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In dense metropolitan areas such as San Francisco, accidents on the road are unfortunately a frequent occurrence. According to the United States Census Bureau, there is an estimated amount of 808,000 residents living in San Francisco as of July 1, 2022. Due to high population and other varying factors, public transportation plays a vital role in everyday commuter’s lives.

The San Francisco Municipal Railway, also known as “Muni”, is an integral part of the city and has a weekday boarding average of over 400,000 residents per week according to data collected from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). With such high demand for public transportation options, Muni has become a reliable and relatively safe alternative to driving.

However, bus accidents on the Muni do still occur, since July 2022 to March 2023, there have been nearly 1,000 total incidents that occurred on Muni buses.

Have you been injured in a muni or bus accident in San Francisco? You may be entitled to compensation. The personal injury lawyers at West Coast Trial Lawyers have recovered over a billion dollars for our deserving clients. We’re available 24/7 and offer absolutely free consultations. Call us today at (415) 326-8794 or fill out our easy online contact form for a case assessment.

Types of Bus Accidents We Handle

What to Do After Being Involved in a Bus Accident?

If you’re involved in a bus or Muni accident, whether you are a passenger of the bus, a driver, or a pedestrian, it is important to follow these steps to ensure the safety of yourself and others:

Check for Injuries

First and foremost, one of the most important things to do after a bus crash is to check yourself and others for injuries. If you or your loved one is seriously injured, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Call 911 immediately to get medical help for your injuries.

Take Photos of the Scene

Make sure to document both your injuries and the crash scene thoroughly. Documenting and collecting evidence will make it easier to display the severity of the accident to a Judge if you were to sue for the bus accident.

Contact a Bus Accident Lawyer Immediately

Experienced personal injury attorneys can provide you with the legal advice you need and make sure you get the compensation that you deserve. Get in touch with an attorney that has extensive knowledge and direct experience with bus accident cases to better your outcome.

Keep Medical Records and Document Expenses

One of the most important steps after the bus accident is keeping proper care of your medical records. Make sure to record all medical treatments, expenses, and other costs that are related to your bus accident.

Common Causes of Bus Accidents in San Francisco

There are so many factors that can contribute to the cause of a bus accident, sometimes due to negligence factors, other times due to environmental hazards. However, some of the most common causes of bus accidents include:

Speeding Busses

Speeding is one of the most common factors of a bus accident. Oftentimes, bus drivers may find themselves set back from their schedule of picking up and dropping off passengers, which may compel them to speed. However, it is not condoned for a driver to exceed the posted speed limit regardless of the reason. The Muni bus driver could create a dangerous environment for passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers nearby.

Congested and Narrow Streets

San Francisco is known for its hilly terrain and historic option of Cable Car transportation system. With nearly 500,000 San Francisco residents that own a car, that’s a significant amount of commuters that clog the roads and neighboring highways. Coupled with the already difficult and unorthodox terrain of the city, San Francisco bus accidents are in abundance at all times of the year.

Distracted Drivers

Distracted driving accounts for more than 3,000 auto accident fatalities per year in the U.S. alone. Bus drivers may feel the need to check their phone for any notifications, such as a missed call or text message. Regardless of whether it was a quick glance, a bus driver should never keep their eyes off the road, especially if they are responsible for the safety of the passengers on board.

Driving Under the Influence 

Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is another known factor that has caused a bus accident. Some bus drivers may feel the need to consume alcohol or drugs to keep themselves awake during lengthy trips.

However, these substances are known to drastically affect the way a person functions. If a bus driver is not fully aware of their surroundings and cannot visibly see where they are going, it is extremely likely for them to crash into an object, such as a vehicle or building.

A San Francisco tour bus ride took a turn for the worst back in 2018 when the driver of the bus was noticeably intoxicated while transporting guests to the Graton Casino. The passengers feared for their lives as the bus crashed into the right side rail of the Golden Gate Bridge. The bus driver continued to speed until she arrived at a casino. Once the bus driver was caught by police, she was required to take a DUI test. The results of this test indicated that the bus driver was almost 4 times over the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit.

How Much is My San Francisco Bus Accident Worth?

While there is no exact way to determine how much a bus accident lawsuit can cost or even an average amount for settlement, there are a few key factors that can help you gauge the effectiveness of your case.

All bus accident lawsuits are unique and completely dependent on different factors like the severity of the injury, the at-fault party, and where the accident occurred. Oftentimes, how much your case is worth is dependent on the effect it has on your day-to-day life.

Larger and more complex bus accident cases usually tend to trend upwards of six-figures while more minor cases usually settle out for under $100,000. The more severe cases such as wrongful death or TBI’s are valued much higher than the latter. The average settlement value can range anywhere from $100,000 to $250,000 depending on different factors.

However, each case is unique and should be assessed by a qualified personal injury attorney to fully maximize your compensation.

Here at West Coast Trial Lawyers, our team of experienced San Francisco bus accident attorneys have recovered over $1 billion for our deserving clients over the years. If you’ve been involved in a bus accident, do not hesitate to contact us immediately for a free case

Available Damages for a Bus Accident

If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to damages. There are three different types of damages that can be claimed from a bus accident lawsuit. These include:

Economic Damages

Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries. A few examples of economic losses include loss of earning capacity, medical bills, and lost wages.

Non-Economic Damages 

Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Punitive Damages 

The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. It is relatively rare and has only been incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts. Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. It is awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.

Frequently Asked Questions About San Francisco Muni Accidents

How Long Do I Have to Sue for a Bus Accident in San Francisco?

Those involved in a bus accident have exactly two years since the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. The California Code of Civil Procedure 335.1 applies to all negligence claims including injury or wrongful death.

When Should I Contact a Bus Accident Lawyer? 

You should contact a personal injury attorney with experience in bus accidents as soon as possible. Time is of the essence and the longer you wait to get a consultation, the less of a chance you have at winning your lawsuit.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help

If you were involved in a bus accident in San Francisco and would like to pursue a lawsuit against the party at-fault, West Coast Trial Lawyers has experienced San Francisco personal injury attorneys who are readily available to assist you with your case.

If you would like to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at our San Francisco personal injury law firm, please reach out to our 24/7 legal team by calling (415) 326-8794 or emailing [email protected].

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