The severity of bus accidents and subsequent injuries are considerably greater given the size and weight of buses in general. The curb weight for transit buses currently range between approximately 20,000 and 33,000 pounds, and fully-loaded weights range from approximately 30,000 to 44,000 pounds. An average passenger automobile weighs about 3,000.00 pounds. Due to this size disparity and the basic laws of physics, any crash between a bus and another vehicle is likely to result in serious and fatal injuries.
BUS ACCIDENT CLAIMS AND INJURIES
Injuries arising from bus accidents can range from a whiplash-type soft tissue injuries, to serious head trauma and broken bones. Although the odds of bus accidents are lower compared to auto accidents involving passenger automobiles, the chances of serious injury are higher when a bus accident does in fact occur. Reason for this is that buses don’t offer any form of safety such as seat belts or airbags. As a result, if you are a passenger on a bus you’re more likely to be seriously injured if for any reason the bus driver breaks suddenly to avoid another vehicle or due to a collision with another automobile or due to any other reasons.
So then when you’re involved in an accident, make sure you collect all the relevant information relating to any reports made by either the bus company, the law enforcement – also document all your visible injuries, if any, by taking photographs of bruises or cuts. Visit an urgent care or an emergency room at your earliest opportunity to address any symptoms of pain relating to a bus accident in Los Angeles California.
BUS ACCIDENTS AND LIABILITY FACTORS
At times, when determining liability for bus accidents, a more thorough investigation may be required. Some of the factors involved that may contribute to a bus accident are:
- Busses driving at an overload with too many passengers – improper weight distribution
- Improper maintenance of the bus
- Bus drivers or other drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Bus drivers lacking adequate preparation and training
- Bus drivers working while tired or lethargic
- Road conditions and construction
- Other factors contributing to the accident – other drivers, pedestrians
If you’re injured in a bus crash you would need to hire an experienced attorney who can assist you in reviewing all the evidence, requesting police reports, initiating investigations and filing suit, if necessary, to protect your interest in your personal injury claim. Contact Aratta Law for aggressive representation against all responsible parties and entities.
INJURIES RESULTING FROM BUS ACCIDENTS IN LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA
Injuries from bus accidents can range from life threatening and permanent injuries to soft tissue injuries involving a whiplash, bruises, sprains, strains.
More severe injuries from bus accidents would include:
- Traumatic brain injuries and concussions
- Fractures or broken bones, hairline fractures
- Bruising of the bones and organs
- Permeant scarring and cuts
- Fatal injuries
- Spine injuries, such as herniated disks and protrusions
Many people may be at risk from bus related accidents: pedestrians, cyclists, passengers, other motorists. Buses are a typical mode of transport for many people, often being involved in auto accidents. Safety on the streets is essential, with bus drivers and employers owing a duty of care to their passengers and other motorists. Injuries from bus accidents often require a lifetime of care, and some may result in permanent disability.
FILING BUS ACCIDENT CLAIMS AND TIME LIMITATION
Since public transportation companies are state and or municipal agencies, distinct state laws apply to claims brought against them. Claims against such entities almost always have notice and time deadlines for filing injury or property damage claims. Of course these deadlines differ from state to state.
The California Tort Claims Act (CTCA) requires a person who is injured to provide a notice of a claim to the responsible agency within 6 months from the date and time of injury. The agency can accept the claim or reject it. If it rejects your claim, you can then file a lawsuit with the court within 6 months from the date your claim was rejected. You must be cautious with regards to your deadlines and statutes of limitations. For this reason, do not attempt to handle your claim on your own as there are many ways you can ruin your claim and be barred from recovery.
Some states may bar your claim if you submit your notice to the wrong municipal department. You also have to make sure that you submit your claim to the proper governmental entity from the get-go. To be sure that you satisfy all of your State’s notification and procedural requirements, you should contact a personal injury lawyer at Aratta Law, if you have been hurt in a bus accident in the state of California.
TOUR BUS ACCIDENTS – STANDARD OF CARE AND NEGLIGENCE
Even though the bus driver may be liable for his own negligence, the blame may also fall on the company that he or she is working for unless the driver owns the bus. A common carrier, under California law, is a business entity, which offers to transport people or property from one location to another for profit. See California Civil Code § 2168.
If an individual is in a taxicab, commercial airplane, train, cruise ship or a school bus, this means that they’ve been a passenger on a common carrier. Tour buses are also considered to be common carriers. In order to establish a common carrier’s liability for the injuries suffered by the passengers or other persons injured as a result of the loss, it is necessary to prove that the carrier was negligent.
Common carriers are held to a much higher standard of care, in comparison to regular drivers. The common carrier’s duty of care goes above the typical “reasonable care” standard to avoid causing injuries to other persons. Even a minor negligence or disregard on the part of a common carrier will be sufficient to impose liability. The public policy relating to the elevated standard of care applicable to common carriers is based on the following principle: serving the public is a privilege that involves a great duty and responsibility.
Relating to tour bus crashes, the tour company that the driver is working for is responsible for the accident unless they have contracted a different company to offer transportation services. The company responsible for the accident should be directly involved in hiring and supervising the bus driver. Of course, there needs to be negligence on part of the driver before any degree of fault is assigned.
WHY CHOOSE ARATTA LAW FIRM?
At our firm, every injured client will be in direct contact with an attorney. Many large corporate law firms end up transferring you to a case manager – you never speak to an attorney directly and your case becomes part of the mill.
At our firm, we do things different. We pay close attention to every individual case, from the inception and throughout the process of the claim / lawsuit. Our diligence and attention to detail result in consistent higher settlements, which adds up to a higher compensation for you, the client.
ATTORNEY’S ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE
Even though you may have a solid personal injury claim, the skill and the attentiveness of your attorney can also considerably impact how much compensation you will receive for your injuries. If your injury claim is negotiated by a case manager, assigned to your file at a firm, and not an attorney, your claim may end up settling for a lesser amount. This is because adjusters know who they’re dealing with and how aggressive the firm is when settling injury cases. Insurance adjuster also know who they can bully into accepting lower settlements.
An attorney’s ability to negotiate a settlement is, in many ways, the most important skill an attorney possesses. Lawyers who are effective negotiators know the importance of timing, preparation and strategy. That being said, our firm recognizes the importance of precision, timing and subsequent results, which is the foundation of Aratta Law. At our firm, nothing happens by luck but by great preparation and good strategy.