The experienced Los Angeles Bus Accident Lawyers of Bisnar Chase have successfully represented accident victims for over 40 years. Thousands of Americans are seriously injured or killed each year in public transportation vehicles, and we have seen insurance companies cheat those victims out of fair compensation.
The Personal Injury Attorneys of Bisnar Chase want to be the people at your side to fight for what you deserve.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a bus wreck, contact our Los Angeles County legal experts for a free consultation at (323) 238-4683.
Different Types of Bus Accidents in Los Angeles
At times, commuters ride buses to lessen the costs of transportation. Those who do not own a vehicle can save money by avoiding the costs of gas, routine maintenance, and a car insurance policy. Unfortunately, some bus accidents can cost people their life.
Buses that are frequently involved in accidents include:
- School bus crashes: Children riding on school buses can be easily injured in an accident. School buses do not contain seatbelts, therefore in the event of a rollover, kids can be thrown from their seats. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration reports that at least 4-6 children are killed every year in school bus collisions. Bus drivers are to follow unloading and loading procedures accordingly with the law to ensure the safety of students.
- Public transportation collisions: Traveling by bus is a cost-effective mode of transportation. But LA County bus crashes can occur, and when they do, the results can be devastating. Many victims of LA bus accidents need immediate medical attention and must miss work while they heal. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute analyzed data over a 7-year-period and found that 63,000 bus accidents occur each year with about 14,000 people suffering injuries.
- Charter bus accidents: Charter buses are defined as vehicles traveling with many people onboard. Some of these types of buses can include party buses, buses hired for entertainers, or tour buses. This bus usually is used for 36 people or more. Charter buses are rented by organizations, businesses, or people. These entities can potentially be liable for a collision and, if proven negligent, must compensate the victims for their damages.
Potential Causes of LA Bus Wrecks
Recently there was a stream of California bus accidents involving tour bus companies. The Feds stepped in and cracked down on unsafe bus companies.
Typically, these charter buses are poorly maintained and put lives at risk. Some of the most common causes of Los Angeles bus crashes include:
Driver inexperience: It is the responsibility of all bus companies to ensure that their drivers are skilled, experienced, and properly trained. Bus drivers who are new to the job should not be allowed to transport passengers on the congested and dangerous streets of Los Angeles.
Bus driver negligence: It is crucial that bus drivers check for traffic before changing lanes or entering busy streets. Bus drivers must obey the speed limit and slow down on the few days during the year when roads are wet in Los Angeles. They also must remain attentive to the road and not let themselves get distracted by passengers or electronic devices. It is illegal under California for all drivers to use a cell phone or text while driving.
Driver fatigue: It is irresponsible to drive a bus full of passengers while drowsy. Drivers who push through fatigue are more likely to doze off, lose focus, or miss important changes in the flow of traffic. All commercial drivers are required under federal law to comply with hours-of-service regulations that limit the number of hours bus drivers can drive at a stretch.
Faulty equipment: Some Los Angeles bus accidents could have been prevented had the bus company performed proper safety inspections and repairs. When bus companies cut corners by failing to replace worn or broken parts, everyone on the roadway is put in danger. An uninspected bus or a bus that has not been properly maintained may have over-inflated tires that could blow, brakes that are ready to fail, or an engine that could catch fire.
Bus Driver Negligence
Plenty of bus accidents are caused by bus driver error or negligence. Bus drivers and bus companies have a legal obligation to safely transport their passengers. There are many ways in which a bus driver’s negligence can cause a bus to crash.
Some of the actions that can lead to a catastrophic bus accident include:
Making an unsafe lane change: Buses are large vehicles that may have several blind spots. However, it is the bus operator’s duty to ensure that it is safe to change lanes before doing so. Changing lanes without looking properly is one of the most common reasons for auto accidents.
Exceeding the speed limit: Because of the size and weight of buses, they are often difficult to stop. Bus drivers who exceed the speed limit may not be able to adjust to the changing traffic conditions or to come to a stop in time to avoid a collision.
Driving distracted: Under California law, school, transit, and commercial bus drivers are not allowed to use a cell phone or text while driving. There are other forms of distracted driving that can prove dangerous as well. Any driver who takes his or her hands off the wheel, eyes off the road, or mind off the task at hand is considered distracted.
Failing to stop at a train track: All bus drivers should stop at train tracks to look and listen for approaching trains.
Driving while fatigued: Operating a bus while drowsy can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Commercial drivers, including bus drivers, are required to get adequate rest before they start a shift.
Los Angeles Bus Accident Cases
When you are a passenger on a bus, there is very little you can do to prevent an accident beyond making sure that you are not a distraction. Multiple passengers have been hurt due to negligence on the part of a bus driver or a faulty bus part. These types of accidents are common in Los Angeles County. Below is a list of bus crashes cases that have occurred in LA.
- I-10 tour bus accident leaves 25 passengers injured: In downtown Los Angeles, a bus carrying 35 passengers tipped over and injured 25 riders. The bus was transporting people from the Pala Casino in San Diego and was headed toward Koreatown in LA. Four were reported to be in critical condition after the incident took place.
