Sacramento Bus Accident Attorneys
Bus Companies Can Be Held Liable For Accidents
Bus accidents are rare, but when they do occur, they can be deadly. Dozens of people may end up seriously injured. Loss of life is not uncommon.
California law recognizes the weighty responsibilities of bus companies. It holds them to high standards when it comes to protecting the safety of their passengers. Unfortunately, accidents are still far too frequent.
What do I do if I am involved in a bus accident?
The first thing you should always do with any accident is seek medical assistance if needed. Then you should gather as much information as possible from the scene of the accident including the bus’ license plate number and the bus driver’s information. Take photos of the scene including where you were sitting at the time of the accident, damages to the bus and other vehicles and the roadway where the accident happened. Continue gathering the names and contact information from witnesses and take down detailed notes of the time of the accident, the traffic condition, weather conditions and other details. Most importantly, do not give a recorded or written statement to anyone and contact an attorney immediately.
Who is responsible if I get hit by a bus?
Every bus accident is different but the following could potentially be held liable:
- Drivers – either the bus driver or the drivers of other vehicles who may have contributed to the accident
- Bus manufacturers and retailers – if there is a defective product such as a faulty braking system, a broken engine component or a defective tire
- Bus companies – the employers who hired an unqualified driver or failed to regulate the limit the driver was on the road
- Bus maintenance firms – companies that perform repair work and regular maintenance
- Local and state governments – if the driver was a city bus driver or an employee of other governmental agencies
If I am a passenger of another vehicle involved in a bus collision, who can I sue?
You can sue whoever was potentially at fault for the accident including the bus operator and bus company; the driver of your own vehicle; the drivers of any other vehicles involved in the accident as well as any other person or entity which may have contributed to the accident.
If I am a driver of a vehicle that is involved in a bus collision, who can I sue?
Depending on the specifics of the case, you can sue the operator and owner of the bus as well as any other person or entity who is responsible for the accident, provided you did not cause the accident.
If I am a pedestrian and got hit by a bus, who can I sue?
You can sue any person who is responsible for your injuries. A thorough investigation will need to be performed which your attorney can help you with.
What does it mean that drivers are required to use the “highest duty of care?”
The law states that public transit drivers and operators on the road must be especially careful in delivering passengers safely to their destination. This is different than the standard duty of care that requires each of us to act reasonably in our daily routine.
When should I file a claim for a bus accident?
The general statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years. However, if you were hurt by a vehicle that is owned and operated by a public transit district or government entity, you are required to file a “tort claim” before you can file a lawsuit which is 180 days after the accident. Contact an attorney immediately if you’ve been involved in a bus accident.
What types of damages can I be compensated for?
Every case is different but generally speaking the following damages you can be compensated for:
- Pain and suffering
- Cost of medical treatment
- Loss of wages
- Loss of future income
- Life care
- Wrongful death
- Loss of consortium
An attorney can best evaluate your case and determine what you deserve for compensation.
If I am a passenger on a bus, do I have any special protections?
Yes, as a passenger, you do have special protections that other people injured by buses do not. A bus is considered a “common carrier” and therefore owe the utmost duty of care to you.
What types of vehicles are considered common carriers?
California law broadly defines “common carriers” to include buses, taxis, trains, LRVs, ferries, airplanes and even certain amusement park rides.
How important is the investigation in a bus accident?
Investigation is extremely important, especially if it involves government agencies. Law enforcement and government agencies do their best to ensure safety for everyone but sometimes they can make mistakes. For that reason, conducting a proper investigation is crucial for your case.
Do I need an attorney?
Getting injured in a bus accident can take a severe financial, physical and emotional toll on your life. Dealing with the investigation, insurance companies and police shouldn’t be something you add on to this stressful moment. Skilled and experienced personal injury and accident attorneys are better equipped to handle your case than you are.
Why Are Bus Accidents Complicated?
From a legal standpoint, bus accidents are typically more complicated than other types of vehicle accidents. It’s not always obvious who exactly is responsible. Is it the bus driver? The bus company? Sacramento’s Regional Transit Authority? Multiple parties may be liable.
For example, the driver may have been negligent by failing to observe traffic laws or driving under the influence. The bus company may also be liable for negligent hiring if the driver had a history of traffic violations, alcoholism or substance abuse. A thorough investigation soon after the accident is the key to unlocking these answers.
Benefit From Nearly 60 Years’ Combined Personal Injury Experience
At The Weinberger Law Firm, we’re committed to helping you obtain the answers and compensation you deserve. Our personal injury attorneys will work through these issues with diligence and care. We can conduct an in-depth investigation and prepare a strong case for you and your loved ones.
With a proven track record, we have experience handling all types of traffic accident cases. We handle cases involving:
- Public transit buses
- School buses
- Tour buses
- Private charter buses
Contact our office to speak with a Sacramento California bus accident lawyer about your injury claim. We offer a free initial consultation where you can get honest answers to your questions and learn more about your legal options. You can reach us by phone at 916-304-0952 or send us an email to schedule an appointment.