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Bus Accident Attorneys in Westchester County, NY

We understand the devastation caused by Westchester County bus accidents. If you’ve been injured in an accident, don't let the liable party leave you to suffer your injuries without compensation. Contact our compassionate bus accident attorneys for a free consultation, and let us fight for the justice you deserve.

Stanley A. Tomkiel, IIIMatthew Tomkiel
Bus Accidents
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Table Of Contents

Bus Accident Statistics in NY State

The New York Police Department reported 284 buses involved in accidents in December 2023, suggesting a significant number of such incidents annually in New York City alone. Factors contributing to bus accidents can range from driver error to inadequate vehicle maintenance and adverse weather conditions​​.

For more detailed guidance, especially if you are involved in a bus accident or are considering taking legal action, consulting with a legal professional is advisable to navigate requirements and protect your rights.

How Our Bus Accident Lawyers Make a Difference in Your Case

Bus accident claims are rarely simple. To help you pursue the compensation you deserve, you need a team ready to untangle complex legal issues and identify every liable party. Our lawyers have more than four decades of experience between them and have both been awarded the designation of Super Lawyer. Here's how we would approach your case:

Thoroughly Investigating

We leave no stone unturned, examining all potential factors in your accident. This might include the bus company, the driver, other motorists, government entities responsible for roads, and even the bus manufacturer if a defect was involved in the incident.

Demanding Accountability from All Responsible Parties

We build a strong case that demonstrates the full extent of your injuries, holding every liable party accountable for their roles in the accident.

Fighting for the Compensation You Deserve

Our goal is to maximize your settlement. We thoroughly calculate your damages, factoring in medical expenses, lost wages, and the long-term impact the accident has had on your life.

Being Your Advocate at Every Stage

Whether we're negotiating aggressively with multiple insurers or taking your case to trial, we'll be by your side, protecting your rights and fighting for the best possible outcome. 

We Handle All Types of Bus Accident Cases

Bus accidents come in many forms, from school bus accidents that put our children at risk to crashes involving public transit like the Bee-Line and privately owned charter buses.

  • School Bus Accidents: These accidents often involve children, raising concerns about safety protocols, driver liability, and potential claims against school districts.
  • Public Transit Bus Accidents: Whether it's the Bee-Line, MTA Metro-North, or other regional bus lines, these accidents can involve complex liability involving government entities.
  • Tour and Charter Bus Accidents: These buses on highways or parkways may have out-of-state companies involved, and the accidents often result in multiple severe injuries.
  • Bus-Pedestrian Accidents: The size and blind spots of buses make these accidents particularly devastating for pedestrians, requiring thorough investigation.
  • Bus-Bicycle Accidents: These accidents highlight the vulnerability of cyclists on the road and require an understanding of traffic laws as they pertain to buses.When you consult with us, we will listen carefully to your experience and answer any questions you may have about the legal process. If we work together, we will take a personalized approach to your case and begin investigating and gathering evidence in your favor.

No Win, No Fee: Fight for Bus Accident Compensation Risk-Free

Don't let financial worries add to the stress of your bus accident. With our no-win-no-fee policy, you pay nothing unless we secure compensation for you. Contact us today for your free consultation and let us take the risk so you can focus on your recovery.


Understanding the Physical Impact of Bus Accidents

Due to the size of the vehicles and lack of passenger restraints, bus accidents can cause a wide range of injuries.

Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can result from a blow to the head or violent jolting, leading to long-term cognitive, behavioral, or emotional problems.

Burn Injuries

Bus fires can cause severe burns requiring multiple surgeries, skin grafts, and long-term rehabilitation.

Catastrophic Injuries

This includes injuries like amputations, severe disfigurement, and organ damage, all having permanent impacts on a victim's life.

Knee Injuries

Knees striking dashboards or seats can result in torn ligaments and dislocated kneecaps, requiring surgery and extensive physical therapy.

Broken Bones

Broken arms, legs, ribs, and collarbones can be extremely painful and may require surgery or lengthy recovery times.

The list above is not exhaustive, and bus accident victims may experience a wide range of other physical and psychological injuries. If you've been hurt in a bus crash, we can help you seek the compensation you deserve.

Can I Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim If My Loved One Died in a Bus Accident?

Losing a loved one in a bus accident caused by negligence is a devastating experience. If you find yourself in this situation, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim. Our knowledgeable attorneys have experience handling wrongful death cases arising from bus accidents. 

We aim to help you obtain compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, lost income, and the loss of love, guidance, and support from your deceased family member. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you seek justice for your loved one.

Common Causes of Bus Accidents

Understanding the most frequent causes helps establish liability and build a strong case for injured victims.

Bus Driver Negligence

This includes distracted and fatigued driving, speeding, driving under the influence, or simply violating traffic laws.

Bus Company Negligence:

Companies are responsible for hiring qualified drivers, enforcing safety protocols, and properly maintaining their vehicles.

Mechanical Failures:

Defective brakes, tires, or other critical parts can lead to catastrophic accidents caused by manufacturer negligence.

Other Drivers

Cars cutting off buses, tailgating, or merging recklessly can all cause serious accidents.

Road Conditions

Potholes, poorly designed intersections, or inadequate signage maintained by government entities can contribute to bus accidents.


Heavy rain, snow, or ice can make safe bus operation difficult, requiring drivers and bus companies to adjust accordingly or consider delaying trips.

There may be more than one contributing factor in your accident. A thorough investigation can reveal these factors and help your lawyer identify the responsible parties.

