Bus Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles
With hundreds of people commuting every day in Los Angeles, buses can be a great alternative mode of transportation. While they’re generally safe to ride, sometimes accidents do happen. Unfortunately, accidents involving buses tend to leave victims with more serious injuries due to the configuration and size of the vehicle.
Bus accidents cases can be very complicated due to the parties involved. Depending on your circumstances, the party responsible for your injuries can be the bus driver, bus company, a government entity, school district, or even the bus parts manufacturer. Recovering compensation in a bus accident case is generally more complex compared to cases involving two passenger car accidents. If you were injured in a bus accident, contact a Los Angeles bus accident lawyer at Mesriani Law Group to discuss your legal options. We offer free consultation and accept clients on a contingency basis– meaning that if we don’t win your case, you don’t pay us anything.
Award-Winning Bus Accident Lawyers
Contact Us Today at (866) 500-7070 or Message Us Online to Schedule a Free Consultation
How a Bus Accident Lawyer Can Help
When you hire an experienced Los Angeles bus accident lawyer from Mesriani Law Group, we will fight aggressively for your case while you focus on your recovery. From start to finish, we will handle everything about your case including collecting evidence to build your case and negotiating with the other party. Our client can enjoy peace of mind knowing that an experienced lawyer will obtain a fair compensation for their injuries while they focus on recovering and moving forward.
Why Choose Mesriani Law Group for Your Bus Accident Claim
If you or someone you love has been injured in a bus accident, you want an attorney who has a history of successfully handling bus accident cases. Mesriani Law Group’s Los Angeles bus accident attorneys guarantee exceptional legal service to our clients and have the successful results to prove it.
Why you should choose Mesriani Law Group for your bus accident case:
Our Los Angeles bus attorneys will fight aggressively to ensure that you get the maximum compensation and justice you deserve. Contact our offices today for your free consultation.
If You Are Involved in a Bus Accident on an LA City Bus
Filing a lawsuit against a government entity such as the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) bus can be challenging. In addition to having much stricter guidelines to file the lawsuit, the statute of limitations is much shorter compared to filing a lawsuit against a private company.
Government-operated buses such as the Metro or DASH require injured victims to file a claim within six months from the date of the accident. The Federal Tort Claims Act waives immunity for a governmental entity and allows injured victims to file a claim based on omissions or acts. But with shorter filing deadlines, some victims mistakenly bring the claim against the wrong party. In some cases, the responsible party may not be the bus agency such as Metro but third-party contractors, bus maintenance crews, or manufacturers. To avoid making this costly mistake, contact our law office and speak with our bus accident attorney about your claim.
Types of Bus Accidents
With thousands of people moving around Los Angeles every day, buses are a great public commute option. Unfortunately, bus accidents happen more often than you’d think. In Los Angeles, bus accident victims commonly fall into two categories:
- Victim in a smaller passenger vehicle that collided with a bus
- Victim riding on a bus involved in a crash
When colliding with a bus, victims in a smaller passenger vehicle often sustain serious injuries such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), severe skin burns, lacerations, and spinal injuries. In the worst-case scenario, injuries are so severe that the victim does not survive.
While riding on a bus, victims involved in a crash are also at risk of serious injuries or death in the event of an accident. No matter the size of the vehicle you’re in, victims are always at risk of getting hurt during a traffic accident.
Common types of bus accidents include:
- Public bus accidents
- School bus accidents
- Tour bus accidents
- Airport shuttle bus accidents
- Bus accidents as a result of poor road conditions
- Bus accidents due to mechanical failure
- Bus accidents as a result of a distracted or drowsy driver
- Bus accidents involving pedestrians
- Bus accidents involving wrongful death
Regardless of the type of bus accident, victims are entitled to damages for their losses. If you’ve been hurt from a bus collision, contact an experienced Los Angeles bus accident lawyer as soon as possible to learn more about your legal options.
Why Bus Accidents Are More Dangerous
Compared to a traffic accident between two passenger cars, bus accidents are generally more dangerous and leave victims with more serious injuries. Due to the design, build, layout, weight, and number of passengers that buses carry, the potential for injuries is much more significant due to the following factors:
- The number of passengers standing in the aisle
- The cargo in the passenger area
- The lack of safety restraints
- The increased chances of rollover
- The required longer starting and stopping distances
What Should You Do After Being in a Bus Accident?
