Long Beach Bus Accident Lawyer
Buses are one of the most common forms of transportation for Californians, from the complicated public transportation routes that get us to our jobs to the packed Greyhound buses that connect San Diego to Sacramento. With so many buses on our roadways every day, it is not surprising that dangerous, and sometimes fatal, bus accidents occur in every corner of our state.
Bus accidents are devastating, often involving multiple accident victims and a significant amount of property damage. However, whether you are an injured passenger, another driver, or pedestrian, you may be able to pursue compensation if a negligent individual caused the collision. To learn how to file a claim after a bus accident, you will want to speak to an experienced and knowledgeable California bus accident attorney. Contact the Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV at (562) 901-0840 or toll-free at (888) 454-5569 to schedule a free consultation.
Buses are some of the largest vehicles on the roads these days, often utilizing high-powered engines to transport hundreds of passengers every day. As such, they suffer a large amount of wear and tear in short periods of time and may require extensive maintenance to remain in working conditions. Alongside vehicle maintenance, drivers need to be fully aware at all times to ensure they have total control over their vehicles. Sadly, many of them can become overworked, fatigued, stressed due to unruly passengers or strict timetables, and distracted, all of which can lead to an accident.
These issues can affect drivers across the entire state, whether they work for a local public transportation system or private company. Among the many types of buses in the state of California, the most common ones involved in accidents are:
- Public buses
- School buses
- Tour buses
- Motorcoaches, such as Greyhound buses
- Party buses
- Rental buses for special events, such as weddings or church events
- Hotel and airport shuttle buses
Because of the size and weight of most buses, it is not uncommon for them to be involved in accidents when the bus is improperly maintained or driven by a reckless driver. In addition, buses can also be struck by other negligent drivers, leading to serious passenger injuries.
The most common types of accidents involving buses include:
Side-swipes: Buses have large blind-spots, making it difficult for drivers to see vehicles directly behind or to the sides of the back tires. When changing lanes, a driver can collide with a passenger vehicle, motorcyclist, or bicyclist, driving them off the road or into other objects.
Rear-end collisions: Due to their weight, buses require more time to stop than the average vehicle. If a driver is inattentive or speeding, there is a real possibility of them rear-ending a car in front of them. In turn, negligent drivers behind a bus can cause a collision with the bus’s back tires, injuring passengers.
Rollovers: Buses are top-heavy, meaning the majority of their weight is raised up. During a high-speed collision or a sharp turn, the driver can lose control and the bus can then turn on its side, causing a rollover. Rollovers are especially dangerous for passengers, as many buses do not require restraints, and they can collide with the bus’s side windows or roof. In addition, nearby vehicles can become crushed underneath the bus.
T-bone collisions: As buses are extremely long, they may take more time to cross through an intersection. This means that other negligent drivers, such as people who are drinking, speeding, or distracted, may be more likely to collide with the bus, causing a T-bone collision.
Intersection accidents: Alongside accidents involving other vehicles, buses can cause injury to pedestrians and cyclists at cross-walks. Buses are raised up, making it harder for drivers to see directly in front of them. If they are not careful when accelerating or slowing down at an intersection, they could strike someone in the crosswalk.
In each type of accident, there is often a negligent party who can be held liable for your injuries, but that will require an in-depth investigation with a skilled attorney.
Liability for bus accidents will ultimately come down to who is at-fault for your injuries, which can vary depending on the situation. However, the most common culprits include:
Bus drivers: Bus drivers are required to have extensive training and certification to work for a private company or public transportation department. Thus, failure to maintain a vehicle can largely be put on them in an accident if they act negligently, such as driving distracted, driving intoxicated, speeding, arguing with passengers, or otherwise acting recklessly.
Bus companies: Bus companies are required to vet and review all drivers before putting them behind the wheel, in addition to follow-up reviews over the course of their careers. If they allow an unqualified driver to get on the road, they can be held liable for negligent hiring. They are also expected to schedule maintenance on all vehicles and take any bus that has a defect or faulty component out of service until it can be fixed.
Mechanics: Sometimes the bus driver and company act completely according and schedule proper maintenance. However, there is still the possibility for a careless mechanic or repair shop to inadequately fix a mechanical issue. If it is discovered that improper maintenance caused the crash, you may be able to file a claim against the repair shop.
Manufacturers: Buses are complex vehicles with numerous moving parts. In some instances, the issue that caused an accident was a defective auto part that was installed during the manufacturing process. In this instance, your claim would likely be against the company that made the bus and allowed the defect to go to market.
Other drivers: As mentioned earlier, other drivers are just as likely to cause a collision with a bus. If another bus colliding with the bus you were on and caused your injuries, you may be able to file for compensation from their auto insurance policy.
Holding negligent parties liable is not an easy task, especially if they are a major transportation company. Public buses in California are protected from most claims due to strict deadlines and filing procedures, and private companies often have a team of lawyers protecting their interests. To ensure you receive the best shot at recovering compensation, you will need the aid of an experienced attorney who is not afraid to go to trial.
The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV understands just how devastating a bus collision can be for victims. You are likely dealing with catastrophic injuries, mental trauma, and extensive pain on top of high medical bills. While you may feel extremely stressed out and worried about your future, if someone else caused your accident, you may be able to pursue compensation from their insurance policies.
Filing a claim for damages is not an easy process, but with the right attorney, you may be able to hold the at-fault parties accountable and receiving proper compensation for your injuries. At the Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV, our lead attorney is an experienced trial lawyer who is not afraid to take large companies to court and has successfully achieved million-dollar verdicts for his clients. To reach out to an experienced Long Beach auto accident attorney, call our firm at (562) 901-0840 or toll-free at toll-free (888) 454-5569.