Los Angeles Bus Accident Lawyer
Buses are a common sight in Los Angeles. They are a convenient and affordable way to get from one place to another in the city or even to nearby towns. Unfortunately, buses are no more immune to being involved in a crash than any other vehicle on the road. When a bus is in an accident, the results are usually catastrophic. In many instances, they are fatal. Buses are very large and heavy. They also require a longer time to slow down, and they do not have safety features such as seat belts.
It is no surprise that bus accidents cause such serious injuries. If you or someone you love has been hurt, do not hesitate to contact our Los Angeles bus accident lawyer at Personal Injury Legal Group. We can advise on your case and help you obtain the full and fair settlement to which you are entitled.
Who Is Accountable in a Bus Accident?
In the aftermath of a bus crash, identifying the responsible party requires careful analysis of the accident’s cause and the possible parties involved. Multiple parties may be held responsible for your losses so it is important to have a seasoned attorney assess your case. Liable parties may include:
- Local or State government. Often the government is responsible for intercity bus accidents including accidents involving the LA Metro.
- Private buses. If your accident occurred on a charter bus, a private tour bus, or a party bus the private bus company will likely be held responsible.
- Public & private school. Public school bus accidents will be deemed a government liability. A private school is accountable for its own bus crash.
- Third-party driver. For bus accidents resulting from a third-party driver, the driver’s insurance company will be liable for damages.
- Vehicle manufacturer. If a defective part contributed to your bus accident, the part manufacturer may be found liable.
Common Types of Bus Accidents
There are many different types of buses, and any of them can be involved in an accident. The most common types of buses that cause injury include:
- City buses
- School buses
- Coach buses, such as Greyhound
- Feeder buses
- Commuter buses
- Government buses
- Large vans
- Mobile homes or trailers
The type of bus that is involved in a crash will have a significant impact on the claims process.
Common Causes of Bus Accidents
Many of the common causes of bus accidents are the same as other types of crashes on the road. However, due to the size and nature of a bus, others are very specific. Some of the most common causes of bus accidents are as follows:
- Driver negligence
- Driving while distracted
- Impaired driving
- Drowsy driving
- Lack of proper bus driver training
- Failing to anticipate the weather, changing road conditions, and traffic
- Taking corners or turns too fast
- Maintenance and mechanical issues
- Visibility issues and blind spots that obscure pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles
- Sudden swerving or braking, which causes injury to passengers
- Lack of seat belts
Determining Liability After a Bus Accident
It is never easy to determine liability after an auto accident, but it is even more challenging after a bus accident. In the majority of cases, it is usually the bus driver or the company they work for that is liable. However, there are exceptions. For example, if a part of the bus was defective and caused a crash, the manufacturer of that piece of equipment can be held liable. Or, if defective road conditions caused the crash, the government entity responsible for maintaining the road could be at fault for the accident.
There are also times multiple parties can be found liable for a bus accident. For instance, the bus driver may be partly at fault because they were driving recklessly. Meanwhile, the bus company can also be found liable if they failed to properly maintain the vehicle. In this case, each party would be assigned a portion of fault and would have to pay a portion of damages equal to the fault they carry.
Common Injuries Sustained During Bus Accidents
Again, buses are extremely large and heavy vehicles, so when they are involved in a crash, the injuries are usually catastrophic. It is very rare for a bus accident victim to walk away from a crash unscathed. Some of the most common injuries sustained during bus accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, including full and partial paralysis
- Fractured and broken bones
- Neck injuries, including whiplash
- Damage to nerves
- Crushing injuries
- Lacerations and cuts
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
The above injuries are extremely painful. They will also leave you with high medical bills, and you may not be able to earn an income to pay for them if you cannot return to work right away. If the injuries are so severe that you can never return to the same line of work, you may never earn the same level of income you did before the crash. A Los Angeles bus accident lawyer can help you claim compensation to offset the financial burden.
Suing for Wrongful Death After a Bus Accident
Tragically, bus accidents are far more likely to cause fatalities than crashes involving other types of vehicles. Generally speaking, if you lost a loved one in a bus accident, you may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the liable party. Still, it is important to remember that every bus accident is unique, and there are different facts involved. For example, if your loved one passed away and did not have dependent children or immediate family, you may not have the grounds to sue. Typically, the only people who can file a wrongful death lawsuit are as follows:
- The surviving spouse of the deceased,
- The surviving children of the deceased, and
- The parents of the deceased, when there is not a surviving spouse or surviving children.
There are instances when multiple people who fall into the above classifications may wish to file a wrongful death lawsuit together.
What to Do After a Bus Accident?
Bus accidents happen in a second. Afterward, it is normal to feel shocked, frustrated, and angry. Still, it is important to remain calm and keep a cool head so you can take the necessary steps that will help protect any future claim you file. These steps are as follows:
- Call 911 to report the accident.
- Seek medical attention, even if you do not believe your injuries are serious.
- Locate eyewitnesses and ask for their names and contact information.
- Obtain as much information as you can about the bus driver, including their name, badge number, and operating entity.
- Photograph the accident scene, the bus, other vehicles involved, and any other pertinent information.
- Make sure you are officially documented as a bus passenger.
- Do not provide the insurance or bus company with any statements.
- Call our experienced attorneys at Personal Injury Legal Group.
What to Do if Your Child is Hurt on a School Bus?