If you were involved in a bus accident, taking the appropriate steps is essential to your health, safety, and bus accident claim. Here are important tips on what you should do after a bus accident:
- Report the accident – Call the police and report the accident immediately. The police will collect information about the accident and file a police report. Police reports are important documents that lawyers refer to when building your case. Be sure to formalize in a report that you were a passenger on the bus that was in the accident.
- Seek medical attention – One of the first things you should do is to make sure you and any loved ones involved in the accident receive prompt medical attention. Sometimes, you may not feel symptoms from the accident right away, but it may show up days, weeks, or months later. It’s always a good idea to seek medical attention and have a medical professional give you a full diagnosis after a bus accident.
- Collect as much information as possible – Gather witness information including the name and badge number of the bus driver, name of the bus company, and the bus license plate number. Don’t forget to take photos of the scene, injuries, and damages. Be sure to photograph where you were sitting in relation to the damages. Also, be sure to collect names and contact information (name, phone number, email) from any witnesses or passengers or bystanders who witness the accident.
- Write down details of the accident – The date, time of day, traffic conditions, weather conditions, and any other details about the accident. Write down these details as soon as possible because as time passes, your memory of the bus accident may start to fade, and it will be more difficult to remember what happened that day.
- Contact a bus accident lawyer – Do not speak with any bus representatives or insurance companies. Instead, immediately contact an experienced Los Angeles bus accident lawyer about your accident. There are numerous legalities when dealing with bus accident cases and any mishap may negatively affect your ability to collect compensation for your injuries. Additionally, statutes of limitations restrict the amount of time you have to file your claim. Once the statute of limitation runs outs, it’s unlikely that you will be able to take any legal action.
What Do You Do If Your Child is Injured on a School Bus?
When you send your child to school on the school bus, you trust that the bus driver will take all the necessary safety precautions to keep your child safe. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Some school bus drivers engage in negligent behavior such as distracted or reckless driving that may end up causing an accident. If your child is involved in a school bus accident, there are certain things you should do including:
- Remain calm.
- Go to the accident site, if possible.
- Get your child medical attention as soon as possible.
- Make sure your child gets a full medical evaluation. Sometimes symptoms may not appear for days, weeks, or months down the line.
- Never sign any paperwork or give a recorded statement without the advice of legal representation
- Be careful about who you speak with and what you say
- Contact an experienced bus accident attorney as soon as possible
School bus accident cases can be very complicated. In addition to the possibility of multiple parties being at-fault (such as the bus driver, the bus company, the school, the school district, and others), there are also multiple insurance policies and contracts to analyze. Additionally, school bus accidents generally name a public entity as the defendant and there are specific statute of limitations and filing requirements that must be followed. If your child has been injured on a school bus, speak with an experienced school bus accident attorney as soon as possible.
Can I File a Claim on Behalf of a Family Member Killed in a Bus Accident?
Surviving family members of a victim who was killed in a bus accident may be entitled to damages by filing a wrongful death claim. However, not everyone can file a claim. Only certain family members may file for compensation for damages including:
- The surviving spouse
- The surviving domestic partner
- The decedent’s children
- The decedent’s grandchildren
- Anyone else entitled to the property of the decedent based on California intestate succession laws
Experiencing the death of a loved one is extremely stressful. If you lost a loved one from a bus accident, seek the assistance of an experienced bus accident attorney to help you get through these challenging times. Mesriani Law Group’s experienced legal council will fight for:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost wages and income
- Loss of familial support
Common Bus Accident Injuries
Due to the size and configuration of buses, accident victims may sustain serious injuries. Some of the most common bus accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Brain injuries
- Skull fractures
- Spinal cord injury
- Crush injuries
- Burns and scarring
- Neck strains
- Back sprains
- Torn ligaments
- Torn tendons
- Broken bones or fractures
- Severe cuts, bruising, or lacerations
- Nerve damage, radiculopathy, numbness
- Wrongful death
Who Can Be Liable in a Bus Accident?
Bus accidents may differ from other vehicle accidents due to the various parties involved. An experienced bus accident lawyer can help determine the responsible party or parties and hold them accountable. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, the party or parties at-fault may be any of the following:
- State or local government – The city, county, or state agency may be responsible for your injuries. If you were involved in an accident that was due to the negligence of a city, county, or state worker performing employment duties while operating a government-owned bus, the government agency could be held responsible.
