Sacramento Bus Accident Lawyer Helping Victims Recover From Injuries
Riding the bus is one of the most cost-effective, environmentally-friendly modes of transportation in Sacramento. Sacramento Regional Transit (SacRT) buses and other bus lines make getting around the city and outlying areas easy. However, if you are involved in a bus accident, the injuries can be severe, and you may face expensive medical bills.
If you’ve been hurt in a Sacramento bus crash, The Weinberger Law Firm can help you seek compensation that will allow you to recover fully and regain your financial stability. Contact our law office today for a free case review: 916-520-0476.
What Causes Bus Accidents?
Driver error is a common cause of car accidents, and the same holds true for bus crashes. While bus drivers are generally very competent, well-trained individuals, a single mistake on their part can result in severe consequences for all their passengers and fellow motorists. Examples of negligent acts on the part of the bus driver which can lead to an accident include:
- Driving while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or over-the-counter medicines
- Driving while tired or distracted
- Not possessing the necessary training or certifications to operate the bus safely
However, bus driver negligence is by no means the only cause of dangerous bus accidents. Sometimes crashes occur due to factors beyond their control, such as:
- Bad weather conditions
- Failures in bus maintenance
- Negligent acts by other drivers or pedestrians
- Faulty bus parts
- Poorly designed buses
- Roads and intersections that were not made with bus safety in mind
What Are Common Bus Accident Injuries?
A bus accident victim can suffer many of the same injuries seen in crashes involving motor vehicles. However, bus riders typically do not have the advantage of modern safety equipment, such as seat belts and airbags, that can cushion the impact of a crash. Some individuals even have to stand during their trips on mass transportation and intercity buses due to the crowded conditions. For standing passengers, a single abrupt stop by a driver could be enough to cause significant bodily harm. Buses also have a high center of gravity, which makes them prone to rolling over during crashes, which can cause severe injuries or even death.
Injuries that can result from a bus accident include, but are not limited to:
- Soft tissue damage
- Broken bones
- Back and neck injuries
- Crush injuries
- Head trauma
- Cuts and bruises
- Severed limbs
- Damage to internal organs
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Unfortunately, a bus can hurt you even if you aren’t a passenger. Because buses operate in busy city areas, devastating collisions with cyclists and pedestrians are not uncommon. If you’ve been struck by a bus in Sacramento, you also have the right to recover compensation for your injuries.
Who May Be Liable for a Bus Accident?
Determining where to file your personal injury claim following a bus accident can be complicated because many individuals and entities are often involved. Depending on the circumstances of your case, there could be several liable parties who contributed to the accident. Even when the crash was primarily due to factors outside of the driver’s control, such as bad weather, the driver may still be partially liable because their actions worsened the outcome of the crash.
Those who may be at fault for Sacramento bus accidents include:
- The bus driver
- The government agency or municipality if a public bus, city bus, intercity bus, or mass transit bus was involved
- The private bus company, such as Greyhound
- The school district, in the case of a school bus crash
- The charter bus or tour bus owner
- Bus company employees such as maintenance providers or mechanics
- The bus manufacturer or designer, if manufacturing or design flaws caused or contributed to the crash
- Third-party drivers, if their negligent actions caused the accident
Bus accident cases are often complex, and you must also contend with the California statute of limitations on personal injury claims. This time limit is generally two years from the date of the accident but can be as short as six months if the defendant is a government entity. If you’ve been injured in a bus accident, an experienced Sacramento bus accident lawyer can investigate your case, identify all responsible parties, and collect evidence to support your bus accident claim.
What Are Common Carrier Laws?
A personal injury claim for a bus accident differs from a regular car accident claim because of the implications of common carrier laws. Common carriers are entities that charge a fee to move people or goods from one place to another. Common carriers are open to use by anyone as long as they pay the fee. Because the purpose of a common carrier such as a city bus is to safely transport riders to a destination, the law stipulates that they owe their passengers the utmost duty of care. This goes beyond the usual “reasonable duty of care” applied to personal injury cases and can often make proving negligence in a bus accident case easier. Your bus accident lawyer can explain in more detail how common carrier laws may affect your specific bus accident claim.
What Damages Can a Bus Accident Attorney Help You Recover?
Following your bus accident, you will likely be facing medical challenges and the accompanying expenses. Your health insurance may cover some costs, but you may still have to pay thousands out of pocket. While all bus operators have to carry liability insurance, the insurance company may choose to deny your claim or offer you a lowball settlement amount. It is your legal right to seek full compensation through negotiation or a lawsuit for all your losses due to your bus accident injuries.
Your legal team can help you determine what a fair settlement looks like for your situation. The valuation of your claim needs to include all your economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are monetary losses that you’ve faced after your injury, such as:
- Medical expenses, including hospital bills, rehabilitation costs, surgery bills, and more
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity if your injuries disable you
- Property replacement or repair
Financial losses are only one aspect of an injury. Non-economic damages also need to be taken into account. These damages are awarded for the intangible emotional and physical impacts caused by the injuries, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Reduction in your quality of life
- Mental anguish, including depression, anxiety, and PTSD
- Scarring and disfigurement
How Can a Knowledgeable Personal Injury Lawyer Help You?
The recovery process after a bus accident can be long and painful. You already have so much on your plate; you shouldn’t have to deal with a complex legal battle to get the compensation you’re entitled to. The Weinberger Law Firm can handle all aspects of your bus accident claim so that you can focus on your healing and your family. Contact our law firm at 916-520-0476 to schedule your free consultation today.