California Bus accident Lawyers
Dealing with a bus company and their legal defense teams can be traumatic, especially if you have just been in an accident and are trying to recover from your injuries. The experienced California bus accident lawyers at Bisnar | Chase have a long and successful track record of representing injured clients and helping them recover maximum compensation for their losses.
In bus accident cases, we have obtained crucial evidence such as hours-of-service logs, maintenance records and cell phone records to help prove fault and liability. We will put our decades of experience and the skill and expertise of our California injury lawyers to work for you.
Bus accident cases we handle are usually serious in nature with catastrophic injuries : MTA, Transit, Public Transport, School Bus, Commercial Transport (Casino, School etc.).
If you or someone you love has been injured in a California bus accident, please contact us at 949-203-3814 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.
Protecting Your Rights in Carrier Crashes
Bus accidents are relatively rare when compared to other traffic accidents. However, they can happen at any moment and the resulting injuries can be life changing. It is important for anyone involved in a California bus accident to learn how common carrier crashes are different than regular traffic collisions. It can be challenging to get fair compensation following a bus accident and many victims of these types of crashes end up getting inadequate support for medical bills, lost wages and other related damages. This is why all injured victims of California bus accidents would be well advised to understand their legal rights and options.
Bus Accident Statistics
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were approximately 11,000 injury crashes involving buses nationwide in the year 2008. In those accidents, approximately 24,000 people were injured. This means that for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled by buses that year, 343 people were injured. According to California Highway Patrol's Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were eight fatal school bus accidents and 341 nonfatal school bus crashes in California in the year 2010. During that same year there was also 27 other bus fatal crashes and 1,328 nonfatal bus collisions in the year 2010.
School Bus Accidents
According to the National Highway traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an average of 19 school-age children die in school transportation-related accidents each year. Only five of those victims are occupants of school transportation vehicles while the other 14 young victims are pedestrians. Between the years 1998 and 2008, 1,564 people were killed in school transportation-related crashes. About 72 percent of those victims were occupants of other vehicles. Non-occupants such as pedestrians accounted for 20 percent of the deaths and occupants of school transportation vehicles accounted for the remaining 8 percent.
Causes of Bus Accidents
An important part of any claim process is determining the cause of the crash. Common causes of bus accidents include:
Bus driver fatigue: A tired bus driver can lose focus or fall asleep while driving. Drivers who are suffering from accumulated sleep deficit, sleep apnea or insomnia should not be behind the wheel. It is also the responsibility of all bus companies to ensure that their drivers are adhering to federal regulations regarding the length of time they can drive without rest.
Aggressive driving: Bus driving can be extremely stressful and challenging. If a bus driver is overworked or stressed, he or she may behave in a careless or reckless manner. Federal hours-of-service regulations exist for a reason. Bus drivers and bus companies should make sure that drivers do not break these hours-of-service rules. Bus drivers are required to maintain logs of their work and rest hours.
Speed: All bus drivers must travel at a speed that is relative to the weather and traffic conditions. Excessive speed or driving at an unsafe speed can result in devastating bus accidents.
Poor condition of vehicles: Bus companies that cut corners by avoiding necessary safety inspections and repairs can be held accountable for their wrongdoing. Under federal law, bus companies are also required to have vehicle maintenance logs. When an accident occurs due to brake or tire failure, for example, which is caused by poor vehicle maintenance, the bus company can be held liable for injuries and damages caused.
Distracted driving: Under no circumstances should bus drivers use cell phones, computers or other electronic devices while driving. Other types of distractions including eating, drinking, looking at a GPS monitor or talking to passengers, can also increase the likelihood of a crash.
Driving under the influence: Drivers are prohibited from operating a bus under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. For commercial drivers, the maximum blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is 0.04 percent. For drivers of passenger vehicles, that limit is set at 0.08 percent. When a drunk bus driver causes an accident, the bus driver and his or her employer can be held accountable. Bus companies have a legal obligation to check their drivers' criminal and driving history before hiring.
Duty of Care
In a personal injury case, the offending party owes the injured victim a reasonable amount of care to avoid physical harm. Bus passengers have little control over whether or not they will be involved in an accident. So the common carrier is required to exercise the utmost level of care. With such a high duty of care, common carriers (public or private), such as bus companies, can be held liable for any injury or harm to passengers.
(click on icons for more information)