Bus Accident Attorney Referral Service
What is a bus accident?
A bus accident can involve a bus and another motor vehicle, pedestrian, motorcyclist, or bike rider, and may have a number of causes. State and federal laws both apply to bus transportation and operation, and as a result a bus accident lawsuit can be more complex than a typical motor vehicle accident claim.
The term ‘bus’ includes public transit buses, charter buses, double decker buses, and tour buses.
The common causes of bus accidents include:
- Faulty equipment
- Bus driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive driving
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Unruly passengers
- Improper training of bus drivers
- Improper maintenance
Bus accidents can injure the other individuals involved – whether a pedestrian, bike rider, motorcycle operator, or motor vehicle operator and passengers – as well as those on the bus that caused the accident.
A bus crash can cause serious injury and death, as well as considerable property damage.
Typically, an individual or individuals involved in a bus accident can recover the following:
- Medical costs
- Burial costs, if a fatality was involved
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Lost ability to earn a living
- Lost wages
- Loss of consortium, companionship, and society
However, the recovery of damages is specific to each bus accident claim. It is therefore important to engage an experienced personal injury attorney who can evaluate your claim and discuss what damages you would be entitled to under the law.
For those injured to recover damages, the bus driver must have been negligent, meaning that he or she had a duty towards you and anyone else involved in the accident, and he or she breached that duty which caused the damages. If the bus driver was not negligent, then you most likely do not have a claim.
Additionally, even if you have contributed somewhat to the accident, you may still recover damages. As long as the bus driver was partially at fault for the crash, you most likely will be able to recover some type of compensation.
Who is liable for the damages in a bus accident?
A bus is considered to be a common carrier under federal and state law. A common carrier is defined as an entity whose business it is to transport people or goods from one place to another for compensation. Tour buses, commercial buses, and school buses all fall under the realm of “common carrier.”
Because of the common carrier designation, bus drivers and owners must exercise a very high degree of care and diligence when it comes to the safety of passengers and others on the road. If a bus operator is negligent or willfully acts in such a way that harms his or her passengers or others on the road, he or she will most likely be liable for any damages caused by his or her actions or inaction.
Another entity that could potentially be liable for a bus accident is the company that contracted to provide the bus services. In the case of a school bus accident, this could include the school or the school district. For a commercial bus, it could be the public transit authority in your city or state. For a tour bus, it could be the tour company.
Because so many different entities are involved in the operation of a bus, it is important to consult with an attorney who can properly identify what entities are responsible for the damages caused by the bus accident. That way, you can be sure that all responsible parties are named in the lawsuit and compensation is demanded from all those responsible parties.
How can an attorney help me recover compensation for my injuries?
A bus accident attorney is well-versed in both federal and state laws that govern buses and their operation on the roads. Because federal and state laws are very detailed, bus accident claims can be complex.
The claim can be further complicated if more than one entity is involved, like the bus driver, bus company, and insurance company.
If the bus company or insurance company is very large, they may try to bully the injured victim(s) into not suing or settling for an amount of money that does not rightfully compensate him or her for his or her injuries. A personal injury attorney that routinely handles bus accident lawsuits will not be intimidated by these tactics and will aggressively advocate for his or her client.
Of course, it is possible to settle a bus accident claim with the driver, company, or insurance provider. Securing a bus crash attorney who is skilled at settlement negotiations is key to obtaining a settlement that is satisfactory and will adequately compensate you or your loved ones for their injuries.
If it is not possible to settle the claim, it may have to go to trial. This could be in front of a jury of your peers or a judge. A personal injury attorney will be experienced in courtroom procedures and trial advocacy. This will ensure that the best possible case is put in front of the jury or judge. Your skilled personal injury attorney will be persuasive, zealous, and ensure that your rights are upheld during the trial.
If you, or a loved one, have been injured or killed in a bus accident, consulting with a California bus accident attorney is key to a successful lawsuit and getting on the road to recovery. Contact us at 818-340-4529.