Bus Accident Lawyers

According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, there are around 90,000 injuries each year that stem from bus accidents. There are several different types of buses that drive through California and Nevada, including tour buses, school buses, vacation buses, public transportation buses, etc. Around 100 fatalities result from just school bus accidents in a single year in the United States.

With so many buses on the road, the possibility of being involved in a bus accident increases greatly. But, buses are more likely to drive on inner city streets than on freeways. Bus accidents are therefore more likely to occur on streets near intersections. But, this means that the likelihood of bus and pedestrian collisions and bus and bicycle collisions is very high. 

If you have been injured in a bus accident, give us a call today to discuss your potential lawsuit. If you have lost a loved one in an accident, our wrongful death attorneys are able to assist you every step of the way.

Common Bus Accident Causes

Bus accidents can be caused by driver negligence such as:

  • Driver fatigue
  • Negligent or careless driving
  • Driver inexperience in operating large vehicles
  • Speeding or aggressive driving
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Texting and driving 
  • Talking and driving
  • Eating and driving 
  • Not following stop signs and red lights
  • Not giving the right of way to pedestrians
  • Speeding 

Other factors that are not immediately thought of as a cause in a bus accident include:

  • Improper vehicle maintenance
  • Mechanical failure
  • Defective bus parts

Who Can I File a Lawsuit Against for My Bus Accident Injuries?

The accident largely determines the party you can file a lawsuit against for your bus injuries.A highly rated bus accident attorney will help you determine which party is mostly responsible for your injuries. In some cases, there could be multiple parties responsible for your bus accident injuries. speak to our lawyers one-on-one to see how we could find the negligent parties.

  • Bus driver: this is one of the most common negligent parties involved in a bus accident. If the bus driver’s negligence contributed to the bus accident, you could file a lawsuit against the driver of the bus. But, the driver of the bus may be an employee of a company or an organization.
  • Bus company: the bus company, organization, or operator could be held responsible for their employee’s negligent actions, such as texting while driving or running red lights. In order to hold the company responsible, you must show that the driver wasn’t an employee, and was working at the time of the accident.
  • Government entities: sometimes government entities could be held responsible if there are poor road conditions. For example, the Department of Transportation could be held responsible if one of its duties were to maintain public roads, and the condition of the road led to the accident.
  • Bus manufacturer: if the bus failed during the accident and then led to a collision, then the product manufacturer could be held responsible for the defective products that led to the collision. For example, if the bus had faulty brakes, and the driver was not able to come to a complete stop and rear-ended another vehicle, then the product manufacturer could be held responsible in a product liability lawsuit. Product liability is a bit different than car accidents, that is why we recommend that you speak to us so we could determine if you may have a product liability case. 
  • Other pedestrians: if there was a pedestrian in the way of the bus driver and the bus driver swerved and collided with another vehicle, the pedestrian could be held responsible.
  • Other drivers: if another vehicle driver collided with the bus while the bus driver was driving safely, then the other driver could be held responsible. The other driver’s car insurance may step in, and you could file a claim with their insurance company.

Common Injuries with Bus Accidents

Injuries sustained from bus accidents can be devastating for victims and their families. Many buses are traveling at high rates of speed and may not be equipped with seatbelts, leaving passengers with debilitating injuries or even death when a collision occurs.

Injuries from bus accidents can often include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries – During an accident, it’s not uncommon for someone’s head to collide with other objects, creating the opportunity for serious brain injuries to occur. These types of injuries can create nausea, difficulty speaking or concentrating, severe dizziness, depression, and death. Victims who suffer a brain injury may require around-the-clock care for the rest of their lives.
  • Spinal cord injuries – When the spine’s ability to function is seriously disrupted, it can cause a wide variety of regarding body movement and sensation. Victims may end up with long-lasting muscle weakness, numbness, a tingling sensation, and paralysis. As of now, our modern medicine lacks the ability to treat injuries caused by damage to the spinal cord.
  • Broken bones – Bus accidents can involve a lot of force. Passengers may be thrown around and can collide with different parts of the bus interior or even be thrown out of it. Bus crashes are often physically violent incidents that can leave victims crushed or disfigured with many broken bones that require months to heal.
  • Burn injuries – In the case of some bus crashes, vehicle fires or explosions can occur. These events can leave passengers with severe burn injuries which may require extensive skin graft surgeries to treat. These events are rare for bus accidents but can have some of the worst outcomes for those involved.

With each of these types of injuries, victims may be able to recover a significant amount in damages.

What Should I Do If I Have Been Involved in a Bus Accident?

If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself involved in a bus crash, the first two things that you should do are call 911 and seek medical treatment. First responders will be able to give medical attention to those who need it and can help give an official account of the accident scene. As much as you are able to, it’s also important to document the crash scene by taking pictures and getting the contact information of witnesses and other people involved in the accident.

Be sure to follow the recommendations given by the medical professionals in this situation as failing to do so can give an insurance company reason to deny your claim.

