Riding a bus is certainly one of the safer ways you can travel. This does not, however, mean that bus passengers are entirely safe. There are many devastating bus accidents that occur in California, Orange County and even Tustin every year. Some of these accidents result in catastrophic injuries not only to individuals outside the bus at the time of the crash, but also to the bus passengers. It is a fact that bus passengers are rarely afforded the same safety devices as other motorists. Buses are not equipped with airbags or seatbelts. This leaves bus passengers vulnerable to painful head, neck and back injuries. In many cases the injuries can be major or even fatal. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus crash, an experienced Tustin bus accident lawyer can help you better understand your legal rights and options.
U.S. Bus Accident Statistics
Just how common are bus accidents? According to The Motor Carrier Safety Progress Report, 295 fatalities and 15,575 injuries occurred as a result of bus accidents in the year 2011. Those numbers reflect a decrease from the 325 fatalities and 16,515 injuries reported as a result of bus accidents in the year 2010. The number of total bus accidents also decreased from 13,856 reported accidents in the year 2010 to 13,261 bus crashes in 2011.
California Fatal Bus Accidents
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 247 people were killed in bus accidents throughout the United States in the year 2008. Of those fatalities, 31 occurred in California. California led all states followed by Florida with 31 fatalities and Texas with 16 bus accident fatalities. In the year 2007, 36 people were killed and 44 were fatally injured in California bus accidents in the year 2006.
School Bus Accident Statistics
According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 1,409 fatal school transportation-related accidents between the years 1998 and 2008. That number reflects 0.34 percent of all fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes. Over that 10-year period, 1,564 people were killed in school transportation crashes, which average out to 142 fatalities per year. Because of the sheer size and weight of school buses, the majority of the fatally injured victims were occupants of other vehicles involved. In fact, 72 percent of the people killed in school bus accidents were occupants of other vehicles, 20 percent of the fatally injured were other non-occupants such as pedestrians and bicyclists, and actual occupants of school transportation vehicles accounted for 8 percent of the fatalities.
Between 1998 and 2008, approximately 19 school-age children were killed each year in a school transportation-related traffic crash. On average, those 19 fatalities comprised five school bus occupants and 14 school-age pedestrians.
The Rights of Bus Accident Victims
Injured victims of bus accidents may hold the at-fault parties accountable for their losses. Examples of potentially liable parties include the bus company, the bus driver, the company responsible for repairing the bus, another negligent driver and the bus manufacturer. Every case is different and a complete investigation will be needed to determine the cause of the crash and who should be held liable for the injuries suffered.
Once liability is determined, the at-fault party can be held accountable for all of the losses suffered by the victim. This includes medical bills, hospitalization costs, lost income, loss of earning potential, disability, pain and suffering, loss of consortium and other related damages. A skilled Tustin bus accident lawyer can review the crash to help calculate all current and future losses that are related to the crash.
Filing a claim against a bus company can be a complicated process. The skilled Tustin bus accident lawyers at our law office have a long and successful track record of representing the rights of injured victims and their families. Please contact us to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.
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