Options for Shuttle and Bus Accident Victims
While buses are actually one of the safer ways to travel, you could still find yourself on a Los Angeles bus that is involved in an accident, leaving you with significant injuries, particularly since bus travel is the primary method of travel for many Los Angeles commuters.
Buses are considered common carriers, i.e. they transport persons for money, therefore bus drivers are charged with using the utmost diligence and care for their passengers’ safety. More specifically, California Civil Code Section 2100 requires that bus carriers must exercise a reasonable degree of skill, providing everything necessary for the care of passengers.
Your injuries might have been caused by a lack of safety measure, or there may have been negligence involved on the part of the driver, the company who owns the bus, or even the manufacturer of the bus, or bus parts. Recovering compensation following a bus accident is generally much more complex than recovering compensation in a “normal” two-car accident. If you have been injured in a bus accident, call Los Angeles bus accident attorney Joshua W. Glotzer today. We offer a free consultation and only get paid if we win.
Type of Bus Accidents
Most bus accident victims fall into one of two groups. The first includes those who are in smaller vehicles who have the misfortune of colliding with a bus. Sadly, these victims often don’t survive or are left with a catastrophic injury, such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or spinal cord injury (SCI), as a result of the wreck.
However, just as tragically, members of the second group of victims, those riding in buses involved in crashes, are similarly at risk of suffering injury or being killed in a bus accident. Riding in a large vehicle, such as a tractor-trailer truck or bus, can sometimes give us this false sense of safety. However, the fact is that anytime you are in a traffic accident, no matter what size vehicle you’re in, you are in danger of suffering an injury including losing your life.
When Your Bus Accident Occurs on a Los Angeles City Bus
There are much stricter guidelines in place for those filing lawsuits against a California governmental entity, including much shorter statutes of limitations. Buses that are government-run, such as the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, require those injured in a bus accident to file a claim within six months from the date of the accident. The U.S. Government has enacted the Federal Tort Claims Act which waives immunity for a governmental entity and also allows an injured person to file a claim based on acts or omissions. Further requirements of the Federal Tort Claims Act include:
- The facts which support your claim of injury must be specific enough to allow the governmental entity the ability to conduct a proper investigation.
- The facts supporting your claim must include a specific amount for your damages, such as the total amount of your medical bills.
- The government has six months in which to rule on your claim.
- If the governmental entity admits fault, you will be compensated for your injury. The amount of compensation may be what you claimed as damages or could be only a portion of that amount.
- If your claim is denied, you may file a lawsuit for your injuries, but that lawsuit must be filed within two years of the denial.
A governmental entity could also be responsible for your bus accident if they were directly responsible for a hazardous highway or road condition which led to the accident. This could include any type of roadside hazard, line of sight obstructions, improperly marked construction zones, unreasonably dangerous railway crossing, or sharp pavement edge drops. If your injuries did not occur on a city bus, the California statute of limitations allows you two years from the date of your accident in which to file a claim.
What Should I Do If I’m in a Bus Accident?
Following a crash involving any type of vehicle, you should first call 911 and check to see if you or anyone else is hurt. If you or anyone else is injured, you should seek immediate medical attention. After your injuries have been treated and only if you’re physically able, try to collect as much evidence as you can, including:
- Witness information
- Police and medical reports
- Pictures of the accident scene and your injuries
- Your written notes about the incident
In addition to gathering evidence, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible, because if you pursue litigation in a bus accident case, you must act quickly due to notice requirements and statutes of limitation that can be more complicated is the bus or transportation vehicle is owned or operated by a government entity including a city or county. A personal injury attorney can explain your rights following a bus crash, and help you determine if you have a case and whether or not a bus accident lawsuit is the best option for you to pursue.
Who Can Sue After a Bus Accident?
Buses (including public transit, shuttle, tour, charter and school buses) are what is known as common carriers, which refers to any vehicle licensed to transport passengers for a fee. Additional examples of common carriers include:
- Uber Vehicle
In many cases, the regulation of common carriers falls under state and federal law, which enforces a duty of care that buses and other common carriers must follow, such as:
- Staying updated on and repairing vehicle defects;
- Employing qualified vehicle operators and making sure they are trained correctly;
- Keeping vehicles properly maintained;
- If necessary, having security in place in vehicles and facilities to keep passengers safe;
- Ensuring passenger areas in vehicles are safe, such as keeping entryways and exits well lit and clear of obstructions.
Those injured in a bus accident may be able to hold those at fault accountable through filing a claim or a lawsuit. Injury victims in these type of cases can include bus passengers, pedestrians, drivers and passengers in other vehicles, bus drivers or the family of anyone killed in a bus accident due to another’s negligence. In addition, even if a traffic crash wasn’t involved, such as a slip and fall accident onboard a bus, injury victims may still be eligible to recover compensation from their injuries.
What Can a Bus Accident Lawyer Do to Help Victims?
Often bus accident victims are left with severe and, in some cases, debilitating and permanent injuries, including:
- Bullet and stab wounds;
- Broken and fractured bones;
- Carbon monoxide poisoning;
- Severed extremities, such as arms, hands or legs.
Some of these types of injuries can lead to victims requiring a lifetime of care, suffering a drastically reduced quality of life and being unable to continue to work. In addition, if victims can no longer work and/or require long-term care, their finances can quickly become unmanageable.
A bus accident attorney can give people injured in bus crashes and their families someone on their side who negotiates with insurance companies, faces off against bus companies and investigates accidents on a daily basis. Ways in which personal injury lawyers can help include:
- Ensuring people have someone representing them who helps bus accident victims and families on a daily basis, including defending their rights against transportation companies and their insurers.
- Taking care of the legal aspects of the aftermath of bus accident for victims and families, so that they can concentrate on their own health and wellbeing.
- Helping bus crash victims and their families recover the compensation that the law allows for hospital bills, rehabilitation expenses and in the case of fatal injuries, funeral costs.
- Making sure those responsible for a bus accident are held accountable and are deterred from hurting others in the future.
Why Choose Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer Josh Glotzer?
Attorney Josh Glotzer of Glotzer & Leib, LLP founded his firm to make sure that victims and families who might otherwise be denied justice have someone to turn to who is dedicated to obtaining justice for his clients including holding those who did them harm accountable. Our Los Angeles personal injury attorney always puts his clients first, as he works tirelessly to ensure the security for their future and necessary closure that they deserve.
To learn more about Glotzer & Leib, LLP and how we may be able to help you, visit our case results page. You can also call us directly or fill out our online contact form to set up a free consultation.