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San Diego Bus Accident Lawyer

If you or someone you know has been a victim of a bus crash in San Diego, you may be eligible to file a claim against the negligent parties and recover compensation. You may need the help and support of a trusted San Diego bus accident lawyer to assist you with your personal injury lawsuit.

West Coast Trial Lawyers has over 60 years of collective legal experience in bus accident cases and has helped personal injury victims recover more than $1.7 billion in fair settlement offers.

Call our San Diego law firm today at (619) 789-4494 to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our expert and dedicated bus accident lawyers. You can also fill out this quick contact form, and one of our attorneys will reach out to you concerning your San Diego bus accident case.

What to Do After a Bus Accident in San Diego

Bright red bus at one of its stops.

The first thing to do after being involved in a San Diego bus accident is to ensure your safety as well as the safety of other people involved in the accident.

Regardless of whether any visible injuries can be seen or not, it is still important to call medical professionals on the scene to make sure everyone is okay. The medical records can be used in your compensation claim as evidence. Calling 911 and filling out police reports also serve as proof of your accident and can also be used as evidence in your claim.

If the bus collision took place on a school bus, check for an emergency kit that is usually kept inside school buses. You may also need to use an emergency brake if the bus driver becomes incapacitated or unable to drive due to injuries sustained in the bus accident.

Some other necessary steps you may need to take in the event of a San Diego bus accident include:

  • Exchanging contact information with the other drivers/passengers.
  • Gathering proof of the accident, such as pictures and videos.
  • Speaking to witnesses who saw the accident happen and collecting witness statements.
  • Getting in contact with a San Diego bus accident lawyer.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your safety is prioritized, your legal rights are protected, and you receive the financial compensation you may be entitled to from the responsible party.

Who Could Be Held Liable in a San Diego Bus Accident

California is known as a comparative liability state, which means that bus accident victims can still recover some damages, whether they had some level of responsibility in causing the bus accident or not. However, the available damages will be reduced according to the individual’s degree of fault.

Buses are common carriers in the state of California. This means that multiple parties get involved when a bus wrongfully crashes and hurts other innocents. Liability is established on a case-by-case basis, so your attorney will analyze your case to make sure fault is distributed justly across all parties.

An injured bus accident victim can claim damages by proving that the other party’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 the plaintiff’s injuries.

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.

Since California is a comparative negligence state, insurance companies may use this to put partial blame on you for your damages to lower their settlement offer. Protect yourself with an attorney to represent your side of the story accurately.

Bus Driver Liability

Negligent driving by the driver is one of the most common causes of bus accidents in California. Because a bus driver has a higher duty of care compared to other drivers, you may be entitled to damages when they violate their duty through reckless driving, speeding, or even intoxicated driving.

If the bus driver responsible for the accident works for a private company, they will be responsible for your damages. Examples of private bus companies include:

  • Private school buses
  • Tourist buses
  • Charter buses

School Bus Liability

When a school bus gets in an accident, liability depends on whether the private or public school sector owns it.

If a private school owns the bus, they are responsible for paying out damages to the affected party. If the driver works for a public school, the government is liable.

It is imperative for the driver to report the accident to their employer, department, and school district in accordance with California regulations.

Bus drivers are also bound by law not to leave the vicinity where the accident took place unless no one is capable of looking for help.

Local Government Liability

For intercity buses, the government agencies in charge of the city of San Diego are liable for your damages. They may also be liable when the bus accident was caused by poor road conditions.

There are special rates for claims against the government; your San Diego bus accident lawyer will be able to provide helpful information regarding this.

Bus Manufacturers

Bus manufacturers play a pivotal role in ensuring the safety of passengers and pedestrians alike. When bus accidents happen, the liability of the bus manufacturer can be a complex issue, often involving intricate legal considerations.

If your accident was caused by a bus malfunction, the manufacturers responsible for maintaining and repairing the vehicle will cover your damages.

What Types of Damages Are Available to Bus Accident Victims?

Medical form with stethoscope and calculator on top of it.

Bus accidents can result in devastating consequences for victims, ranging from physical injuries to emotional trauma and financial losses. As a result, various types of damages may be available to San Diego bus accident victims to help them recover and move forward. These damages typically fall into two categories.

Firstly, economic damages encompass tangible financial losses incurred by the victim due to the accident.

This includes medical expenses for injuries sustained, such as:

  • Hospital bills
  • Surgeries
  • Medication
  • Rehabilitation
  • Other unexpected medical costs

Additionally, victims may seek compensation for lost wages or income if they are unable to work due to their injuries. Property damage, such as damage to the victim’s vehicle or personal belongings, may also be included in economic damages.

Secondly, non-economic damages account for intangible losses that are more difficult to quantify. This category includes pain and suffering experienced by the victim as a result of the accident, including:

  • Physical pain
  • Emotional distress
  • Mental anguish

Bus accident victims in San Diego may also be entitled to compensation for loss of enjoyment of life, which refers to the inability to engage in activities or hobbies that were previously enjoyed before the road accident.

Victims may also be eligible for punitive damages in cases where the bus driver or company’s actions were deemed reckless, intentional, or grossly negligent. Punitive damages are intended to punish the responsible party for their misconduct and deter similar behavior in the future. These damages are less common and typically only awarded in cases of extreme negligence or wrongdoing.

Wrongful death damages may be available to the surviving family members of a victim who died as a result of a bus accident. These damages may include compensation for funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support, and loss of companionship and consortium. While no amount of money can fully compensate for the loss of a loved one, wrongful death damages can provide some financial relief during a difficult time.

Seeking legal counsel from an experienced San Diego bus accident lawyer can help victims understand their rights and pursue the fair compensation they deserve.

