Public transportation provides a way for scores of people in New Jersey to commute to work, visit the doctor, go shopping and more. Buses are not immune to accidents, however. People riding a bus or train may find themselves injured, leading to questions about who is liable for their injuries. The answer might depend on the specific circumstances surrounding the accident.
A question of fault
When an accident victim intends to file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit, questions focus on whose negligence led to the crash. NJ Transit provides bus services in Hackensack and other New Jersey towns. When traveling on NJ Transit, commuters assume that the transit service will take steps to care for their welfare. Allowing vehicles to travel with maintenance issues could be negligent behavior on NJ Transit’s part. If someone gets hurt because the brakes failed, then suing NJ Transit might be an option.
NJ Transit employers could find themselves involved in a lawsuit as well. A driver who violates traffic laws or operates a bus under the influence might cause an accident. Persons injured in the resultant accident could sue the driver and NJ Transit.
Be mindful that New Jersey law requires an injured party to file a claim within 90 days. If the 90 days pass, the claimant must prove “extraordinary circumstances” in Superior Court.
Other parties and negligence
Although someone might suffer an injury on NJ Transit, the transit authority may not be negligent. A truck that goes through a red light and crashes into the bus might be responsible. Filing a lawsuit or insurance claim against the driver may be appropriate. However, there could be instances where the bus service contributed partial liability, potentially opening doors for claims against the bus company.
Bus and auto accidents could prove complicated depending on who was responsible. Injured parties may want to meet with an attorney to determine what steps to take in order to pursue compensation.