New York residents expect that the buses in the city are safe. After all, these vehicles should be held to a higher standard than other passenger vehicles, considering the fact that they carry significantly more people. Yet, far too often buses are involved in serious motor vehicle accidents that leave unsuspecting victims seriously injured. As these victims attempt to recover their health, they may be left to deal with the physical, emotional and financial ramifications left in the wake of their accident. This is where a personal injury lawsuit may be able to help.

Of course, proving liability in one of these cases isn’t always easy. To increase the chances of success, it may be worth examining a bus operator’s inspection history. Under New York law, certain buses must be inspected every six months. These buses include those that transport individuals under the age of 21 to and from school, as well as licensed city, state and double-decker buses.

After undergoing inspection, a bus may be given a rated defect. Those defects rated as class A render a bus inherently unsafe and therefore inoperable under the law. Vehicles with these defects cannot carry passengers until the defect is fixed, at which time the vehicle needs to pass another inspection. Until that second inspection, these vehicles do not receive an inspection certificate. Class B defects are those that must be corrected before the bus can carry passengers, but the vehicle is still given an inspection certificate. A C defect, which is the least serious, only requires correction within 15 days, during which time passengers can be carried and an inspection certificate is obtained.

In an ideal world, bus operators would follow the inspection rules. Their buses would be subjected to frequent examination for defects and those defects would be corrected before allowing passengers to ride. Unfortunately, however, far too often bus operators try to cut corners at the expense of riders’ safety. When this happens and an accident and injuries result, it may help to get more information about legal options.