Everything You Should Know About Bus Accident Cases in California
Busing transportation systems are widely used throughout Southern California, as they not only offer low cost transportation but also offer an array of other tech-advanced amenities. For many years, busing systems have provided residents a great means to travel, with many commuters opting for this ridesharing experience as the preferred way to get to work, school, and other types of leisure activity.
In many cities, companies have revamped busses to include free Wi-Fi, use clean energy, and offer the convenience of added bus stops. Additionally, transportation hubs are being created across many regions in an effort of further encouraging people to use public transportation. For residents of the Inland Empire, one of the most exciting projects is the $16 million transportation hub, formally named UCR Mobility Center, which will be situated at the corner of Canyon Crest Drive and University Avenue. This transportation hotspot will allow commuters easy access to a number of conveniences including up-to-minute bus tracking.
When you get into a bus, you likely expect to arrive safely to your destination. Unfortunately, traffic accidents can happen at any time and bus accidents are no exception. If you or someone you know was injured as a result of a bus accident, there may be an opportunity for monetary compensation. The following information can help you protect your rights in the event of an accident.
Millions of commuters involving workers, children, and the elderly rely on bus transportation each day in order to arrive at their destinations. Buses are very large commercial vehicles that are a necessary part of everyday life for many people. The sheer size of these vehicles, however, have the propensity to cause devastating injuries when an accident ensues. In the worst of cases, people can even lose their lives after a bus-related accident.
If you have suffered injuries after being involved in a collision involving a privately owned or public transit bus, school bus, or a long-distance carrier, you have the legal right to pursue legal action against the party that caused your injuries. This article will focus on important facts that can help you protect your rights after a bus accident has transpired.
If you have been injured as a passenger on a bus, consulting with an experienced attorney can help you determine what party(s) can be held accountable for your grievances. Additionally, a skilled attorney will help you understand your legal options as well as help you file a lawsuit against the negligent party.
Buses Are Not Immune to Transportation Accidents
With a wealth of reasons to use public transportation, many Southern California residents are ditching their cars and choosing to travel by bus. Unfortunately, there are many types of accidents that can happen on Southern California roadways, and buses are no exception.
When a commuter has been involved in an accident while riding a bus, this individual will undoubtedly face a series of challenges.
Bus accident victims can face grievances that could include, but are not limited to: Hospital bills, Other Medical expenses, The inability to work, Loss of quality of life, and pain and suffering.
When a person has been injured while commuting in a bus, the injury can often have a serious effect on the victim’s entire family. Bus accident injuries are rarely limited to the individual who directly experienced the incident. Many victims’ family members can also suffer the repercussions of the bus accident, especially if the loved ones are financially dependent on the injured victim.
If you have sustained injuries as a passenger in a bus, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses and other grievances. Speak to an attorney who is qualified and experienced in personal injury law. An attorney with the right experience can help you understand if you have a valid case.
Bus Accident Facts
Bus transportation is fairly common in southern California. This method of transportation also has a reputation for being a relatively safe method of transportation. Regrettably, accidents can happen, and when they occur, the results can be catastrophic.
The following data has been published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA): In 2017, approximately 4,900 buses and large vehicles were involved in fatal collisions. This was a 9% increase from 2016. On average, between the years 2007 and 2017, intercity buses represented 13% of all buses involved in deadly collisions. Of this same time period, transit buses and school buses accounted for 35% and 40%, respectively. In the year 2017, there were 73 school buses involved in fatal collisions. In the same year, 13 intercity buses were involved in fatal collisions.
The Consequences of a Bus Accident
When a bus accident transpires, the results can be devastating because they typically involve several injured passengers. Bus passengers are generally unprotected by airbags or seat belts, and in some cases, an unsuspecting passenger can find his or herself standing at the time of the incident. Additionally, unsecured luggage or other debris can also strike passengers at the time of the collision, which can cause serious bodily injuries. Although most bus accidents are the result of collisions with other vehicles, accidents can also occur as a result of sudden stops, bus malfunctions, slippery roads, or other environmental factors.
