Injured in MTA Bus Accident?

This video features Ronald J. Landau, a Personal Injury attorney based in New York.

New York City Injury Attorney Ron Landau

Video Transcript:

Ron Landau:

Once that person's on the bus, so the bus operator has a responsibility to operate his bus safely for the safety of all the passengers.

Rob Rosenthal:

If you're injured on an MTA bus in New York City, do you know what to do and how to get help? We're gonna find out right now because we're going to ask the lawyer. Hi again, everybody, I'm Rob Rosenthal with AskTheLawyers.com. My guest is New York City Attorney Ron Landau. I wanna remind you off the top that if you'd like to ask Ron questions about your specific situation, just head over to askthelawyers.com, click that button in the upper right hand corner that says Ask a Lawyer, and it will walk you through the very simple process right there, Ron. It's good to see again. Thank you for helping us out today.

Ron Landau:

Good to see you, Rob. 

Rob Rosenthal:

So let's talk about, first of all, the MTA buses. What are some of the more common accidents that you've seen in your experience of people getting injured on the buses? 

Ron Landau:

Well, typically what happens is that while being while a passenger on an MTA bus, the bus actually ends up stopping short, and you obviously, as a passenger on the bus, you're not seat belted, sometimes you're standing, sometimes you're seated and you're often thrown against the partition or against another passenger or actually thrown to the floor as a result of the bus operator's negligence in the manner in which he operated that bus by applying the brake in too harsh a manner.

Rob Rosenthal:

What if someone's injured say while getting on the bus or off the bus, does it matter how far they are or on or off the bus, and is that necessarily their fault?

Ron Landau:

Well, typically what happens is the bus operator in terms of getting off the bus, has an obligation to let his or her passengers off in a safe spot. In other words, a bus operator should not, under any circumstances let a passenger off in a construction zone or in an area where there is active construction or where there's an open and obvious pothole, so that the passenger while exiting from the bus steps in that hole. That is the bus operator's responsibility. The bus operator also has a responsibility to not close his doors on someone entering the bus, so he's got that obligation as well, but once that person is on the bus, so the bus operator has a responsibility to operate his bus safely for the safety of all the passengers. 

Rob Rosenthal:

What's your advice, say you're a passenger on the bus and the bus is involved in a traffic accident, some sort of collision. What's your advice for people even if they think they may have been injured, if they're not sure, if they don't think they've been injured, what your advice there?

Ron Landau:

Well, here's the little fly in the ointment that you have in that circumstance. When you're a passenger on a bus and you wanna make a claim against that bus, the law requires you to file what's called a notice of claim within 90 days of the accident. In other words, you get hurt in the accident, you're not sure how you're feeling, you wait 30 days, you wait 40 days, you're seeking some medical care, but if you do not file that notice of intention to make claim against the transit authority within that 90 days, your claim will be time barred, so it is very important to at least consult with a lawyer and file those necessary papers to make sure that in the event that you do have a serious physical injury that your rights are protected.

Rob Rosenthal:

What sort of training do the MTA bus drivers undergo? And how often are these injuries the responsibility or the fault of the driver?

Ron Landau:

Well, the interesting thing is, is that in order to be a bus operator, you have to have a commercial driver's license. That's where we start. But the training that they get is very, very limited, it's really, it's more of more thought of as on-the-job training. They may get a month or two months of training, and after that they are out on the streets of New York City operating these obviously, rather large vehicles in congested areas where they're required to navigate around cars, around pedestrians, around scooters, we have electric bikes here, and the bus operator, he's got the last opportunity to avoid an accident, and that's his obligation to make sure not to come in contact with other motor vehicles, not to come in contact with pedestrians or scooters or electric delivery bikes, and again, it's an arduous, it's an onerous burden on the bus operator, but that's his job and he's got to do it safely.

Rob Rosenthal:

And I think it's worth mentioning again the time limit, the statute of limitations in order to file your case, tell us about that again.

Ron Landau:

Well, again, it's not really a statute of limitations, it's a requirement under the law that all paperwork filed, a notice of intention to make claim against the transit authority be filed within 90 days of the happening of the accident, and that is absolutely mandatory.

Rob Rosenthal:

Lots of great information, Ron, thank you for making some time to help us out, I do appreciate it.

Ron Landau:

Good seeing you Rob, thanks.

Rob Rosenthal:

That's gonna do it for this episode of Ask the Lawyer. My guest has been New York City attorney Ron Landau. I will remind you, if you'd like to ask Ron questions about your specific situation, head over to askthelawyers.com, click the button in the upper right-hand part of the screen that says, Ask a Lawyer, and it doesn't cost you anything to ask a question right there. Thanks for watching, I'm Rob Rosenthal with Ask The Lawyers.


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