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5 Types of Bus Accidents

Common Types of Bus Accidents and Their Causes


Buses are large vehicles that are capable of carrying a substantial amount of passengers to transport from one place to another. In order to be eligible to drive a bus, you must acquire a Class B CDL. Due to the size of a bus, it can be difficult to maneuver, which is why you must obtain this special license to qualify as a bus driver.

A bus driver is responsible for the safety of their passengers once they step foot onto the vehicle. There should be no distractions or lack of focus that prevents the driver from keeping their eyes on the road. Unfortunately, many bus drivers have not abided with this obligation, which has resulted in serious accidents that have cost the lives of both the driver and passengers.

Common Bus Accidents 

Pedestrian Deaths in Los Angeles

  • School Bus Accident. There are three types of school bus accidents that can occur.
    • Drivers. Buses are at a high risk of getting involved in an accident with another driver. There are several reasons that contribute to this problem. To begin with, other drivers always try to pass a bus due to its slow speed. During the process of passing a bus, a driver could pull off reckless actions to get ahead. There have been many reports of drivers getting into an accident with a bus due to this reason. Another issue is distance. A driver is expected to provide at least 10 feet of space between a bus. If the driver chooses to drive right behind the bus, then they will be unable to react ahead of time to any signals or actions the bus does, thus resulting in a collision.
    • Pedestrians. Bus drivers who are sleepy, zoned out, intoxicated, or speeding make the road dangerous for those surrounding them. Pedestrians who are hit by a bus while walking across the street could face intense injuries, or even death.
    • Passengers. Once the bus makes contact with a vehicle or object, it may result in the passengers being thrown around inside the bus, or even out the window. They could easily suffer from injuries by slamming into the seats or windows.
  • Public Transit Bus Accident. Many individuals rely on this bus to take them to their destinations. Accidents occur in various forms when it comes to this type of bus. Vehicles will often make attempts at trying to pass the bus or disallow it from making a turn. Another problem is having a driver in the bus driver’s blind spot. It is important for a bus driver to take caution before making lane changes to avoid colliding into a vehicle that was in their blind spot. If the bus driver fails to properly check their surroundings, they could miss the vehicle nearby and trigger a collision.
  • Freight Bus Accident. This bus transports cargo from one place to another. There is a specific weight limit for 40 feet freight buses, which is 33,000 pounds. Fully-loaded weights are up to 44,000 pounds. Freight buses that are 60 feet have a weight limit of up to 50,000 pounds. Fully-loaded weights are up to 65,000 pounds. If a freight bus exceeds the maximum limit, then it will be difficult for the driver to control the vehicle.
  • Shuttle Bus Accident. Hotels and colleges typically use this bus to transport their guests or students. A shuttle bus can be difficult to operate due to their size and shape. As stated before, a bus driver has the duty of care to make sure that their passengers are safely transported. Any type of reckless action, such as texting and driving, speeding, or being under the influence, can cause a collision.
  • Private, Commercial, and Charter Bus Accident. Most of these buses are used for tours or parties. Some are designed as luxury buses. In some circumstances, a company may not conduct proper maintenance on these buses or hire a driver who is not licensed to operate the bus. Having a bus break down while on the road could result in a serious accident. Furthermore, having someone who is not proficient in operating a private, commercial, or charter bus will create an unsafe environment for the passengers since they are all at risk of getting injured or killed.

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

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 were only incorporated in 5 percent 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 you have been involved in a bus accident, our expert personal injury attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers will help you recover compensation for your losses, which includes medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. No financial risks are involved when you use our services.

Contact us today by calling (213) 927-3700 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our knowledgeable, caring, and compassionate legal team.


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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