People rely on buses every day. We expect buses to arrive and depart relatively on time and to get us to the places we need to go safely. Unfortunately, this isn’t always what happens. Bus, van and other multi-passenger transport vehicles can be involved in bus accidents almost every week in the United States. When you or some you love has been in a bus accident, your primary concern is getting better, but unfortunately, it’s not always that easy. It’s highly likely that the bus company’s attorneys and investigators will question you and ask you to sign off on waivers releasing them from responsibility. They may even offer you an immediate cash payout in exchange for your signature. Bus companies commonly use these tactics to take advantage of the confusion and panic that bus accident victims experience and get them to relinquish their rights. This is why you should have an experienced California bus accident lawyer on your side. Our California personal injury lawyers have recovered over $97 million in the last few years alone.
If you have been injured by a bus in California, call Johnson Attorneys Group at (800) 208-3538 today!
What Causes Bus Accidents?
The most common causes of a collision are driver negligence or a mechanical failure.
- Driver Negligence: This can refer to several different things. A driver can be found negligent for speeding, or not adhering to the rules of the road. This can also encompass incidents of aggressive driving, situations in which the driver is distracted or fatigued, or simply making an error while driving. Operating and driving a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is also considered driver negligence. While most bus drivers are required to have some measure of training in order to operate a bus, particularly those that are part of public transit and school fleets, there is no one standard of training. California maintains fairly high standards for the training of bus operators in comparison to other areas across the country.
- Mechanical Failure: A mechanical failure that results in a bus accident can be the result of the inadequate maintenance of the vehicle, or there may be a manufacturing defect of parts that were undetected prior to the accident. A few examples of a mechanical failure would include things like faulty brakes, electrical fires, or defects in the latches of the doors on the bus.
Most Common Bus Accident Scenarios By Type
There are many different ways for a bus accident to play out as there are many unpredictable variables in each situation. Most commonly, there can be injuries or a fatality when a bus strikes a pedestrian, a cyclist, or another motor vehicle. It’s also not uncommon for passengers to injure themselves when either getting on or off the vehicle.
Here are a few examples of different bus types and their common accident profiles:
- Public Transit Bus Injury Accidents: Under California state law, all public transit buses are classified as “common carriers”. Common carrier vehicles are intended to transport public passengers and are legally required to extend a high degree of care to those passengers. Bus drivers or the companies they work for may be held liable for any personal injuries that arise from any degree of negligence.
- Tour Bus Injury Accidents: A tour bus is used as part of tour operation, as airport service, or as a party shuttle. Tour buses are exempt from seat belt regulations and are often transporting luggage that may not be properly secured. Because passengers are often able to stand in tour buses or may be sleeping without a secured seatbelt, accidents can occur when a driver swerves or makes an error in reacting to a possible hazard.
- School Bus Injury Accidents: There are still places in which school buses are exempt from seat belt regulations. In areas where this is the case, the most common issues result in an injury collision include: bad weather, driver distractions, other vehicles collide with a bus, mechanical problems and more. This category includes the use of school buses as a transport to and from daily school sessions, as well as buses being used for field trips, after-school activities and sporting events.
- Passenger Van Injury Accidents: Passenger vans, which are usually vans with approximately 15 passenger seats, are not bound by the same certifications that are required to operate tour vans or larger buses. This lack of training requirements for drivers results in a more frequent occurrence of an operational error. Passenger vans are used primarily as carpool or rideshare vehicles, and are also rented to transport sports teams. Due to their design, this type of van is more prone to rollover collisions in the event of an accident. Serious injuries and fatalities may result if a roof is not well constructed.
Seeking Compensation for Personal Injuries in a Bus Accident? What Needs to Happen First?
An insurance company's lawyers have the knowledge to reduce compensation and even deny the claim altogether. On the other hand, hiring a California personal injury attorney helps to even the playing field. Our California personal injury lawyers can work through the maze of confusing medical terms and legal paperwork common to bus accident claims. We will put our experience to work for you when assessing and investigation the technical aspects of your case. We can even help prevent long, drawn out trials by using our alternative dispute resolution skills, thereby saving you time and money. And maybe most importantly, we have the experience working with insurance companies and other lawyers to negotiate the best settlement possible. Johnson Attorneys Group in California, will evaluate your case for free and help you decide what actions to take from there.
Contact Johnson Attorneys Group for Bus Accident Representation in California
We have been helping our clients obtain compensation and protecting their legal rights in the California area for many years. Our personal injury attorneys are dedicated to pursuing your case with fairness and honesty. Our law firm will help you get the medical help you need as well as determine the extent of your financial losses including time off work to recover, medical bills and pain and suffering.