Santa Ana Bus Accident Attorneys
Bus accidents are not as common as other types of auto accidents. But, they can be absolutely devastating when they do occur. In heavily populated areas of Orange County such as Santa Ana, more and more commuters use rapid transit and public transportation. Commuters and college students are favoring transit buses. In addition, buses are increasingly becoming an option for commuters who wish to save time and money. However, the unfortunate fact is that as more people have started to take buses, the number of injuries and deaths resulting from bus accidents are also on the rise. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident, an experienced Santa Ana bus accident attorney can help you better understand your legal rights and options.
Bus Accident Statistics
According to the Center for Bus and Truck Safety Statistics, California, New York and Florida had the greatest number of bus accidents from 2004 to 2008. The total fatalities nationwide for 2008 showed an increase of 3.4 percent from the 2007 number of 354. In 2008, 366 people were killed in bus accidents. Of those, six were bus drivers and 86 were passengers on the bus. Other vehicle drivers and passengers represented 48.9 percent of 179 of the fatalities. Non-motorists represented 94 or 25.7 percent of the fatalities.
During the five-year period covered by this study, a majority of bus collisions, about 32 percent, involved urban transit buses. School buses were involved in 30.8 percent of bus crashes during the period. Charter buses accounted for 12.3 percent of the bus accidents.
Bus Accident Causes
There are a number of reasons why bus accidents may occur. Some of the most common causes include:
Bus driver negligence: When a bus driver is impaired, distracted or fatigued, it can be extremely dangerous not only for passengers but others on the roadway as well. Bus companies are responsible for hiring qualified drivers and conducting random testing for alcohol and drug use. Bus drivers are also required under federal law to maintain a log of the hours they work to ensure that they get adequate rest. Drowsy driving was a factor in some of the most devastating bus accidents in United States history.
Poor bus maintenance: Aging buses and lack of proper vehicle maintenance can cause serious problems. Brake failure, tire blowouts and transmission failure can result in major injury bus accidents. It is the responsibility of the bus company to properly service and maintain its fleet.
Defective products: If a defective bus product causes an accident, the manufacturer of the product can be held liable. Victims may be able to file a products liability claim seeking compensation.
Dangerous roadways: Steep hills, tight curves and large potholes can also pose significant hazards for buses. When a poorly designed or maintained roadway causes a bus accident, the governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway can also be held liable for injuries and damages caused. Under California Government Code Section 911.2, any personal injury or wrongful death claim against a public entity must be filed within six months of the incident.
Bus Operators' Duty of Care
It is the legal responsibility of all bus operators to transport their passengers safely. This is known as the bus operator's "duty of care"; Bus companies have the highest "duty of care"; to their passengers - more than what they have toward other motorists, bicyclists or pedestrians. If a bus accident occurs because of the bus company or the bus driver's negligence, then the bus operator can be held liable for the injuries and damages that occur as a result of such negligence.
Contacting a Santa Ana Bus Accident Attorney
The knowledgeable Santa Ana bus accident attorneys at Bisnar|Chase have a long and successful track record of fighting for the rights of bus accident victims and their families. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident in Santa Ana, please contact us to find out how we can help.
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