Many California residents rely on public buses to transport them to work, school, or the store. When you’re injured in a bus accident, you can be left with expensive medical bills, lost income, and potentially lifelong injuries. A personal injury lawsuit allows victims and their families to seek compensation for their injuries. But who is responsible if your injuries result from a city bus accident in California?
You may have many more questions following an accident, so it’s important to seek legal representation. A knowledgeable bus accident attorney can answer any of your legal questions and help you obtain financial compensation.
Common Causes of Bus Accidents
Like any other motor vehicle accident, bus accidents can happen because of many different reasons, such as:
- Bus driver error
- Distracted driving
- Excessive speeding
- Poorly trained drivers
- Driving under the influence
Just like car accidents, bus accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. Determining how the accident occurred is vital in determining who is at fault.
Who Is Responsible for a Bus Accident?
One of the first questions after a bus accident you may have is: “Who’s liable?” Unfortunately, this answer is not as clear cut as it would be if you were in an accident with another driver while driving a car. There are many different entities that may be held liable, such as:
- The bus driver or their supervisor
- The bus maintenance company
- City, county, or other state agency
- Bus manufacturer
- Bus part manufacturer
According to California Vehicle Code 21702, it’s a misdemeanor for bus drivers to be behind the wheel for too many hours in a day. A bus driver or supervisor who breaks the vehicle code may be liable for negligence.
For most public bus accidents, a California government agency will likely be involved. It’s important to know that most state governments have “sovereign immunity.” This is a legal doctrine where the state is immune to civil suit or criminal prosecution. However, California has waived sovereign immunity in cases of employee negligence. When an injury is caused by negligence, victims can file a claim against the state or local government that operates the bus line.
Common Injuries from a Bus Accident
Cars and trucks offer many safety features in case of an accident, like airbags, rollover protection, and seat belts. Unfortunately, bus passengers don’t have these same protections. Passengers can be facing forward, backward, or even standing. In an accident, passengers can be thrown against the window, rail bars, or other passengers. Some common injuries are:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
- Loss of a limb
These injuries can be long-lasting, especially if not treated right away. Even if you don’t have any physical injuries, you should consult a doctor right away.
What Compensation Is Available to Bus Accident Victims?
Financial compensation is intended to provide the victim with enough funds to cover their medical bills, including physical therapy or ongoing treatment, and lost wages. Some types of compensation you may be able to receive are:
- Emergency room treatment
- Medication and medical supplies
- Hospital bills
- In-home care
- Lost income and future lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
In California, you must file a personal injury claim within two years of the accident. If you do not file a claim within this window, you may not be eligible to receive financial compensation.
Skilled Bus Accident Attorney in California
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident in California, you deserve to receive full compensation for your injuries. At Setareh Law, our attorneys have a proven track record of successfully representing personal injury claims in California.
Bring your case to us, and we will evaluate the facts, determine liability, and relentlessly pursue the compensation you deserve. Call (310) 659-1826 or complete a contact form to schedule a free consultation.