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Types of Bus Accidents

Posted by Siamak Vaziri | May 27, 2023 | 0 Comments

Bus accidents have the potential to result in major injuries and fatalities. Because buses have the ability to transport a large number of passengers, there is the possibility of multiple people getting injured in the event of a bus crash. Bus drivers require a commercial driver's license of CDL in order to operate. Bus drivers and bus companies are responsible for the safe transport of their passengers. Bus companies - whether they are public or private carriers - have a duty of care to their passengers.

If you have been injured in a bus accident or if you have lost a loved one in a bus accident, it is important that you contact a Los Angeles bus accident lawyer to better understand your legal rights and options. An experienced attorney can help you better understand questions such as how much you can get from a bus accident. Our knowledgeable attorneys will review your case to determine the best course of action and help you secure maximum compensation for your losses. Here, we will talk about some of the common types of bus accidents and how they might have an impact on your claim process.

School bus accident on busy street

School Bus Accidents

While the number of school bus accidents per year are relatively infrequent, when they occur, they have the potential to result in major injuries. Parents rely on school buses to get their children to and from school safely. If your loved one was injured or killed in a school bus accident, please understand that you have legal rights. While these types of bus accidents could be complex because they involve a number of different parties who can be held liable including:

The bus driver: The bus diver no doubt has a duty to protect student passengers. If the driver's negligence caused or contributed to the accident, they can be held responsible.

The school district: If the bus accident occurred because of a actions of a school district (or lack of action), the entity can be held liable for the injuries, damages and losses caused.

The school bus company: Often, school districts contract bus companies to transport children. The bus company has a duty to hire competent drivers and maintain the buses properly. When they fail to do their due diligence and their negligence leads to an accident, the bus company could be held responsible as well.

Public Transit Bus Accidents

Buses may not be the most popular means of transportation in Southern California. And yet, it is astounding how many people do take the bus to get to work, school or other destinations. Public carriers have a duty of care to transport passengers safely. Accidents involving public transit buses often result in major injuries and sometimes, even fatalities. Victims of these types of accidents may be able to hold a number of parties accountable including the bus driver and the transit authority, among other parties. Since these types of bus accident lawsuits could involve government agencies, it is important to seek the counsel of an experienced bus accident lawyer right away who can guide you through the process.

Freight Bus Accidents

In addition to transporting passengers, buses also transport cargo. The weight limit for a 40-foot freight bus is 33,000 pounds with fully loaded weights up to 44,000. A 60-foot bus has a weight limit of 50,000 pounds with fully-loaded weights up to 65,000 pounds. When a freight bus exceeds these maximum limits, it could become difficult for drivers to control the buses, which could lead to an accident. When a bus carrying such heavy loads strikes a passenger vehicle, the consequences can be devastating for those in the smaller vehicles.

Shuttle Bus Accidents

A number of entities such as hotels, colleges and event organizers use shuttle buses to transport groups of people. There are also several shuttle bus operators at airports. These carriers also have a duty of care to their passengers. When drivers operate these buses recklessly while impaired, distracted, fatigued or otherwise negligent, at-fault drivers and their employers can be held liable for the passengers' injuries, damages and losses.

Private, Commercial, and Charter Bus Accident

In California, a number of bus accidents involve private, commercial or charter buses that transport passengers to and from a variety of destinations. Private carriers, just like public carriers, have a duty of care to passengers. When a driver's negligence causes a bus accident, the bus company can also be held liable. When a charter bus accident occurs because of poor vehicle maintenance (brake failure, tire failure etc.), the bus company can be held liable for the injuries and losses caused.

California Bus Accident Statistics

Bus accidents are, unfortunately, a common occurrence in California. According to the website, California has about 100,800 registered buses outnumbering bus registrations recorded in other U.S. states in 2020. Also, in 2020, there were 176 deaths reported in bus crashes, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), School buses and transit buses accounted for 131 of those deaths. In 2019, there were 261 bus crash fatalities in the state. 

Statistics point to some of the common causes of bus accidents as:

  • Distracted driving
  • Driver fatigue
  • Reckless or aggressive driving
  • Poor bus maintenance such as faulty brakes or tires
  • Inclement weather such as rain or fog

What to Do After a California Bus Accident

Call 911. Reporting a bus accident right away is important even if you don't see anyone injured right away. This helps document the incident and have a timely description of what occurred.

Get prompt medical attention.It is important you get medical attention even if you are not experiencing injury symptoms right away. A number of symptoms don't manifest until days after the crash. Doing so also helps document the accident's effect on you, the injuries you sustained and the treatment you sought.

Collect evidence from the scene. If you are able to do so, take photos and videos of the accident scene. Obtain information including the bus number, the driver's information, the bus operator's name and insurance details. It is also important to get contact information for other passengers and witnesses to the crash.

Don't make any statements about the accident. Don't talk to defense attorneys, insurance companies or post anything online about your accident. This is because what you say can, and often will, be used against you.

Contact an attorney. It is also imperative that you talk with an experienced California bus accident attorney who will make sure your rights are protected every step of the way.

Who Can I Sue After a Bus Accident in California?

Who you can sue after a bus crash depends on the circumstances and facts surrounding a specific incident. In bus accident cases, there could be more than one defendant. Some of the parties who could be sued after a bus accident include:

  • The bus driver
  • The drive's employee, often a bus company
  • The bus maintenance company
  • The manufacturer of a bus or defective part that caused the crash
  • A governmental agency responsible for maintaining the roadway, if the crash was caused by a defective roadway or poor roadway design

Discuss Your Case With a California Bus Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus crash, it is crucial that you contact an experienced California bus accident attorney who will analyze all aspects of the case and help you secure maximum compensation for your losses. It is important to get an attorney on your case as early as possible to safeguard your rights, because bus companies have insurance companies and high-powered attorneys who get to work right away to protect their best interests.

The knowledgeable and resourceful Los Angeles bus accident attorneys at the Vaziri Law Group are passionate about pursuing justice and fair compensation for injured clients and their families. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.

About the Author

Siamak Vaziri

Attorney Siamak Vaziri’s mission is to help make his clients whole by obtaining maximum physical, emotional, and financial recovery. Mr. Vaziri’s clients' needs come first, evidenced by his 98% success rate, more than $1 Billion in client settlements and verdicts, as well as 100+ 5-star reviews. Mr. Vaziri invests every resource to nurture his client and partner relationships and does so with integrity and a relentless work ethic.


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