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Atlantic City Bus Accident Lawyers

New Jersey’s ever-increasing population and traffic congestion are leading more individuals to rely on public transportation for work commutes and weekend trips to the Jersey Shore. Over 2,000 New Jersey Transit buses travel more than 90 million miles each year.

In addition to public transit, fleets of private charter and airport shuttle buses continuously carry large groups of visitors in and out of Atlantic City. Atlantic City hosts roughly 30 million visitors annually, drawn to the city’s casino gaming, world-class entertainment and dining, and bustling nightlife. The vast majority arrive on charter buses. With so many buses traversing New Jersey’s roadways, accidents are inevitable. However, our team of seasoned Atlantic City bus accident lawyers at D’Amato Law Firm, with their extensive experience and successful track record, is here to help you navigate through these challenging times.

School Bus Accidents

Approximately 25 million school children ride buses twice daily to and from school in the United States. Even with a capacity of up to 90 passengers, school buses are considered safer than other forms of transportation for children. However, it’s important to note that buses are not risk-free, and accidents are more common than you may think. Between 2010 and 2020 in New Jersey, over 140,000 injuries stemming from school bus accidents were reported, with over 1,000 fatalities – 54 in 2020 alone. These numbers underscore the need for immediate legal action in the event of a school bus accident.

Technological advancements are making strides in enhancing school bus safety, such as GPS tracking systems allowing parents to monitor the bus’s location in real-time and onboard cameras to ensure bus rules are followed. Some recent cell phone apps offer real-time updates of when buses are nearing stops or if there are delays, adding extra security and peace of mind to parents.

Not all school bus dangers involve the school bus itself – as in the preventable death of Landon Goff. In December 2023, D’Amato Law Firm filed a catastrophic negligence lawsuit against Sheppard Bus Services, Inc. on behalf of the parents of Landon Goff, a disabled 16-year-old student who died following his daily bus commute to school.

Landon, who was wheelchair-dependent, became unconscious during the 44-minute commute and was rendered no assistance or emergency aid by the bus driver or aide. He arrived at school unresponsive and later died from preventable hypoxic brain injury due to an upper airway obstruction. More information about Landon’s case can be found here.

What Are Common Causes of Bus Accidents in Atlantic City?

In Atlantic City, buses must contend with busy, congested streets and heavy pedestrian and bicycle traffic, making driving and maneuvering more challenging. Some common causes of bus accidents include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk or drugged driving
  • Equipment failure
  • Failure to yield to cars, pedestrians, cyclists
  • Drowsy driving
  • Faulty equipment, particularly brakes and tires
  • Improperly loaded cargo
  • Improper weight distribution
  • Inexperienced driver
  • Mechanical failure
  • Merging without checking blind spots
  • Moving before passengers are seated, causing falls
  • Pedestrian knockdowns
  • Poorly maintained bus / failed inspection
  • Reckless driving
  • Road conditions
  • Running stop signs or lights
  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Untrained or inadequately trained driver
  • Weather

What Are Common Types of Atlantic City Bus Accidents?

Bus accidents can occur both when the bus is stationary or moving. Some common types of bus accidents include:

  • Head-on collisions
  • Rear-end collisions
  • Rollover accidents
  • Side-impact “T-bone” collisions
  • Sideswipe accidents
  • Single vehicle accidents

In addition to the bus itself, passengers can suffer separate accidents and injuries unrelated to collisions, such as:

  • Accidents entering or exiting the bus, such as falling
  • Riding accidents, such as falling or being struck by bags and other cargo
  • Faulty or malfunctioning equipment
  • Injured by another person

Where Do Bus Accidents Occur in Atlantic City?

