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How Public and Private Bus Accident Claims are Handled in Bakersfield

There are various types of bus accident claims and they are all notoriously complex. Bus accidents can be caused by a number of circumstances. For example, victims may suffer injuries from public transportation, charter, or school bus-related accidents. Accidents may also be caused by poorly designed bus stops. Regardless of the specific type of accident, bus accident victims will potentially have to deal with bus operating companies,  bus owners, insurance companies, and other entities in the bus and charter industry.

An important consideration to keep in mind if you want to bring a bus accident claim is whether the bus was owned by a public or private entity. Public buses, for example, are likely to be owned by a government entity, which may trigger sovereign immunity.” This means that you are expected to meet certain requirements in order to bring a claim. If you are thinking of filing a claim against the party at-fault for causing your injuries or damages, our experienced Bakersfield bus accident attorneys are available 24/7 to provide you with legal assistance.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us by calling (661) 299-7554 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a free consultation at our Bakersfield personal injury law firm. 

Bakersfield Bus Accident Claims 101

There are 16 bus lines in operation throughout Bakersfield and the greater Bakersfield area. All public bus drivers are known as common carriers, which means they have a legal duty to be extra careful because they are transporting passengers. A common carrier is a business that is responsible for transporting people or goods for a profit. According to California Civil Code 2100, “a carrier of persons for reward must use the utmost care and diligence for their safe carriage, must provide everything necessary for that purpose, and must exercise to that end a reasonable degree of skill.”

As mentioned, bus accidents can be caused by various factors. Common causes include bus driver or bus company negligence, and even poorly administered county regulations can also cause a serious accident. However, anytime an individual or group of individuals’ negligence causes a bus accident, they will typically be held responsible for any losses caused.

A public bus can be operated by a city, county, state, or other types of regional authority. A public bus accident suit will involve a claim against a government entity, which involves distinct legal requirements and statute of limitation. For example, if a negligent bus driver caused your accident, you must file a claim against the government entity that operates that specific bus line.

Personal injury claims in California generally have a statute of limitations of 2 years. However, claims against the government have different deadlines. These types of claims must typically be presented to the government within 6 months from the date the accident first occurred. If you do not submit a claim within 6 months, you may become ineligible for damages.

Liability and Tour Bus Accidents

Let’s discuss a common example of a private bus accident claim. When it comes to tour bus accidents, the tour bus company, tour bus driver, tour bus manufacturer, and even other drivers can all be held responsible for any losses caused. As with most personal injury claims, the most important consideration is determining who was negligent in causing the accident.

Entities who are often involved in a tour bus injury claim are:

  • The tour company: A tour bus company is legally required to make every effort to hire bus companies with good safety records. If a tour company hires bus companies that are frequently cited for safety violations, the tour company may share a degree of liability for any injuries or losses caused.
  • The bus company: A bus company owns a fleet of buses. They also have a legal duty to operate reasonably safe buses. Furthermore, a bus company is required to hire and train licensed drivers who meet or exceed basic safety requirements.
  • The bus manufacturer: A faulty or poorly maintained bus can cause severe injuries in the event of a malfunction.

An accident investigation is often necessary to determine who exactly was responsible for a tour bus accident. More factors that can cause or contribute to a tour bus accident include:

  • Tour bus drivers who are fatigued and driving for more hours than is safe or legal
  • Poorly trained or screened bus drivers
  • Tour bus drivers who are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Tour buses that are carrying too many passengers or cargo

Damages After a Bakersfield Bus Accident

If you were injured after a bus-related accident in the city of Bakersfield, you may be entitled to various forms of economic compensation, depending on the specific circumstances. Economic damages, for example, are typically awarded to cover the out-of-pocket costs a victim will pay or may have to pay because of the accident. Economic damages could include compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and possibly more.

Non-economic damages, on the other hand, include compensation for losses that do not necessarily have a tangible monetary value, such as pain and suffering and the loss of a limb.

In general, damages after a bus accident claim can potentially include a combination of the following:

  • Emotional Distress
  • Lost Wages
  • Property Loss
  • Medical Bills
  • Loss of Consortium
  • ER Treatment
  • Medication and Medical Supplies
  • Physical Therapy
  • Future Lost Earnings
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life
  • Court Costs and Fees

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Always Here to Help

If you are a victim of a bus accident and would like to pursue legal actions against the party at-fault, our Bakersfield bus accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers will help you recover compensation for the losses you have suffered.

Reach out to us today by calling (661) 299-7554 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.

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