Tustin Bus Accident Attorneys
If you or someone you know has been severely injured in a bus crash, call the Tustin Bus Accident Lawyers at the law firm of Bisnar Chase. For over 40 years, our attorneys have held a 96% success rate in winning compensation for collision victims.
Our injury attorneys believe that passengers involved in a bus collision should be fairly compensated for their pain and suffering.
Call 949-203-3814 to receive a free consultation with an experienced legal expert.
Bus Accident Statistics
Statistics show that over 99,692 large trucks and buses are on the roads in California. With so many large vehicles on the road, the likelihood of a bus being in an accident is high. Over the years, large trucks and bus accidents have increased. In just one year, the Federal Motor and Safety Administration reported that 4,889 common carrier and large trucks were involved in fatal crashes.
Information strictly pertaining to buses shows that, within a 10 year-period, “intercity buses accounted for 13 percent, and school buses and transit buses accounted for 40 percent and 35 percent, respectively, of all buses involved in fatal crashes.”
Common Causes of Bus Accidents
Many commuters trust that when they step foot on a bus, they will reach their destination safely. This is, unfortunately, not always the case. There are various reasons why passengers are involved in bus accidents.
Below you will find the common factors that lead to bus collisions.
- Fatigued driving: Bus drivers often work long hours and must arrive at their stops on time to pick up passengers. The pressure can cause bus operators to be stressed out and not take their lunch breaks. In situations that involve Greyhound bus drivers, some may even skip out on sleeping. It is crucial for drivers of huge common carrier vehicles to recognize and tell their superiors that they are exhausted. If they fail to do so, the outcome can be dangerous.
- Heavily congested areas: Tustin, CA has 80,000 people in its population. This means that there may be many people on the road which can result in traffic being very heavy. According to AAA.Newsroom.com, vehicles in urban areas have threee times the likelihood of being involved in an accident. Make sure that if you are driving beside or behind a bus, you leave an ample amount of space.
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving does not always involve a bus driver using their self-phone or eating while working. Sometimes the distractions are from the passengers on the bus. For example, children on school buses can distract a driver by yelling, jumping in their seats, or switching seats while the bus is in motion. The school bus driver must control the environment so he/she can keep the children safe. This can lead to a bus driver taking their eyes off the road and colliding into other cars.
- Improper training: In California, bus drivers need to complete several levels of training before operating a bus full of passengers. It is also required that bus drivers learn certain driving techniques to keep themselves and other motorists safe. For instance, bus drivers must proceed with caution when making a left-hand turn. If a bus driver is not properly trained in making turns and is not aware of their surroundings, they can not only injure motorists but pedestrians as well.
- Dangerous road conditions: Poor road conditions that result in bus accidents can involve hazardous weather conditions or poorly maintained roads. Weather conditions such as rain and snow can increase the chances of there being a collision. Poorly maintained highways that have potholes can ruin the tires on a bus, or can even throw off its alignment. Potholes can also cause a bus driver to lose control, often leading to a bus to rollover.
Common Carrier Regulations
Civil Code section 2100: Common carriers bind themselves to carry safely those whom they take into their vehicles, and owe both a duty of utmost care and the vigilance of a very cautious person towards their passengers. Such carriers are responsible for any, even the slightest, negligence and are required to do all that human care, vigilance, and foresight reasonably can do under all the circumstances.
Injuries Frequently Experienced in a Common Carrier Collision
Bus riders are vulnerable to painful head, neck, and back injuries because of the lack of airbags and seatbelts. Bus crashes can result in catastrophic injuries not only for commuters but also for pedestrians and nearby drivers.
In many cases, the injuries can be major or even fatal.
Some of the typical injuries that bus accident victims endure are:
- Bone fractures: Suffering a broken bone in an accident can be painful. People who have fractures after an incident usually have symptoms such as obvious disfigurement, swelling, and the inability to move. Treatments for broken bones can be costly and can include a person wearing a cast, or in worse cases needing surgery. Speak to a Tustin bus accident lawyer to explore your legal options at 949-203-3814.
