Whether you take a Los Angeles city bus, watch your child board a school bus or take a tour bus to head out of town, you trust the bus driver and the bus company to take the steps necessary to transport passengers safely to their respective destinations. Bus accidents, when they do occur, have the potential to result in major injuries or even fatalities.
If you have been injured in a Los Angeles bus accident, you may be able to recover compensation for the injuries, damages and losses you have sustained. Bus companies are public carriers that have a duty of care or a legal responsibility to ensure the safe transport of their passengers. An experienced Los Angeles bus accident lawyer will be able to help you better understand your legal rights and options.
Table of Contents
- Who Can Be Held Liable for Bus Accidents in Los Angeles?
- What Steps Should I Take After a Bus Accident?
- If You Suffered an Accident on an LA City Bus
- How Our Bus Accident Lawyers Can Help You
While it may seem straightforward, identifying liable parties in bus accidents can sometimes be challenging. Here are some of the parties who could potentially be held liable or financially responsible for a bus accident and the resulting injuries and losses:
A bus company
If your accident occurred on a private tour bus, charter bus or a party bus, the company that owns and/or operates the bus can be held liable.
If your child has been injured in a school bus accident, the school district and/or the company that operates the bus (typically a contractor) can be held responsible.
If you suffered your injuries in a LA Metro accident, the government can be held liable.
If a negligent driver collided with the bus in which you were riding, his or her insurance company could be held liable for damages.
If a defective bus part or component such as a faulty seatbelt caused the accident or your injuries, the manufacturer of the defective product can also be held liable for your injuries and damages.
After any type of bus accident, including a bus crash, the most important thing to do is check if you or anyone else has been injured. If that is the case, you should seek medical attention right away. Call 911 so emergency personnel arrive at the scene and provide medical attention to those who need it. Do not decline treatment or help at the accident scene.
If you are able to do so, it is also important to collect as much evidence as possible. Get names and contact information for any eyewitnesses who saw the crash occur and can corroborate your account of what occurred. It is also crucial to get photos and videos from the scene of the crash. Write down as much notes as you can including how many vehicles were involved, the position of the vehicles, the weather on the day of the crash, traffic conditions, the bus driver's condition, etc.
Get prompt medical attention, treatment and care for your injuries. This ensures that you get on the road to recovery and also helps document the type of injury you suffered and the treatment you sought. In addition to taking these steps, it is also important that you seek the counsel of an experienced Los Angeles bus accident lawyer who can explain your rights and help you determine the value of your case.
You attorney can also help gather other important evidence such as police and incident reports.
If you suffered injuries in a bus accident involving a Los Angeles city bus, you may need to file a claim against the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is a county agency. Under California law, any personal injury claim against a governmental agency must be filed within 180 days or six months of the accident.
In general, you have two years from the date of an accident to file a personal injury claim in California. But, when it comes to governmental entities, that deadline – or statute of limitations – is much shorter. There are also other circumstances in which a governmental entity can be held liable for a bus accident.
For example, when the accident occurs as the result of a dangerous roadway or intersection, the governmental entity responsible for maintaining that roadway can be held liable for the accident and injuries caused. These claims must also be filed within six months of the accident.
If your injuries did not occur on a city bus, the state's statute of limitations allows you two years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury claim.
Bus accident victims in Los Angeles are left with major injuries ranging from broken bones and head injuries to burns and even paralysis. In some of these cases, victims may need ongoing treatment and lifelong care. Victims may no longer be able to return to work or earn a livelihood.
Our bus accident lawyers will help ensure that you have a vocal advocate on your side fighting for your rights against bus companies or government transit agencies, who have powerful lawyers on their side. We will help take care of the paperwork to be filed in court, the deadlines and documentation so you can focus on your health and recovery.
We will also help you determine the value of their bus accident claim and help you secure maximum compensation for damages including:
- Medical expenses, including emergency care, hospitalization, surgeries, cost of medication, medical equipment, rehabilitation, etc.
- Lost wages, which refers to income you may have lost as a result of missing work.
- Lost earning capacity, which applies to individuals who have sustained catastrophic injuries or permanent disabilities, which prevent them from returning to work.
- Non-economic damages including past and future pain and suffering as well as emotional distress.
If you have lost a loved one in a Los Angeles bus accident, we can help you seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love, care and companionship. Call the Vaziri Law Group at 310-777-7540 to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.