Bus accidents can occur in any location, but Atlantic City’s busy streets, sidewalks, and overall crowded urban areas can be a challenging and risky environment for buses to navigate. Common areas for bus accidents include:

  • Bus stops: Sudden stops and starts, pedestrian or schoolchildren’s traffic at bus stops, and poorly designed or inadequately marked bus stops can increase the risk for collisions.
  • Construction zones: Altered traffic patterns, reduced speeds, and construction crews and vehicles can be difficult for buses to maneuver.
  • Highways and freeways: High speeds, frequent merging, and lane changes increase the risk of bus collisions and serious injuries.
  • Intersections: Navigating multiple lanes, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic, sharp turns, poor site lines, and blind spots make intersections especially challenging for buses.
  • Pedestrian areas: Atlantic City’s heavy pedestrian traffic can be challenging for bus drivers, who must navigate crowded streets and unpredictable pedestrian behavior, such as darting between cars and crossing unmarked areas.
  • Terminals: Bus terminals and transportation hubs are subject to constant movement and congestion between buses, other vehicles, and pedestrians, which can result in collisions, especially during peak travel times.

What Are Common Bus Accident Injuries?

Due to their size and weight, bus accidents are dangerous and result in serious injuries, especially since passengers have no seatbelts and limited protection. Common injuries from bus accidents include:

  • Amputation or crushed limbs
  • Back, neck, and spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Burns
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Death
  • Head injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Organ damage
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Whiplash

Who Is Responsible for Bus Accidents?

Bus accidents are often complex and challenging, largely because there can be multiple potentially liable parties, such as:

  • Bus driver: Under common carrier laws, bus drivers must exercise a high duty of care for the safety and protection of their passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists. If the driver violated their duty of care, such as speeding or drunk driving, they may be liable, and in some cases, along with the driver’s employer. 
  • Bus company: Bus companies are responsible for hiring, training, and supervising qualified drivers and for maintaining and ensuring bus safety. The company may be liable if the accident was caused by an unqualified driver or lack of regular maintenance.
  • Bus manufacturer: If the bus or one of its components caused the accident through faulty design or manufacturing, the manufacturer might be liable, particularly if it was aware of a defective part but did not act.
  • State and local government: If you were injured on a public transit or school bus, such as the New Jersey Transit, the state or local entity that owns the bus could be responsible for your injuries. However, many government agencies have limited liability in lawsuits.
  • Another motorist or passenger: Accidents caused by another motorist or bus passenger may also share responsibility.

What Compensation Can I Seek for My Bus Accident Injuries?

The types of compensation you can recover vary, depending on whether you were a passenger, pedestrian, cyclist, or other motorist and the severity of your injuries. Compensation is based on a combination of economic and non-economic damages, as follows:

  • Economic damages include your actual expenses related to the accident and injuries, such as medical expenses, lost income and future earning capacity, property damage, or funeral and burial costs.
  • Non-economic damages refer to other losses you endured due to the accident and injuries, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of life enjoyment, scarring or disfigurement, and loss of consortium.

Bus passengers and pedestrians are rarely considered at fault in bus accidents.

Why Choose D’Amato Law Firm

The injuries suffered in bus accidents can be severe and life-changing. Our Atlantic City bus accident lawyers at D’Amato Law Firm has decades of experience handling personal injury bus accident claims and will manage your case in the following ways:

  • Investigate the accident scene.
  • Review police and bus company accident reports.
  • Gather evidence and bus and driver records.
  • Interview witnesses.
  • Work with your medical team regarding your ongoing healthcare needs.
  • Hire industry experts, if applicable.
  • File necessary documents.
  • Negotiate insurance companies for maximum settlement.
  • Represent you in court should the case go to trial.

Our Atlantic City Bus Accident Lawyers at D’Amato Law Firm Represent Clients Injured in Commercial Bus Accidents

Bus accidents often result in serious and life-altering injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured as a passenger, pedestrian, or other motorist, our experienced Atlantic City bus accident lawyers at D’Amato Law Firm can help you seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. Call us at 609-926-3300 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients in South Jersey, including Atlantic City, Linwood, Galloway Township, Cape May, Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton, Ocean City, and Woodbury.