- Four girls left with injuries after a school bus collision:
Four girls, said to be around the age of 12, were involved in a school bus crash. At the scene of the accident, it appeared that the bus collided head-on with a utility pole, bringing down electrical wires with it. The motor vehicle accident took place in North Los Angeles on the 500 block of West Solano Avenue.
- Metro bus plows into cars injuring nine people and leaving one dead: Paramedics and firefighters rushed to the scene of a metro bus accident on South Alameda Street and East 131st Street at around 2 am. The city bus struck four parked cars and killed 30-year-old Lynwood resident Jose S. Hernandez. He was transported to St. Francis Medical Center where he later died from his injuries.
Common Bus Collision Injuries
Due to their size and weight, buses can be particularly dangerous when they are involved in crashes with smaller passenger vehicles.
Those who have been seriously injured in any type of accident, including bus crashes, or who have lost loved ones, can file for fair compensation.
Bus accident injuries that can be claimed in a bus accident lawsuit can include:
Broken bones: There are many different types of fractures a bus accident victim can suffer from. Different types of fractures include compound, compression, or transverse fractures. The average time that a broken bone takes to heal can range from 6-8 weeks. If the condition is severe enough, it could take months.
Strains: Whiplash is the most common strain that victims experience after an accident. Whiplash occurs when the neck jolts back and forth suddenly due to a blunt force. This type of strain commonly occurs in a rear-end collision. Severe neck pain can be treated with medications and physical therapy. Even if treated, some victims can feel the pain for years.
Lacerations: Lacerations are a bodily injury that is caused by the tearing of soft tissue. Unlike abrasions, the epidermis is still intact. Cuts can occur if the windows of a vehicle are shattered. Victims can suffer multiple lacerations to their face and body. This can lead to people needing surgery to evacuate tiny pieces of glass left in their skin.
What to do After a Los Angeles Bus Accident
The actions you take after a bus collision are important because they can affect the amount you receive in your settlement. If you are injured while riding a bus in Los Angeles, there are a few steps that you can take to protect your best interests.
Call the police: One of the first steps you need to take after a bus collision is to contact the authorities. Once the authorities have been contacted, depending on the severity of the accident, an ambulance will be sent out to your location. Pullover to the side of the road or to a safe area so that you can easily receive medical attention promptly when the ambulance arrives.
Collect information: Regarding evidence, do not walk away empty-handed. As you wait for the police to arrive, write down everything you remember about the crash. Keep these questions in mind when making notes. Where were you seated? What were you doing at the time of the crash? When and where did the accident occur? What types of injuries did you sustain? Who were the people who witnessed the collision? If you are not physically capable of gathering information such as a driver’s license number, insurance policy number, photos, or witness accounts, have somebody else at the scene gather this evidence. Remember to not only take pictures of the vehicles but also of the street conditions and weather.
Stay until the authorities say you can leave: This is important. The authorities are there to assess the situation. When the local authorities arrive at the scene of the accident, you need to file a police report as well. This is one piece of evidence that is vital and can help you win the compensation you need to recover from your catastrophic injuries.
Contact your insurance company: After you have sought out medical attention for your injuries, file a claim immediately. The sooner you contact your insurance company, the sooner you can receive compensation for damages such as lost wages and bills from medical treatments. It is not necessary for you to speak to the other party’s insurance company.
Seek legal advice: The Los Angeles bus accident lawyers of Bisnar Chase have been holding negligent bus companies accountable since 1978. We have sustained a 99% rate at winning compensation for our injury clients and will inform you of the status of your case every step of the way. Call our Los Angeles County offices today at (323) 238-4683 for a free case evaluation.
Who Can Be Responsible for the Damages?
There are several parties that can be responsible for your bus collision. The first can be the bus manufacturer.
A bus is large and requires a lot of maintenance. Manufacturer negligence can result in a dangerous bus being sent out for use. This type of accident can be also categorized as an auto defect case.
The second party that can be responsible for a bus wreck is the bus company or the tour company.
Bus companies have a legal obligation to ensure that they hire the right people to operate the common carriers. They should also make sure that their bus drivers are properly trained and supervised.
In addition, the responsibility of maintaining the buses also falls on the bus company. Companies should perform regular inspections on their vehicles while paying special attention to the tires and brakes to reduce the number of bus crashes annually.
Qualities Your Lawyer Should Have
Finding a great lawyer to take on your case is crucial. There are some key qualities to look out for that your Los Angeles Bus Accident Attorney should have.
One of the most important qualities that a lawyer should have is years of experience working on these types of cases. An accident attorney may have years of experience in personal injury law, but may not have much with public transportation collisions.
Another significant quality a bus crash lawyer should have is a good success rate when it comes to winning personal injury cases. The lawyers of Bisnar Chase have held a 99% success rate at winning compensation for our clients. We are determined to do the same for you. Contact our law firm to explore your legal options.
The law firm of Bisnar Chase and its skilled team of trial attorneys has over 43 years of experience and has won over $700 Million in verdicts and settlements. We are passionate about our clients and will ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to for your bus accident or wrongful death claim.
Call for a free consultation at 323-238-4683.