Manhattan Bus Accident Attorney Jonathan C. Reiter discusses the Truth about Partying and Commercial Bus Accidents
Commercial bus accidents are not as common in New York as passenger car accidents, but they tend to generate more attention because the injuries are often worse in these types of crashes.
In New York, people tend to focus on coach buses, MTA buses, and school buses when it comes to these accidents, but there is another type of commercial bus accident that can be dangerous: party buses.
These types of commercial buses have become more popular over the past decade as groups of people that want to enjoy a night out on the town without worrying about driving under the influence hire these vehicles.
Let’s take a look at the regulations under which party buses operate, and what happens when a party bus driver is involved in an accident that causes injuries and/or death.
What is a Party Bus?
A party bus is a commercial bus that offers different types of onboard entertainment to satisfy the wants and needs of adult customers.
These are typically touring buses that are converted into entertainment spaces that can accommodate 20 to 30 passengers, and that often have luxurious amenities that can rival the best nightclubs or video game arcades.
The most common and popular type of party bus is one that is outfitted for a night of adult entertainment.
These buses include amenities such as:
- Giant flat-screen televisions with surround sound
- DVD/Blu-ray player
- Video games
- Leather couches
- Hardwood dance floor
- Strobe lights
- Smoke Machines
- Karaoke machine
- Stripper poles
Other types of party buses are rented solely to transport large groups from one event to another during a night of entertainment and offer fewer amenities. For example, these types of buses might only have leather couches and minibars.
Party Bus Liability
Party buses offer passengers hours of noisy entertainment, but if an accident occurs, the question of party bus liability becomes a significant legal issue. (2)
In most states, public utilities and transportation commission oversee the safety of all party buses, which are designated as charter buses.
In many states, party buses are defined as vehicles that carry more than 14 passengers, promote party bus services, and have been altered to make room for entertainment amenities such as specialized lights, premium audio system, and minibar. (1)
Utility transportation commissions require party bus operators to adhere to standards that include ensuring that all drivers possess a valid commercial driver’s license and undergo regular drug and alcohol tests and that the buses are properly inspected.
In addition, party buses must provide a chaperone for every passenger that is younger than 21 to prevent underage drinking.
When an accident occurs on a party bus, the legal standard of negligence will come into play.
This means that people injured in these accidents must prove that the bus driver failed to take reasonable care to protect passengers, or that the owner of the party bus failed to ensure that the bus was safe, which directly led to the accident.
Proving Negligence In Commercial Bus Accidents
Proving negligence in commercial bus accidents is challenging because claimants must be able to show that several elements existed at the time of the accident, including:
- Party bus driver or bus owner failed to take reasonable care required to ensure that passengers wouldn’t be harmed, injured, or suffer a loss.
- The failure to exercise reasonable care was the cause of the accident
- Claimants suffered injuries, harm, or loss as a result of that failure
Party buses are categorized as common carriers, which means that they transport passengers or goods from one place to another. The law places a higher duty of care on common carriers because of the fact they are often responsible for a large group of people at the same time.
If claimants can prove that the party bus driver, the owner of the bus, or even the manufacturer of a faulty piece of bus equipment was negligent, they can be successful in a legal proceeding.
These cases are often complex, and it’s challenging to determine which party was at fault when a party bus accident occurs. Skilled attorneys can craft a strategy that has the best chance of achieving success for their clients.
Manhattan Bus Accidents Lawyer
Victims of party bus crashes have the right to hire an experienced accidents attorney near you to ensure that they explore all legal options for compensation for their pain and suffering.
Manhattan Attorney Jonathan C. Reiter. T: 212-736-0979
Prior results cannot and do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future case. Recoveries always depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case, the injuries suffered, damages incurred, and the responsibility of those involved.