What To Do After A Bus Accident in California?

Updated: Sep 26

Tips On Preserving Bus Accident Claim In California

A bus crash can be frightening, and if you are seriously hurt, it can change your life. However, the legal procedure differs from that of a typical car accident. Your legal process can vary depending on whether the accident occurred on a private bus or public transportation. This is why you need a California Attorney For Personal Injury to claim the damages you deserve.

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It's normally big news when a bus is involved in an accident. The main explanation is that many passengers may be injured, and bus accidents are relatively rare. An estimated 5.3 percent of Californians use public transportation to get to work, amounting to more than 2 million people based on the state's population of over 39.5 million. Approximately 65.2 percent of this group commute to work by bus. The remaining 34% of commuters use heavy, light, or commuter rail systems and other forms of public transportation.

In California, about one out of every eight students take the bus to school. This equates to about 700,000 students or about 12% of the total. In reality, California has the country's largest school mass transportation system. In the province, over 25,000 school buses transport approximately 3 million passengers per day. California school buses fly more than 334 million miles and provide over half a billion passenger trips in a year.

Taking the bus isn't just for commuting or going to school. Accidents are bound to happen because there are so many buses on the road each day, between commuters, school children, visitors, and other bus users. You might need a Bus Accident Injury Attorney to help you through the fallout.

What Makes Bus Collisions So Dangerous?

In 2015, almost 900,000 buses operated 16.2 billion miles, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Association. During that time, 295 people died, and 24,000 people were injured in bus accidents. Bus accidents are far more costly than car accidents, despite the fact that car accidents are more common. What makes bus collisions so hazardous? The magnitude of these collisions is influenced by a number of factors:

  1. Dimensions. Buses are huge, multi-ton vehicles that outweigh most passenger vehicles. Since their mass may combine with momentum to produce catastrophic results in a collision, injuries from this form of the accident are often serious.

  2. Aesthetics. While cars and trucks have seat belts to protect passengers in the event of a crash, many buses are built to carry people who are standing or sitting in seats that do not have seat belts. When things go wrong, bus riders are more vulnerable to serious injury due to the lack of discipline.

The form is essential. Buses are big, boxy automobiles. Their shape gives passengers more space, but it also makes the vehicle top-heavy. This increases the likelihood of a bus rolling over in the event of a collision, and rollover accidents increase the risk of serious injury, particularly if the passengers are not restrained.

Injuries Caused by Bus Accidents

The bus driver, passengers on the bus, pedestrians, and passengers in other vehicles involved in the crash, can all be injured in a bus accident. People who are boarding or disembarking from the bus are also in danger. Bus accident victims may suffer from injuries such as the ones mentioned below:

  • Injuries to the head and brain

  • Injury to the neck and spine

  • Broken bones, sprains, and strains are all common injuries

  • Internal wounds

  • Amputations are a form of amputation

  • Lacerations, contusions, and abrasions are all common injuries

  • Dental injuries and cosmetic disfigurements

Bus crashes in California come in a variety of shapes and sizes

The majority of buses fall into one of the following categories:

  • Public transportation is available (commuting)

  • Lines of private buses

  • Buses for students

  • Shuttle service from the airport or from the hotel

  • Private charter buses are available for hire

  • Buses for tourists

Any bus collisions occur when the bus collides with stationary objects or other vehicles. People may also be injured when boarding or exiting the bus or by another driver who fails to notice that the bus is stopped.

Common Reasons of Bus Accidents in California

Dangerous Driving - Bus drivers must drive with extreme caution to ensure the safety of all passengers, but sadly, many do not. Accidents are often caused by careless driving, such as speeding, failing to pay attention to traffic signals, or cutting off other cars.

Driving While Distracted or Drunk - A bus driver should never drive while inebriated or distracted by a mobile phone or other electronic devices. Driving while inebriated or distracted is particularly dangerous and increases the chances of a crash.

Tiredness - While there are rules in place to discourage bus companies from overscheduling bus drivers, many companies do not follow them. As a result, drivers are often tired and unable to focus on the lane.

The Bus's Condition - Bus companies must maintain comprehensive maintenance records to demonstrate that they inspect and repair their buses on a regular basis. However, some businesses prefer to forego or postpone these inspections. This is a dangerous decision that often results in bus crashes due to inadequate maintenance.

