Bus Accident Attorney In Los Angeles
What Are Bus Accidents?
Fatal bus accidents are relatively rare occurrences in the United States but nearly 20,000 people experience injuries from bus accidents annually. California is one of the third leading states in annual bus accidents with school and municipal buses accidents being the most common. Sadly, school bus accidents are most often serious or fatal to their young passengers.
Buses are considered by most Americans to be an inexpensive and convenient mode of transportation even though they are not equipped with seat belts or other personal safety features. With no restraints available to protect passengers, it is important to understand the most common types of bus accidents, what to do after an accident, and when to contact a bus accident attorney in Los Angeles.
Types of Bus Accidents
Buses of all kinds are involved in accidents. These include:
- public buses
- school buses
- shuttle buses
- coach buses
- passenger vans
Statistics show that the primary causes for bus accidents are:
- under-qualified drivers
- negligent or aggressive driving, including reckless driving
- drug or alcohol abuse
- defective bus parts or lack of proper bus maintenance
- dangerous roadways and hazardous weather conditions.
All buses are top-heavy and the lack passenger safety restraints makes them prone to fatal rollover accidents. 15 passenger vans used by organizations like schools, churches and businesses to carry people or equipment are normally fully loaded and have a high center of gravity that makes them especially prone to devastating rollover accidents.
Shuttle buses that transport luggage and travelers to and from airports are awkwardly shaped and have large blind spots which, in combination with their travel patterns of frequent stopping and coming in and out of traffic often cause them to be involved in rear-end and side collision accidents.
Standards involving driver training, vehicle maintenance and repair, driving practices and the use of mobile devices while driving may vary from state to state. These local laws determine not only the measures best taken to prevent bus accidents, but the legal actions injured passengers and bus accident attorneys can reasonably take.
Bus accidents often occur in intersections and parking lots, although highway bus accidents can happen. Roll-overs, rear, front and side collisions are the primary types of impact.
How Can a Bus Accident Attorney In Los Angeles Help You?
If you or a loved one has been injured from a bus accident, it’s important to contact a bus accident attorney in Los Angeles as soon as possible.
If you are injured, follow these steps to pave the way for an uncomplicated insurance settlement or bus accident claim:
1. Immediately after an accident call local law enforcement for assistance and to file an accident report.
2. Record the names, phone numbers, addresses and insurance information of everyone involved in the accident as well as driver’s license numbers and vehicle license numbers where applicable.
3. Gather the personal contact information from all witnesses to the collision.
4. Take pictures of any and everything that has to do with the accident
5. Refrain from conversation with anyone at the scene about the accident or any injuries that is not necessary for the accident report. Do not make or sign a statement to the police.
6. Go directly to a doctor or hospital for treatment and to document any injuries caused by the bus accident.
7. Contact a lawyer to discuss and review the accident and your claim or case.
8. Call your insurance provider.
When to Contact a Bus Accident Attorney
It is important to speak with a lawyer after a bus accident and before discussing anything with your insurance company, the insurance company covering the bus in question or anyone else involved in determining fault and compensation in the bus accident claim or lawsuit.
Ideally, you will contact your bus accident attorney very soon after the accident to avoid missing important insurance and legal paperwork deadlines.
Bus accidents frequently result in complex litigation involving a number of victims against a number of defendants and may also include private companies, school districts and municipalities.
Most bus accident claims and lawsuits take months or years to be resolved fully but the settlements claimants receive can cover medical costs, income lost both past and future and punitive damages, making them well worth the wait.
At the Law Offices of David H. Greenberg, we are your specialized bus accident attorney in Los Angeles. With integral knowledge of Los Angeles and surrounding counties, we have what it takes to help you get the compensation you deserve after a bus accident.
Call us today; we will help if you are someone else has been injured in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence.
How Do Bus Accidents Occur?
Most bus accidents are caused by driver negligence or disregard of traffic safety in combination with poorly maintained vehicle safety features such as like braking systems.
When requirements are disregarded and drivers are inadequately trained, and/or vehicles are not maintained properly these common bus carriers may be considered liable for any accidents which occur.
Most bus accidents occur when:
- a bus driver fails to see another vehicle
- a driver is inadequately trained
- drivers are driving a poorly maintained vehicle
- some combination of the three
Buses are large vehicles which are inherently difficult to maneuver or stop quickly. Because of their great size bus drivers may have difficulty seeing other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists or difficulty maneuvering out of the way or stopping abruptly to prevent a collision.
Aggressive driving behavior such as speeding, failure to yield the right-of-way at stop signs or red lights or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol also lead to bus accidents. In addition bus passengers ride without the benefit of safety features like seat belts.
When public buses or municipal buses are involved in an accident they can be devastating. Their lack of safety features such as air bags or seat belts and their large size creates a deadly situation for all passengers present.
Municipal bus companies are public entities and therefore any claims for damages involving their buses are restricted by a statute of limitations.
Who Is Liable for Accidents?
People that drive buses are qualified and well trained individuals who are responsible for many lives while controlling a very large vehicle. They may be held accountable for initiating an accident.
Since federal and state laws differ, determining who is at fault is not always clear.
A common carrier is someone whose profession is to transport people from one place to another in exchange for a fee; an example of this is someone who works in the field of public transportation.
Common carriers include bus drivers required to comply with state and government laws; they are also required to have adequate training and equipment to fulfill their duties.
That is the reason bus drivers can be held accountable if an accident occurred. However, insurance companies and contractors make determining whether a driver is at fault more complex. Since common carrier regulations vary from state to state, that means that legal action also differs among states.
School buses are under the jurisdiction of both the school district and the local government, while public transportation buses are overseen by local city government offices.
Commercial bus companies and common carriers are governed by federal standards as well as state regulations. All three kinds of bus drivers are required to receive a certain amount of training and equipment in order to complete their duties safely and all buses on the roads are legally required to be maintained and serviced regularly to prevent mechanical mishaps.
That is why it is highly advised that you find an experienced bus accident attorney in Los Angeles who is knowledgeable of the common carrier laws.