When you or a loved one have been injured in a bus crash, you need an experienced and skilled Orange County bus accident lawyer at Bisnar Chase in your corner.
Bus companies and governmental agencies will have their people on-site within minutes of an accident to protect their interests. You need an honest, aggressive, committed bus injury attorney to fight for your rights.
Our law firm has recovered hundreds of millions for our clients and has been honored with hundreds of awards for our work in personal injury for plaintiffs throughout Orange County, California. Don’t settle your bus accident claim without consulting an experienced personal injury lawyer to maximize compensation.
The lawyers at Bisnar Chase are experienced trial attorneys for bus accident injury claims and can help you get the compensation you deserve.
There are a number of reasons why buses crash; typically, it’s driver error, an auto defect, or poor maintenance of the vehicle.
Bus accidents can cause major damage and significant injuries. Victims deserve to be compensated appropriately, and our team can help anyone injured in Orange County. Contact us for a free consultation to find out if you have a case.
Bus Accident in Orange County
Understanding a Bus Accident Lawsuit in California
Each state has different laws regarding personal injury claims, and those rules dictate what your case is worth and the type of damages you can collect. Many people use an attorney because they can maximize a claim using tools and experience to get more for their clients.
From start to finish, a bus accident claim can take anywhere from a few months to 2 years to settle or take the case to trial. Once the lawsuit is filed, your legal team will start collecting evidence and pursuing compensation based on insurance company policy limits, the seriousness of your injuries, and the financial loss from the bus accident.
Elements of your lawsuit
- Gather evidence
- File a complaint
- Serve the complaint
If you have specific questions about the elements of your case, contact our experienced Orange County bus accident attorneys. Call 949-203-3814.
Types of Bus Accidents
Bus accidents are a major cause of injuries and fatalities in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated 520 deaths from bus accidents in 2016. This number has been rising for the past decade, with bus fatalities increasing by 50% since 2006.
When a bus is involved in an accident, it can have disastrous consequences for everyone involved. This can include serious injuries and cases of wrongful death. Bus accidents in Orange County can occur in a variety of ways. They include:
- Bus colliding with a car or truck in an auto accident
- Bus striking a pedestrian
- A bus crash involving a motorcycle or bicycle
- Bus crashing into an inanimate object
- Bus rollover accident
- Bus crashed from auto defects or poor vehicle maintenance
- Transit accident(s)
These incidents can involve injuries to passengers on board the bus in question and drivers of other vehicles and nearby pedestrians. Bus passenger injuries can be attributed to many factors, including poor maintenance, speeding, and driver error.
Bus drivers are responsible for maintaining their vehicles so they are safe for passengers to ride in. Bus drivers should also follow all traffic laws and drive at safe speeds while driving through city streets or rural areas where pedestrians might be present.
Bus drivers should never drive while intoxicated or fatigued, as this could lead to an accident which could result in injuries or death to themselves or other people on the road.
Causes of Orange County Bus Crashes
There are all kinds of reasons for a bus to crash, causing a serious accident and injuries. These include:
➤ Careless driving: If a bus driver is not paying attention when they merge lanes or pull into an intersection, it can have deadly consequences.
➤ Distracted driving: Accidents happen when bus drivers are not fully focused. Examples include operating a bus while eating, drinking, or using a phone.
➤ Driver fatigue: Some bus drivers are expected to work through long shifts with frequent stops, making fatigue (and a loss of concentration) more likely.
➤ Poor maintenance: A lack of proper bus maintenance can cause a bus to have a dangerous blowout, suffer a brake failure, and more.
➤ Vehicle defects: Manufacturing defects, such as structural, mechanical, or safety failures, can result in serious accidents and injuries.
➤ Lack of experience or training: Handling a bus is not the same as driving a smaller vehicle. Accidents occur when a driver is not properly trained to drive a bus.
