If you’ve were injured in a bus accident, the call Los Angeles bus accident attorney Sherwin Arzani. You may be entitled to compensation for your accident-related injuries. At Citywide Law Group, our lawyers will fight to maximize the amount of compensation you receive. Contact our office to find out how we can help. We offer a free consultation and only get paid if you win.
Bus Accidents Statistics
Bus accidents happen less frequently than other types of vehicle accidents. However, bus accidents are by no means uncommon. In 2015, 4,311 large trucks and buses were involved in deadly accidents. This was an 8 percent increase from the number of deadly accidents in 2014. The majority of bus accidents involve intercity buses (13%), school buses (41%), and transit buses (33%).
Buses, by definition, are designed to carry a lot of passengers. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, more than 700 million people use bus transportation each year. When buses are involved in traffic accidents the number of passengers who are at risk of injury is high. This is most certainly true for school bus accidents. Each day, more than 26 million children are transported on more than 480,000 school buses in America. Between 2007 and 2012, school bus accidents injured an average of 11,000 people. An average of 133 people were killed in school bus accidents each year during this same time.
Bus passengers are not the only ones at risk of injury in a bus-related accident. Statistics show that drivers of other vehicles are more likely than bus passengers to sustain serious and deadly injuries in bus accidents. An analysis of school bus accidents between 2007 and 2012 found that 35% of victims were bus passengers, 8% of victims were bus drivers, and 48% of victims were passengers of other cars. This means that anyone who shares the road with a bus could potentially be injured in a bus accident. Anyone who sustains a bus accident injury may be able to recover compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
Causes of Los Angeles Bus Accidents
Why do bus accidents happen? The truth is that there is no single answer to this question. Bus accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. Bus drivers are also not always responsible for causing accidents. Other vehicles, pedestrians, and equipment malfunctions can also contribute to bus accidents. There are some causes of bus accidents that are more common than others. Common causes of bus accidents include:
- Distracted driving (e.g., using a cell phone, eating, smoking, or applying makeup);
- Driver fatigue;
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Aggressive driving;
- Illegally passing a bus;
- Failing to yield;
- Failing to use a turning signal;
- Improper or inadequate training;
- Improper weight distribution;
- Manufacturing or design defects;
- Poor or inadequate bus maintenance;
- Road conditions; and
- Weather conditions.
Many buses in Los Angeles operate in very urban areas. Bus drivers can have difficulty navigating extremely narrow roadways and making sudden stops or turns. Bus accidents are more likely to occur in urban areas.
Bus Accident Injuries
Bus accidents have the potential to be catastrophic. Many buses are not equipped with adequate safety devices, which can put passengers at an increased risk of injury. Passengers in other vehicles are at an increased risk of serious injury due to the massive size and weight of buses on the road.
We have successfully recovered compensation for bus accident victims who have suffered injuries including:
- Fractures and broken bones;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Traumatic brain injury;
- Internal organ damage;
- Loss of limbs;
- Severe blunt trauma;
- Paralysis; and
Steps to Take Following a Los Angeles Bus Accident
How can you recover compensation if you have been injured in a bus accident? The steps you take after your accident are incredibly important. The sooner you jump into action, the more likely your chances of successfully recovering compensation will be. After you are involved in a Los Angeles bus accident it is important to:
Seek Medical Attention
A medical evaluation will serve two primary purposes.
First, it will allow you to get the medical assistance you need to treat your injuries. We are not always aware of internal injuries we may have sustained in a bus accident. Medical professionals can find and/or rule out any underlying injuries that could cause trouble in the future. Second, the medical evaluation can help to tie your injuries to the bus accident. Your Los Angeles bus accident attorney can use this evaluation as evidence in your personal injury lawsuit for damages.
Second, the medical evaluation can help to tie your injuries to the bus accident. Your Los Angeles bus accident attorney can use this evaluation as evidence in your personal injury lawsuit for damages.
Choose Your Words Carefully
Insurance companies will be quick to make you a settlement offer after an accident. In doing so, they will try to take advantage of your confusion and lack of legal experience. They will try to get you to agree to a low-ball offer that will probably not be sufficient to cover the full cost of your recovery.
