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California School Bus Accidents

California School Bus Accidents -- Insight From the Best Bus Accident Lawyers

When it comes to school bus accidents, there are a variety of individuals who are at fault. This includes:

  • Bus driver. The bus driver could be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Additionally, they might also be feeling exhausted or fatigued while behind the wheel. Lastly, a bus driver should be aware of the maximum passenger limit on the bus. Exceeding the passenger limit will make it difficult for them to safely operate the vehicle. Situations like this increase the chances of bus accidents occurring.
  • Other drivers. Other drivers around the bus may attempt to exceed the speed limit to get in front of a school bus. There could also be some drivers who do not follow the “STOP” warning behind the bus, thus resulting in a rear collision. 
  • Bus owner. They are in charge of making sure the bus goes through inspection and maintenance before being operated. Lack of proper care will make it dangerous for the bus driver and passengers on board. 
  • Bus manufacturer. They are expected to create good quality buses. Defective or faulty buses will increase the likelihood of an accident happening.

Overall, these individuals may create accidents if a school bus driver is not careful. Their negligence may play a part in causing school bus accidents. Risk factors include:

  • Speeding,
  • Inexperienced bus driver,
  • Poor maintenance.
  • Defective bus manufacturer, or 
  • Overloading.

Preventing School Bus Accidents

To prevent school bus accidents from occuring, both the driver and the students must work together.

  • Driver. Under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), it is required for the driver to make sure that they are operating the bus safely. They need to be very cautious when they are battling poor weather conditions. This is primarily why it is expected for them to be trained before becoming a bus driver. They must exhibit appropriate knowledge and experience on how to operate a bus before they are entrusted with taking children to school. 
  • Students. They need to:
    • Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before entering.
    • Wait for the bus in a safe area that is away from traffic.
    • Hold on to the handrail when entering the bus.
    • Stay seated until they reach their final destination.
    • Avoid placing their personal belongings in the walkthrough area.
    • Avoid creating distractions that will make the bus driver not pay attention to the road.
    • Walk nearly 10 feet away from the bus and proceed to cross the street.
    • Avoid crossing the street from behind the bus.

Victim of A School Bus Injury

If your child was injured because of a school bus accident, you should immediately seek medical attention regardless of how minor, moderate, or severe their injuries are. You may also get the medical records that were documented by the doctor to use in your case if you choose to file a lawsuit against the individual at fault. You should also take pictures of the injury and the accident as additional proof to show in court. If bystanders agree to help you with your case, then you should get their contact information, too.

Available Damages

Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out of pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries. 

A few examples of economic losses include:

  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out of pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:

  • Emotional Distress
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss  of Enjoyment of Life
  • Other Non-Economic Damanges

Punitive Damages

The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact are only incorporated in 5% of all verdicts.

Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.

Limitations For Damages In California

For the most part, there is no real cap on compensatory damages following a personal injury claim. This means that courts are able to award any amount they feel is appropriate and reasonable.

However, the only exception is regarding medical malpractice cases. In these cases, the limit for pain and suffering and other non economic losses is $250,000.

Contact Us

If your child was a victim of a school bus accident, West Coast Trial Lawyers has skilled bus accident attorneys that have extensive experience in handling personal injury cases. We will help you get the financial and emotional compensation you deserve. This includes medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation with the attorneys at our firm. No fees are charged until we win your case. Reach out to our legal team 24/7 by calling (213) 927-3700 or emailing [email protected]


If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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