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Bus Injuries Suffered While Boarding or Disembarking the Bus

Many people overlook the potential hazards associated with getting on and off the bus when it comes to bus accidents. Collisions with other vehicles while the bus is moving are more likely to result in severe injuries, however, passengers can suffer very serious injuries if they trip, slip, or fall while boarding or disembarking the bus. Injuries to the face, head, neck, back, hands, or wrists are examples of these injuries, which require extensive medical treatment and can result in temporary or permanent disabilities.  If you have been injured while boarding or disembarking from a bus, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about what you can do to protect your rights. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, our highly experienced personal injury attorneys may be able to help you recover the compensation you deserve.  We help clients throughout Upstate New York, with offices in multiple convenient locations. Our extensive experience in the personal injury field is reflected in the results we have achieved for our clients.

Getting injured can be a life-changing incident. It’s normal, then, to want to make sure that someone who causes an injury has to deal with at least some of the consequences of his or her actions. If you were injured on a bus, for example, it’d be reasonable to think about bringing a suit against the bus company.

Getting on and off the bus necessitates maneuvering around the curb and street surface, as well as ascending and descending the bus’s stairs. As a result, it is surprisingly easy to slip, trip, and fall while getting on and off the bus. The following are some of the most common causes of boarding and disembarkation injuries:

  • Handrails that are missing or broken.
  • Doors that don’t work.
  • Attempting to board or exit the bus before it has completely stopped.
  • Wet, slick stairs.
  • Concrete curbs that have cracked.
  • Caution treads are missing.
  • Stairs that are broken.
  • Leaving before the passenger has safely boarded the bus.
  • People attempt to board the bus before passengers have completed disembarking.

Some of these causes may not be the bus driver’s or the bus company’s fault. They, for example, have no control over the condition of the curb or asphalt, which may cause passengers to trip and fall while boarding or disembarking the bus.

However, bus companies must ensure that their stairwells have the proper safety tread and that the doors and handrails work properly. Before opening the doors, drivers should ensure that the bus has come to a complete stop, that passengers have been allowed off the bus before allowing other passengers to board, and that all passengers have safely boarded before departing.

Before you can consider whether the bus company is liable, you must first determine whether or not you have suffered an injury for which you can receive compensation. In general, legal injuries are those that cause you to lose money in some way. This could include medical care, lost work time, or even long-term issues that will prevent you from earning money in the future. Unless the pain interferes with your ability to live your life, simply feeling pain is rarely enough to qualify as an injury.

The question here isn’t whether you hurt yourself getting off a bus. It is instead a matter of determining the transit company’s duty of care to you. When you become a customer of a bus company, you entrust yourself to that company’s care. The bus company is required by law to protect its passengers. Indeed, a bus company owes its passengers a heavy duty of care, one that places the onus on the company to keep passengers safe.

In the case of an injured person, this generally entails taking the necessary precautions to avoid injury. While most people think of this as ensuring passenger safety in the event of a crash (and, indeed, preventing crashes), it can also apply when passengers are boarding and disembarking the bus. If the bus company hasn’t made that process reasonably safe, or if it is aware of a potentially dangerous situation that could have been avoided, that duty of care has still been breached, and the company may be held liable for your injuries.

If you have a case depends on whether your injury was severe and whether it was caused by an incident that the bus company had a duty to prevent. If the stairs were wet, the bus driver moved the bus in an unusual manner, or you were using dangerous equipment, the bus company may still have owed you a duty of care. This is a situation in which all of the facts of the incident are important, so gather as much information as possible before speaking with an attorney.

If you are injured while boarding or disembarking from a bus, it may be unclear whether the driver or the bus company is to blame. A skilled personal injury lawyer can examine your case and determine whether you have a claim.

The best way to avoid injury while boarding or disembarking from a bus is to be aware of your own safety. Some things you can do to protect yourself are as follows:

  • Arrive at the bus stop early to avoid rushing.
  • Do not approach the bus until it has completely stopped and the doors have been opened.
  • Allow passengers to disembark before boarding the bus.
  • Watch your step and use the handrail when boarding or disembarking.
  • While looking for and taking your seat, or making your way to the exit, use the seatbacks and other rails.
  • Maintain your seat for the duration of your journey.
  • Activate the stop signal early enough for the driver to safely stop.
  • Do not get out of your seat until the bus has completely stopped.
  • Move to the nearest sidewalk as soon as possible and do not attempt to cross the street until the bus has passed.

Although taking these precautions reduces the likelihood of injury, accidents do occur. If you have been injured while attempting to board or exit a bus, contact a personal injury attorney right away.

The outcome of your case will be determined by the evidence you gather. To the best of your ability, you should try to collect the following:

  • Copies of any police, driver, or bus company accident report.
  • Copies of any bus camera video.
  • Statements of eyewitnesses.
  • Copies of your medical records containing information about your injuries.

It is understandable if this appears to be overwhelming, but you must act quickly to protect your rights. A personal injury lawyer can help you collect the evidence you need to build your case while you focus on your recovery. Contact Upstate New York’s experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. We represent injured clients and their families throughout Upstate New York, including Syracuse, Rochester, Albany, Buffalo, Elmira, Binghamton, Auburn, Ithaca, Oswego, Norwich, Herkimer, Delhi, Cooperstown, Cortland, Lowville, Oneida, Watertown, Utica, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Lyons, and surrounding areas.  Please call us at 833-200-2000 or contact us via our online form to discuss your case.

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