- Traumatic head injuries: The American Association of Neurological Surgeons stated that 5.3 million people live with a disability that was caused by a TBI. Traumatic head injuries can leave victims with symptoms such as vomiting, headaches, in a coma, and partially or completely paralyzed. Dr. Elizabeth Sandel says that one of the best treatments that a brain injury victim can have is resting. “In general, getting adequate sleep and abstaining from too many taxing mental or physical activities initially are very important in recovery,” said Sandel. This means that bus accident victims may need to take several weeks, months, or years from working to heal from their injury. Some may never again be able to provide for themselves financially if the head injury was severe.
- Lacerations: Lacerations or cuts are described as the tearing of the tissue, muscle, or skin. Cuts can occur in auto accidents due to victims being ejected from their seats and colliding into the windshield. Lacerations not only occur on the body but can occur on the face and extremely disfigure a person. To recover from these injuries, collision victims may need stitches or staples.
Orange County Bus Accidents
The OC is one of the most populated metropolitans in the state. Data reports that 3.1 million people inhabit the area as their home. With many people living in the county, there are bound to be accidents.
Below you will find bus crashes that have occurred in Orange County:
Bus crash in Anaheim hills leaves several students injured: A school bus driver faced jail time due to crashing into a school bus after losing consciousness behind the wheel. Gerald Rupple, lied on his job application stating that he did not suffer from any serious medical conditions when Rupple in fact suffers from pulmonary hypertension. Four students were left with major injuries Rupple pleaded guilty to 11 felony counts in court.
Five people are sent to the hospital in a Santa Ana bus collision: A bus crash occurred on East Saint Andrew Place and South Standard Avenue that left five people injured. The collision involved an SUV and a commuter bus. The injuries were not life-threatening. It is still unknown why the incident took place.
UCI bus is T-boned, causing multiple injuries to professor and students: A driver who was said to run a red light crashed into a University of Irvine bus and sent two people to the hospital. A UCI professor was reported to be trapped in the wreckage of the accident before he was finally freed. Authorities closed the intersection to clear the debris left from the collision.
Steps to Take After a Bus Crash in Tustin CA
Many are confused about what actions to take after an accident. Victims are left shocked, angry and may be running on adrenaline. The steps you take right after though can make a difference on how much you can receive for your settlement.
Steps that can help you after a crash are:
- Seeking medical attention immediately: It is important to obtain medical treatment right after an accident because injuries can worsen over a span of hours or days. When you are examined right away you will be able to be treated for your injuries, whether that involves having your lacerations stitched up, or being prescribed medication to aid with your painful symptoms. It is important to follow up with scheduled appointments so you can provide documentation to the insurance company.
- Calling the police: You must call the police after a collision. Contact the local authorities even if you are unsure that you should. The police dispatcher will ask you questions to determine if assistance should be sent out. If the authorities are required to be at the scene of the accident, make sure to file a police report so you can get your statement down right away.
- Gathering evidence: It is important that you provide proof of the accident circumstances to your insurance company in order for agents to determine how much compensation you are entitled to. Different types of evidence that you need to collect after a Tustin bus collision include photographs, witness statements, the contact information of the person who hit you, and any police reports.
- Contacting your insurance company: A victim can gain recovery for losses such as medical bills, lost income, loss of earning potential, disability, pain, and suffering, and loss of consortium.
- Hiring a bus accident attorney: Hiring a common carrier collision lawyer can be daunting, but it is one of the most beneficial actions you can take for yourself after being involved in a car accident. A trial lawyer will not only have years of experience in the courtroom, but will fight aggressively for you to get the compensation you need to recover.
Who is Liable for Your Tustin Bus Accident?
Injured victims of bus crashes may hold the at-fault parties accountable for their expenses covering medical bills and property damage. 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.
Different liable entities can include:
Bus driver: When a bus driver is negligent when operating a school bus – for example, using their smartphone while driving – the driver can be liable for the accident. In other states, there is an option to directly sue the bus driver or reach a settlement outside of the courtroom. An accident victim cannot sue a bus driver personally in California though.
Government entity: Some states do have “sovereign immunity” against lawsuits regarding public transportation accidents. In these types of cases though, California does not apply. California law states that if an employee such as a bus driver causes a wreck, legal action can be taken directly to the local or state government that runs those buses.
Bus company: Greyhound is one of the largest bus companies in the United States. If one of their buses has defects or a bus driver was not trained properly by the company, then a person can file a claim against the company itself. It can be intimidating going against such a large organization, but the Tustin Bus Accident Attorneys of Bisnar Chase have taken on the toughest of corporations for the past 40 years. You should not be cheated out of the compensation you deserve. Contact our Orange County law office for a free case analysis.
