Skilled Representation from a Knowledgeable Los Angeles Bus Accident Lawyer

Bus accidents occur in Los Angeles with alarming frequency and they shatter the lives of individuals and their families. If you use public transportation or send your child off to school on a bus, you trust that the driver, bus company, school officials, and other entities will ensure each passenger’s safety. 

Physically, emotionally, and financially, the impact of a bus crash is widespread and traumatic. There are laws that protect you and impose liability on those at fault, but the process for filing a claim or going to court is complicated, especially when a government entity is involved.

Solid legal advocacy is critical in seeking compensation for your injuries and our Los Angeles bus accident attorneys at the Dolan Law Firm are experienced and ready to assist you in your claims. We have represented the needs of many injured parties whose lives were torn apart by bus crashes, and we are dedicated to maximizing the amount you can recover for your losses. Our lawyers provide peace of mind during this difficult time by taking on the legal challenges for you.

If you have been in a bus accident in Los Angeles, call us toll free at 800-339-0352 or fill out our contact form to schedule your free consultation.

Your Risk from Bus Accidents in Los Angeles

While public transportation is statistically a safe way to travel, bus accidents can and do occur.

The United States Department of Transportation reported 4,836 injuries in bus accidents in 2021, along with 102 fatalities. While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) acknowledges that students are nearly eight times safer in school buses than in cars, school bus accidents still result on average 26,000 crashes a year, resulting in 10 fatalities. 

Add in the already-high amount of traffic and congestion in Los Angeles, and the risk of being in a bus accident is even greater. 

There are several potentially devastating injuries that may stem from bus accidents. Though the list is not exhaustive, some of the most common are:

  • Serious brain injury;
  • Spinal cord injury;
  • Broken bones;
  • Lacerations;
  • And in catastrophic cases, death.

You should be aware of your rights in case you happen to be involved in an incident. If you or someone close to you is injured due to a bus crash, whether you are a passenger, pedestrian, or a rider in another vehicle (including car, bicycle, and motorcycle), contact the legal team of Dolan Law Firm today for your free case consultation: 800-339-0352.

As one of the top bus accident lawyers in Los Angeles, we have the compassion and expertise to advocate on your behalf.

Potential Responsible Parties for a Los Angeles Bus Accident Claim

Buses, like all forms of public transportation, are known as common carriers. This means that, unlike normal car drivers, bus drivers are legally required to exercise the highest possible degree of care, caution, and consideration when operating a public vehicle. The safety of the passengers, as well as other vehicles and pedestrians around them, is their primary responsibility. That also includes ensuring all equipment is in safe working order as well as maintaining a safe riding environment while operating the vehicle.

Despite this, negligence is at the core of most bus collisions, which means you need to prove the existence of a legal duty, breach of that duty, and causation between the accident and your injuries. Complex legal concepts often arise because of the multiple parties that could potentially be responsible for the breach of duty, such as:

  • The Bus Driver: Operators must follow California vehicle code. Drivers may be liable for a failure to comply with these rules or other negligent acts.
  • The Bus Company as the Driver’s Employer and Other Entities in Agency Relationships: When a driver, including the bus operator, causes an accident while performing job-related duties, the employer/company may be liable to pay compensation to injured parties because of their relationship to the driver. You may be entitled to recover compensation from a company, such as a tour operator, that provides transportation in connection with a tourism package.
  • The Bus Company as a Common Carrier: California law provides that common carriers that transport people in exchange for compensation owe the highest duty of care to their passengers and must provide equipment and personnel suitable to meet this utmost standard. The operator’s employer may be liable for negligence in hiring a driver that is not qualified, for failing to properly train employees, or for not conducting proper maintenance measures. There may also be issues if the company does not implement or enforce safety policies.
  • Manufacturers: Some bus accidents are caused by defective parts or components on the vehicle itself, rather than an operator or other motorist. A manufacturer that produces the bus can be held legally responsible in product liability where defective design, manufacture or assembly subjects passengers and others to an unreasonable risk of harm.
  • Maintenance Services: Some bus companies contract with other businesses to provide maintenance on the vehicles. If this organization fails to meet its duty by putting an unsafe bus on the street, there may be legal liability.
  • Other Drivers: Just as in a car accident, other drivers on the road may be responsible for negligence in a bus collision. Courts will look at comparative fault to determine apportionment of damages.

Complex Issues with Los Angeles Bus Accident Injury Claims

Many Los Angeles residents rely on public transportation to get around town, which implicates the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (LACMTA) as a potential party. Additionally, school districts and boards, as employers of bus drivers, could be involved in a bus accident claim. There is a set of laws that apply if you are a crash victim and want to enforce your right to compensation from governmental bodies.