Depending on the severity of the impact and the location the passenger was in at the time of the collision, the injuries can be mild to severe. The following are common injuries that can happen as a result of a bus accident: Bone fractures, Nerve damage, Torn tendons, Torn ligaments, Bruising, Lacerations, Burns, Internal bleeding, Whiplash, Head trauma, Brain injury, and/or Spinal cord injuries.
Additionally, many bodily injuries can also result in disfigurement, which could require extensive rehabilitative therapy or surgery. Injuries can also result in permanent damages that can lead to a diminished quality of life. In worst situations, victims do not survive the incident.
Different Causes of Bus Accident
A majority of bus accidents will involve some type of negligence on the part of the bus conductor. Different types of negligence can involve: Speeding or aggressive driving, Distracting driving such as texting, eating, or not paying attention to road conditions, Driving while sleep deprived, Driving while under the influence of a legal or illegal substance, Lack of skill and training, Failing to abide by maintenance schedules and other safety standards.
It should be noted that bus accidents can be very complex. They can occur through a variety of reasons including, but not limited to: Bus agency negligence, Bus driver error, Another motorist’s carelessness, Bus failure, Other equipment failure, and/or Weather conditions
Depending on what agency caused the accident, separate filing procedures must be followed. This can include ensuring that the case is filed under the appropriate deadline. Based on California’s statute of limitations, a personal injury claim should be filed within two (2) years from the date the injury occurred. In the event that the incident occurred because of the negligence of a government agency, however, the claim must be filed within six (6) months of the time of the injury.
What To Do After an Accident
When being injured on or by a bus, it is important to take great priority in seeking medical attention. When a commuter has been injured, especially if the injury was sustained dramatically, the victim could experience a sudden hormone change that may affect the ability to feel pain. The most widely recognized hormone to cause this type of alteration is adrenaline. When a person experiences a sudden adrenaline rush after a dramatic accident, the hormone will not allow the victim’s pain to be immediately noticeable.
If you have been injured in a bus accident, seek medical attention even if you do not believe the impact was strong. Further, the failure to obtain medical care can also have a negative effect on the outcome of the personal injury claim. A bus rider who has failed to seek medical attention shortly after the accident can be blamed for the severity of the injury or could be accused of not having a debilitating injury at all.
Other steps a bus rider can take after suffering an accident while using the bus are the following; Taking pictures of the scene of the accident such as what could have caused the incident, etc., Taking pictures of the wounds and the progression of the wounds, Make a detailed report about what lead to the accident, File a police report to ensure the details have been recorded, Obtain the contact information of passersby, who could corroborate to the victim’s version of accounts, Obtain the name and employee number of the bus driver, and obtain the bus route number as well as the specific bus number involved.
When being involved in a bus accident, there are several rules and regulations that can be exceptionally complex to understand. It is therefore important to seek the legal support of an experienced attorney who understands the complexity of these cases and what laws are associated with these types of accidents.
According to a report by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, large buses are heavy and distribute collision forces differently than a regular passenger vehicle. Because of this, a bus passenger could experience less crash force than a passenger in a regular vehicle. In spite of this many bus passengers are in fact injured each year. If you have been involved in a bus accident as a passenger, you will need to consider taking a series of steps in effort of protecting your interests. It should be noted that some steps demand immediate action.
- Seek medical attention – One of the primary steps to take after a bus accident is to seek medical attention. While some injuries could demand emergency medical attention, others will not. By seeking medical care, however, you will ensure that your injuries are not further aggravated. Additionally, you will also help to establish a medical record, a fundamental piece when seeking restitution.
Common injuries that can happen as a result of being involved in a bus accident include: Whiplash, Bumps and bruises, Cuts and abrasions, Severed limbs, Spine injuries, Broken bones, Traumatic head injuries, Permanent scarring, and/or Fatal injuries.
