Anyone living in Upstate New York and beyond is aware that this past Saturday, August 14th, was a horrific accident. Between Syracuse and Rochester, a tour bus rolled over, injuring up to 57 people. And the question that we’ve been getting at the law firm is how do those people who are on a bus or on any bus were injured. Whether it’s a municipal bus or a private tour bus, how do they get their medical bills and their lost wages paid? And it’s a bit of a complicated answer, but the summary is this.
If you’re injured on that bus or any bus in the state of New York, and you have an auto policy. Meaning you have a car in your household where you primarily live. That policy, called no-fault benefit, will pay for your medical bills, will also pay for lost wages. Now if you don’t have a car. You don’t own a car or no one in your household does, and you’re in an accident involving either a tour bus or it could be a municipal bus, then those benefits that pay for your medical and your lost wages will come from the bus company.
So, a bit tricky, but when you look at it that way, it sort of does make sense. If you own a vehicle it’s paid that way. If you don’t own a vehicle, it’s paid for by the bus that you were on regardless of the fault of either the bus company or anyone else. The other question that we have been asked is whether or not someone who was in a bus accident, including the one that happened this past weekend, can maintain a claim. Can they maintain a claim for their pain and suffering, can they recover money damages for their injuries, and the answer is there needs to show fault.
We need to show that someone is at fault for this accident. Presumably, there’s a problem, right, but we don’t know what that problem is. They’re investigating. Presumably, there are going to be claims. Claims that are pursued, but what we don’t know what caused the rollover, and we will know in a relatively short time. But, pretty safe to say, that if you were on the bus, and the bus rolls over, causing injuries that there will be claims.
I just don’t want to presuppose, you know, where the fault lies, but clearly, there is some fault on the part of either the bus company or something else that we don’t know about yet. So, we will be finding it out relatively shortly. So, I hope that’s helpful. And again, just a super tragedy. These folks were coming from Poughkeepsie, making their way to Niagara Falls. And about halfway through, we don’t know what happened, but we know that a lot of people were injured. They’re in our prayers. And again, any questions, you can always feel free to reach out to us, Martin, Harding & Mazzotti. Thank you.