Before speaking to any insurance companies about the accident, it’s a good idea to get in contact with a personal injury lawyer who has experience with these types of accidents.

Litigation Process in Bus Accident Cases:

When pursuing litigation after a bus accident, the process generally involves several steps, beginning with an investigation into the accident to identify liable parties. This is followed by the accumulation of evidence, including medical records and witness statements. Once the liable parties are established, legal representatives may enter negotiations for a settlement. If a settlement is not reached, the case may proceed to trial where evidence is presented and a judgment made. Throughout this process, legal representation is crucial in navigating the complexities and advocating for the victim’s best interests.

Preventative Measures for Bus Safety:

Preventing bus accidents is a multifaceted approach that involves strict adherence to vehicle maintenance schedules, comprehensive training programs for bus drivers, and rigorous enforcement of road safety laws. Technology such as vehicle telematics can aid in monitoring bus conditions and driver behaviors to pre-empt potential issues. Public awareness campaigns on road safety and stricter regulations on traffic violations could also significantly reduce the risks of bus accidents, contributing to safer commuting options for all road users.

Common Asked Questions

What are the most common causes of bus accidents?

Bus accidents commonly result from several factors, predominantly due to driver negligence including fatigue, inexperience in handling large vehicles, distracted driving including texting or eating, and non-compliance with traffic signals. Additionally, external factors such as improper vehicle maintenance, mechanical failures, and defective bus parts also significantly contribute to accidents. Speeding and aggressive driving further elevate the risks of collisions.

Who can be held liable in the event of a bus accident?

Liability in a bus accident can fall on multiple parties depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident. Common liable parties include the bus driver, the bus operating company, and the manufacturer of the bus if the accident was caused by a vehicle malfunction. In some cases, government entities may be responsible if poor road maintenance was a contributing factor. Moreover, other drivers or pedestrians could also hold responsibility if their actions led to the accident.

What types of injuries are most frequently reported in bus accidents?

Bus accidents commonly result in severe injuries including traumatic brain injuries, which may cause long-term cognitive issues; spinal cord injuries, potentially leading to paralysis; and multiple fractures due to the significant impact of collisions. Less frequently but critically, burn injuries can occur if there is a fire or explosion involved in the accident.

What steps should one take immediately after being involved in a bus accident?

If involved in a bus accident, the priority should be to call 911 to ensure that emergency services respond for medical help and to secure the accident scene. Individuals should also seek immediate medical treatment even if injuries are not apparent. Documenting the scene with photographs and gathering witness statements can be crucial for later claims. Before dealing with insurance companies, consulting a specialized bus accident attorney is advisable.

How can a bus accident lawyer assist victims in the aftermath of an accident?

A bus accident lawyer specializes in navigating the complex legalities associated with vehicular accident claims. They can assist victims by identifying liable parties, handling negotiations with insurance companies, and pursuing adequate compensation for injuries and damages. An experienced lawyer can significantly influence the compensation received by ensuring that all potential costs of accident-related losses are covered.

In what ways can mechanical failures contribute to bus accidents?

Mechanical failures can significantly contribute to bus accidents through issues such as brake failure, steering system defects, tire blowouts, and engine problems. Such failures can prevent the bus driver from maintaining control of the vehicle, leading to collisions. Regular maintenance and checks are crucial to prevent such occurrences but, if they occur, the manufacturer or maintenance provider could be liable.

How does improper vehicle maintenance lead to bus accidents?

Improper vehicle maintenance can lead to critical mechanical failures that inhibit proper vehicle operation. Neglecting regular maintenance schedules can result in untreated wear and tear, which might cause essential components like brakes or tires to malfunction during operation, thereby increasing the risk of accidents.

What is the role of government entities in preventing bus accidents?

Government entities play a crucial role in ensuring road safety, which involves maintaining road infrastructure, setting and enforcing traffic regulations, and overseeing public transportation safety standards. When accidents are caused by failures in these responsibilities, such as neglected road repairs or inadequate safety regulations, government entities could be held liable.

What compensation might victims of bus accidents receive?

Victims of bus accidents may be entitled to receive compensation for medical expenses, loss of wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. In severe cases, compensation can also cover ongoing care expenses, rehabilitation costs, and loss of future earnings. The exact compensation depends on the extent of injuries and their impact on the victim’s quality of life.

How do bus accident settlements vary based on injury severity?

Settlements in bus accidents are significantly influenced by the severity of injuries sustained. More severe injuries such as brain or spinal injuries often result in higher settlements due to the long-term medical care required, the possible lifelong disability imposed on the victim, and overall impact on quality of life and ability to earn a livelihood.

Speak with an Experienced Bus Accident Attorney Today

A reputable personal injury lawyer can help you sort out which costs you may be entitled to recover and help you throughout the process of filing a claim. Hiring an accident lawyer can also make a huge impact on the size of the settlement.

The California personal injury attorneys of Heidari Law Group have dealt with many cases involving bus crashes. If you need the help of an experienced law firm, let us build the support for your accident claim. Give us a call at 1-833-225-5454 for a free consultation.