➤ Aggressive driving or excessive speed: Driving a bus can be stressful. With frequent stops and tight schedules, bus drivers have to force their way through traffic. Sometimes they fail to do so safely.
➤ Driving under the influence: Bus drivers are strictly prohibited from operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The blood alcohol limit for drivers of passenger vehicles is 0.08, according to California law.
Bisnar Chase is a personal injury law firm that works on behalf of injured plaintiffs to ensure they are properly compensated.
We can take legal action when an injury has been caused by negligence. The bus accident causes listed above all involve some form of negligence. Contact our Orange County bus accident attorneys for a free case review with no obligations.
Types of Injuries in a Bus Accident
- Head and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries
- Lacerations and contusions
- Psychological injuries (PTSD, anxiety)
Unless your injuries are severe and obvious, many people experience symptoms after the accident, sometimes days or weeks later.
Because of this, you should get a thorough checkup from a medical team to ensure you are not suffering injuries that can affect you long term such as a herniated disc, minor muscle tear or whiplash syndrome.
Public Transportation in Orange County
Public transportation accidents are a major cause of death and injury in the United States. These accidents can happen to anyone, at any time, and in any place. In 2016 alone, there were more than 4,400 public transportation-related fatalities.
This section will explore the different types of public transportation accidents, how they happen, and what causes them. We will also explore the safety measures that have been taken to reduce the occurrence of these accidents in the future.
A vast number of people across Orange County rely on buses to get around daily, to get to work, school, appointments, and much more.
OCTA (Orange County Transportation Authority) runs Orange County public transportation. OCTA buses include community routes, Metrolink routes, city shuttles, and more. In contrast, school buses in Orange County are typically run by individual school districts, while some are subcontracted to independent operators.
Different types of buses operating in OC include:
➤ Public transportation: Public transit buses run throughout all Orange County cities, providing residents with a valuable resource for everyday transportation.
➤ School bus: School bus drivers are responsible for safely transporting millions of children to and from school. Orange County school bus accidents can be minor or very serious, causing great bodily harm. A school bus accident lawyer can determine liability and faulty conditions that caused the accident.
➤ Private hire shuttles: Some private-hire buses have drivers to operate the vehicle, while others defer to the renter. In either case, private-hire vehicles – from party buses to low-key shuttles – can seriously damage the roads if they are involved in an accident. These can include single-deck buses, double-decker buses, articulated buses (with a bend in the middle), minibusses, coach, trolleybus, and hybrid buses.
➤ Tour bus accidents: Tour buses can be used for tourism ventures or transport to entertainment venues such as resorts and casinos.
The type of bus involved in an accident will impact the legal process if a lawsuit is filed. If you have been an accident victim, contact our bus accident injury lawyer in Orange County for immediate help. We will handle every aspect of your claim so that you can focus on recovery.
What to Do After a California Bus Accident
Whether you are a passenger on the bus or the driver of another vehicle involved in a collision with a bus, there are several steps you should take after a bus crash.
- Call 911 if people are injured.
- Follow the instructions of EMTs and police at the scene.
- Seek medical attention. If you have sustained serious injuries in a bus accident, this should be done at the scene of the accident. Even if your injuries are minor, you should always visit a doctor afterward.
- Collect as much evidence as possible. Take pictures and videos at the crash scene if it is safe to do so—record damage to vehicles, road conditions, and your own injuries. Write a first-hand account of the accident while it is still fresh in your mind.
- Gather driver information and witness testimony. Ensure you get the driver’s license plate, address, and phone number. Exchange insurance company information and write down witness testimony while it’s fresh in their mind.
- Do not speak with insurance companies about the details of your accident, as it can be used against you. Notify them of the accident and seek legal advice immediately.
- Contact an Orange County bus accident lawyer at Bisnar Chase. Our team can help you build a strong case and maximize your compensation through a personal injury claim.
Being in a bus accident is traumatic, and the aftermath can be a blur. Taking the right steps immediately after a crash can be hard, especially if you have been seriously hurt or are in shock.
