarious liability maintains that a supervisor will be held liable for an employee’s actions so long as the employee was “on the job.” This means that even if the driver committed a traffic violation that led to an accident, it is likely that Greyhound Lines, Inc. will still be held at least partially liable for the crash.
In other cases, Greyhound may be held liable through the legal concept of negligent entrustment, which states that a company can be found liable for trusting a negligent or reckless driver to operate their vehicle. This principle could be applicable if, for example, Greyhound neglected to perform a background check on the driver or did not ensure the driver had proper licensure to operate a commercial vehicle.
Finally, Greyhound Lines, Inc. may also be at fault if an accident occurred due to mechanical issues. This is called negligent management, meaning the company did not properly maintain their vehicle.
Greyhound Bus Driver
Although Greyhound Lines, Inc. may share some portion of the blame in cases of driver negligence, a bus driver may also be found at fault. Because of the legal concept of comparative negligence, two parties can be held liable for the same accident, though they may not share the blame equally. For example, if a driver were intoxicated while operating a Greyhound bus, the driver may be found 90% liable, whereas the company may be found 10% liable for employing the driver. In other cases, such as a driver committing a traffic violation or driving on roads prohibited to buses, Greyhound could share more of the blame for lack of training, but the driver may still be held somewhat liable.
Driver of Another Vehicle
If a Greyhound bus was struck by another vehicle, that driver could be found partially or wholly at-fault. If the other driver was under the influence, for example, they would most likely share all or most of the blame for the crash. In cases where more than one party committed a negligent act, however, the driver of another vehicle as well as the Greyhound driver may both share some of the blame due to comparative negligence. If you do believe another driver was at fault, you could submit a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
In rare cases, a passenger could be held liable for a crash involving a Greyhound bus. This may occur if a passenger physically assaulted a Greyhound driver, blatantly distracted them, or attempted to take control of the vehicle.
Taking on a major corporation like Greyhound is time-consuming and stressful. If you have been involved with a Greyhound bus accident, the experienced lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy have the knowledge and expertise to get you the financial compensation you deserve. Call us for a FREE consultation today at 212-736-5300.
Common Causes of Greyhound Bus Accidents
Greyhound has an obligation to maintain your safety when riding with them. They must ensure their drivers are well-rested, well-trained, and responsible. Unfortunately, company policies are not always enforced, which can lead to dangerous driving conditions and accidents. Common causes of Greyhound bus accidents can include:
- Drowsy driving: Bus accidents are often caused by an over-worked driver experiencing fatigue. Greyhound drivers are meant to take short breaks from driving every 150 miles to ensure that they are alert on the job, however, official company policies like this are not always enforced. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMSCA) “Hours of Service” law also mandates that drivers of passenger-carrying vehicles spend eight hours off-duty prior to a shift and not drive more than 10 hours. If drivers do not follow these regulations, it could lead to a serious crash.
- Distracted driving: On a bus full of people, numerous distractions can occur that would cause a driver to lose focus. Some drivers may even intentionally seek out distractions, such as using their phone or watching a video. Greyhound bus drivers bear a huge responsibility and are expected to maintain a safe ride for passengers during their journey.
- Driving under the influence: It is unfortunate that any driver would put their life at risk by consuming alcohol or drugs before driving, but it is especially unfortunate when that driver is responsible for the lives of their many passengers. Still, some Greyhound drivers may engage in such risky behavior, causing an accident to occur because of it.
- Vehicle malfunction: All Greyhound buses should be properly maintained to ensure passenger safety; however, this is not always the case. If a mechanical problem with the vehicle leads to an accident, Greyhound will be held liable for any damages to passengers.
- Driving on prohibited roads: Because of its size, certain areas and roads are prohibited to Greyhound buses.
Top Results in Bus Accident Cases
The attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy have secured some of the largest personal injury settlements in New York State, including several bus accident cases:
- $6,000,000 settlement for a passenger on a New York City bus who sustained knee injuries, torn ligaments, and a herniated disc after the accident
- $3,500,000 settlement from the city of New York for a man with head, neck, and shoulder injuries after an accident
- $3,450,000 settlement for a pedestrian hit by an Access-A-Ride bus who sustained multiple ankle, leg, and hip injuries
- $3,000,000 settlement for a 48-year-old barber who was hit by an MTA bus
- $2,925,000 settlement for a 39-year old driver hit by a school bus that ran a red light
- $2,270,000 verdict for a passenger on a New York City transit bus that collided with a tanker truck
- $2,250,000 settlement for a 55-year-old bank teller hit by a school bus while crossing the street
- $2,250,000 settlement for the wrongful death of 68-year-old schoolteacher hit by a bus while crossing the street
- $2,250,000 compensation for a passenger of an Access-A-Ride bus who experienced lower back injuries as a result of the crash
- $1,750,000 settlement for a 22-year-old bus passenger who experienced several injuries to his spine after the bus driver rear-ended another vehicle
If you have been injured in a Greyhound bus accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact the lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy for a FREE consultation by calling 212-736-5300 or filling out our online contact form.