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Ranked #1

Personal Injury Firm in Los Angeles

West Coast Trial Lawyers


Los Angeles Bus Accident Attorney

Due to the lack of seat belts, airbags, and a limited number of seats that require many passengers to stand, a bus passenger can easily suffer severe injuries in an accident. Bus accident claims are notoriously complex. Victims may have to deal with private entities, including bus operating companies, bus owners, insurance companies, and other entities in the bus and charter industry.

If you have suffered injuries after a bus accident attorney, you may be entitled to compensatory damages (doc) for your:

1)Can I File A Claim After A Bus Accident?

A bus accident can be caused by various factors, including a bus driver or bus company’s negligence, or poorly administered county regulations. Anytime an individual or group of individuals’ negligence causes a bus accident, they will typically be held liable for the damages incurred.

A bus accident victim must typically file a personal injury claim to recover damages for any injuries sustained in an accident. Bus accident injuries are typically caused by someone’s negligence or reckless actions. A bus company owner or operator can also be held liable for damages, whether or not they were directly negligent in causing the bus accident.

1.1 Can I File On Behalf Of A Family Member Who Was Killed?

The surviving family members of someone who was killed in a bus accident may be entitled to damages on the decedent’s behalf by filing a wrongful death claim.

The surviving family members who can seek compensatory damages in a wrongful death claim include:

  • The surviving spouse
  • The surviving domestic partner
  • The decedent’s children
  • The decedent’s grandchildren, if the children have already passed
  • Anyone entitled to the property of the decedent according to California intestate succession laws

Available damages after a wrongful death claim will include:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Burial costs
  • Financial losses the deceased would have contributed to the family, such as lost income and lost future earnings
  • Loss of support and companionship

2)Determining Liability After A Bus Accident

In a personal injury lawsuit, the responsible parties are known as defendants. The defendants in a bus accident claim can include:

  • The bus driver
  • The tour bus operator
  • The school bus operator
  • The charter bus operator
  • The bus owner
  • The bus stop owner
  • Other drivers
  • The bus maintenance company
  • City, county, or state agencies
  • The bus manufacturer(s)
  • The bus part manufacturer(s)

When it comes to bus accidents, more than one defendant may be held liable for causing an accident. It’s important to recognize that even a bus accident injury victim may have some degree of blame for the accident, as well. Even so, he or she may still be entitled to file for damages. 

California is a comparative liability state, which means that a plaintiff can recover some damages, whether he or she had some level of responsibility in causing the bus accident. Available damages will of course be reduced depending on that individual’s degree of fault.

An injured bus accident victim can claim damages by proving that the defendant’s negligence was the cause of the accident. The elements of negligence include the following:

  • The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care
  • The defendant breached this duty of care through negligence
  • The defendant’s breach was the significant factor that caused a plaintiff’s injuries

In summary, if an injured bus accident victim can prove that the defendant was negligent, the defendant will likely be responsible for paying the plaintiff’s damages.

2.1 Public Transportation Accidents

A public bus can potentially be operated by a city, county, state, or other type of regional authority. A public bus accident suit involves claims against a government entity, which involves distinct legal requirements and statutes of limitation. If a negligent bus driver causes an accident, the victim(s) can file a claim against the government entity that operates that specific bus line.

The majority of all personal injury claims in the state of California have a statute of limitations of 2 years. However, it’s important to know that any claims against the government may have different deadlines. 

These types of claims typically must be presented to the government within 6 months of the accident. If a bus accident victim does not submit a claim within 6 months, he or she may become ineligible for damages.

2.2 Tour Bus Accidents

California is home to various tour bus companies. Unfortunately, many of these tour bus companies force their drivers to maintain tight schedules and stay on the road for long periods of time. Unfortunately, many operators don’t always adhere to safety standards and proper bus maintenance.

Simply put: anytime a tour bus driver acts negligently, the tour bus company can be held liable for damages. Also, the tour bus company or operator can both be held liable for the driver’s negligence if the employer was negligent regarding hiring, training, or driver supervision.

Drivers who transport people have a much higher duty of care to other drivers. This is because a commercial bus operator — and this includes a tour bus company — is generally thought of as a common carrier. A common carrier is any business which is responsible for transporting people or goods for a profit. 

According to the California Civil Code, “a carrier of persons for reward must use the utmost care and diligence for their safe carriage, must provide everything necessary for that purpose, and must exercise to that end a reasonable degree of skill.”

This means that a tour bus company that does not repair its buses, properly inspect their fleet, or appropriately train and supervise their drivers, may be in violation of their duties as a common carrier. Failure to abide by legally mandated duties may subject a tour bus company to liability and any applicable damages.

2.3 Bus Stop Accidents

Anyone who was injured at a bus stop may be entitled to file a claim against the entity who caused the accident. A vast majority of bus stop accidents are caused by a reckless or negligent driver. However, a plaintiff needs to show that a driver was responsible. Such evidence could include proving that the offending driver was in violation of a traffic law, speeding, or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

There are also instances where the actual location of a bus stop is dangerous. This could include, for example, a bus stop located in an area where people have already been injured or that is too close to the street. An aggrieved individual may have a claim against whichever government agency is responsible for planning that dangerous bus stop.

3)What Can A Bus Accident Attorney Do For Me?

Handling the process of a bus accident claim on your own can be overwhelming. Trying to handle a bus accident claim on your own will almost guarantee that you will not receive full and fair compensation. 

In California, claims against public entities and other government-run transportation entities must be filed within six months from the date of the accident. Claims against non-government private parties and operators can be filed within two years from the date of the accident. 

Our legal team and experienced bus accident lawyers are here to help you. We will handle every part of your case—from dealing with insurance companies, negotiating medical bills, handling property damage, scheduling doctor’s appointments, and more. 

4) Available Damages After A Bus Accident

A bus accident victim may be entitled to various forms of economic compensation. Economic damages will typically cover the costs a victim will pay or may have to pay because of the accident.

Non-economic damages, on the other hand, will include injuries which do not necessarily have a tangible monetary value, such as pain and suffering and the loss of a limb. Compensatory damages after a bus accident claim can potentially include:

  • Emotional Distress
  • Lost Wages
  • Medical Bills
  • Loss Of Consortium
  • ER Treatment
  • Medication and Medical Supplies
  • Physical Therapy
  • Future Lost Earnings
  • Emotional Pain
  • Loss of Enjoyment Of Life
  • Court Costs And Fees

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help

If you have sustained injuries as a result of a bus accident, you have the right to hold the guilty party responsible. A bus accident attorney at our firm can help you recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering from your injury. 

Call us today at (213) 927-3700 or email info@westcoasttriallawyers.com to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring and compassionate legal team.

References

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=PROB&division=6.&title=&part=2.&chapter=1.&article=

https://www.justia.com/trials-litigation/docs/caci/400/405/

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=GOV&sectionNum=945

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=GOV&sectionNum=911.2

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=2100.&lawCode=CIV



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