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Important Information Regarding Bus Accidents in San Bernardino As the San Bernardino County seat, the City of San Bernardino, California, spans 81 square miles and, as of 2017, had a population of 216,995 people. It has a robust bus transit system that transports residents and visitors throughout the city.

The bus transit system in San Bernardino is made possible thanks to a joint venture between Mountain Area Regional Transit Authority and Omnitrans (MARTA). MARTA mostly provides bus transit from downtown San Bernardino to other communities in the mountains.

However, the city runs mostly on a bus rapid transit called the sbX Green Line, which is operated by Omnitrans. It connects the northern part of the city to other cities within San Bernardino County.

Bus Accidents Typically Lead to the Most Injuries

There are a variety of reasons why bus accidents lead to more injuries than car accidents. One of the most obvious reasons is the lack of safety equipment in buses. City, tour and school buses all lack airbags and seat belts for the passengers. Making matters worse, several passengers on public transit are forced to stand because of overcrowding.

Unfortunately, bus accident claims are notorious for being complex. This fact often prevents people from seeking the personal injury compensation that they're entitled to.

Thankfully, West Coast Trial Lawyers can make the whole process easier. We take the necessary steps to preserve your rights during a bus accident trial. Also, we understand that you may have questions about the process and the reparations to which you're entitled. Along with the information below, we're happy to answer those questions.

1. Can You File a Claim Following a Bus Accident?

Yes, you can file a claim if you're involved in a bus accident. In most cases, you'll need to file a personal injury claim to recover any damages that occurred as a result of the accident.

Typically, bus accidents happen because the bus company or its driver was negligent. Even if the bus operator or owner wasn't directly negligent for causing the accident, they can still be held responsible for the losses that you suffer.

Other times, the bus accident may be the result of poorly administered regulations. In such cases, the personal injury suit is filed against the county rather than the bus operator.

1.1 Filing a Claim on Behalf of Someone Who Died in a Bus Accident

If you're a surviving family member, you can file a claim for the family member who died in a bus accident. A wrongful death claim might entitle you to damages on behalf of the deceased. Of course, only certain surviving family members are eligible to receive compensation:

  • Surviving spouse.
  • Children of the deceased.
  • Surviving domestic partner.
  • Grandchildren of the deceased's children have passed away.
  • Anyone who is entitled to the deceased's property as stated by California law.
2. How Is Liability Determined After a Bus Accident?

When you're looking for a personal injury law firm to help you after a bus accident, you want one that can help you determine who is liable. The defendants of a bus accident lawsuit will differ depending on the cause of the accident. However, they could include:

  • Tour bus operator.
  • Bus driver.
  • Bus owner.
  • School bus operator.
  • Bus stop owner.
  • Charter bus owner.
  • City or county agencies.
  • Bus maintenance company.
  • Bus part manufacturer.
  • Other drivers.

In some cases, multiple defendants might be held responsible during a bus accident trial. There are some cases in which the injured individuals might be culpable as well. Despite this, they could still be entitled to damages because California uses the theory of comparative liability. The amount of compensation that they receive will depend on what percentage of culpability they have.

2.1 Accidents Involving Public Transportation Buses

A public bus is one that's operated by the state, county, city or another regional authority. In San Bernardino, these authorities include Omnitrans and MARTA. Filing a claim against a public bus authority involves bringing charges against a government organization. Because of that, there are certain statutes of limitation and legal requirements that have to be met.

In most cases, the statute of limitations in California is two years. However, claims against government entities have various deadlines that you have to keep in mind. When filing a claim against the government, you have six months to file a notice of your claim. If you don't file within six months, you're no longer eligible to receive damages. A bus accident lawyer ensures that these requirements are met in a timely manner.

2.2 Accidents Involving School Buses

You can file a claim against a school bus in which your child was hurt during an accident. These are some of the most common lawsuits involving buses in San Bernardino.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, four to six school-age children die each year in the country as a result of school bus accidents. While this is less than 1% of all fatal crashes every year, thousands of school-age children suffer injuries because of the negligence of school bus drivers.

2.3 Accidents Involving Tour Buses

California is a popular tourist destination, so numerous tour buses operate in the state. To make matters worse, many tour operators force their bus drivers to keep tight schedules. This leads to bus drivers rushing causing them to unsafely operate the busses. This is a form of negligence, so they're liable for damages if you're injured in a tour bus accident.

In addition, tour bus operators are responsible for ensuring that their vehicles are properly inspected and maintained. Failure to do so directly violates their legally mandated duties, which subject tour bus companies to any relevant damages.

2.4 Accidents at Bus Stops

You don't have to be on a bus to be involved in a bus accident. Many bus-related accidents happen at bus stops. Sometimes, they're caused by a negligent or reckless driver.

Other times, they're caused by dangerous bus stops. These are bus stops that sit too close to the road or where many people have been injured. In such a case, you can file a claim against the agency that regulates the bus stop. Typically, it's a government agency.

3. What Can a Personal Injury Law Firm Do for You After a Bus Accident?

Trying to manage your own bus accident claim can be overwhelming. Even if you receive compensation, the total amount won't be as much as if you had a law firm handle your case.

You must file your claim on time, and prove that the liable party was negligent. Bus operators and government agencies don't want to admit wrongdoing, so they'll have their own lawyers working against you.

Fortunately, you can hire a bus accident lawyer to ensure that you receive fair compensation. Also, your lawsuit could make a difference that forces the bus operator or government agency to make changes that will prevent more accidents in the future.

4. What Kind of Compensation Are You Entitled to After a Bus Accident?

The type of reparations that you're entitled to after a bus accident varies from case to case. However, a bus accident lawyer works on your behalf to get you the compensation that you deserve.

Typically, this includes various types of economic compensation. Although, it might include noneconomic damages as well. In general, the damages and compensation that you may receive from a San Bernardino claim include:

The damages that you could receive for wrongful death differ from what you could get for personal injury claims. The money that you may be entitled to because of wrongful death includes:

  • Burial costs.
  • Loss of companionship and support.
  • Financial losses if the deceased contributed to the family income.
  • Loss of future earnings from the deceased.
West Coast Trial Lawyers Can Help You Reclaim Losses

Don't try to handle your bus accident case alone. Let us help you get the compensation that you deserve. We're a bus accident firm that can help you recoup all the financial losses that you suffered from the accident. We can get your medical bills covered and reclaim your lost wages.

Reach out to us at  (909) 787-2178 to set up a free consultation. You can also contact us via email at [email protected]

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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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