Have you been injured in an Auto Accident?
If you or a member of your family was injured in a car accident involving a bus while being a bus passenger, or on a motor vehicle that was crashed into by a bus, call our Big Ben Law firm bus-related accident lawyers today for a free consultation.
Our California bus accident attorneys have plenty of experience in handling common carrier accident claims. We have gone against some of the giant bus companies in the U.S. while representing victims of common carrier accidents.
Unlike the other common car accidents, common carrier accidents are different hence you should only entrust your bus-related accident lawsuit to the hands of law firms with extensive experience in dealing with such bus crash cases claimed against commercial transit companies, and municipal bus owners as well common bus carriers.
If your loved one suffered serious injuries or died due to a bus crash, our team of bus accident lawyers can assist you as you seek compensation from the at-fault parties.
Our clients in accident cases include bus passengers and drivers/passengers of other motor vehicles and cyclists who were crushed by a bus.
How about our consultation fee? Don’t worry. We provide FREE CONSULTATION and we charge nothing unless and until we win your claim.
Common bus Accidents Causes in California
The majority of common carrier accidents are attributed to negligence by the driver or the company which owns the bus. Common causes of bus-related accidents include:
- Exhaustion on the part of the bus driver- drivers have a tendency to drive for driving for significant distances without resting. This is extremely exhaustive for the driver, especially in the late hours.
There is a striking resemblance between driving while exhausted and driving while drunk. In both instances, the driver’s ability to react and maintain concentration is impaired.
The driver can easily miss out on a dangerous sign such as changes in traffic signals and end up crashing into buildings, pedestrians, or other motor vehicles.
- Driving while distracted – getting distracted can happen to anyone including professional drivers.
NHTSA bus accident statistics indicate that if your look away from the road just for 5 seconds while driving at 55 mph is the same as driving through a football field blindfolded. It does not matter the road on which you are driving. The moment you take your eyes off the road for just a few seconds, you face serious danger of getting into a potentially fatal accident.
- Error on the part of the driver: the driver can be inexperienced or poorly trained hence making errors.
The error can be something as mild as driving into the walking lane in order to pick up passengers or something more dangerous.
- Speeding or driving aggressively: drivers run on schedule which can easily be affected by road issues such as traffic or passenger-related problems.
In trying to make up for the lost time the negligent bus driver may drive more aggressively and carelessly hence endangering the lives of the bus passengers, other motorists, and passengers in other motor vehicles on the road.
- Driving while intoxicated:When the driver drives while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, this negatively affects their reaction time, sound judgment, coordination, and reasoning. For the bus driver to maintain full control of the bus, all these mental and physical acuities are necessary.
It is the duty of drivers under the California driving laws and negligence laws to always ensure the safety of passengers and other people who happen to use the road.
Failure to maintain this duty by driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs makes the driver liable for any injuries that may result from a common carrier accident.
- Mechanical Failure on the part of the bus:it is the duty of the commercial bus owner to ensure that the bus is always in good working condition. This is ensured by regular maintenance and checkup on the bus.
Some defects in the bus including worn-out tires, bad braking system, problems with the engine, and others can be detected and rectified through regular maintenance.
Sometimes the problem with the bus is a manufacturing defect on the part of the bus manufacturer. Therefore, such defects are blamed on the bus manufacturing company.
Why Big Ben is Your Best Bus Accident Law Firm in California?
When deciding which common carrier accident lawyer to choose to represent you in your common carrier accident case, you need to consider a lawyer who not only comprehends and appreciates the complex nature of bus-related accident claims but also one who can and is willing to go to court to fight for you in the courtroom in order to get for you the compensation that you are justly entitled to.
Unlike many personal injury law firms, we have the experience and knowledge necessary to deal with all accident cases.
Contact us to speak to our expert accident attorneys today.
Is it Really Necessary to Hire a Los Angeles Bus Accident Attorney for My Claim?
Yes. Unlike other motor vehicle accidents such as car accidents, commercial bus owners have immense resources and can afford to retain teams of experienced accident attorneys.
Therefore, if you choose to go against the commercial bus company and insurer on your own, you will be overwhelmed by the defenses that they put in place as soon as the common carrier accident happens.
