When you or a loved one is riding in a bus, you could think that you are reasonably safe from damage in an accident. After all, a bus has a large, sturdy frame that is well-suited for protecting passengers from a collision. Even though this is true, riding a bus is far from safe. Whether it be rollover accidents, uneven distribution of weight, or defective parts, there are still risks associated with bus accidents in Echo Park.
Oftentimes, bus accidents hurt not just drivers, but passengers and their families. When you consider that most of the passengers on buses are children or elderly people, the scope and tragedy of a bus accident become more clear. While any vehicle accident is unfortunate, a bus accident also carries with it the added sorrow of being fatal for these and other passengers.
Free Consultations For Echo Park Bus Accident Victims
Whether it involves a school bus or a city Metro Bus, bus accident cases are different from regular car accidents, and should only be handled by a law firm with experience and dedication. When you or a loved one suffer severe injuries while riding on a public or private bus our team of experienced and dedicated Echo Park personal injury attorneys at Quirk Accident & Injury Attorneys has the resources and experience to successfully handle your claim.
What Makes an Echo Park Bus Accident Different From Other Accidents?
Bus accidents in Echo Park–and elsewhere in California–differ from regular car accidents in a variety of ways. Whether it be the locations in which they occur, who or what organization is responsible for damages, or what factors into how much a claim is worth, a bus accident is unique in terms of how to approach it.
Probably the most distinguishing characteristic of a bus accident is the structure and purpose of the vehicle itself. Whether it be a school bus that is charged with keeping your child safe to and from the route to school or a Los Angeles Metro bus that transports those without a car to various points all throughout the city, these commercial vehicles are built to hold larger amounts of passengers than virtually any other vehicle out on the road.
Driving a bus full of passengers is difficult enough, but when you factor in the crowded roads and streets, the sudden inclement weather that we have in California, and the sheer size of the vehicle itself, accidents are likely to occur. Here is a look at some of the more common causes of bus accidents in Echo Park:
- Crowded locations
- Fatigued driving
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive driving
- Unqualified drivers
- Poor maintenance or defective equipment
- Structure of the vehicle
- Poorly maintained roads
While they are usually more serious, bus accidents actually aren’t as common as normal car accidents in Echo Park. Data from the California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) found that there was an average of nearly 3,000 bus accidents in Los Angeles over the past three years.
Common Injuries from Bus Accidents in Echo Park
Bus accidents in Echo Park can be devastating for both drivers and passengers for a variety of reasons. Chief among these reasons, especially for passengers, is that they are usually not held in their seats by a seatbelt. This, obviously, can be extremely dangerous in a collision or rollover-type accident. Common injuries for those involved in bus accidents include:
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Deep tissue and internal injuries
Again, the protection from a bus being larger and more sturdy than a normal passenger vehicle is offset by the fact that there is little to no protection on the inside of the bus. Moreover, when a passenger is thrown or jostled around during an accident, the above injuries can be worsened. This is why it’s important to figure out who–or what entity–is responsible for the accident and your damages.
Liability in Echo Park Bus Accidents
Just because buses are different than normal passenger vehicles doesn’t mean that they are held to a different standard in terms of being liable for accidents. Under California law, buses are just like other vehicles, so when a driver causes an accident due to negligence, they and the company are liable for the damages. Generally, there are four elements of negligence:
- A legal duty owed to the injured person by the bus driver or company
- Breach of that duty by the bus driver or company
- A person suffering an injury
- Proving that the bus driver or company breached its duty and caused the injury (also known as “proximate cause”)
Once negligence is established, the claim then turns to the cause of the accident to figure out who is responsible. In a bus accident, any of the following can be found liable for your damages:
- The bus driver
- The owner of the bus
- The bus company
- The city government
- The manufacturer of a defective or malfunctioning part
Narrowing down the responsible party is extremely important to your overall claim for damages. Moreover, depending on the circumstances of your bus accident, there may be multiple parties involved. This means that you can file more than one claim for damages, but it also means potentially dealing with multiple insurance companies.
What Damages Are Available In An Echo Park Bus Accident Claim?
The unfortunate circumstances that surround bus accidents in Echo Park usually mean that your life is going to be altered. Injuries are likely going to be very serious and require extensive medical care, which in turn will cause a significant loss of your enjoyment of life, as well as income from not being able to work. These changes are impactful not only financially but also emotionally and psychologically.
However, the law allows you to bring a claim for damages, either through an insurance claim or a lawsuit. This can be a long process, but potentially rewarding by recovering the following:
- Lost wages
- Loss of future income
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Costs related to disfigurement or permanent injury
Again, filing a claim after a bus accident is not an easy process. On top of keeping up with doctor’s visits and medical bills, you may have to run down multiple responsible parties. In order to make this process much less burdensome, consider contacting our team of experienced bus accident attorneys. We have a proven system of success in dealing with these claims and can take the day-to-day responsibilities off your plate.
Work With Top-Rated Echo Park Bus Accident Attorneys
When you ride a bus in Echo Park–or anywhere else, for that matter–you should be able to do so without thinking of the potential consequences of an accident. The fact is, when you get on a bus, you are placing your safety and well-being in the hands of the bus driver or the company that employs them.
It’s not always possible to avoid an accident, but when you do find yourself in this unfortunate situation, knowing your options is vital. At Quirk Accident and Injury Attorneys, we can explain these options to you and provide you with any guidance and support you need to see the claim through. We are happy to offer free consultations to any bus accident victim in Echo Park or the surrounding area. Contact us today to schedule yours.