Here in Greater Los Angeles, buses are everywhere. They offer a great, affordable way to get around town or to travel to other cities, but when bus accidents occur, they are often catastrophic and deadly. With their excessive weight, slow breaking times, difficulty in maneuvering, lack of seat belts, and blind spots, it comes as no surprise that buses are involved in so many serious accidents.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a bus injury accident, whether as a passenger on the bus, the driver or passenger of another vehicle, a pedestrian, or a bicyclist, you must take immediate action to secure evidence, get medical treatment, and prove at-fault parties responsible for the harm and devastation they caused. Our Los Angeles bus accident lawyers, investigators, and professional staff have handled thousands of bus accident cases over our 30-plus years of service and have the skills and experience to deliver the results you deserve.
Buses are considered “common carriers” in the eyes of the law and held to a higher standard of care than an average passenger vehicle. Types of buses include:
Liability after bus accidents can be complicated because many potential parties could be held responsible. In most cases, responsibility will fall on either the bus company or the driver; however, there are exceptions. For example, if a mechanical failure caused the accident, the company that manufactured the defective part could also be held liable. Or if poor road conditions caused the accident, then the government entity responsible for maintaining those roads could be held accountable.
There are also instances in which multiple parties may be held liable for a bus accident. For example, if both the driver and the bus company were negligent in their duties (the driver for speeding and driving recklessly and the bus company for failing to properly maintain the vehicle), both parties could be sued after a bus accident. In this instance, each party would likely only be required to pay a portion of the damages based on their degree of negligence.
For someone to sue after a bus accident, they must first be able to prove that another party was negligent in their actions (or inaction). To do this, they will need to gather evidence that shows how each party involved breached their duty of care and how that breach led directly to the accident and resulting injuries.
Some common examples of negligence after a bus accident include:
If you can prove that another party’s negligence led to your injuries in a bus accident, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, etc. An experienced bus accident attorney can help you gather evidence and build a strong case, giving you a better chance of receiving full and fair compensation for your damages. They can also negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and handle all aspects of your bus accident claim so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
In most cases, the answer is yes—you can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the liable party in a bus accident. However, it’s important to remember that each bus accident case is unique, and there may be some circumstances under which you could not file suit. For example, if your loved one died without any dependent children or immediate family, you may not have the standing to sue.
In general, only certain parties can file a wrongful death lawsuit following a bus accident. Typically, this will include the following:
If multiple surviving family members meet one or more of the above criteria, they may all choose to file suit together.
It’s also important to note that in some cases, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate may be able to file suit on behalf of all survivors. This is typically true when multiple survivors cannot agree on who should take legal action.
Entrusting your child to someone else is a big leap of faith. While you hope that the person driving your child’s school bus will treat your child like their own and exhibit safe practices, that is not always the case.
The fact is, negligent and reckless school bus drivers exist, and even good drivers often can’t avoid other careless bus drivers that are all over our Greater Los Angeles roadways.
If the unthinkable happens and your child is involved in a school bus accident, you need to be prepared and follow these steps if at all possible:
Bus accidents can be very complex as several entities may be at fault, including the school, the school district, the bus company, the bus driver, the bus driver’s company, and others. Also, there are often several layers of contracts and insurance policies to analyze. Moreover, because a school bus accident lawsuit typically includes naming a public entity, you must adhere to the California Tort Claims Act and its tricky deadlines and requirements.
Bus accident injuries can range from minor to catastrophic or worse. Injuries can include:
After a bus accident, the most important thing for you to do is get immediate medical treatment and have access to doctors, therapists, and other healthcare professionals. In most cases, if you do not have health insurance, we can connect you with highly regarded doctors in the community who can treat you. Your medical bills will then factor into what we demand from the at-fault parties and ultimately be paid back from the proceeds of your bus accident case. Also, in some cases, if you qualify, our resourceful personal injury lawyers can help you ascertain free or low-cost coverage through programs such as Medi-Cal, Medi-Care, and others
When you suffer serious injuries from a bus accident, it is often impossible to carry on with your normal life activities, including work. While the other side is on the hook for lost income, a settlement or trial verdict can take some time. Fortunately, to get you through, we work with companies that can provide you a loan secured and paid back by the proceeds of your case. Additionally, in some circumstances, we can advance you money on the anticipated proceeds of your case.