Do not speak with insurance company representatives or others who were involved in the bus crash. The things you say – even if you believe they are meaningless or harmless – can come back to haunt you in the future. As a general rule, you should reserve any discussion of the bus accident and/or your injury for medical professionals, law enforcement, and a bus accident attorney.
Speak With a Personal Injury Attorney
The best way to learn about how you can recover compensation for your bus accident injuries is by speaking with a personal injury attorney. At Citywide Law Group, we have more than 17 years of experience helping Los Angeles area bus accident victims.
We understand how insurance companies operate and will not allow them to take advantage of you during this trying time. We will conduct a thorough investigation to gather evidence that supports your personal injury claim. Our Los Angeles bus accident attorneys will not rest until you have been compensated for your injuries.
Damages for Bus Accident Injuries
If you have been injured in a bus accident you may be able to recover damages from the person(s) who caused that accident. When you hire an attorney to handle your case, they will determine which parties may be held financially responsible for your bus accident-related injuries.
As we discussed above, there are a number of reasons why bus accidents happen. Similarly, there are a number of different groups/people that can be liable for the damages caused by a bus accident. Potentially liable parties for bus accident injuries can include:
- Bus Drivers: Buses are classified as common carriers in Los Angeles. This means that bus drivers have an increased responsibility to safely transport passengers from one destination to another. Under California Civil Code § 2100, Bus drivers must exercise extreme care and caution when operating the vehicle. When a bus driver fails to exercise extreme care and caution and someone is injured, he or she may be considered negligent.
- Bus Companies: Bus company owners and employers may be held responsible for the actions of their bus drivers. Bus drivers must be properly trained and certified before they can be permitted to operate a bus. If employers fail to train and supervise their drivers, they may be responsible for accident-related injuries.
- Bus Manufacturers: Companies that design, manufacture, and sell buses can be held responsible for any defects or flaws in the vehicles that result in accidents. These companies have a responsibility to ensure that the vehicles they design, make, and sell are safe. Failure to uphold this responsibility can lead to liability if an accident occurs.
- Other Drivers: Other drivers on the road frequently cause bus accidents. Drivers who fail to demonstrate a reasonable degree of care can be held financially responsible if they contribute to an accident.
- Government: Many buses are operated by the government. If a Los Angeles city bus is involved in an accident, the Los Angeles government could potentially be held responsible for any injuries that result. It is important to remember that there is a shorter window of time in which a personal injury claim can be filed against the government.
Bus accidents can lead to a variety of financial, emotional, and psychological problems. In Los Angeles, bus accident victims can recover damages from the person(s) responsible for the accident. Damages are generally split into two categories: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages: Awarded to compensate the victims for out-of-pocket expenses caused by the bus accident.
Common economic damages include:
- medical bills,
- lost wages, and
- diminished earning capacity.
Non-economic damages: Awarded to compensate victims for intangible injuries caused by the bus accident. Non-economic damages are difficult to assign a monetary value and vary from case to case.
Common non-economic damages include:
- mental anguish,
- pain and suffering,
- loss of companionship, and
- loss of enjoyment of life.
You can recover damages for your bus accident-related injuries even if you were partly to blame for the accident. The damages you can recover will, however, be reduced by the percent of the accident that is believed to be your fault.
So, if you suffered $100,000 in damages but were 30% at fault for the accident, you would only be able to recover $70,000 from other liable parties. An attorney will fight to limit the percent of fault to which you are assigned. This will help to maximize the compensation you can ultimately recover.
How a Los Angeles Bus Accident Attorney Can Help You
The time following a bus accident can be very stressful. It is easy to become overwhelmed and confused. Speaking with an experienced Los Angeles bus accident attorney can help you to understand the options you have moving forward.
At Citywide Law Group, we strive to offer the best legal representation to injured Los Angeles bus accident victims. We understand the financial and emotional pressures you face and want to help you recover the compensation you need and deserve. Our bus accident attorneys will fight to hold liable parties accountable for your injuries.
We offer our legal services on a contingency fee basis, so you do not have to worry about legal fees on top of everything else you are dealing with. This means that we only get paid if we recover compensation on your behalf. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with the Citywide Law Group.