Thousands of people every day rely on the Los Angeles Metro Bus System for transportation. It is a great public service. Unfortunately, a cost of this service is that sometimes bus accidents happen.
In most cases, an accident is at least partially caused by an avoidable factor. In these cases, the party at fault owes compensation to anyone injured in the accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident due to someone else’s actions, it is imperative that you contact an experienced bus injury lawyer as soon as possible to get the compensation you deserve.
Avoidable Causes of Bus Accidents
The following are common examples of factors that could have caused an accident:
- Bus driver negligence. Bus drivers owe a very high duty of care to bus passengers and others on the road to drive as safely as possible. The large size of buses makes them extremely dangerous to other commuters and pedestrians, and bus passengers are owed a special duty of care when they put their lives in the hands of the bus driver. Despite this, bus drivers, like any other drivers, sometimes take negligent risks while driving. Whether by speeding, texting, or working while fatigued, bus driver negligence is a common cause of accidents.
- Negligence by another driver. Often, accidents are caused by the negligence of other drivers on the road. Compounding this problem is the fact that buses are slow and somewhat difficult to maneuver. Bus drivers can’t avoid collisions as easily as smaller, more nimble vehicles, making bus passengers more likely to be victims of the negligent driving of others.
- DUI. This is one of the most easily avoidable causes of accidents but, tragically, DUI continues to be a major cause of accidents in Los Angeles.
- Improper evaluation, training, or supervision of a bus driver. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has a duty to vet drivers before hiring them, to ensure that their drivers are properly trained, and to supervise drivers to make sure they are working safely.
- Poor road conditions. Sometimes it isn’t the drivers on the road that are at fault, but the quality of the road or traffic system itself. Whether on city, county, or state roads, the government has a duty to maintain safe road conditions.
Common Bus Accident Injuries
Common injuries that occur as a result of bus accidents include the following:
- Head injury/concussion
- Neck and back injuries
- Chest injuries
- Injuries to hands, legs, and feet
- Skin damage/scarring
- Emotional distress caused by PTSD or disfigurement
Determining Fault After an Accident
After an accident, the primary legal issue is determining which party to the accident was at fault. In many cases, the answer to this question is not obvious. There can be more than one side to a story, and sometimes allegations of blame are levied against multiple parties.
Proving fault can require the preservation and collection of a range of evidence, including eyewitness testimony, images from video cameras, data from the bus GPS device, and a forensic examination of the accident scene. This can be a complex endeavor, so it is important for anyone involved in an accident to be represented by an attorney as soon as possible so that his or her rights are protected. If steps are not taken quickly to gather and preserve evidence, it could be lost forever.
It should also be noted that in California it is possible for multiple parties to be considered at fault. When this occurs, under California’s comparative fault regime, each party to blame will be responsible for their share of the overall fault.
Getting Compensation for Your Injuries
Victims of bus accidents are entitled to compensation for the harm they have suffered. Compensation can include medical expenses, lost income, and compensation for any pain and suffering caused as a result of the accident. If you have been the victim of a bus accident, it is crucial that you know and protect your rights.
If you would like more information or would like to discuss your case, contact the Law Offices of Scott D. Hughes today for a free consultation at 714-423-6928.