July 16, 2018 Category: Bus Accident
Twenty-five people were recently injured in an early morning bus crash on a Los Angeles freeway. The bus reportedly collided with sand-filled buffers, crashed into a concrete bridge, and then flipped onto its side. After the crash, most of the passengers were taken to hospitals in the area for medical attention. At least four of those passengers were reported as being in critical condition. The bus accident victims may be able to recover a financial award by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Buses are Common Carriers in Los Angeles
Anyone driving on the road in Los Angeles has a duty to use a certain level of care and caution. You must drive in a way that is safe and doesn’t put others in harm’s way. This duty to protect others is even greater if you are considered a common carrier.
A common carrier is a business that transports people from one place to another for a fee. Examples of common carriers include trains, planes, cruise ships, and even amusement park rides. Buses are also considered to be common carriers in Los Angeles.
Common Carrier Duty of Care
Since common carriers are in the business of transporting people, they have a legal duty to protect their passengers. The standard of care that a common carrier must exhibit is much greater than that of a normal driver. In Los Angeles, common carriers must use the “highest care and vigilance of a very cautious person.” This means that the carrier must do everything in its power to keep their passengers safe.
It would not be realistic to demand that common carriers guarantee that all passengers will arrive at their destination unharmed. However, a common carrier is obligated to “use reasonable skill to provide everything necessary for safe transportation.” This extends to the trip itself and “the practical operation of the business.”
In order to satisfy this duty of care, common carriers must:
- Hire and train qualified and responsible drivers
- Purchase vehicles that are safe and well-constructed
- Ensure all vehicles are properly and regularly maintained
- Conduct regular performance evaluations, and
- Operate vehicles within the full limits of the law.
Lawsuits and Common Carriers
Buses and other common carriers have a heightened duty of care to passengers. The higher the standard of care, the easier it is to breach. Breaching a duty of care is known as negligence. Injured bus passengers may be able to point to this negligence and demand compensation.
To prove negligence, an injured bus passenger must prove:
- The common carrier had a duty to protect that specific passenger
- The common carrier breached the obligation in some way
- The passenger was harmed as a result of this negligence.
It is important to note that the negligence lawsuit could be aimed at the bus driver, the bus company, or both. Even though the bus driver was operating the car, the company itself has an obligation to the passengers. It can help to name more than one person as a defendant in a personal injury case. The more defendants you name, the greater the chances of recovering the compensation you deserve.
Get the Money You Deserve After a Bus Crash
Bus accidents can have serious consequences. Injuries can be physically painful and emotionally overwhelming. The financial costs of your accident will only add insult to injury. The bus driver and bus company have an obligation to do everything they can to get you to your intended destination safely. If you are injured because the company or driver was negligent, you may be entitled to compensation.
Our attorneys are prepared to help you get the money you deserve. We will thoroughly investigate your accident and determine why it happened. Figuring out the cause will help us to identify who is at fault. We will demand compensation from anyone who caused you harm. Call Glotzer & Leib, LLP today to schedule your free case assessment and learn more.