NYC Attorneys Hold Private Bus Companies Accountable for Crashes
Lax safety standards lead to deadly accidents
The casino bus crash in the Bronx that killed 15 people in 2011 was a wakeup call for the public, who were mostly unaware of the scant safety regulations that govern discount tour buses. In that crash, a fatigued driver had fallen asleep at the wheel and, according to investigators, had also engaged in several dangerous driving practices, such as speeding and weaving through traffic. At Barasch & McGarry, our accident attorneys fight to ensure that bus companies are held accountable and that victims and their families are compensated. We thoroughly investigate accidents to determine who was at fault and build the strongest case possible for relief. Our dedication to justice leads to positive results.
Rampant safety violations in motor coach services
Many bus companies continue to operate despite persistent safety violations. Federal inspections are few and far between because the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is stretched beyond its limits. FMCSA relies on random inspections at bus stations and in parking lots. The agency issues warning letters before launching full-scale reviews, so many offending companies can continue to operate for years before getting impounded with an “unsatisfactory” safety rating.
The motor coach industry transports 700 million people a year, as compared to 824 million who fly commercial airlines. But the regulations of buses are much more lax than airlines, despite statistics showing that buses are far more dangerous. In the years 2010 to 2014, 170 people died in bus accidents in the U.S., while no one died in a crash of a U.S. airliner. The National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates bus, plane and train accidents, has been extremely critical of FMCSA for its lack of oversight of the interstate bus system. In New York, the state’s Department of Transportation is supposed to inspect every bus licensed to operate here every six months, but there is little evidence to suggest that NYSDOT is any more vigilant than FMCSA, and that leaves riders at risk.
Private bus companies operating within the greater NYC area
New York City is a hub for numerous motor coach companies, operating set routes or offering charter services. These companies include:
Busline safety records range from excellent to suspect to egregious. For example, in 2013, FMCSA shut down the Fung Wah Bus company, calling it “an imminent hazard to the public.” The company’s equipment was in dangerous disrepair, and it was not testing drivers for drug or alcohol impairment. But in 2014, FMCSA approved the bus line for renewed service in 2015. Although FMCSA states that the line will be operating under increased scrutiny, we must wonder if FMCSA is up to the task.
However, when lax oversight allows accidents to occur, injured citizens can seek justice in civil court. If you sustain a serious personal injury in an accident involving a chartered bus, an inter-city bus or an MTA bus, our attorneys are prepared to fight for full compensation for your losses.
Contact our bus accident attorneys for a free case evaluation
The NYC bus accident lawyers of Barasch & McGarry provide aggressive representation that holds companies accountable. If you’ve been injured in a bus accident, we will vigorously represent you to obtain the best result possible. For a free consultation with an experienced bus accident attorney, call Barasch & McGarry or contact us online.