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How to File a Successful Bus Accident Claim to Get the Compensation You Deserve

Bus accidents can happen anywhere, including in Beverly Hills. In June of 2019, eight people required hospitalization after suffering serious injuries in a Beverly Hills tour bus accident. The incident occurred in Coldwater Canyon and the driver was later arrested on suspicion of driving while under the influence, which is severely negligent.

All bus drivers, including tour bus drivers, Metro drivers, and school bus drivers, are known as common carriers. In other words, they are legally required to be extra careful because they are transporting passengers for profit.

If you have suffered injuries in a bus accident, you must file a personal injury claim to recover damages for any injuries sustained. As with most personal injury incidents, bus accidents are typically caused by someone’s negligence or reckless actions. This can include the bus driver, the bus company, or other drivers.

Most personal injury claims in California must be filed within two years of when the incident first took place. However, some bus accident claims may have different time timeframes, or statutes of limitation. For example, bus accident claims against public entities and government-run transportation entities must be filed within six months from the date of the accident. Claims against non-government private parties and operators can be filed within two years from the date of the accident.

Bus accident claims are especially complex, but our expert team of experienced Beverly Hills bus accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers is here to help. We are ready to handle every part of your case, including dealing with the insurance companies, negotiating medical bills, aiding with your doctor’s appointments, and more.

Please don’t hesitate to contact our 24/7 legal team by calling (310) 919-5962 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a free consultation at our Beverly Hills personal injury law firm. 

Facts About Bus Accidents 

Public Bus Accident Claims

Below are several examples that would place liability in the hands of a bus driver or bus company:

  • Violating traffic laws. Part of a bus driver’s duty as a common carrier is as simple as following traffic laws and obeying traffic signals. Failure to do so may result in bus driver liability and cause a potentially serious accident. Public bus drivers are typically under stress to stick to their schedules, and may choose to run red lights or speed just to keep up. However, these are severely negligent behaviors.
  • Driving while fatigued. There are limits regarding how many hours a driver can spend behind the wheel. Deliberately violating these important safety limits is against the law, negligent, and can place many people at a high risk of being injured. Driving while tired may not seem like such a big deal, but it has the potential of putting many people in danger.
  • Negligent driver hiring and training. As common carriers, bus companies are required by law to properly train and license drivers before they are allowed to operate a commercial bus. Hiring drivers with known substance abuse issues or employing other poor training practices that cause a bus accident can subject both the driver and the bus company to liability.
  • Negligent bus maintenance. Not only are bus companies responsible for adequately hiring and training their drivers, they must also maintain their buses in good condition. At a minimum, bus companies must conduct regular maintenance and inspect tires, lights, and brakes for any wear and tear. Poor bus maintenance can easily cause vehicular malfunctions and unnecessary accidents.
  • Driving while distracted. Texting, dealing with disruptive passengers, or zoning out are all seemingly harmless behaviors, which can cause an accident and subject a driver to liability. Despite how harmless sending a quick text may seem, a bus driver can be held liable if his or her brief moment of negligence causes a bus accident.
  • Driving while under the influence. It is common sense that getting behind the wheel of a bus with passengers aboard is immoral and dangerous. A bus driver who drives under the influence is willingly putting people in danger and will be subject to additional penalties, including punitive damages.

Several bus lines operate in and out of the Beverly Hills area. LA Metro buses are part of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (LACMTA), which is a public entity. As such, LACMTA will be subject to the California Tort Claims Act. (Gov. Code § 810 et al.).

As mentioned, bus drivers and companies that transport people have a duty of care to their passengers and other motorists on the road. A bus operator is thought of as a common carrier, which means they transport people for a profit. As it relates to issues of liability, if Metro fails to properly inspect and repair its buses, or appropriately train and supervise their drivers, they may be found in violation of their duties as a common carrier.

In summary, not abiding by legally mandated duties will likely subject a bus driver or company to liability for any losses caused by their negligence.

Compensation After a Bus Accident

Bus accident victims are generally entitled to economic and non-economic damages for their losses.

Economic damages cover monetary costs a bus accident victim will have to pay or may have to pay as a result of the accident. Non-economic damages cover injuries which don’t necessarily have an objective monetary value. These damages, for example, include pain and suffering and the loss of a limb.

Damages after a bus accident claim may include a combination of:

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

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help

If you were involved in a bus accident and have sustained injuries as a result of negligence or deliberate acts of malice, you have the right to hold the guilty party responsible for your losses. A Beverly Hills bus accident attorney at West Coast Trial Lawyers will help you recover compensation for the losses you have suffered, including your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Contact our 24/7 legal team today by calling (310) 919-5962 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a free consultation at our Beverly Hills personal injury law firm.

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