Los Angeles Bus Accident Attorney

Proving Liability in Bus Accident

Over 50,000 injuries are caused by MTA, school, and charter bus accidents annually in the U.S. Passengers seldom need to wear seat belts and are free to stand or move around while the bus is in motion. But it’s up to bus drivers and line operators to ensure safe public transportation for their passengers. If not, accident victims are entitled to a full indemnity for the injuries and damages sustained.

Our firm has been on the frontline in protecting the rights of the people involved in accidents across California. For over 40 years, we've helped victims and their loved ones recover compensation for their injuries. To get started on your claim contact our Los Angeles bus crash attorney for a free legal consultation.

Bus Drivers Have a Duty of Care to Pedestrians

Many traffic accidents lawsuits are due to negligence. Bus line operators and drivers are required by the California common carrier law to provide their passengers with a duty of care. An attorney can help you establish that:

  • The defendant had a duty of care to the passenger
  • The defendant breached their duty of care
  • The injuries that the plaintiff suffered were a direct result

Bus Accident Statistics 

  • Over 360 million passengers take or depend on the bus
  • As of 2011, there were at least 30,000 commercial buses in the U.S.
  • While there is a shortage of school buses in 2021, there were over 450,000 in use several years ago.
  • Hundreds of pedestrians, drivers, and passengers die annually from accidents

Injuries Suffered from Public Transportation Accidents:

Whenever a traffic accident occurs, passengers suffer different kinds of injuries. Some might be minor, while others might be life-threatening and life-changing. Here are some of the common injuries that are associated with bus accidents that we've built a personal injury case for:

  • Traumatic head Injury
  • Spinal cord damages
  • Broken bones, ankles, and fractured knees
  • Lower back injuries, herniated discs
  • Neck injuries, whiplash
  • Dental injuries and a broken nose
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Burn injuries

Common Causes of School Bus Accidents

As of 2019, the National Safety Council and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 109 total deaths from public transit and school bus accidents. School buses are intended to be a safe option to transport children and occasionally educators to their destination. However, accidents can arise at any time harming everyone involved, from:

Mechanical and manufacturer defects: The vehicle manufacturer failed to deliver a quality bus with all safety and operation systems intact.

Negligence: The private leasing company or bus owner did not perform routine maintenance and mandatory safety checks.

Driver error and exhaustion: School bus drivers are background checked and expected to perform to a higher standard, but they make mistakes.

Driver impairment: Bus drivers were caught driving under the influence or using during their routes.

Overcrowding and understaffing: School buses do not always have proper seats, seatbelts, or bus operators. In most cases children don't have to use them.

Traffic and weather conditions: Weather conditions can be unpredictable and cause unfavorable driving conditions. Depending on the severity, traffic can worsen and increase the risks of a fender-bender.

What is the Financial Recovery Available to Victims of Road Accidents?

The State Civil Law for bodily harm allows victims to receive full and fair financial compensation for any damages. The monetary amount to be received is based on several factors that may be unique to every case, such as:

  • Medical bills and costs associated with rehabilitation
  • Wages and earnings lost due to inability to work
  • Future earning capacity due to long term injury or permanent disability
  • Mental anguish, emotional suffering

Punitive Damage Compensation:
If the at-fault party acted with intent to cause harm with no regard to others' lives and safety, the law also allows victims to pursue punitive damages against the defendant. Punitive damages act as punishment to defendants so that they may refrain from making the same mistakes in the future.

The Statute of Limitation:
In California, you have two years after the date of the accident or discovery of your injury. If you don’t file a lawsuit against the defendant within this period, your case will be denied in court.

It is always better to have an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer work on your case. If you or anyone you know might be the victim of a traffic accident, don't hesitate to get in touch with us. Attorneys at Gutierrez Law will ensure that you get a full and just financial indemnity for your injuries. In the meantime, you can refer to our articles below if you would like to learn more about burn accidents.

Related Articles About Bus Accidents

Injury Claims from Accidents Involving Public Transportation
Public transport authorities must maintain the highest driver recruitment, training, and bus maintenance standards. Bus drivers are responsible for safely transporting passengers without risk. Bus companies are also held to high standards. They are subject to what is called "common carrier" law. This term refers to businesses that provide public transportation, from buses to trains and taxis. Injured persons can invoke this in their case to ensure negligent parties are held accountable. However, there is a statute of limitations for how long you can legally pursue your claim.

  • A six-month deadline to notify the public transportation company of the circumstances of your accident
  • A shortened deadline for filing a lawsuit against the public transportation company

Benefits of Hiring a Bus Accident Attorney
When you are injured in a bus crash, you may find that more than one person will be pursuing legal action against the driver, company, or third-party independent contractors. While taking public transportation is convenient, the aftermath can be costly for everyone involved. Hiring a legal professional to manage your case will increase the chances of winning maximum compensation. At Gutierrez Law, we value our clients. While you focus on recovering, we will focus on the legalities of your case and investigate to prove liability. In addition to offering free consultations, you will not have to pay a fee unless we win your case.

Damages Recoverable for Bus Accidents
As your lawyers plan how to strategize your case before a settlement negotiation, they will take expenses and changes in your quality of life into account. Damages are defined as the amount of money in which a plaintiff may be awarded. Special damages categorize injuries, ambulance bills, property repair, and medical costs.

General damage is a second category that is subjective due to the nature of the accident and actions caused by the defendant. It may be pain and suffering, loss of a loved one, PTSD and related consequences. In this article, we provide additional information on frequent damages recoverable after a bus crash, such as:

  1. Medical expenses
  2. Lost wages and ability to earn
  3. Non-economic damages
  4. Wrongful death
  5. Punitive damages

Frequently Asked Questions About Bus Accidents

  1. Who is liable for my bus accident injury?
    It's common for bus accident lawsuits to have more than one defendant. We might hold the following liable for your injury:

    • The bus driver and the opposing driver who contributed to the crash
    • The maintenance crew – they have a responsibility to check for faulty brakes or defective products
    • The bus company – hiring unqualified and inexperienced workers poses a risk to passengers and everyone on the road
    • Government entities – city bus drivers and employees are considered government employees.
  2. Do passengers have special protections?
    Yes! Federal and state laws protect passengers should they get injured in an accident. The driver owes a duty of care to everyone on the bus.
  3. Is an investigation a critical part of my bus accident case?
    Investigations are an essential part of any personal injury lawsuit. Even more so when your case involves a city bus. You might find that a lot more is required when your injury was caused due to the negligence of a government employee.
  4. When is it best to file a claim?
    The statute of limitations for bus accidents is two years in California. If you were injured in an accident taking public transit you must file a "tort claim" before you bring a lawsuit against the company. Keep in mind that the statute for tort claims is 180 days after the accident.

Why Hire Us for Your Bus Accident Claim?

Our law firm specializes in helping those injured due to an accident or someone else's negligence. Navigating the insurance agencies and legal framework for compensation can be difficult, especially if English is not your first language. That's why you should call the bilingual lawyers of The Law Offices of Oscar H Gutierrez to make sure you are compensated for your pain and suffering.

When you meet with one of our English-speaking and Spanish-speaking personal injury attorneys, you can tell them how your accident occurred and who might be responsible. Your attorneys will then launch an investigation into your accident and the events surrounding it to find who is responsible. If someone was negligent and their lack of care led to your injury, then they will build a case to make sure they pay your medical bills.

We can also help you with product liability and premises liability suits. Don't leave your medical bills and property damage to chance; instead, hire a law firm that can win you the maximum settlement. Contact our office for a free consultation at 323-999-3500 or email us at contact@gutierrez.legal.