Articles Posted in Subway and Bus Accidents

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The New Jersey Ferry, run by Seastreak Ferry, is a major means of transportation for tourists and natives alike. It is free of charge, spacious, and runs frequently between Atlantic Highlands and Highlands in New Jersey and lower Manhattan. The multi-level boats can carry hundreds of passengers and crew on a single trip. Rows of seating are available throughout the boat. Some passengers choose to stand at the perimeter of the boat during the trip to enjoy the view or make a quit exit from the boat. Once the boat is fully docked and the gates on the deck open, the exits get backed up since the boats are usually rather full with passengers. The ferry ride is generally smooth and peaceful, perhaps due to the larger size of the vessels and the relatively flat current on the Hudson.

On January 9, 2013, the ferry made a hard landing straight into the Manhattan dock. The reason for this still appears to be under investigation. Though the operation of a ferry is somewhat complicated in that it involves the study of the mechanics of the vessel and an understanding of the current, landings in this area are not typically expected to be dangerous. The ferry operator on January 9, 2013, Captain James Reimer, was questioned at length after the accident. He and the five member crew were given alcohol and drugs tests, the complete results of which have yet to be released. Captain Reimer said the controls and engines failed, which prevented him from reversing the boat at the appropriate time to slow it and effectuate a smooth landing. The ferry engines have a data storage feature, which will allow an in depth investigation of what happened at the controls just before the crash.

There have been numerous ferry accidents. In 2009, the same ferry was involved in a hard landing which resulted in a large gash being made in the boat. In 2010, a boat was involved in a crash which punctured a hole in the port side of the same boat. The unrelated Staten Island Ferry also has been in several accidents, the most notable being the 2003 crash in which the operator lost consciousness at the controls after taking pain relievers which had drowsiness listed as a known side effect. As a result of this accident, eleven people were killed.

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On January 9, 2013, at least eighty-five people were injured when a high-speed ferry heading to New York City crashed into a dock in Manhattan. The impact tore a large gash in the bow of the 130 foot long ferry. At the time of the accident, the ferry was carrying 326 people, including five crew members. It was reported that at least two of the injured individuals sustained serious head wounds. The accident involved a ferry operated by Seastreak, which carries more than four hundred people each trip between New Jersey and a pier in New York City near Wall Street.

This crash is certainly tragic, and begs the question of whether it could have been prevented. In 2009, the same ferry was involved in another incident where it hit a dock. In that 2009 accident, the ferry sustained a two to three foot rip in its hull. Reports from witnesses and passengers indicated that the ferry did not slow down as it approached the dock. In addition, there were also major safety concerns because passengers were already standing and lined up to exit the ferry, despite not having safely docked yet. In fact, one of the seriously injuries was caused by a man being thrown down the stairs and striking his head on a window. Investigators were not immediately clear on what caused the crash and the National Transportation Safety Board deployed a team to the scene to conduct a full investigation.

Ferries, like trains and buses, are referred to as “common carriers.” A common carrier is a company that provides transportation to the general public without discrimination, usually under some sort of license or authority from a regulatory body. Unlike drivers of cars, common carriers owe a greater obligation to provide a higher level of safety to its passengers. Ferry owners or operators could be held liable if an accident occurs because the ferry was not properly maintained, was not compliant with safety regulations or if the ferry captain did not properly operate the ferry.

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On November 12, 2012, a Martz Trailways bus headed to New York City rear-ended a New Jersey Transit bus near the entrance of the Lincoln Tunnel. The Martz Trailways bus originated in Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania in the Poconos at about 5:15 a.m. It seated fifty-five passengers, but the number of passengers at the time of accident is not known. The New Jersey Transit bus had approximately forty-five passengers and a driver.

Both buses were disabled and had to be towed from the scene. The resulting tunnel closure lasted until 10:30 a.m., causing major delays in both directions. Twenty bus passengers were injured by the crash. Three passengers were removed from the buses while strapped to backboards, with two of the injuries classified as serious.

Bus accidents may be more common than you realize. Approximately 19,000 people are injured by bus accidents each year. New York has one of the highest rates of bus accidents in the country. School buses account for 39% of the fatalities related to bus accidents, while municipal buses are responsible for 37%. Unfortunately, with the number of passengers in a bus generally in excess of forty people, bus accidents usually have a large number of injuries. And the lack of safety restraints mean that injuries in a bus accident may be more serious than those sustained in a similar car accident.

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Sustaining an injury, whether it is a slip and fall or a car accident or something else entirely, can be a scary and confusing time. For many people, sustaining a serious injury is among the lowest points in their lives. It can be particularly confusing when someone else is at fault for your injury. While no one wants to think about bringing a lawsuit immediately after an injury occurs, it is in your best interest to prepare as though a lawsuit will occur.

First, you need to make sure that your medical needs are taken care of. It will not do you any good to start any of the other steps if you have not ensured that your medical needs are met. In fact, it may hurt your lawsuit if you neglect your medical needs, as the defendant could argue that your injuries were increased by a failure to seek immediate medical attention.


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The effects of the blizzard of 2010 are finally ending but not for the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) or the City of New York. Hundreds of passengers were stranded for several hours on trains that never should have left the station. THERESA JUVA of amNewYork, who spoke with passengers on a stranded train reported that no MTA official assisted passengers and they were left without food, water or blankets. Several personal injury claims have been presented to both the NYCTA and the City of New York. In fact one person died from exposure. Furthermore, ambulances and other emergency personal where unable to be dispatched, leaving several sick and elderly residents stuck in their homes.

On January 10, 2011, the New York City Counsel held a public hearing addressing the City of New York’s response to the blizzard of 2010. John J. Doherty, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Sanitation, testified at the hearing and admitted that “New Yorkers rightfully expected the delivery of timely and efficient service that we have consistently provided during past major snowstorms, but this time our clean-up response was unacceptable.” Commissioner Doherty was questioned extensively and promised to review the City’s response and to make adjustments and improvements for future storms.

Testimony DSNY 1-10-11

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