Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.

Articles Posted in Bus Accidents

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MTA BusA MTA report on a NYC fatal bus accident that happened last October indicates that the accident was preventable and that the actions of the bus driver were the most probable cause of the accident.  The report indicates that the bus driver, 64 year old Theresa Gallager, was driving North on Willis Avenue in the Bronx at 1:40 am and turning left with a green light onto E. 147th Street when she hit 64 year old John Lavery who was crossing 147th Street in the crosswalk with the right of way. MTA drivers are supposed to take turns at a speed of 5 mph. Gallager was driving at a speed of 11 to 15 miles-per-hour when she turned. If she had followed MTA guidelines and driven slower, the death of John Lavery may have been prevented. Many of the frequent accidents involving pedestrians being hit by buses are the result of drivers who work long hours, are frustrated by the NYC traffic congestion and drive aggressively feeling they always have the right of way and it is the pedestrian’s obligation to get out of the way.

Gallager was the first of six bus drivers that have been arrested under the city’s Right of Way law, which makes it a misdemeanor to fail to yield to pedestrians and cyclists.  In an article in the Post Theresa Gallager’s lawyer and the bus driver’s union blame a broken street lamp for the accident but according to the Gothamist, the report clearly indicates that the bus driver was responsible for the accident.

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verdict002Top 25 verdictLast year, our partners New York Personal Injury Attorneys Ben Rubinowitz and Peter Sagir obtained a $8,570,000 verdict for a bicyclist who suffered personal injury after being hit by a bus in New York (see previous blog). This verdict is the 16th highest verdict of all verdicts obtained in New York in 2014. Therefore our firm is honored to be featured this week in the 2014 New York’s Top 25 Verdicts and Settlements section of New York Magazine. This verdict was also was the highest verdict in New York in 2014 for a bicycle accident involving another vehicle.

Since 1919 we have been representing victims of catastrophic injury and we are constantly thriving  to achieve the highest results for our clients and their family in order to help them get back to their life with dignity and independence. A few years ago our New York personal injury law firm obtained a 27.5 million verdict for a female pedestrian who lost her leg after being struck by New York City Transit Authority Bus (see previous blog). Last year, in addition to the above verdict we also obtained a $7,125 million verdict against the City of New York for a woman who was struck by a bus when riding her bike and a $5 million verdict against the Federal Government for a woman who died after being struck by a postal truck (see previous blog).

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i - bus driverIn New York every year several pedestrians and cyclists die and many others suffer personal injury after being struck by an MTA Bus. In many of these accidents investigation shows that drivers were negligent and failed to yield or failed to exercise due care.  Since the beginning of the year a few bus drivers were arrested after a new Vision Zero Law made it a misdemeanor for drivers to strike pedestrians or cyclists who have the right of way.  TWU Local 100, the bus drivers Union is against this new law and would like bus drivers to be exempted from it.  This morning TWU local 100 launched a work slow down on 181st Street in Washington Heights between 7:00 am and 9:00 am to protest the law.

The flyers handed out to bus drivers by the Union (see picture) said “DO NOT TURN UNLESS THE INTERSECTION IS CLEAR!”. Isn’t that what bus drivers are supposed to do to keep NYC streets safe?

Read more in the New York Post and on Streetblog

 

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truck rolloverA long awaited NHTSA rule has the potential to decrease by 56% untripped rollover crashes (rollover crashes that are not caused by striking an obstacle or leaving the road) of large trucks and big buses.  This new rule requires that all Class 7-8 trucks and large buses be equipped  with electronic stability control (ESC) system. According to the NHTSA “ESC works instantly and automatically to maintain directional control in situations where the driver’s own steering and braking cannot be accomplished quickly enough to prevent the crash.”

This new rule has been a long time coming. The first recommendation to equip large truck and buses with ESC was issued by the NHTSA in 2011.

Read the press release from the NHTSA

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A 68 year old Spanish woman visiting from Spain died in a bus accident in Manhattan last Thursday.  The woman was waiting to cross the street with her sister when a United Coach Line white bus that was parked just next to her pulled out of its spot and caught her under the front wheels. The scene unfolded in front of her sister who had to be hospitalized in shock. The United Coach Line bus had parked on Amsterdam Ave. outside the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, where the Teacher’s College of Columbia University was holding a hooding ceremony. The university was also holding its commencement, so thousands of graduates and their families were milling about the neighborhood. The driver apparently didn’t see the victim before pulling out. Read more in the NY Daily News

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A Boltbus that departed from New York to go to Boston exploded on the Massachusetts Turnpike yesterday during rush hours.  The bus driver noticed smoke coming out of the bus, pulled over and immediately evacuated the 47 passengers with their belongings. Shortly after the bus exploded and caught fire. The recasons of the explosion are still being investigated.

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Two men suffered severe personal injury in two separate accidents that happened in Brooklyn, NYC, on Sunday night. One of them was a 46 year old cyclist who crashed his bike into the back of  an MTA bus in Williamsburg and the other one was a pedestrian who was struck by a car three hours later in Crown Heights. Both were transported to the hospital in critical condition.

Read more in the NY Daily News

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Two people were badly injured this morning in a bus accident in New York. The bus was about to enter a ramp connecting the Henry Hudson Parkway to the George Washington Bridge when it slid down the embankment north of Fort Washington Park. The two victims who were the only two people in the bus were rescued by the FDNY and taken to the hospital. The police are still investigating the cause of the crash. Read more on the NBC New York website

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The Transport Workers Union says that the new law penalizing drivers who have injured or killed a pedestrian after they failed to yield should not apply to bus drivers and that it is supporting a proposed amendment in the City Council to exclude bus drivers from the law.  This statement from the bus drivers Union follows the arrest last week of Francisco de Jesus, a bus driver who severely injured a 15 year old girl after he failed to yield and struck her in the crosswalk (see previous blog).   The bus driver is facing fines of up to $250 or 30 days in jail.  Vision Zero proponents believes the punishment is not excessive and should apply to all drivers including bus drivers. Read more in the New York Times

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A 15 year old girl suffered a severe leg injury after she was hit by a New York MTA bus. The accident happened when the bus driver made a left turn from Union Ave to Grand Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NYC Friday morning. The young girl whose name is Jiahuan Xu was crossing the street in a crosswalk and had the right of way. She was struck by the bus and her left leg was pinned under the wheel of the bus for 15 minutes. The driver, 58 year old Francisco de Jesus was charged with failure to yield and failure to exercise due care. Failure to yield became a misdemeanor last year as part of the Vision Zero program to reduce traffic injuries and fatalities. The bus drivers union was upset with the charges and said that drivers should be exempt from criminal charges related to driving.