Oakland Bus Accident Lawyer
From school buses to public buses, there is no doubt that using the bus to get from one place to another is often the best form of transportation. Indeed, riding the bus is a greener way to commute, is often convenient, and can be a more cost-effective way to get to one’s destination. But as great and necessary as buses in Oakland may be, there is no doubt that these vehicles are large, and when they are involved in a crash, the outcome can be devastating.
If you are involved in a bus crash in Oakland, our experienced bus accident attorneys at the Dolan Law Firm can help. After seeking medical care, please call our law offices for a free, confidential consultation.
Top Causes of Bus Accidents
According to data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are thousands of accidents involving commercial vehicles–including large buses–reported throughout the United States every year. While, fortunately, the fatality rate for students who get to school by riding in school buses is much lower than is the fatality rate for students who get to school via other means, school bus and other bus accidents still happen. It is important to determine what causes bus accidents, how they can be prevented, and who should be held liable when a bus accident in Oakland does occur. Some of the top causes of bus accidents include:
- Bus driver negligence. While bus drivers are screened and undergo training prior to taking on the role as a bus driver, the process does not guarantee that bus drivers will always operate their vehicles properly. Acts of negligence, like speeding, taking a turn too fast, or following another vehicle too closely can all lead to a crash. In some cases, a bus driver’s actions are especially egregious, such as driving while intoxicated or impaired.
- Negligence of a third party driver. Other drivers on the road are often irresponsible, and may be to blame for a bus accident due to committing actions like those listed above, such as speeding or driving aggressively. When a third party driver causes an accident, an injured party can bring forth a claim against this driver.
- Vehicle or road defects. While less common, some bus accidents are caused because of vehicle or road defects, such as tire separation, faulty brakes, or a large pothole that is in need of repair.
While vehicular crashes are the most common causes of injuries to bus passengers, a collision is not the only way that a person can be harmed that involves a bus. In addition to a bus crash, other causes of injury might include:
- A slip, trip, or fall when entering the bus or riding the bus;
- Assault; or
- Being struck by a bus while acting as a pedestrian or bicyclist.
Who Will Pay for My Injuries?
Bus accidents can be complicated. One of the most difficult and important things following a bus accident is gathering evidence to determine fault for the incident. For example, if a passenger suffered whiplash in a crash, was the bus driver, another driver, or a road or vehicle condition to blame? Or, if a passenger slipped and fell while entering the bus, suffering a serious injury, what was the cause of that slip and fall?
Determining fault in an incident involving a bus requires opening a thorough investigation into the crash. At the Dolan Law Firm, we have the resources that investigating your case requires, and can hire experts to analyze the accident and get to the bottom of what happened.
Once fault is determined, the next step is determining liability, or legal responsibility. While most of the time fault and liability go hand-in-hand, there are some cases in which this is not the case. For example, a bus driver who is employed by a private company may have been to blame for the accident, but the company may assume responsibility under the theory of respondeat superior, or vicarious liability. The same is true for an accident involving a school bus: while the driver may have been to blame, the school district may assume liability for the crash and related damages.
The next step is actually bringing forth the claim, the how-to of which can differ depending upon liability. For example, the rules are different for filing a claim against a private party vs. filing a claim against a government agency, such as a municipality or school district. Understanding which rules apply to your case is essential if you want to be able to receive your full compensation amount. If you miss a filing deadline, you may be barred from recovering compensation permanently.
How Our Oakland Bus Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Buses are big pieces of machinery, and while very important, there is no doubt that a bus incident can result in serious, life-changing, and perhaps even fatal injuries for those involved. If you are involved in a bus accident, or are the parent of a child who has been harmed in a school bus accident or the family member of someone killed in a bus accident, we want to help. Our attorneys work hard for you by:
- Investigating your case;
- Working with experts;
- Using the resources available to us to build your claim;
- Determining the value of your case;
- Negotiating with insurance adjusters;
- Ensuring that all actions are taken in a manner consistent with the laws applicable to your case; and
- Litigating your case in court if a settlement cannot be reached.
We have years of experience behind us, and are truly passionate about what we do. We know that bus accident claims can be complicated, especially when a government entity is involved. To schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with our Oakland bus accident lawyers, please call us today or send us a brief message describing your case. We will return your inquiry as soon as possible.