Types of Bus Accidents in San Diego

In San Diego, like any other bustling urban area, bus accidents can occur, posing risks to passengers, pedestrians, and other vehicles on the road.

Some more common bus crashes that occur include:

  • Rear-End Collisions
  • Intersection Accidents
  • Pedestrian Accidents
  • Side-Impact Collisions
  • Single-Vehicle Accidents

Understanding the types of bus accidents that commonly happen in San Diego is essential for promoting road safety and implementing preventive measures. Get a free case evaluation today from one of the personal injury attorneys at our firm.

Public Transportation Accidents

A public bus can be managed by a city, county, state, or other form of regional authority. If a negligent bus driver caused a bus accident, the victim may file a claim against the negligent bus driver and the government entity that is in charge of operating the bus line.

When a claim is made against the government, the victim is required to present it within six months of the initial date of when the accident took place. If the victim is unable to submit the claim before the deadline, they will no longer qualify to acquire recoverable damages.

Tour Bus Accidents

California is a hotspot for tourism, especially in cities like San Diego. Private buses like tour buses are usually filled with tourists who are interested in roaming popular cities to learn about their history and culture. The tour bus company driver is required to maintain a good pace that will allow tourists to indulge in what the city has to offer. If the tour bus driver is committing unlawful actions, such as speeding or ignoring traffic laws, they will be held accountable for any damages caused in a bus accident.

A tour bus company can also be held accountable for fatal bus accidents if they failed to follow legally mandated duties, such as properly inspecting the shuttle buses or hiring qualified tour bus drivers.

Bus Stop Accidents

People who have sustained injuries at a bus stop will be eligible to file a personal injury claim against the party at-fault for their losses. A majority of bus stop accidents have been caused by negligent drivers. It is the victim’s responsibility to gather convincing evidence to prove that the driver was liable for damages. The elements of negligence that must be presented in bus accident cases include the following:

  • The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
  • The defendant breached their duty of care; and
  • The plaintiff suffered injuries and damages due to the defendant’s negligent actions

The location of a bus stop could also be dangerous. For example, a bus stop was placed in an area where several serious or fatal accidents have been reported. A bus stop being located in such a dangerous spot could increase the likelihood of more injuries and deaths. The government agency in charge of planning the placement of this bus stop could be involved in a personal injury claim for allowing a bus stop to continue its services in an area that greatly affects the safety of others.

Common Causes of Bus Accidents in San Diego

Close-up shot of a bus driver behind the wheel.

Driver negligence between bus drivers and their surrounding vehicles is the most common cause of bus accidents in California. If you were struck by a bus and sustained injuries, you will need to prove that the driver’s negligence was the direct cause of your damages.

Most of the time passengers of a bus accident do not need to prove negligence to be covered by the bus company’s insurer, but take note of the accident anyways in case of a potential lawsuit against a 3rd party, like the bus manufacturer.

The most common causes of bus accidents in California are:

  • Distracted or exhausted drivers
  • Reckless driving
  • Poorly maintained busses
  • Dangerous road conditions

Common Injuries from Bus Accidents

Injuries from a bus accident can be intensified due to the extra weight and amount of people involved. There are no seat belts to hold passengers in place, letting people get tossed around when a collision happens. Victims outside the bus, especially bicyclists and pedestrians, suffer the most severe injuries due to the bus’s weight.

Our personal injury team will assist you with any type of injury related to your bus accident, including:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Lacerations
  • Burn injuries
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Internal damage

These types of injuries require immediate medical care from a physician and should be addressed before legal action can take place. Your personal injury attorney will make sure the medical bills for your treatment are rightfully covered, and you can return to regular life without financial toll.

WCTL advocates for your safety first and foremost, and when you are well we will pursue legal action for your damages.

How Long Do I Have to File a Bus Accident Lawsuit in California?

The statute of limitations to sue for personal injury in California is two years after the date of the accident. Most tort claims abide by this time limit, so make sure to present your case to an attorney before you are unable to sue for your case in the state of California.

For cases involving public transportation like a public school bus, the statute of limitations is even lower due to California’s laws about filing claims against the government under the Tort Claims Act.

The statute of limitations for personal injury claims against the government is six months after the date of the accident.

Talk to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after recovering from your injuries to get a free consultation and to make sure you get trusted representation before the deadline ends.

How Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Bus Accident in San Diego

A bus stop right by the beach with pedestrians and palm trees in the background.

Our Southern California accident lawyers play a crucial role in assisting individuals in accidents involving motor vehicles.

These accidents can result in injuries, financial burdens as well as emotional trauma for victims. By seeking legal representation, individuals can navigate the complex legal process and ensure their rights stay protected.

An experienced bus accident attorney will help with the fiollowing:

  • Provide guidance and support throughout the legal process
  • Help deal with the insurance company
  • Gather evidence and witness testimonies
  • Help with financial recovery

Expert bus accident lawyers can assist you with your bus accident case if you have sustained serious bus accident injuries as a result.

Contact West Coast Trial Lawyers for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has been severely injured due to a bus crash in San Diego caused by someone else, you will need an experienced bus accident attorney to help you seek compensation from the responsible party.

Get in contact with one of our personal injury lawyers today at (619) 789-4494 for a free consultation, or you can fill out our contact form, and someone from our law firm will reach out immediately.

More San Diego Bus Accident Resources

School Bus Accidents: Liability, Prevention, and Steps to Follow School Bus Accidents in California

What Steps Should You Take After a Bus Accident?

Bus Accidents: 7 Most Common Causes

Tour Bus Accidents: Determining Liability

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