Commercial companies will not spare time and resources to defend themselves against common carrier accident claims filed against them since such motor vehicle collisions and claims happen on daily basis.
Immediately after the accident, while you and your loved ones are busy dealing with your emergency medical treatment, the bus owner will be busy destroying any evidence that will implicate them in the accident and having its teams of defense attorneys building a strong defense against your claim.
Given the urgency of the situation and the race to preserve or destroy evidence, it is of top importance that you contact an experienced bus accident lawyer immediately who can ensure that evidence is collected and preserved in order to establish a strong case for you.
Our accident attorneys’ fees are charged on a contingent basis meaning that we won’t charge you a penny unless we win your common carrier accident claim for you.
Municipal Bus Accidents in California
Bus-related accidents involving municipal public buses or any other public transit are complex. This is because there are different laws that are applicable in claims against governmental entities. These laws place a cap on the amount of compensation that you can be awarded.
Nevertheless, a seasoned accident attorney at Big Ben Law firm can help you navigate these complex laws and review your common carrier accident case.
However, this does not mean that you don’t have a case and thereafter provide you with the available options that you can take.
We can also assist you in finding out liability and establishing the same while at the same time exploring all the avenues for getting your compensation.
If your suit is against the government authority, you are required to give 6 months' written notice of your injury. Given this short time limitation, it is best to act quickly.
The moment you decide to hire us, we will find out if your claim is against a government agency and ensure that we comply with all the legal timelines and requirements well within time.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Bus Accidents in California?
Bus-related accidents are similar to truck accidents, as they both have a number of persons (potential defendants) who can be sued due to a serious bus accident.
The bus drivers are usually the first to be blamed for the bus accident. The bus driver could have caused the accident due to recklessness or negligence or due to losing control of the bus. Either way, the bus driver is usually the first defendant in your bus-related accident case.
The bus owner can also be held liable for the accident where the bus owner failed to properly train the bus driver. This is because bus companies are imposed the duty to ensure that their bus drivers are always fit for duty.
This is ensured by carrying out background checks on the drivers, giving them proper training, carrying out regular drug tests, and others.
The bus manufacturing company can also be sued in situations where the cause of the accident was a manufacturing defect.
What to do after bus accidents in California?
A bus-related accident can result in a variety of injuries ranging from minor to serious injuries. Some of the common accident injuries include bruises, bone fractures, internal injuries, TBIs, and sometimes death.
More serious injuries can occur where the accident involves a heavy bus and a smaller passenger car.
It is important that all the victims of a car accident are provided with emergency medical treatment immediately in order to ensure that the injuries sustained in the bus accidents are not life-threatening.
Therefore, in case you or your loved one is involved in a bus accident, the most immediate thing to do is to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
If you can collect evidence, then that is the next immediate thing after your accident. You need to ensure that you document and record everything that is relevant to the bus accident. You can take photos of the scene of the bus accident, you can ask and record the names of witnesses, the name and insurance details of the bus, the plate number, etc.
Another important thing to consider after the accident is to know what not to say to the other driver. It is best not to admit liability or blame for the accident even if it appears so. As to your health condition, if asked you better not say that you are feeling fine. It is better to refuse to answer until you speak to an experienced accident attorney. How you answer your question can later be used against you in court or during insurance negotiations.
You should ensure that you speak to your bus accident lawyer about the bus-related accident immediately. As soon as the accident happens, the bus owner and their insurer will send their people to get you to admit blame for the accident or offer you some “quick settlement”.
Such settlement offers by the insurer are always several zeros lower than what you deserve.
You need to know that your medical expenses are not the only thing that you should be thinking of paying after your accident. There are other things that will need money. These include: your future medical expenses, long-term care, lost income during the period when you were off work, reduced capacity to earn wages, compensation for your pain and suffering, etc.
You can know how much compensation you are entitled to by consulting an experienced bus accident attorney and having your case reviewed. Your attorney will advise you on the best way forward before you fall prey to tricks used by the insurance companies.
FAQs on Bus Accidents in California
Q: How to Protect My Claim after a Bus Accident?
A: Bus accident claims are complex and need to be immediately brought to the attention of experienced California bus accident attorneys and those experienced have taught how to fight against commercial bus owners and insurance companies.
