Los Angeles Bus Accident Lawyers
Many people rides buses either because they don’t own a car, don’t like the hassles of driving, want to reduce their impact on the environment or want to save money.
Under the law, public transportation is under ‘common carriers’. This means that these vehicles are allowed to carry members of the public from one place to the other. Common carriers under the law include state and city operated buses, trains, taxis, ski lifts, airplanes and ferries. In the State of California, common carriers are held under a higher degree of responsibility.
There are several kinds of buses. They include city buses, shuttle buses, long-distance coaches, articulated buses, shuttle buses and regular length buses. In many cases, bus accident happen because the drivers are perched high above the traffic and they don’t see what is happening around them. Bus accidents range from mild with few or no injuries to catastrophic where there are fatalities and permanent injuries. Hiring the best Los Angeles bus accident lawyer can make all the difference if you have been injured.
You can reach our LA office – Call 213-867-1947
Avrek Law Firm
529 S Broadway #4018
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Causes of Bus Accidents
Bus Company Negligence
This is one of the main causes of bus accidents. Each year, more than 700 million passengers are transported on the motor coach industry. However, bus companies are not as stringent as the airline industry. Bus companies often neglect the regulations such as maintaining fleets, record keeping or training drivers. In some cases, they neglect these regulations in order to save money since maintaining buses can be expensive.
Negligence from the Bus Driver
Bus drivers sometimes neglect laws that are in place. This is especially the case with charter and tour bus companies. An example are the ‘hours of services’ laws that state how long a driver should be on the road before making shifts. Other laws regulate turning, bus speed and passing. In some cases the bus drivers are negligent because they were texting or calling. Bus accident often happen due to poorly trained bus drivers.
Fatigue on the bus driver
In the United States, fatigue is the number one cause of fatal accidents on highways. In the cases of buses, it increases the chances of a bus wreck. The main cause of fatigue is long driving hours without rest. Drivers who have obstructive sleep apnea are at a great risk of causing highway accidents. According to the American Trucking Association, 28% of its drivers have been found to have sleep apnea. This is particularly high compared to the general population which is at 4%.
Bad weather leading to poor road conditions has also led to accidents. Buses are normally heavier than normal cars and are harder to maneuver especially in bad weather and in some cases it leads to wrecks. However, the law provides that bus drivers should be trained to drive in bad weather and this shouldn’t be an excuse for negligence.
These are areas that can’t be seen by the naked eye or equipment fitted in the bus. There are a frequent cause of bus accidents.
This is one of the most common cause of bus accidents especially when there is oncoming traffic.
Accidents caused by other drivers on the road
Some bus accidents are cause due to negligence by another driver on the road. One major cause is distracted driving and failing to follow traffic rules and regulations.
These are very dangerous. Passengers who are at the back can escape but it can be difficult for those in the middle and front since the fumes make it difficult. 60% of bus fires start in the engine compartment while others start in the tires and wheel balls.
What To Do if You are Injured in a Bus Accident
- First make sure you are safe and the people around you are safe. Your health always comes first. In case you have suffered injuries, ensure you get medical help.
- Don’t talk about the incident with other parties or the driver since insurance companies may use your words against you.
- Report the accident to the police. If it is a school bus, contact the school. You can also contact our attorneys.
- Get the contact information of other bus passengers and the bus driver including their phone numbers and addresses. If you have a phone camera, take pictures of the scene. You should also get contact information of the witnesses around the scene.
- Don’t say anything to the other party’s insurance company until you have talked to a LA bus accident attorney.
- Get yourself a skilled attorney in the area of personal injury. You can reach our LA office – Call 213-867-1947
- Then worry about making a claim and getting a settlement.
Bus Accident Statistics
In California, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) there were 9,409 bus and truck accidents resulting to 75 deaths and 3,102 injuries.
Countrywide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 234 fatal accidents. As from 2004 to 2014, school buses accounted to 41% of bus accidents. Transit buses accounted for 31% of the accidents while intercity buses accounted for 13% of the accidents.
In 2014, there were 100,000 trucks and buses that were involved in accidents in the U.S. and more than 132,000 people were injured.
Legal Provisions for Buses and Other Carriers in the State of California
According to California’s Civil Code §2100, common carriers “must use the utmost care and diligence for [passengers’] safe carriage, must provide everything necessary for that purpose, and must exercise to that end a reasonable degree of skill.”
In the event the bus company, common carrier or bus driver fail to comply with these laws, it can result to severe injuries among the passengers (like back or spine) or even death.
Buses are considered to be one of the safest modes of road transport but occasionally, accidents do happen. Many people aren’t aware of the fact that they can be compensated after being involved in a bus accident.
In the aftermath of a bus accident, you may be approached by a representative of the bus company who offers compensation. However, you should always be aware that these representatives don’t have your best interest at heart and in many cases they are there to protect their client, the bus company. It is important to talk to a qualified attorney before settling for whatever they are offering. In many cases, what they offer is below the amount you deserve.
Why Hire an LA Bus Accident Lawyer
If you are involved in a bus accident in Orange County or the Greater Los Angeles Area, we have experienced accident attorneys who can help you resolve your case. You can reach our LA office – Call 213-867-1947. Our Los Angeles bus accident attorneys ensure that you or your loved one gets fair or full compensation for any injuries that may have occurred due to the negligence of the driver or the common carrier. We cover bus cases throughout the State of California in Orange County, San Bernardino, San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Riverside.