- School districts and school boards – School districts and boards may be held responsible for the actions of its bus drivers. Failure to implement or enforce appropriate safety measures may put children at risk of a traffic accident. If an accident could have been prevented through adequate and reasonable safety measures, the school district and board may be held liable for your injuries.
- A private bus company – Inadequate safety measures, improper training, or hiring unqualified drivers may put others at risk and cause a bus accident. A private bus company could be liable for your injuries if they send out unqualified drivers or fails to maintain bus parts that resulted in an accident.
- A maintenance bus company – Maintenance bus companies contracted to service and maintain the vehicle may be responsible if they negligence caused the crash.
- The bus and/or bus parts manufacturer – Manufacturers of defective parts put passengers in danger and can cause serious injuries. If the result of your accident was due to a faulty part, the manufacturer may be liable.
- The bus driver – Many bus accidents are the result of a bus driver’s negligence. Distracted driving, driving under the influence, falling asleep at the wheel, or any other negligence behavior can lead to a bus crash. Bus drivers may personally be held liable in the event of a crash.
- Drivers of other vehicles and their employers – Drivers of other vehicles may be held responsible if their negligent actions caused the bus accident.
- Tour operators or cruise lines – When a bus is part of a tour package offered by a tour operator or cruise line, these companies may be held responsible when there is an accident.
Common Bus Accident Causes
There are numerous causes of bus accidents. Some of the most common ones include:
- Driver negligence
- Driver error
- Driving under the influence
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Lack of proper training
- Failure to anticipate traffic
- Failure to anticipate changing road conditions
- Failure to anticipate changing weather conditions
- Turning too fast or cutting corners too fast
- Faulty or lack of seat belts
- Suddenly braking
- Swerving too suddenly
- Product liability
- Poor maintenance of buses
- Blind spots
- Other visibility issues that hide other vehicles, cyclists, or pedestrians
Investigating a Bus Accident Claim
An accurate and thorough investigation is essential to recovering compensation for bus accident-related injuries as California law requires the victim to prove that the other party’s negligence caused the accident. There are several ways a bus driver or company’s actions can be considered negligent including:
- Impaired driving
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Negligent hiring
- Improper bus maintenance
- Traffic violations
To build a strong case, a deep understanding of multiple laws and policies including California commercial vehicle laws, bus company policies, school district policies, and local and state government laws is necessary. Our bus accident lawyers have over 20 years of experience dealing with various at-fault parties and know how to obtain the necessary evidence required to build the strongest case possible for our clients. We have the knowledge and resources to obtain bus company records, documents, policies, procedures, data from the bus electronic control module (also called a black box), GPS reports, and more. Obtaining evidence without legal representation may be possible but may take much longer and can be much more challenging. If you’ve been involved in a bus accident, hiring an experienced bus accident lawyer is your best chance at recovering the maximum compensation for your injuries.
What Duty of Care Do Busses Have for Their Riders?
Busses that take passengers for a fee owe a much higher duty of care to make sure that passengers are not injured during transit. A bus driver is considered a common carrier and by law is required to make sure passengers are safe from harm.
According to California law, a common carrier is someone who transports the public for a set fee. Examples of common carriers include:
- MTA buses
- Taxi cabs
- Railroad companies
- Airline companies
In general, buses and other common carriers owe passengers a duty of care including:
- Keeping the bus properly maintained
- Repairing any vehicle defects
- Hiring bus drivers that are qualified
- Properly training bus drivers
- Having security available on the bus and facilities to keep passengers safe (if necessary)
- Making sure passengers on the bus are safe by keeping entrances and exits free from obstacles or obstructions
Injured bus accident victims aren’t necessarily limited to bus passengers but can also include pedestrians, drivers, passengers in other vehicles, bus drivers, or families of anyone killed in a bus accident as result of someone else’s negligence. Victims who get injured on a bus, for example, due to a slip and fall, may also receive compensation for their injuries even if the bus wasn’t involved in a crash.
Highway Bus Accident Claims
Common carriers have a higher duty of care to their passengers and therefore must take special care to make sure passengers are kept safe. When traveling on a highway, accidents may occur either directly or from a third-party accident. Either way, the bus driver is responsible for keep passengers on board safe. That could mean keeping passengers on board until it’s safe to get off board or evacuating everyone off the bus as soon as possible. Failure to take the appropriate actions to keep passengers safe could result in negligence on the part of the bus driver.
What Qualifies as a Bus?