When it comes to injuries and seeking medical attention, it should be noted that not every injury will be immediately recognizable. In fact, according to the Hormone Health Network, the human body releases a hormone medically known as adrenaline when undergoing stressful situations. Adrenaline is a vital part of the human body’s flight-or-fight response and with the release of this hormone, a person’s ability to feel certain pain can decrease.
This is important to know because after being involved in an accident as traumatic as a bus accident, injured victims can fail to recognize the need of seeking medical attention. Even if you believe that you have not suffered any injuries following a bus accident, you should continue to seek medical attention, just to be sure.
- Make a detailed account of the scene – If possible, attempt to make a written statement of the events that lead to the accident. You should make this statement as soon as possible, as it is known that facts surrounding a traumatic case can quickly be forgotten. Elements that should be included in your statement include: How you believe the accident happened, Who was involved in the accident, When and at what time the accident occurred, Where the accident occurred, Eyewitnesses’ contact information, such as name, phone number, and email, Contact information of those involved, including name, phone number, and email, The bus driver’s full name, bus identification number, and bus driver identification number
When it comes to making a claim, it can be very helpful if you can make a statement with a responding police officer at the scene. By obtaining a police report, you can help to fortify your version of events.
Furthermore, making a detailed account of the accident can also involve taking pictures of the scene. You can take pictures of the following: Street signs, Road conditions, Weather conditions, Involved vehicles, Your injuries.
Establishing Liability After a Bus Accident
There are a multitude of factors that could contribute to a bus accident. Some bus accidents can involve one factor while others can include a variety of different elements. Because of this, there are several parties that could be held responsible for the accident. The following are a few examples:
The Bus Company – When a commercial bus company has failed to provide its drivers with sufficient operator training, the bus company could be held liable for the accident.
The Bus Driver – In the event that the bus accident was caused as a result of a distracted driver, the bus operator could be held responsible for the accident. The same applies if the driver was found to be under the influence of an impairing substance at the time of the accident.
Bus Automotive Shop – If the bus was taken to a body shop where the mechanic failed to provide adequate vehicle maintenance and this resulted in an accident, the automotive shop or mechanic could be held responsible for the injuries caused.
Other Roadway Drivers – Even though buses are generally recognized to be as safe methods of transportation, there are countless of other vehicles that share the same road. When other drivers choose to drive irresponsibly, this places everyone they share the road with at risk for serious injury. When another motor vehicle driver has caused the accident, that driver can be held liable for the injuries caused in the collision.
Other Parties – Although rare, there are outside parties that could be held liable for causing a bus accident. One of these is the city or municipality where the accident took place. If a city has failed to maintain a roadway, ultimately causing the hazardous road conditions that lead to the accident, the city may need to compensate those that were injured. In the event that the accident was caused as a result of a defect in the bus, there are also other parties that could be held liable.
The Financial Effect of a Bus Accident
When a person suffers bodily injuries as a bus passenger, the results will likely transcend those of the injury itself. Injured victims tend to undergo expensive medical treatments and could also lose their ability to work, which further fuels their financial burden. By filing a personal injury claim, however, the victim and his or her family have the opportunity to recover what was lost at the time of the accident.
The amount of financial restitution a victim can recover will vary depending on the degree of injuries and the extent to which the accused is found to be responsible. Victims could receive monetary and non-monetary damages for their case. The following are a few examples: Hospital bills, Treatment expenses, Mental health treatment, Pain and suffering, A loss of quality of life, The loss of employment, The loss of future income, and/or Property damage.
Types of Remedies Available After a Bus Accident
If you have been injured as a passenger in a bus or by a bus in general, you may have the opportunity to present a claim against the bus company or agency.
Depending on the nature of the injuries received, an experienced bus accident attorney may identify the following claims for your case: Medical care expenses that include hospitalization, Loss of wages due to the inability to work, Impairment of one’s earning capacity due to the inability to carry out certain tasks, Other care expenses that include the need of specialized apparatuses, Pain damages sustained from the accident, Suffering which can include the downcast feeling in the aftermath of the incident, Punitive damages.