Most of us at one time or another have probably traveled on a chartered bus, tour bus or motorcoach. Most parents have sent their child on a field trip or other school excursion on a commercial bus. Unfortunately, commercial bus travel is not always safe.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that approximately 21 people are killed each year in the U.S. on commercial buses. More than 7,900 are injured. Between 2000 and 2009, 87 bus and motorcoach crashes were fatal, leading to 209 deaths. Also, 1,450 people have died in school bus accidents since 1990; each year, approximately 27 school-aged children die in school bus accidents.
In California, we have seen our share of devastating commercial bus accidents in recent times. In 2016, a tour bus coming back to Los Angeles from a casino trip smashed into the back of a tractor trailer, killing 13 people and injuring 31. According to trauma surgeons who saw some of the injured, the bus was traveling much faster than the truck it hit, and the truck trailer actually entered approximately 15 feet into the bus. Such tragic accidents are usually preventable, and those responsible can be sued in civil court for damages.
At Neale & Fhima, we have more than four decades of experience litigating vehicle accidents, including bus and motorcoach accidents. Our southern California personal injury attorneys have recovered more than $50 million for our injured clients. If you were hurt in a bus accident in Orange County, contact Neale & Fhima today – we will advocate fiercely for your legal rights.
Bus Accidents and Personal Injury Liability
Commercial bus operators must follow strict safety laws at the federal and state levels. Any entity that operates commercial buses and motorcoaches in California owes a high ‘duty of care’ to bus passengers and others who share the road. When the bus company and/or driver acts in a negligent manner, victims may be entitled to financial compensation for the cost of their injuries.
Even if a vehicle outside the bus causes an accident that results in your injuries on the bus, you still may be able to collect compensation. But bus accidents are complex; they involve expensive corporate defense attorneys and huge insurance companies. The local government may be involved as well. All of these entities will try to reduce their financial liability to the bare minimum. You can seldom rely on the at-fault party or parties to volunteer to pay you the maximum amount for your bus accident injuries. You need a strong personal injury attorney as your advocate.
Common Reasons for Bus Accidents
Buses are commercial vehicles. As such, they have a high duty of care to keep passengers and the general public safe from harm. In California, California Civil Code Section 2100 specifically mandates that bus carriers ‘use the utmost care and diligence for their safe carriage, and must provide everything necessary for that purpose.…’
Unfortunately, bus drivers and bus companies are not always as cautious as they should be. Sometimes carelessness, negligence and greed can lead to serious bus accidents. Common reasons for these serious accidents in Southern California include:
- Driver fatigue due to overwork
- Demanding schedule that keeps drivers on the road for 12-16 hours per day
- Distracted driving, texting and driving
- Reckless driving in an effort to get to destination on time
- Unsafe lane changes
- Running red light or stop sign
- Poor bus maintenance
- Defective bus components
Your personal injury attorney will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident to determine what the cause or causes were, so that the best possible case can be built.
Potential Compensation for Bus Accident Injuries
Each bus accident case is different, but our attorneys will strive to get you as much compensation as possible for your injuries, such as:
- Post and future hospital and medical bills, including psychological care
- Past and future loss of earnings, as well as loss of earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of your life
- All past and future pain and suffering, and emotional distress
- Property damages for your damaged or totaled vehicle, and for personal property such as computers and cell phones
- Any other appropriate damages allowed under the laws of California
Ready To Take Legal Action? Call Neale & Fhima Now
Winning a bus accident personal injury case takes a lot of effort, time and experience. Neale & Fhima have been in the Southern California personal injury business for many years. They have the experience and skill to deal with commercial bus company attorneys and insurance companies to get you the maximum compensation you deserve. Contact their offices now.