When your child gets onto a school bus, you are entrusting the driver to drive in a safe manner and treat your child like they would their own. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. The sad truth is that school bus drivers can act negligently and recklessly, and when they do, they put some of the most vulnerable people at risk. If the unimaginable occurs and your child is involved in a school bus accident, the steps you should take are as follows:
- Go to the scene of the accident to be with your child, if possible.
- Seek medical treatment for your child as soon as possible, even if you do not think they were seriously injured.
- Be very careful about who you speak to and what you say.
- Do not sign any forms or provide a recorded statement.
- Call our skilled Los Angeles bus accident lawyer at Personal Injury Legal Group.
Accidents involving school buses are extremely complex. There may be multiple liable parties, including the school, the bus company, the school district, the bus driver, the company the bus driver works for, and other motorists, as well. Lawsuits involving school buses also usually include a public entity, which means these cases have different deadlines and requirements than other personal injury claims.
The Statute of Limitations on Bus Accident Claims
Like all aspects of a bus accident claim, the statute of limitations in these cases can also be complex. If you are filing a claim against a private company or an individual, you have two years from the date of the crash to file.
If you are filing a wrongful death claim due to the loss of a loved one, you have two years from the date of the death, not the accident, to file a claim. For example, if your loved one suffered in the hospital for two weeks due to the injuries sustained, and they then succumbed to them, you have two weeks from the date they passed away to file.
When children are involved in an accident, it can also impact the statute of limitations and how long a person has to file. Minor children do not have the mental capacity to file a lawsuit under the law. As such, the parents can file a claim on their behalf. In these instances, the statute of limitations remains two years from the date of the accident. However, if the parents do not file a claim on the child’s behalf, the child can file their own claim. In these situations, the statute of limitations is tolled, or delayed, until two years from the child’s 18th birthday.
Protecting Your Interest is Our Top Priority
You can rely on Personal Injury Legal Group’s trusted and experienced attorneys. We are always ready to put our reputation for excellence to work on your behalf. No matter the legal challenge, our expert team will work hard to make sure you secure a favorable settlement. That is because we invest the time and have the in-depth knowledge to handle your bus injury claim.
Personal Injury Legal Group provides free consultations with an experienced attorney and we offer our services on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay nothing upfront when we take on your case. Since we work on contingency, YOU ONLY PAY US IF WE ARE SUCCESSFUL IN WINNING YOUR CASE. This allows you to focus on recovering from your bus accident while we focus on handling all of your legal matters.
Personal Injury Legal Group headquarters are located in Los Angeles with additional offices throughout California. Since 1999, we have been serving clients nationwide, with a concentration in Southern California counties including Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Orange, San Diego, Kern, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Imperial. We also serve Northern California counties of San Francisco, Alameda, Marin, Sacramento, San Mateo, Solano, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Napa, Yolo, and Sonoma.
At Personal Injury Legal Group, our Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys Also Focus on the Following Practice Areas:
- Car Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Commercial Vehicle Accidents
- Construction Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Train Accidents
- Slip & Falls
- Product Liability
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Uber & Lyft
- Wrongful Death
- Trucking Accidents
- Sports Injury
- Cruise Ship Accidents
Contact Our Bus Accident Lawyers in Los Angeles Today
If you or someone you love has been hurt, do not hesitate to contact our Los Angeles bus accident lawyers at Personal Injury Legal Group. Our skilled attorneys can determine who is liable for paying damages and which legal avenue is most appropriate for your case. Call us now at 310-388-4306 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.
Frequently Asked Questions for Los Angeles Bus Accident
What damages can I recover in a bus accident lawsuit?
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and other losses related to the accident.
How long do I have to file a bus accident lawsuit in Los Angeles?
In California, you generally have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, so it’s important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected.
Can I still recover damages if I was partially at fault for the bus accident?
Yes, California follows a comparative fault system, which means that you can still recover damages even if you were partially at fault for the accident. However, your damages may be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault.
Do bus companies have any special regulations they must follow?
Yes, bus companies are subject to both state and federal regulations governing the operation of commercial buses, including rules regarding driver qualifications, vehicle maintenance, and passenger safety.
How can I prevent a bus accident in Los Angeles?
Some tips for preventing bus accidents in Los Angeles include avoiding distractions while driving, maintaining a safe distance from buses, and following traffic laws and signals.
What are some common injuries sustained in bus accident?
Common injuries sustained in bus accidents include whiplash, head and brain injuries, broken bones, internal injuries, and spinal cord injuries.
Can I file a lawsuit against the government if a city bus was involved in the accident?
Yes, you can file a lawsuit against the government if a city bus was involved in the accident. However, there may be special procedures and deadlines that apply when suing a government entity, so it’s important to contact an attorney who has experience with these types of cases.
What if the bus driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident?
If the bus driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, they may face criminal charges in addition to civil liability for the accident. You should contact an attorney to help you pursue your legal rights in this situation.
Can I file a claim with my own insurance company after a bus accident in Los Angeles?
Yes, you can file a claim with your own insurance company after a bus accident, especially if the other driver was uninsured or underinsured. However, it’s important to be careful when dealing with insurance companies, as they may try to minimize your payout.
What if the bus company was negligent in hiring or training the bus driver?
If the bus company was negligent in hiring or training the bus driver, they may be held liable for any damages resulting from the accident. An experienced bus accident attorney can help you determine whether the bus company may be liable in your case.
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