Taking public transportation is usually the responsible choice, but it is not without risk, as passengers were reminded earlier this week when a New Jersey Transit bus was involved in a collision with two other vehicles. The accident occurred in the morning near the intersection of Grove Street and South Orange Avenue. Two vehicles were involved in a side-impact collision, and as a result, one of the vehicles collided with the transit bus. The resulting scene was quite gruesome and required detouring traffic for a number of hours. Five passengers from the bus as well as the bus driver were transported to the hospital due to injuries and reports of pain. One of the vehicle drivers was also taken to the hospital for treatment. It is not yet known what caused or contributed to the accident and who was at fault. Given how busy the roads are at that time of day, officials are relieved that this did not turn into a larger multi-vehicle accident and that there were no fatalities. Officials have not released updates on the well-being of those injured in the accident, and have not commented yet on the cause. The investigation into this accident is still ongoing, and no statements have been made indicating whether negligence was a factor.
Suing for Bus Accident Injuries
New Jersey Transit buses are common carriers, which means that the bus drivers have to meet a high standard of care when transporting passengers. If you are injured in a bus accident, it is important to identify who was responsible for causing it. In some cases, the bus driver may have been distracted, speeding, or otherwise responsible for causing the crash, whereas in other situations, the crash may have been caused by another driver. Insurance companies will determine who is liable for the accident, and the liable party will be responsible for covering damages for any injuries that occurred as a result of their negligence. Because there are so many parties and insurance policies involved, it is generally a good idea to get an attorney involved as early on in the process as possible to make sure that your interests are protected and that you get the best settlement possible. Without the help of an attorney, you will be more likely to fall victim to many of the common pitfalls when it comes to negotiating a settlement with the liable party’s insurance company, such as accepting a lowball offer because you do not know the full value of your claim. More importantly, claims against New Jersey Transit (as well as other governmental and quasi-governmental entities) will subject you to New Jersey’s Title 59 Notice of Claim requirement. This Notice of Claim requires that you provide the governmental or quasi-governmental entity with specific details regarding the happening of your claim, your injuries, medical bills and claimed damages. Failure to submit this Notice of Claim in a timely and proper manner may act as a complete bar to your recovery.
Damages for Bus Accident Injuries
If you have been involved in a bus accident, you may be wondering how much your claim is worth and whether it is worthwhile to pursue legal action. Personal injury lawsuits exist to make the injured victim of someone else’s negligence financially whole again following an accident. This involves providing compensation for all financial losses, as well as for pain and suffering. Financial losses include the cost of all medical care and expenses, as well as lost wages if you had to miss work due to your injury. If your injuries prevent you from returning to work or from returning to the same level of work, you may also receive compensation for lost earning potential.
When calculating economic damages, it is also important to consider the cost of future care if you will require additional surgeries, ongoing medical care, or physical therapy. Many people don’t realize that they can include anticipated future costs and end up accepting a settlement that is too low to cover the full amount of their damages.
Pain and suffering damages are calculated based on the permanence and severity of your injuries. The more permanent and severe your injuries are, the higher your damages will be. Additionally, the higher your medical costs are, the higher your pain and suffering damages will be. In some cases, such as where reckless disregard for other drivers’ safety was displayed, punitive damages may also be appropriate. Because there are so many factors that go into accurately predicting the value of a claim, it is a good idea to consult directly with a lawyer in order to get an estimate.
Schedule a Consultation with Smith & Williams Law Firm, LLC
If you have been injured in a New Jersey transit bus or vehicle accident that was not your fault and you have suffered serious injuries, the experienced personal injury lawyers at Smith & Williams Law Firm in Westfield, New Jersey, are ready to fight to get you the maximum amount of compensation that you are entitled to. Contact Smith & Williams Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.