There’s no need to worry if you did not follow the steps above to the letter. Contact our team and let us guide you through your legal options. You do not have to fight for justice alone.
Who is Liable for Your Bus Crash Injuries?
If you have been injured in a bus accident in Orange County, one of the critical questions we need to answer is who was to blame? Legal action can be taken against liable parties that caused the accident through negligence.
Liable parties can include:
➤ Bus company: In many cases, the company running the bus route will share some level of responsibility for an accident involving its vehicle. The bus company must provide proper training and screening for its drivers.
➤ Bus driver: A bus driver might be personally liable for causing an accident.
➤ School district: A school district is responsible for operating and maintaining its school buses.
➤ Maintenance company: If a company is subcontracted for vehicle maintenance and does sub-par work that creates a dangerous situation, it could be liable for any injuries.
➤ Bus manufacturer: If an accident is caused by a defect in the design or construction of the bus, the manufacturer could be held accountable.
➤ Another driver: When the accident is caused by the reckless actions of another driver on the road, in turn causing the bus to crash, that third-party driver would be at fault.
➤ City authority: In some cases, a crash is caused by poor road maintenance (such as dangerous potholes) or poor road layouts. In these scenarios, the city may be negligent.
You do not need to worry about taking on the insurance company or legal team representing the at-fault party on your own. Our bus accident attorneys in Orange County will provide expert help and legal guidance.
Bus Accident Statistics Nationwide
Thousands of people are injured or killed in accidents involving buses every year in the United States. The following facts and statistics show how common bus accidents are:
- There are nearly 100,000 buses operating in California
- More than 990,000 buses are running across the U.S.
- In excess of 63,000 buses are involved in accidents every year
- 13,600 people (average) are injured in school buses accidents annually
- 117 people died in school bus collisions in 2018
- About 55% of people who are injured or killed in bus accidents are driving or passengers in other vehicles
- According to NHTSA, in crashes involving bus accidents in the United States, there were 6,770 fatalities and an estimated 567,000 injuries from 1998 to 2019.
- According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 108 individuals were killed countrywide in school bus crashes in 2021, up from a record low of 54 in 2020 by a factor of 50%.
Orange County & California bus accident statistics
1. Orange County, California, had over 2,000 bus-related accidents in 2019.
2. Of those 2,000 bus-related accidents, there were over 1,000 injuries and 20 fatalities.
3. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Agency (FMCSA) reports that there were 5,913 non-fatal incidents and 138 fatal bus accidents in California in 2023.
4. The second most common California is sideswipe collisions, accounting for 25% of all bus-related accidents.
Do not become just another statistic. If you are among the thousands of people injured in bus accidents every year, contact Bisnar Chase to make sure you are properly compensated.
Buses are unlike cars in many ways. For example, they are often not equipped with standard safety devices such as seatbelts and passenger airbags. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that seatbelts are not required in buses, as these vehicles are designed to provide compartmentalization protection for passengers.
The safety of the passengers on buses is a major concern for transit authorities and bus operators.
1) CCTV Cameras: The installation of CCTV cameras on buses has been a controversial topic over the past few years. There are two sides to the argument and both have valid points. One side argues that CCTV cameras on buses are needed to prevent crime and help identify reasons for bus accidents, while the other argues that installing CCTV cameras on buses is an invasion of privacy.
2) Bus Design: – many public transportation vehicles have design flaws that can lead to accidents.
3) Bus Seatbelts: – An ongoing fight with public transportation is the need for seatbelts on all buses to reduce injury.
Buses are robust vehicles. The classic transit bus design is 40 feet long and typically weighs 20,000-33,000 lbs. This can rise to 44,000 lbs.
When fully loaded with passengers in a bus accident, pedestrians and people in smaller vehicles will be much more vulnerable to injury than the passengers aboard the bus.