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards define a bus as any vehicle designed for carrying more than 10 passengers. Examples of vehicles in this category include:
- School buses
- Charter buses
- Church buses
- Feeder buses
- Large vans used for public transportation
- Government buses (city, county, state, federal)
- Intercity buses (like Greyhound)
- Commuter buses
- Airport shuttle buses
- Tour buses
- Mobile trailers or homes
Most of these vehicles are considered common carriers and are subject to federal and state regulations. However, state law determines if a bus company or another party is responsible for damages sustained by a victim in a bus accident. For example, California state law will apply to any bus accident that happens in Los Angeles.
Greyhound Bus Accidents
Serving 2,400 destinations across the United States and with more than 50 bus stations in California, Greyhound is the largest intercity bus company in country. Greyhound states that the company is committed to safety and that taking care of their customers and employees is their number one priority. However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, companies like Greyhound prioritize profits over the safety of passengers. When they do so, accidents can happen and leave victims injured.
As a large, multimillion-dollar company, Greyhound will do whatever it takes to downplay your injuries. The company may ask you to fill out forms after an accident and attempt to get a recorded statement from you. They will likely use this information against you to either minimize your claim or dismiss it entirely. If you have been injured on a Greyhound bus, do not sign any paperwork or give any recorded statements. Instead, contact a Los Angeles bus accident lawyer as soon as possible to help you with your claim.
Additionally, do not rush to speak with anyone from Greyhound or settle for their first offer. Most of the time, their initial offer will be extremely low and not enough to compensate you for your injuries. You may even have symptoms that may occur days, weeks, or months after your accident and may need extended medical treatment. It’s important to speak with an attorney so you can obtain an accurate estimate of the value of your claim. Don’t let Greyhound pressure you to settle quickly and get away with giving you minimal compensation for your injuries.
Bus Accident Claim Statistics
Bus accidents happen frequently in Los Angeles and throughout California. Most bus accidents happen near metropolitan areas but can happen anywhere. Here are some bus accidents claim statistics you should know about:
- According to the FMCSA, in 2019: 5,237 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes (2% increase from 2018).
- From 2016 to 2019: Large truck and bus injury crashes increased 13%.
- From 2009 to 2019: On average, intercity buses accounted for 12%, and school buses and transit buses accounted for 39 % and 34 % of all buses involved in fatal crashes.
- In 2019: 84 school buses, 15 intercity buses, and 78 transit buses were involved in fatal crashes.
- Between 2007 to 2017: Intercity buses account for 13% of traffic deaths.
- According to LADOT, in 2017, 74% of the population in Los Angeles uses public transportation to get to work.
- According to National Safety Council (NSC) tabulations of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2019, school bus-related accidents killed 109 people nationwide.
- From 2010 to 2019: About 69% of deaths in school bus-related accidents were occupants of vehicles other than the school bus: 17% pedestrians, 6% school bus passengers, 5% school bus drivers, and 3% cyclists.
- From 2010 to 2019, of the victims injured in school bus-related crashes, 8% were school bus drivers, 34% were school bus passengers, and 53% were occupants of other vehicles. The rest included pedestrians, cyclists, and others.
Bus Accident Claim Statute of Limitations
Injured victims of bus accidents only have a limited time to file a claim against the party at-fault. Additionally, the time limit for seeking compensation from a municipal entity (such as city, county, or state operated bus) differs compared to the time limit to file a claim against a private bus company. California statute of limitations sets strict and short deadlines for filing bus accident claims against a government entity.
If you’ve been injured in a bus accident involving a city or publicly operated bus, consider contacting our law office as soon as possible to discuss your bus accident claim. Any delay can negatively impact your claim and your ability to recover compensation for your injuries.
What Kind of Damages Can Be Recovered in a Bus Accident Claim?
Injured bus accident victims are entitled to damages for their losses. Damages is the legal term for the expenses and other losses suffered from the accident. This can include past and future losses. Common types of damages that can be recovered in a bus accident claim include:
- Medical bills
- Medications and medical supplies
- Physical therapy
- In-home care
- Lost wages
- Lost future earning capacity
- Out of pocket expenses including medical insurance co-pays
- Property damage or vehicle repair
- Re-education or retraining for job placement
- Other calculable expenses or lost opportunities as a result of the bus accident
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of support or love
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment
- Wrongful death
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Other mental health illnesses
- Other non-economic loss suffered as a result of the bus accident
In some cases, victims may be awarded punitive damages if the actions of the defendant are found to be especially harmful or outrageous.