The prime targets of a bus injury lawsuit can include the following:
If you are only suing a private company or individual, then you have two years to bring a bus injury lawsuit from the time of the accident. If you are suing a public entity or an individual employed by a public entity, then you must adhere to the stringent California Tort Claims Act, which shrinks the time to make a bus accident claim down to six (6) months. The Tort Claims Act also has other highly technical requirements and deadlines. Because of the difficulties navigating this area of law, it is essential that you contact a Los Angeles bus accident lawyer to assist you with your personal injury case after an accident.
Through immediate, thorough investigations, detailed fact-finding, and top-notch analysis, our award-winning Los Angeles bus accident lawyers get a quick start on your claim and don’t let their foot off the pedal. We target all potential at-fault parties and use aggressive discovery and deposition techniques to reveal the truth, get important documents and videos, and hold accountable parties responsible.
We also have a detailed understanding of the law that applies in this arena and the inner workings of the Federal, State, and local laws, regulations, and ordinances that apply to buses and to the roadways. Bus accidents are often the result of systemic issues within the governmental department or private business, including failure to adequately train their bus drivers or provide proper rest breaks. In many cases, it can be proven that time and profit are often put in front of passenger safety.
Additionally, we have at our fingertips, in-house training and employee manuals from bus accident cases and a stock of experts in bus accidents that can analyze all of the information to pinpoint negligence and assign fault. Ultimately, if your case goes all the way to trial, our law firm has an expert trial team that is an industry leader in achieving large verdicts (including a $29 million verdict) and negotiating large settlements (several in excess of $10 million). They have the capability and resources to present your bus accident claim in the most emotionally impactful way possible to get you the monetary compensation you deserve.
As part of our liability analysis and strategy, we always seek to understand the full scope of the insurance situation on the other side, as it can often be layered and tricky when many companies and many plaintiffs are involved. There is also the possibility that companies that contract with each other will have indemnification and defense clauses that might try to reassign responsibility. All of this is highly technical and very important, which illustrates the need to seek the help of an experienced bus accident law firm in these matters.
In addition to proving liability, you must prove your damages after a bus accident. “Damages” is a legal term that encompasses all the expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses you have suffered as a result of your bus crash in the past and in the future. These include the following:
Proving damages often takes a coordinated effort between your medical team as well as life care planners, vocational experts, and accident reconstruction experts. We have the industry connections and resources to prove your damages and get you the compensation that you are owed.
Bus injury cases often take longer than other case types because they are typically complex, can involve a large number of plaintiffs and defendants, and have a lot of money at stake. In most jurisdictions, once you file a bus accident lawsuit the trial date will be set 12 to 18 months into the future, which typically marks the longest time frame your case could take. We always strive to push your case forward, which is a great benefit to you, but if your bus accident is filled with complex issues, there is a possibility your case may take longer than 12 to 18 months.
The Dominguez Firm has handled thousands of bus accidents over our 30 plus years of service. We couple this experience with our compassionate, client-first approach for a winning formula. We apply our three founding principles —compassion, service and results — to every single case and every single client. We keep you informed, consult with you, and obtain your consent on important decisions. More than that, though, we stand by your side and help you throughout the entire process.
At the end of the day, results matter. Our law firm has won over $750,000,000* for our clients and a 96% success rate* that few can match. Our team of Los Angeles bus accident lawyers work tirelessly on your case and, if necessary, our award-winning trial team stands at the ready to take your serious injury case to trial.
If you have been injured due to another’s negligence, it’s our mission to make things right and restore you to the life you had before their negligence harmed you. We hold responsible parties accountable for the injuries and loss they cause.
The Dominguez Firm has experienced bus injury lawyers ready to assist and get you the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one has suffered a bus injury accident, call us right now, 24/7, for a no-cost consultation at 877-924-2639. There is no obligation. If you don’t recover, there is no fee!
Helpful Articles From Our Los Angeles Bus Accident Attorneys
Other Bus Accident Resources
— Ashley Magana
— Janet Salazar
— Jocelyn Gonzalez