However, bus passengers can still suffer injuries, particularly in a violent collision or rollover crash. Anyone injured in a bus accident can contact Bisnar Chase for expert representation.
Bus Accident FAQs
This page is a resource for anyone who has been injured in a bus accident in Orange County and needs legal advice.
Some of the most frequently asked questions are listed below. If you have a question that has not been answered here, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
In California, you may only have up to six months to file a claim for damages against a bus company or two years from the accident date for an injury lawsuit. Contact a bus accident lawyer in Orange County as soon as possible to discuss your options and protect your case from an expiring statute of limitations.
Bus accident compensation varies by case. It can be awarded for various factors, including pain and suffering, medical expenses, rehab and care costs, punitive damages, emotional distress, lost wages, and much more.
A bus accident injury claim can vary from a few thousand to a seven or eight-figure settlement depending on circumstances and extent of loss and injury.
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Cost of future medical care
- Permanent disability
- Modification of your home or vehicle
- Loss of earning capacity
- Legal fees
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium (the loss of companionship and services of a spouse or intimate partner)
California law does not cap the amount of non-economic damages you can recover in a personal injury case. However, there is a cap of $250,000 on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases.
- Economic damages must be supported by documentation, such as medical bills, lost wage statements, and receipts for property damage.
- Non-economic damages are more subjective and may be based on your testimony, your friends and family, and the opinion of an expert witness.
Punitive damages are not awarded in all personal injury cases. They are only awarded in cases where the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious, such as when the defendant acted with malice, recklessness, or intentional disregard for the safety of others.
In California, the cap on punitive damages is $350,000 for most personal injury cases. However, there is no cap on punitive damages in cases involving intentional torts, such as assault and battery.
How Do I know if my case qualifies for punitive damages?
Here are some examples of cases where punitive damages have been awarded in bus accident cases:
- A bus driver was speeding and ran a red light, causing a collision that killed two people. The bus company was found liable for punitive damages because the driver had a history of speeding and reckless driving.
- A bus company was negligent in maintaining its buses. One of the buses had a faulty brake system, which caused it to crash, injuring several passengers. The bus company was found liable for punitive damages because it had a history of ignoring safety warnings about the brake system.
- A bus driver was intoxicated when he caused a collision that injured several passengers. The bus company was liable for punitive damages because it failed to screen its drivers for alcohol abuse properly.
A bus accident lawsuit can be filed by anyone who has suffered an injury in a collision involving a bus. This can include bus passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, people in other vehicles, family members, and more.
You can still file a claim if you were partly to blame for causing the accident, according to the comparative negligence laws in California.
Bisnar Chase has a ‘No Win, No Fee’ policy. We advance the costs required to win your case to protect you from medical bills and expenses.
Our contingency fee-based program allows us to front the costs of your case until it’s settled. We are only paid after we win. Personal injury attorneys in California typically charge 33% of what is collected.
Studies show that a personal injury lawyer can typically win 25-30% more than if you handles the case yourself.
Contact our intake team now for more information. 949-203-3814.
Bus Accident Lawyers Near Me
We have five locations so that we can serve injured plaintiffs throughout California. Located in Orange County, San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles, and San Diego, our top-rated lawyers can also travel to you if you are too injured to visit one of our offices.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a bus, you need representation from an experienced law firm with a track record of success and care.
We have helped thousands of clients in the Orange County area. We believe in serving our community and work on contingency to ensure everyone can afford our services.
We serve cities across OC, including:
We know that many personal injury attorneys in Orange County are vying for your business. But we also believe Bisnar Chase is the best choice for bus accident victims.
We have more than 45 years of experience in handling claims ranging from minor injuries to catastrophic damage. Our team of trial attorneys knows the Orange County court system inside out and can win your case.
Our numbers speak for themselves: we have a 99% success rate and have won $800 million in verdicts and settlements.
Do not suffer in silence after an accident. Let us fight for the compensation you deserve.