Commercial bus companies usually have deep resources at their disposal and a team of attorneys on retainer ready to fight against your claim and launch a strong defense as soon as possible, regardless of your injuries.
It is best that you consult a bus accident lawyer who can then safeguard your interests while at the same time saving you from having to spend additional expenses filing your case in court all by yourself.
Q: How to Respond to Calls from the Bus Company?
A: If the bus company or its insurer calls you, make sure that you do not give a recorded statement. If they send you any forms for you to sign, do not sign any of them.
Insurance companies are infamous for tricking bus accident victims into signing away their rights without fully realizing what they are doing.
The moment you sign those forms or settlement offers; you sign away the right to claim any further compensation regardless of how worse your injuries become later.
You need to contact our experienced Big Ben Law firm personal injury lawyers immediately.
Q: What to do if My Injuries Occurred in a City Bus Accident?
A: Injuries sustained in a municipal bus or any other public transit authority tend to be complicated, unlike the usual bus-related accidents.
Different laws apply to bus-related accident claims against government agencies as compared to private bus companies.
You still have a claim against the responsible government agency or authority if the employee of the said government agency or authority acted in a negligent manner hence causing the bus-related accident and causing you to sustain serious injuries.
You should note a written notice given within 6 months of the bus-related accident needs to be made before filing your claim against the municipal bus line or other government public bus authority.
Given the short notice which needs to be made, you need to contact and consult our experienced Los Angeles bus accident attorneys at Big Ben Law firm who can then advise you on the available options in bringing your claim against the government bus line and do so well within time.
Q: What does “Common Carrier” mean?
A: “Common carrier” is another name for buses. Any bus company or the person who transports people or goods to any member of the public is a common carrier.
Common carriers are duty-bound to ensure that they operate their buses in a safe manner that does not pose danger to members of the public including other motorists and pedestrians.
Q: What to Do Shortly After a Bus Accident?
A: The following are some of the things that you should do shortly after a bus accident:
- As a bus driver, ensure that you get yourself the police accident report that the police preprepared after the accident. You should also have your insurance company do a property valuation and provide you with a property valuation report.
- Document all visits to the doctor, physical therapist, and others who provide you with healthcare after the accident. You should also maintain a journal in which you write down the symptoms, pain, and experience after the accident.
- Make sure to obtain copies of medical test results medications, treatments procedures, and any other information about your health
- Maintain a record of out-of-pocket expenses incurred due to the accident including medical bills
- Keep a record of the number of days in which you were off work and other activities which you could not attend due to your injuries
- If the insurance company of the commercial bus company contacts you do not accept any settlement offers or admit any liability for the accident without first contacting our California bus accident lawyers.
Q: What Kind of Damages Can I Recover from A Bus Accident?
A: there are a number of factors that are considered while determining the amount of compensation to which you are entitled after a bus-related accident.
These factors include the seriousness of the injuries, the medical bills spent, medical treatments underwent, how much insurance cover is available, whether your working capacity is impaired, etc.
There are two broad categories of compensation which you can be awarded. These are economic and non-economical damages.
Economic damages entail compensation for all the out-of-pocket expenses that you incurred due to the accident. Medical bills (both current and future) fall in this category. Others include lost income, impaired capacity to earn wages, funeral expenses (where a loved one dies due to a bus acc), etc.
In order to ascertain the exact amount of your losses, your California bus accident lawyers at Big Ben Law firm work in conjunction with other experts in other fields in order to arrive at a figure of just how much overall compensation you are entitled to recover.
Non-economic damages on the other hand are intended to cover the pain and suffering endured due to the injuries from the bus-related accident. This includes mental stress, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, and others.
If the actions of the defendant which caused the bus crash were outrageous or malicious, the courts can also award punitive damages.
As the name suggests, punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant and deter such future behavior.
Q: How Long Until Time Runs Out Before I File a Los Angeles Bus Accident Lawsuit?
A: In California, bus crashes like any other bus accident lawsuits have to be filed within 2 years from the date of the accident.
However, for suits against municipal lines owned by some government agencies, the process is a bit different as notice is required to be given within 6 months from the date of the accident.
You should therefore make haste before your Los Angeles bus accident claim goes stale.
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