Laws to curb bus accidents

The Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act, passed by Congress in 2012, mandates that new buses have enhanced safety features such as seat belts and harnesses, strengthened windows, crush-resistant roofs, improved driver training, and flame-resistant bus interiors.

This federal legislation was enacted in the aftermath of an Atlanta bus accident that claimed the lives of many members of an Ohio university baseball team.

Accidents involving school buses

The possibility of a school bus accident is definitely one of the scariest things you can imagine if you're a parent who puts your child on a school bus every morning.

School buses, on the other hand, remain one of the safest modes of transportation. Since school buses are designed for compartmentalization, they are safer than cars or other buses. The "protective envelope provided by solid, closely-spaced seats with energy-absorbing high seat backs that shield occupants in the event of a crash" is known as compartmentalization.

Currently, each passenger on a school bus must wear a lap belt, although the Department of Transportation is proposing a plan that would include lap and shoulder belts for passengers aged 6 to adult. Consider one of our prescreened California Auto Accident Injury Attorneys in your California Attorney Search.

Liability for bus accidents in California

A bus crash is treated similarly to any other personal injury lawsuit in California. You would make a lawsuit against the driver's insurer if you were a bus passenger involved in an accident caused by another driver. You would make a workers' compensation lawsuit with your employer if you were a bus driver who was killed by another driver.

But what if the accident was caused by the bus driver?

If that's the case, things get a bit more complicated. First and foremost, it is determined by who owns and operates the bus.

  • Private or charter bus: Whether the bus is privately owned (or owned by a bus company), specific types of insurance are needed. You may have a Bus Accident Lawsuit in California against the driver, the corporation, or anyone else entirely (like the bus manufacturer if the accident was the result of an equipment failure).

  • A city bus, which is most definitely what you ride if you commute, is a government-owned bus. A school district is both a government and a non-profit organization.

According to the California Tort Claims Act (CTCA), an injured individual must notify the liable party of their lawsuit within six months. The organization has the option of accepting or rejecting the allegation. If your evidence is denied, you have the option of filing a Bus Accident Lawsuit in California.

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The CTCA allows you to file a claim for:

  • Employees' irresponsible behavior (which could include the bus driver)

  • Independent contractors' irresponsible actions (which could also include the bus driver)

  • Liability for a hazardous situation on government land on the premises

  • Damages are incurred as a result of a public entity's failure to fulfill a legal obligation.

In-car accident situations, proving who should be held liable for any injuries sustained as a result of the crash is relatively straightforward. Bus crashes, on the other hand, are a little more difficult because there are more people involved. You will be able to keep the following parties accountable for your injuries:

Bus Conductor

The incompetence of the driver is to blame for many incidents. If a driver causes an accident due to a mistake, reckless driving, driving while intoxicated, or being distracted behind the wheel, he may be held responsible.

Bus Service

Bus crashes are mostly blamed on the corporation that owns and operates the bus. Inspection and maintenance of a bus fleet are the responsibility of the bus company. They're still in charge of recruiting qualified bus drivers and ensuring that they're well educated before taking the wheel. The bus company will be held responsible for your injury if they fail to meet any of these obligations.

Companies that make products

If the accident was caused by a faulty component of the bus, the manufacturer could be held liable.

Districts of Education

If a school bus was involved in the crash, the school district could be found responsible. It is the duty of the school district to recruit qualified drivers, train them appropriately, and implement policies that keep everyone on board safe. In the case of an accident, they will be held responsible if it can be proved that they failed to do so.

Governmental Organizations

A government body, such as a city or county, can own and operate some buses. If you were injured in a bus crash caused by a reckless bus driver, the government could be responsible for the injuries.

It's possible that more than one of these groups is to blame for the accident. However, proving responsibility in a bus crash can be challenging, which is why you should always hire an experienced California Attorney For Personal Injury to handle your case.

Defective Products & Maintenance Issues

Bus accidents are often caused by a lack of proper maintenance and parts that are defectively built or manufactured. Those who design or produce bus parts often try to save money by cutting corners or making mistakes. Safety checks that are not performed or are carried out incorrectly low-cost substandard components, and other cost-cutting measures may all have contributed to your crash.

As cost-cutting leads to brake problems, worn tires, a shaky steering wheel, or other maintenance issues, all passengers are put at risk. Victims who have been injured must be compensated by those who are liable. Furthermore, bringing their incompetence to light will help alleviate future pain and suffering.

Hazardous Road Conditions Cause Bus Accidents