Bus Accidents: An Injured Party's Legal Options

Find A California Personal Injury Attorney for Bus Accidents


Unfortunately, bus collisions and injuries are more common than you might think. If you've been in an accident involving buses, contact a Personal Injury Attorney in California to seek damages for your sustained injuries.


California's Highways Have a Variety of Buses


Several bus kinds can be found on city streets and highways. In addition to city buses, Charter buses can transport passengers to out-of-town tourist locations, destination weddings, and family reunions. Members of numerous clubs, businesses, and religious groups are also transported on retreats or leisure vacations by privately owned buses.


School Buses

For youngsters, riding the bus to school is statistically superior to driving to school. However, school bus collisions do occur, and when they do, the bus driver and the school system can be held liable.

  • If a bus driver's negligence causes a school bus accident, the court can assess whether the school ran the buses or hired another company to do so.

  • If the school owned the bus, the school might be held liable for the driver's negligence.

  • If a private corporation owned the bus, the company might be held liable for the driver's negligence.

Under California's "respondeat superior" laws, an employer is vicariously liable for damages caused by a negligent worker acting within the scope of their job.


The claimant has a better chance of collecting full compensation for the accident since the employer is more likely to have the cash to pay for insurance. It is also a method to help prevent such tragedies by holding the employer accountable.


Contact a California Personal Injury Lawyer before speaking to an insurance provider.


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Tour Buses


Many tour bus companies operate in California as well as across state lines. This category includes local routes that visit tourist destinations or casinos, as well as long-distance tour buses. Many of these tour bus firms require drivers to stick to stringent timetables, travel for extended periods of time, and run buses that aren't always in good operating order.


If the driver is careless, the tour bus business may be held accountable for damages. However, if the employer failed to properly hire, train, or supervise the driver, the firm or operator may be held personally liable for the driver's actions. In addition, if the employer fails to investigate the driver's background or credentials, they may be held responsible for negligent hiring.

All drivers are responsible to other drivers on the road, but commercial drivers bear a more significant burden. Therefore, in most circumstances, commercial bus businesses, including tour bus companies, are designated as "common carriers."

If the tour bus business fails to adequately repair the buses, examine the vehicles for safety issues, or educate and supervise drivers, they may violate their common carrier responsibilities. In addition, the bus operator may be sued for Personal Injury Claims in California if safety violations caused the crash.


Public Transportation Buses


In most situations, complaints against the government are leveled in the aftermath of a public bus accident. Public buses in California are operated by the city, county, state, or another regional body. Therefore, suits filed against the government may be subject to different rules than those filed against private individuals.

The notion of "sovereign immunity" protects state governments against several types of lawsuits. In many cases of employee negligence, California, on the other hand, has relinquished sovereign immunity. 8 If a careless public bus driver causes an accident, injury victims may file a lawsuit against the state or local body that operates the bus line.


Who Do You Blame For Bus Accidents?

Even in the most extreme cases, the passenger is not to blame. Under California law, buses are designated as "common carriers," and as such, they owe a unique duty of care to those they transport. This means that the bus operator is responsible for any personal injury or property damage caused by the bus driver's negligence or poor vehicle upkeep.


Of course, there will be situations when another driver causes a crash. For example, if the accident was caused by road damage or debris that the contractors or builder should have removed, the city, county, or state could be sued for negligence.


California Personal Injury Attorneys are excellent negotiators and litigators who can frequently reach settlements without going to trial.


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Who Else Can You Sue?

The persons or groups responsible for the accident can vary depending on the type of bus accident and the reason for the accident. In a personal injury case, the liable parties are referred to as "defendants" by the injured party (plaintiff).


Other than bus drivers, defendants may include:

  1. Bus conductor

  2. Bus driver's supervisor

  3. Bus proprietor

  4. Tour bus company owner

  5. A school bus driver

  6. Charter bus service provider

  7. Other vehicle operators

  8. Bus maintenance company or group

  9. If it's a municipal, county, or state agency:

  10. The proprietor of a bus stop

  11. Bus manufacturing company

  12. Bus parts manufacturer

In some circumstances, many defendants may share guilt for the accident. If they are partially to blame for the accident, the plaintiff will be compensated under California's "comparative fault" statute. However, the damages are limited based on the plaintiff's share of fault.


In most bus accident personal injury lawsuits, the plaintiff will seek damages by proving that the defendant's carelessness was the cause of the accident.


Negligence is made up of the following elements:

  1. The defendant owed the complainant a duty of care.

  2. The defendant's duty of care was breached.

  3. The defendant's breach contributed significantly to the plaintiff's injuries.

If the claimant can show that the defendant was to blame for the accident, the defendant may be held liable and will be required to compensate the plaintiff.


It's important to note that driving for so many hours a day is a misdemeanor in California under Vehicle 21702.

Is There A Deadline For Filing Bus Crash Related Personal Injury Claims in California?

Most personal injury cases in California have a two-year "statute of limitations." This refers to the amount of time a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit.


If the plaintiff does not file a complaint within the statute of limitations, they will not be able to recover damages.


Find A Bus Accidents Attorney in California

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