NJ Transit/City Bus Accidents Attorney

A New Jersey city bus accident can really turn your life upside down when you’re dealing with the aftermath. Part of the recovery process, though, is best handled by a city bus accident lawyer familiar with NJ Transit, their attorneys and their negotiation tactics. Call the NJ experts at RAM Law if you’ve been in an accident with a NJ Transit bus or any other commercial bus or truck. They handle all the legal and insurance complexities so you can concentrate on your recovery.

What Legal Options Do I Have as a Victim of a City Bus Accident?

City buses and NJ Transit provide reliable and affordable forms of transportation, and many New Jersey residents rely on them to run errands, go to work or attend school. Most city bus drivers are highly skilled drivers, but buses do sometimes get into wrecks for a variety of reasons. Since city buses are such large, heavy vehicles, when they collide with a smaller vehicle, they can cause extensive damage and horrific injuries. If you’re in a crash with a bus, you have some legal options for compensation.

If you’ve been a victim of a city bus accident in New Jersey and sustained injuries, reach out to an experienced New Jersey city bus accident attorney. Claims involving large vehicles such as commercial trucks and state, city or private commercial buses are complex and best handled by the best bus accident lawyers in the area at Ram Law. Contact the experts as soon as possible following a city bus accident.

What Causes City Bus Accidents?

Vehicle accidents happen every day. The same things that lead to car accidents are frequently the cause of city bus accidents.

Some of the most common causes of accidents include:

Large vehicles — like buses, delivery trucks  and tractor-trailers — often have a blind spot, which is an area the driver can’t see. It increases the risk of having a wreck. Making sharp turns, merging without looking or making sudden lane changes are other actions that increase the risk of an accident caused by a city bus.

Bad weather can make driving any vehicle more challenging, especially for large buses. Drivers who operate a bus on a foggy day or on slippery roads must always reduce their speed and drive even more carefully than usual. Because they’re pushed to keep to a tight schedule, drivers may feel the urge to rush in adverse conditions, but that leads to Jersey city bus accidents.

What Kind of Injuries Can Be Caused by City Bus Accidents?

Passengers inside city buses and school buses usually aren’t wearing seatbelts, so if the bus is jolted or flipped, they may be tossed around inside the bus. Pedestrians or the drivers of other vehicles may be hurt when they’re struck by a large vehicle like a bus.

Examples of injuries that may be caused by city bus accidents include:

Limbs that were crushed in a New Jersey city bus accident may have to be amputated. Even if you only suffered minor injuries in an accident with a bus, you may be faced with substantial medical bills and other financial challenges.

Who Is Liable for an Accident with a NJ Transit Bus?

Driver error, carelessness or negligence causes many motor vehicle accidents, but when there’s an accident with a NJ Transit or other city bus, the bus driver may not be the only party at fault.

Others who may be partially liable include:

  • The employer of the bus driver
  • Mechanics who were hired to repair or inspect a bus to make sure it was safe to drive
  • Manufacturers of bus parts that malfunctioned
  • The government if the bus was a transit bus owned by the city or state

The individual or company that hired the bus driver is responsible for training and screening drivers to make sure they’re qualified to handle driving a city bus. All bus companies are expected to provide regular preventative maintenance to keep buses running smoothly and to promptly address maintenance issues.

Determining all parties who may be partly responsible for a bus crash is complicated. A knowledgeable bus accident lawyer has the skills and experience needed to research and review evidence to identify everyone who may be at least partially liable for your NJ city bus accident.

How Do I Prove Negligence on the Part of the Bus Driver or Company?

Negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care. When drivers are negligent, they make poor judgements or react too slowly. To prove that there was negligence in a bus accident, you must have suffered physical harm or other damage.

Evidence that may help to prove negligence includes:

  • Data from the bus or other sources indicating the bus was speeding
  • A sobriety test proving the driver was intoxicated
  • Eyewitness accounts that prove the driver failed to follow traffic signals
  • Records indicating the company failed to provide adequate training
  • Documents that show failure to thoroughly screen employees
  • Maintenance logs that show that the bus wasn’t properly maintained

The police report often includes information that proves negligence on the part of the bus driver or company. Proving negligence can be a complex process and is best handled by an experienced city bus attorney who knows how to investigate the circumstances of the accident. Your attorney at RAM Law protects your legal rights while you heal.

How Do I Negotiate with the Bus Company or Their Insurance Company?

If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may consider handling your own claim. An accident with another car may be simple enough to handle on your own, but an accident with a city bus is much more complicated.

You need to take several steps when negotiating with the bus company or insurance company, such as:

  • Filing an insurance claim
  • Gathering and organizing your records, such as medical bills, photographs and witness statements
  • Rejecting the initial settlement offer if it’s too low
  • Calculating the minimum settlement amount
  • Sending a demand letter to the insurance company asking for fair compensation
  • Emphasizing points that prove the settlement offer is too low
  • Representing you in court if necessary

When negotiating a claim, be careful what you say to the insurance adjuster. Don’t say anything that implies you believe you were at fault. Be cautious about posting anything on social media that implies you weren’t hurt that badly. Avoid talking about your accident on social media at all.

Insurance adjusters know that individuals who do their own negotiating don’t have the legal knowledge to calculate fair compensation or to fight convincingly in court. When you try to handle a claim on your own, the settlement amount you accept is lower than you need it to be. Let an expert bus accident attorney determine the amount of your fair settlement and take care of negotiating on your behalf.

What Kind of Compensation Am I Entitled to for My Injuries and Damages?

After an accident involving a NJ city bus, the amount of compensation you need to receive is determined by considering different factors, including:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • How much time you’re unable to work
  • Whether your injuries are expected to heal with rehabilitation or are permanent
  • How much pain and suffering were caused by the accident

Compensation can be based on economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include things that are clearly documented, like lost wages and medical costs. Your medical costs include long-term care costs and rehabilitation costs. Non-economic damages include other ways you have been harmed by the accident, such as developing depression or anxiety or dealing with physical pain and a reduced quality of life.

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim after the Accident?

Many states have a statute of limitations that limits the amount of time you have before initiating a personal injury claim. In New Jersey, you must file a claim within two years of an accident.

If more than two years have passed:

  • You can no longer file a claim.
  • The other party can ask to have your claim dismissed.

The sooner you file a claim after any type of accident, the more about the accident you remember. If you’re planning to bring a lawsuit against a government entity, you may have to start the claim in a much shorter amount of time. An experienced bus accident attorney is familiar with local laws that apply to claims involving the government.

How Do I Find an Experienced City Bus Accident Lawyer?

When you need an experienced city bus accident lawyer, find a lawyer who has a proven record of success fighting in court for people injured in this type of accident. Look for testimonials or positive reviews online for a reputable bus accident firm. When you call them, they should treat you with compassion and respect.

With more than 20 years of experience and extensive knowledge of the complexities of New Jersey city bus accidents, combined with extensive courtroom and negotiation skills, you’re in the best possible hands when you entrust your case to the city bus accident attorneys at RAM Law. Contact them today to schedule a consultation.

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To schedule a confidential consultation, contact us online or call our offices, in New Brunswick at (732) 247-3600, in Somerville at (908) 448-2560, or in Freehold at (732) 828-2234.

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