We rely on buses to get us places on a daily basis. Thankfully, the vast majority of these trips are safe and without incident. Unfortunately, bus drivers do not always do their part to get you safely where you need to go. Sometimes, putting the driving in someone else’s hands can lead to a serious injury.
Bus accidents can happen in a number of settings, including:
- City buses
- School buses
- Tour buses
- Intercity buses
Serious Injuries From Santa Clarita Bus Accidents
Here are some common bus accident injuries we help with:
- Neck and back injuries
- Head injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Internal injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
The common theme is that all bus crashes are dangerous. Buses can weigh between 15,000-35,000 pounds, even when empty. The weight increases when they are loaded with passengers.
You may think that passengers on the bus would be relatively safe in a crash because of the sheer size of the bus. However, some buses are more likely to turn onto their side in an accident when traveling at high speed. Buses are also not built with passenger safety in mind. There are few safety restraints and hard surfaces to fall against in a crash.
Bus passengers are occasionally standing up, and they may be facing different directions. Tour bus passengers also have no seatbelt to protect them in a high-speed accident.
The Different Types of Santa Clarita Bus Crashes
Numerous people can be injured in a bus accident:
- Passengers on the bus
- Drivers of other cars and their passengers
- Pedestrians who are struck by a bus
- Cyclists and motorcyclists who are hit by the bus
Bus Companies Are Common Carriers
Bus companies have a higher duty of care than the average person involved in a personal injury case. Because they offer transportation services to the public for a fee, a bus company is a common carrier.
When one falls into this category, they must use the utmost care, vigilance, and diligence aimed at ensuring the safe transport of passengers. It is easier to prove negligence under this standard.
Even with the higher standard of care, you will still need to prove that the bus driver was negligent. Buses in Santa Clarita move in and out of traffic with regularity. Bus drivers may need to deal with passengers when trying to focus on the road.
Intercity buses try to keep to a schedule, and a driver may speed to get there faster. In general, bus companies have a more challenging time finding drivers these days, as experienced operators have retired, and the potential employee pool is smaller.
Causes of Bus Accidents in Santa Clarita
Common causes of bus accidents include:
- The bus driver does not properly check their blind spots when pulling in or out of a lane.
- A distracted bus driver is on their phone behind the wheel.
- The bus driver makes an illegal turn, not yielding the right-of-way to a pedestrian.
- The operator does not stop the bus in time and rear-ends a car in front of them.
- The bus driver stops short to avoid an accident, causing passengers to lose their balance.
Suing a Government Agency for a Bus Accident
Many bus trips are provided by a semi-governmental agency or local school district. If you are suing a public transport company or entity, different rules may govern your lawsuit since it is a governmental entity.
The main difference is that you have six months from the time of your injuries to submit your claim to the government. If you miss this deadline, you will be unable to receive compensation, meaning that you have to act far more quickly. The agency will evaluate your claim and either deny it or try to settle it. If you are unsatisfied with the result, you can file a lawsuit against the agency in court.
It is not necessarily easier to deal with a public agency than with an insurance company. Transit agencies self-insure and do not want to pay large claims because it impacts their budget. You will still need to negotiate compensation when dealing with the government.
Another potential defendant is a company that manufactured the bus or one of its parts. Buses rely heavily on their brakes and tires. You could sue the company in a product liability lawsuit if the bus was defective.
Your Bus Accident Compensation
Your bus accident compensation depends on how badly you have suffered an injury. If you have suffered serious injuries, it is not unreasonable to expect your case to be worth six figures. You must be paid the full amount of your damages, whether you are suing the government or a private company.
Your settlement or jury award should compensate you for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damages
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Embarrassment and humiliation
Contact a Santa Clarita Bus Accident Lawyer Today
Bus accident lawsuits can be complex, and you need an experienced attorney to represent you. At One Law Group, we are dedicated and knowledgeable bus accident lawyers, helping clients in Santa Clarita get results in their cases. All you need to do to get started is give us a call to set up your free initial consultation. You can send us a message online or call us today at (844) 626-1529.
Bus Accident FAQs
How do I know who was to blame for a bus accident?
Your lawyer will investigate the crash and determine who was at fault. Public transit or school bus crashes will also require an accident report.
What if the transit agency or school district denies my bus accident claim?
The government does not have sovereign immunity in these cases, and you can file a lawsuit against them in court.
What happens if my loved one was killed in a bus accident in Santa Clarita?
Your family can file a wrongful death lawsuit or claim to recover compensation for your own damages associated with losing a loved one.