Under the California Tort Claims Act, you must comply with special procedures and rules when attempting to recover from a government entity like the LACMTA. Each agency may have a unique form with specific requirements, but generally:

  • You must file a written claim with the appropriate governing agency typically within six months from the date you suffered bus accident injuries;
  • Your claim must include contact information and list all potential parties that are government agencies.

In your written claim, you must provide:

  • The date, location, and other information regarding the bus accident; and,
  • A detailed description of how the collision happened and how the LACMTA, school entity, or other governmental agency was negligent.

Failure to follow these specific steps could lead to a denial of your bus accident injury claim. As well, there may be other reasons the responsible party may use to justify a rejection of your claim. You can still file a lawsuit in court against the LACMTA or a school-based organization. However, note that under the statute of limitations designated in the California Tort Claims Act, you must file your lawsuit within six months after your administrative claim is officially denied.

Other California Laws That May Impact Your Los Angeles Bus Accident Case

Besides the statutes that apply when filing a bus accident injury claim against a government body, there are other state laws that can influence your case.

California’s Statute of Limitations: If you are pursuing a private, non-governmental entity for compensation, you likely have two years from the date of the bus accident to file a lawsuit in court. The California statute of limitations acts as a complete bar to your claim if you do not sue the responsible party for your losses in time. There are very limited exceptions to the law, so it is important to act quickly.

Comparative Negligence: California follows a rule termed comparative negligence, which takes into account your own actions in a bus accident case. If you were partially responsible for causing the crash, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of blame assigned to you.

The Role of a Los Angeles Bus Accident Law Firm

Given the sheer number of parties that are potentially liable following a bus accident, as well as the complex laws and statutes that could determine your case, you should depend on a knowledgeable and experienced bus accident attorney.

When you hire a Los Angeles bus accident lawyer from the Dolan Law Firm, you get a partner who will help you navigate the complicated process with compassion and clarity. To help you hold the responsible parties accountable, we will work diligently to:

  • Investigate your case and to verify the details of the collision, when it happened, and how it happened;
  • Establish liability by determining the potential parties responsible for the incident;
  • Gather evidence through witness interviews and expert testimony, if needed;
  • Advise on the relevant laws, regulations, and statutes that govern your particular accident, and the best way to proceed in order to recover damages;
  • Negotiate with any private companies, insurance carriers, and government entities related to the accident;
  • Prepare for trial.

Along the way, we will keep you informed as your case progresses, and offer any additional support to aid in your recovery. With our dedicated team and wealth of resources, we can guide you through medical, insurance, or financial related questions pertaining to your accident while we proceed with your case. 

Discuss Your Claim with an Experienced Bus Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles

The attorneys at the Dolan Law Firm have a long, proven history of success in helping clients who suffered losses after being injured in bus accidents. We have produced considerable results for them, obtaining compensation for medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages. However, time is of the essence in these cases, especially when you are seeking financial recovery against a governmental body like the LACMTA.

If you would like to schedule a free consultation with a Los Angeles bus accident lawyer, please call us at (213)-667-0308. You can also visit our website to learn more about how an attorney is a critical asset in a personal injury case.

 

FAQ

 

Can you tell me what damages I may be able to recover following a bus accident?

If you have been involved in a bus accident, you may have suffered both general and special damages. You may be eligible to recover damages such as:

  • Medical bills, including hospital, surgery, and medication expenses, and more;
  • Emotional anguish and suffering;
  • Lost wages, if you need to be out of work for any amount of time;
  • Property damage, if your vehicle was involved and needs repair or replacement;
  • Any lasting or permanent disability stemming from your injuries.

If the collision involved a fatality, you might also be eligible to sue for wrongful death and recover the associated damages. Your Los Angeles bus accident law firm will evaluate your case and advise on the types of compensation you might be entitled to. Contact a trusted and compassionate legal team like the Dolan Firm to help you with your claim. Contact us today for a free evaluation.

Can you tell me how much compensation I can receive from my bus accident case?

Every case is different, so we cannot offer a specific estimate. The amount you could receive depends on the nature and extent of your injuries, as well as many more factors. As your Los Angeles bus accident attorneys, we will review the details of your case and advocate on your behalf to recover your losses. Our results speak for themselves.

Can you tell me how long my case will take before it is settled?

Filing a lawsuit can be a time-consuming process, especially with a public transportation case, where there are numerous laws, entities, and specific processes we need to follow to properly handle a claim. There is no set timeline, but we will do our best to help you proceed as quickly as possible.

How do I know whether the Dolan Law Firm is the right Los Angeles bus accident attorney to handle my case? 

When choosing a lawyer for a case like this, you need to make sure that they have the experience and compassion to handle it effectively. For over 28 years, the Dolan Law Firm has been representing our clients in bus and other motor vehicle accidents, and successfully obtaining fair compensation on their behalf. Our team of attorneys is well-regarded and recognized in the industry for our work and dedication brought to every case.

If you have been involved in a bus accident in Los Angeles, contact us today so we can discuss your case.