How Long Does a Bus Injury Case Take?
Bus injury cases can involve several different parties including several plaintiffs and defendants. Due to the complexity of the cases and the amount of money at stake, it is difficult to predict exactly how long your bus injury case will take. In most jurisdictions, the trial date will be set 12 to 18 months in the future once you file a lawsuit. Depending on your specific case, it’s possible that the case may take longer to resolve.
However, majority of personal injury cases, including bus accident cases settle out of court. The chances of settling your case without the need to file a lawsuit is greater when you work with a bus accident lawyer with extensive trial experience. If the other party knows that your bus accident attorney is willing and able to take the case to trial if they don’t offer a fair settlement, chances are that they’ll be more motivated to reach an agreement.
Contact a Los Angeles Bus Accident Attorney
Mesriani Law Group’s attorneys have proven successful track records in obtaining the maximum compensation for victims in personal injury cases. Most bus accident claims must be filed by a specific deadline and injury cases involving government entities have an even short time limit. If you’ve been injured in a bus accident, contact our bus accident attorneys as soon as possible. Learn about how you can protect your rights and obtain the maximum compensation for your injuries. Call our law firm at 866-500-7070 for your free consultation.
Contact Us Today at (866) 500-7070 or Message Us Online to Schedule a Free Consultation
Bus Accident Lawyer FAQs
If you were injured in a bus accident, several parties may be held responsible. With the assistance of a bus accident lawyer, you may be able to file a claim against the party at-fault including the government (city, county, state agency), school district and school boards, private bus company, maintenance bus company, bus manufacturer, bus driver, drivers of other vehicles and their employers, tour operators, and cruise lines.
If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you should contact a bus accident lawyer as soon as possible. Bus companies and government agencies have experienced attorneys working for them to make sure they pay out as little as possible or dismiss a claim entirely in the event of an accident. Without an experienced lawyer by your side, it’s unlikely that you will receive the fair compensation you deserve for your injuries.
After a bus accident, report the accident immediately. Call the police and request a copy of the police report once available. Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some symptoms may not appear until later so make sure you have a medical professional give you a full diagnosis. Collect as much information as possible from witnesses, the bus driver, and any bystanders at the accident scene. Write down details from the accident including the date, time, traffic, and weather conditions. Most importantly, contact a bus accident lawyer as soon as possible to learn about your legal options.
Absolutely No Fee Unless We Win Your Case
Mesriani Law Group has over two decades of experience in protecting victims of personal injury accidents as well as employment and labor law violations in California.
Through our wealth of experience, we understand that the main reason why victims of accidents or of unjust treatment by employers are hesitant to file cases or claim damages against the parties at fault, and this is because of the high legal fees.
In order to resolve this matter and help more people get the best compensation they deserve against the people who caused their injuries, pain and suffering and losses, we decided to offer a No Win No Fee guarantee to all our clients. This means that you don’t have to pay us anything for our top legal services, regardless of the complexities of your claims, if we are not able to provide you with the justice you deserve.
We offer this because we are confident that our experience, expertise and dedication will always translate in getting the maximum compensation you deserve at the swiftest possible time. Call our top personal injury attorneys right away for your personal injury accidents or our best employment and labor law attorneys in California for any employee related concerns and we’ll assure you of nothing but the best legal service and personalized client care you deserve.
What Our Clients Have To Say
“I cannot emphasize enough the level of their professionalism and effectiveness. It was great working with Rodney and the whole team at the Mesriani Law Group. The compensation they got me was more than I expected. I highly recommend them. With the Mesriani Law Group you’ll be in the right hands when you have an accident. They’ll take care of your case like no one else and get the maximum that you deserve.“
“After contacting many different lawyers and law firms to discuss my legal issue, I was lucky enough to come across Mesriani Law Group. They took the time to listen to all the details of my case patiently & kept me updated through out the process on a regular basis. His team was very responsive and accessible both via email and phone. Rodney Mesriani and his team did a fantastic job. Let me add that Cory, Stephan and Brandon were very helpful along the way.
Highly recommend this law firm.“
“My insurance gave me the run around for a horrible car accident I was involved in. I was getting so frustrated until i contacted Rodney and his team. Not only was his staff super professional, they actually cared and followed up with me. My case has been settled and I couldn’t be happier. Hopefully I don’t get into any more accidents but if I do, I know where to go. Thanks for having my back Rodney!!!“