Different Types of Damages That Can Be Recovered
Auto wrecks can leave streets, cars and people in disarray. There is a cost to fixing or alleviating the damage that comes after a car accident and someone must be held accountable to pay for it.
When you file a personal injury claim there are two types of losses you can declare:
Economic damages: Economic damages are losses that can be measured for the plaintiff. For example, if a person would file a wrongful death claim on behalf of their family member, the economic damages that can be awarded to them would be the wages the deceased would have earned in their lifetime. Other economic damages that can be claimed could be compensation for medical bills or lost wages.
Non-economic damages: There are situations where an accident victim’s losses cannot be easily measured. For instance, if a person had been in a car accident with a loved one and had seen them die, this person could potentially suffer from PTSD from the occurrence. Additional types of non-economic damages can include loss of companionship, loss of enjoyment of life, and mental anguish.
California Comparative Fault Law
Comparative fault law, otherwise known as comparative negligence in California, states that a party that was partly at fault for an accident can file for compensation as well. The jury will decide at what percentage the negligent party should be awarded. Also note that if a plaintiff was partially responsible for their injuries or property damage the amount of compensation they receive can be reduced.
There are multiple states that act under a contributory negligence system which means that if the plaintiff were even 1% liable for a collision, they would receive zero compensation.
Tips on Avoiding a Bus Collision
Millions commute every day on buses. Whether it be small children on their way to school or adults traveling to work, it is important that all bus passengers and bus operators take measures to make the commute safe.
Precautions people can take to maintain the safety of all commuters are:
- Do not drive around the buses when they are loading: Vehicle Code 22454 (a) states “The driver of any vehicle…shall not proceed past the schoolbus until the flashing red light signal and stop signal arm, if equipped with a stop signal arm, cease operation.” If you attempt to drive around the bus you will be fined, the offense could potentially go on your driving record, or worse, you can cause a bus accident.
- Do not follow too closely to a bus: In the state of California, it is required that drivers maintain a safe distance between each other. What entails having a safe distance between cars and buses though? Many drivers follow what is known as the three-second rule, which means leaving three seconds of space between you and the bus in front of you. Motorists are still encouraged to leave even more space though because buses do take more time to stop due to their size.
- Make sure the bus driver sees you: Motorists should use their signals to make sure the bus driver is aware of their presence. One of the ways you can make a driver aware of you is by being staying in their mirrors. If you do not see the bus driver it is more than likely they cannot see you.
Trial Attorney Brian Chase shares more on when you should hire a lawyer for your accident
What can a Tustin Bus Accident Lawyer do for you?
Being in a bus crash can be traumatic and seeking out legal representation can be complicated. The trusted Bus Accident Attorneys of Bisnar Chase are here to make it simple. We believe in holding parties responsible for the damages you and your family have had to face.
Our common carrier lawyers can:
- Inform you about your rights: An experienced Tustin bus accident attorney will have years of knowledge under their belt so they can educate you on the rights you are entitled to as a bus collision victim. When a lawyer takes on your case, they can also give you a monetary estimate of the compensation you could potentially win.
- Negotiate a settlement for you: You should not have to settle for the offer that the the negligent party’s insurance company provides you, especially if it does not cover all of your costs. Insurance companies can also try to intimidate you or misinform you on the amount you are entitled too. A personal injury lawyer will not back down and will thoroughly investigate every detail of your case to recover any losses you have faced.
- Represent you in a court of law: Some personal injury cases can be settled out of court. If both the plaintiff and defendant parties do not agree on a settlement, it will then be taken to court. It is in your best interest to hire a lawyer with experience in the courtroom. They will able to present a strong argument to the jury and have an understanding of who to put on the stand to better your results at winning.
The Tustin Bus Accident Attorneys at Bisnar Chase seek to hold wrongdoers accountable for the harm they've caused and win the compensation our clients need to recover. Over the past 40 years we have held a 96% success rate in winning motor vehicle wreck cases, and show no signs of stopping.
Contact the personal injury law firm of Bisnar Chase today on 949-203-3814 for a free case analysis on your bus accident claim.