Our last post discussed the safety of discount bus lines. This post examines recovery problems.
There was an old Johnny Mercer lyric, “something’s gotta give.” When a cut-rate bus company charges dirt cheap fares, the company will scrimp and save on insurance. This can affect your recovery. In other words, you may not have the same rights of recovery as you would against the more established, full price carriers, such as Greyhound.
First, let us look at No Fault insurance. An off-price bus may be registered and insured in another state which does not require No Fault as does New York. That means the passenger may not be entitled to medical and lost income insurance.
Second, the discount bus line may carry inadequate insurance in view of the risk of carrying 30 or more passengers. The bus company may carry $1 to $2 million in insurance, which would be adequate for one person injured. However, in the recent spate of accidents there have been numerous fatalities. Where there are multiple passengers injured and killed, that amount can prove to be inadequate. In the fatal bus accident in Bronx, fourteen people were killed, and in a recent accident in Virginia, four people were killed.
Third, discount bus lines are mom and pop businesses with as little as one or two buses which are often leased. They do not even own their buses! There is little chance of collecting above and beyond the insurance. However, national carriers, such as Greyhound and American Trailways, not only have more than adequate insurance, but the assurance that they can pay any judgment.
We have handled many different kinds of bus accidents. If you have injured in a bus accident, please feel free to call us to discuss your case.
Mark E. Seitelman, 6/10/11, www.seitelman.com.