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Bus Accidents

Syracuse Lawyers for Vehicle Collisions

Bus accidents can be devastating both for the passengers of the bus and those in smaller vehicles around the bus. There are various complexities and nuances in bus accident cases. Accordingly, it is advisable to hire an attorney who has in-depth knowledge and experience with bus accident lawsuits if you choose to take legal action after being injured in a crash of this nature. The kind of bus involved in an accident and the equipment installed on it can affect how a bus accident case proceeds. Sometimes buses have video cameras that show both driver conduct and the road ahead. An experienced Syracuse bus accident lawyer can investigate the causes of your collision, and part of this investigation involves looking into whether video cameras were installed on the bus. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, we understand what it takes to pursue the full extent of damages for our clients and may be able to represent you in a bus accident lawsuit.

Private Bus Accidents

Private bus accidents can involve complex factual issues as well as nuanced insurance issues. When several people are injured, as they often are in bus accidents, it can be challenging to find a party or parties with sufficient insurance coverage for the full range of damages for each of the victims. If you are considering making a claim on the basis of your injuries, it is a good idea to contact legal counsel as soon as possible after a bus accident. Often the bus driver, bus company, and other potentially responsible parties will have insurers out at the site looking into the cause of the accident right away. They will have a head start in looking into causes that contributed to the crash, and in finding ways to avoid liability.

Buses are common carriers. In New York, common carriers include anybody that transports passengers by motor vehicle for pay by providing service for the general public on an individual fare basis over routes, whether on an irregular or regular basis. Historically, common carriers had to adhere to an extraordinary standard of care, but nowadays, they must simply abide by a reasonable degree of care, which is a lower standard of care. However, as common carriers, buses need to follow numerous safety regulations that other vehicles don’t. They are also required to carry substantial insurance. However, when there are many accident victims, commercial insurance policies may be rapidly exhausted. Our Syracuse attorneys represent bus accident victims injured on Connective Corridor Bus Service Company vehicles as well as those injured in accidents involving smaller bus companies.

Proving Liability

Private bus accidents may be the result of a bus driver’s negligence. In order to establish bus driver negligence, you will need to show: (1) the bus driver owed a duty of care, (2) breach of the duty of care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. The bus driver’s duty of care can be breached through conduct such as speeding, ignoring dangerous road conditions, failing to properly inspect the bus, driving while fatigued, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Sometimes fault is unclear, especially when there are multiple people or entities involved in an accident. In other words, fault may lie with the bus driver as well as other people or entities. Was the accident the fault of a company’s negligent hiring of the bus driver? Or was there a mechanical defect in the bus? Did another driver behave erratically or negligently, thereby requiring the bus driver to respond in a way that led to an accident? It’s important to figure this out because there may be multiple accident victims claiming against the private bus company’s insurance policy, and it may be difficult to recover the full amount of damages from the bus driver alone.


It is important to evaluate the accident site and other evidence to figure out who all the potentially responsible parties for the accident are. It may be necessary to retain an accident reconstruction specialist to pinpoint the contributing causes of a bus accident, and a dedicated Syracuse bus accident lawyer can help you locate this sort of professional. Parties that may be held responsible include the bus company that maintained the bus, the bus manufacturer, another driver with whom the bus driver shared the road, or the city or county government responsible for keeping up the roadway if the accident was caused partly or entirely by roadway defects.

New York City Transit Authority Bus Accidents

Bus accidents may occur in connection with buses operated by the New York City Transit Authority. Accidents can occur inside or outside the bus. Inside the bus, a passenger may suffer a slip and fall, which could result in broken bones or worse. The city buses contain rubber accordions inside; these permit additional passengers to sit on an extension. Passengers may slide on a slippery accordion when it gets wet and get hurt. However, those outside a bus are also vulnerable to getting injured. Buses are huge, and if they collide with a smaller vehicle, the driver and passengers in the smaller vehicle may all experience catastrophic injuries or even death.

As with other bus accidents, when making a legal claim you will need to investigate the reasons for a public bus accident. When a city bus accident occurs because of improper maintenance, lack of training or supervision, or the bus not meeting safety regulations, it may be possible to hold the New York City Transit Authority accountable. Special rules that apply to governmental entities will apply to bus accident cases involving a City bus. You’ll need to provide notice of your claim to the New York City Transit Authority within 90 days of the accident. Accordingly, it is especially important to consult an experienced bus accident lawyer as soon as you can after a public bus accident if you plan to seek legal remedies for your injuries. Our firm has experience holding transit authorities accountable for failing to properly train bus drivers, avoiding regular bus maintenance, or pressuring drivers to maintain an unrealistic schedule.

Retain an Experienced Bus Accident Attorney in Syracuse

If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a bus accident in Syracuse, you can talk to a skillful trial lawyer regarding your legal rights. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, we represent clients in Syracuse, Rochester, and throughout Upstate New York, including areas such as Canandaigua, Cooperstown, Ithaca, Lyons, Auburn, Elmira, Binghamton, Wampsville, Herkimer, Oneida, Oswego, Utica, Watertown, and Lowville. Call our firm at 833-200-2000 or contact us via our online form.

Client Reviews
"We were very impressed with how Jeff DeFrancisco represented us at trial and we were extremely happy when the jury found in our favor." D.M., Auburn, NY
"I suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice. My husband and I retained Jeff DeFrancisco to assist us in this case. We were extremely happy with his representation and highly recommend him." Kelley R., Syracuse, NY
Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
"I highly recommend DeFrancisco & Falgiatano - Charlie represented me for a medical malpractice case. He is the best of the best. He is friendly and I am very happy with the representation he provided." Roger N., Oneida, NY