Steps to Take After a Bus Accident in Westchester

The immediate aftermath of a bus accident is chaotic. Taking the right steps is crucial for protecting your health and your legal rights. Here's what to do:

  1. Seek Medical Attention: Even if you don't feel injured, get evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible to rule out delayed symptoms and create medical records. 
  2. Call the Police: Obtain a police report documenting the accident.
  3. Gather Information: If possible, try to collect the bus driver’s and company’s licensing and insurance details, witness names and contact information, and photos of the scene.
  4. Avoid Talking to Insurance Companies: Insurance adjusters may call quickly, offering a low settlement — don't sign anything or give any recorded statements without a lawyer.
  5. Contact a Bus Accident Attorney: A skilled attorney will protect your rights, handle all communications with insurance companies, and fight for maximum compensation.

Remembering these steps can simplify your claim and give you the best chance possible of obtaining a settlement.

Types of Compensation You May Deserve After a Bus Accident

Bus accidents can result in life-changing injuries and substantial financial strain. Compensation may include awards for:

Medical Expenses

This includes hospitalizations, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, and assistive devices related to the accident.

First-Party No-Fault Benefits

If a bus passenger has auto insurance through a policy that covers their household, that policy's Personal Injury Protection (PIP) will be the primary source of no-fault benefits for their injuries.

Lost Income

If your injuries result in diminished earning capacity, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages.

Pain and Suffering

Compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, and reduced quality of life due to the accident.

Property Damage

Costs of repairing or replacing vehicles, phones, or other personal property damaged in the accident.

Punitive Damages

In rare cases, these damages are awarded when the at-fault party's actions were grossly negligent or intentional.

While monetary compensation cannot undo the physical and emotional harm you suffered in your accident, it can help relieve the financial hardships you may be facing. 

What Deadlines Apply to Bus Accident Lawsuits in Westchester?

Given that most buses in Westchester are operated by municipal entities, understanding the specific deadlines for filing lawsuits against these entities is crucial. Here's what you need to know:

Shorter Deadlines for Municipal Bus Accidents

Unlike standard personal injury lawsuits, which have a three-year statute of limitations, accidents involving buses operated by government agencies, such as school districts or municipalities, have much shorter deadlines.

  • Notice of Claim: In these cases, you typically need to file a Notice of Claim within 90 days of the accident. This is a formal document notifying the government entity of your intent to pursue legal action.
  • Strict Requirements: The Notice of Claim must meet specific requirements regarding content and filing procedures. Failure to comply with these requirements can jeopardize your ability to file a lawsuit later.

Importance of Prompt Action

Due to the significantly shorter deadlines involved in bus accident cases against municipalities, seeking legal counsel immediately after the accident is crucial. A bus accident lawyer experienced in handling cases against government entities can guide you through the process, ensure you meet all deadlines, and protect your right to pursue compensation.

MTA vs. Other Commercial Bus Accidents

Getting injured in a bus accident is always a serious matter. But if the bus was an MTA bus, there are some extra facts you need to know:

  • The MTA Is Subject to Government Rules: Suing the MTA (which includes buses and Metro-North trains) means dealing with special government rules and short deadlines.
  • Not All Bus Companies Are the Same: Private bus companies (like tour buses or school buses) follow different legal requirements than the MTA.
  • Out-of-State Accidents May Be Different: If the bus company was from another state, your case could get even more complicated.

No matter the bus, you need a strong lawyer. Whether it's the MTA or a private company, bus accident cases are complex. You need a lawyer who understands the specific laws involved and will fight aggressively to get you the compensation you deserve.

What If the Bus Was Uninsured or Underinsured?

Unfortunately, some owners of buses on the road don't have adequate insurance. This can make getting the compensation you deserve incredibly difficult. Here's what you need to know:

Uninsured Bus

If the owner of the bus that hit you had no insurance at all, your options include suing the bus driver personally (though they may have limited assets) and using your own uninsured motorist (UM) coverage — if you have it.

Underinsured Bus 

If the owner of the bus has some insurance but not enough to cover your severe injuries, you can consider combining their insurance payout with your own underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage or seeking compensation from other liable parties if they can be identified.

What If I Was Partially at Fault for the Bus Accident?

Even if you made a mistake that contributed to the accident, you may still be entitled to compensation. New York follows a "comparative negligence" rule, which means the amount of compensation you receive will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you were found 20% at fault, your compensation would be reduced by 20%.

You can still sue if you were less than 50% at fault. As long as you were not the majority cause of the accident, you can still file a claim.

Bus accident attorney Westchester NY

Are There Special Laws for Bus Accidents on the Parkways in Westchester?

Yes, there are certain laws and regulations that apply specifically to bus accidents on Westchester's parkways. Here's a breakdown of the key points:

Restricted Vehicles

With a few exceptions, commercial buses are generally prohibited on Westchester parkways like the Saw Mill River Parkway, Hutchinson River Parkway, and the Bronx River Parkway. However, some Westchester County buses (Bee-Line) and school buses with special permits are allowed in designated areas.

Speed Limits and Traffic Laws

Bus drivers must obey speed limits and traffic laws. Parkways often have lower speed limits and unique hazards like tight curves and short on/off ramps.

Jurisdiction and Liability

Accidents on parkways may involve state agencies instead of local police. Determining liability can be complex, as multiple entities may share oversight of different aspects of the parkway system.

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Why Choose Tomkiel & Tomkiel

40+ Years of Experience

We've honed our skills over decades, successfully handling complex bus accident cases and securing substantial compensation for our clients.

Proven Success

We have a track record of winning for bus accident victims in Westchester County and throughout New York. Our case results speak for themselves.

Personalized Approach

Your case isn't just about numbers. We'll listen carefully to your story, address your concerns, and keep you informed throughout the entire process.

We Are Your Advocates

We'll shoulder the legal burden, allowing you to focus on your recovery and getting your life back on track.

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The Road to Recovery Starts Here

Don't wait to get the legal help you need. Contact us today for a free consultation and take the first step on your road to recovery.

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