Bus Accidents

Bus Accidents Lawyers in California

Bus transportation in California is widely used and includes school buses, church buses, tour buses, mass transit buses, airport shuttles, trolleys, and even interstate carriers, such as Greyhound buses. While buses provide a service to the public, accidents can happen, and buses can also be involved in collisions. If you were injured in a bus accident in California, knowing your rights can help you understand how to move forward with your claim.

Common Causes of Bus Accidents

Each day, thousands of passengers in California use buses as their primary means of transportation. Common causes of bus accidents include driver fatigue, driver negligence, distracted driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, aggressive driving, other drivers’ negligence or recklessness, dangerous roadways, bad weather, or mechanical defects of parts or components of the bus.

Under the California Civil Code Section 2100, a bus driver has a heightened duty and responsibility for the safety of the passengers as a “common carrier”. With this higher standard comes a greater responsibility, and greater liability if there is an accident. Each bus accident will be different and will require substantial and serious investigation.

Common Types of Bus Accidents

Bus accidents happen in many different ways. Many of which are similar to the common causes of traffic accidents involving passenger cars. However, due to the large size and heavy weight of most buses, accidents involving these large vehicles typically cause significantly more damage.

Some of the most common types of bus accidents in the Orange County, California area include:

  • Distracted driving. Bus drivers have a greater duty of care on the road compared to other drivers due to the inherently dangerous nature of their vehicles. Since they drive as part of their job duties, they have a professional responsibility to use the utmost care and good judgment on the road. When bus drivers become distracted or do not provide their full attention to the road ahead, they can cause serious accidents.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Any type of driving under the influence is dangerous in any vehicle, but the danger is exponentially higher when a bus is involved. A bus driver or third party who causes a bus accident due to driving under the influence may not only absorb liability for civil claims from injured victims but also criminal penalties under California’s DUI laws.
  • Moving violations. When a driver commits a moving violation, such as speeding, running through a stop sign, or disregarding a red light, they place all other drivers nearby at serious risk. Bus drivers who commit moving violations threaten the safety of other drivers in the vicinity as well as their passengers.
  • Tip-overs and rollovers. Bus drivers must use caution when making tight turns. Taking a turn at too high of a speed can cause the bus to tip over on its side, seriously injuring the passengers inside as well as other motorists or pedestrians in the way. Additionally, serious tip-over accidents can potentially escalate to rollover accidents that are even more damaging.
  • Improper passing. Drivers who attempt to pass too close to a large bus may cause a serious accident. Bus drivers must also take the size of their vehicles into account when attempting to pass other vehicles.
  • Bus overcrowding. All buses have weight limits. Exceeding these limits alters the bus’s center of gravity and makes it harder for the driver to fully control the vehicle.
  • Poor driver training. Bus companies must ensure the drivers they hire are fully trained and experienced enough to handle driving large buses safely. If a bus accident occurs due to a driver’s poor training, the bus company that hired the driver could absorb liability for the resulting damages.

Bus accidents are inherently dangerous. It’s vital for anyone who experiences such an accident to know their legal rights to recovery.

Possible Injuries and Damages in a Bus Accident

Bus accidents have a high probability of causing serious injuries. Some of the injuries reported by past bus accident victims include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries. When the head sustains a severe impact, such as a bus passenger’s head being thrown against the inner wall or window of a bus during a crash, the impact can cause a concussion or worse. Some traumatic brain injuries result in permanent disabilities.
  • Spinal injuries. Sudden momentum shifts can cause the spine to twist in unexpected ways, and a severe impact can damage the spine. Injuries to the spinal cord cannot heal on their own like injuries to other parts of the body. If a bus accident victim suffers a complete spinal cord injury that severs the spinal cord, they will face permanent paralysis and may require constant in-home medical assistance indefinitely.
  • Bone fractures. Any vehicle accident can involve forceful impacts that cause bones to break. Depending on the severity of a fracture, the victim may face months or even years of recovery before they regain full functionality in the affected area. Some fractures may require multiple surgeries to correct.
  • Amputations. A bone fracture is just one type of injury a person can sustain to the limbs. If an individual sustains a crushing injury severe enough, amputation may be necessary to save the person’s life. These injuries are physical and psychologically painful. A bus accident victim who must endure an amputation as life-saving medical treatment should consult with a personal injury attorney in Orange County, California as soon as possible to determine the best method for pursuing compensation for such a grievous injury.
  • Internal organ injuries. Severe impacts can easily damage a bus accident victim’s internal organs, and some of these injuries may result in long-term medical complications.

It’s easy to see how damaging a bus accident can be. Depending on who caused the accident, the defendant could face liability for multiple victims’ injuries. A bus accident injury lawyer in Orange County, California can help the victims of a bus accident determine the defendant or defendants responsible for causing their injuries.

What to do After a Bus Accident

If you were involved in a bus accident in California, make sure to follow as many of these steps as possible:

  • Seek immediate medical care. If you are unable to seek immediate medical care, receive an evaluation by a medical professional as soon as possible.
  • Obtain the name, driver’s license number, employee number, and contact information of the bus driver, and any witnesses (including other bus passengers)
  • Obtain the license plate number and identification number of the bus
  • Take photographs of the inside of the bus as well as the outside of the bus, and every angle possible of the accident.

Look to see if there are any video cameras that would have captured the accident, either on the bus or traffic/security cameras in the vicinity.

Who is Responsible?

Multiple parties could be responsible for your accident, depending on the circumstances. The following are potential parties that could be liable for your injuries.

  • The bus company. If the bus company hired an unqualified or reckless driver, it may be liable for your accident. Additionally, if the bus company used a bus with defective parts or components, it may be found at fault for the accident.
  • The bus maintenance company. If the bus company hires an independent third-party company to regularly maintain its buses, and it failed to keep the bus in a safe mechanical condition, then the bus maintenance company may be liable for the accident due to negligence.
  • Governments (state or local). If the bus was a government-owned bus, then the state or local government may be responsible for the accident.
  • Another automobile driver.  If the driver of another vehicle caused an accident with the bus, the other driver and vehicle owner may be liable for the accident due to negligence.

Bus accident claims often bring up the legal concept of a “common carrier.” Common carriers are businesses that provide passenger transportation as a paid service. Some buses, such as public transportation buses and school buses, fall under the jurisdiction of a local government. Others, such as privately owned and operated tour buses, are common carriers under California law and beholden to the rules and regulations for common carriers operating in their service areas. The rules for common carriers are a bit different than the rules for accident claims against private individuals. An auto accident attorney in Costa Mesa can explain if and how common carrier liability will come into play in a bus accident claim in Orange County.

When it comes to school bus accidents, parents of children who suffer injuries in school bus injuries are likely to be outraged and shocked at such an event occurring, and they may not know who to blame for their child’s injuries. Some of the possible defendants in a school bus accident claim include the bus driver, the bus company, the school district, or the state of California. An experienced school bus accident attorney in Orange County, California can help parents in this situation determine their best available options for legal recourse.

Experienced California Bus Accident Attorney

While bus accidents are rarer than car accidents, when they happen, they can be devastating and life changing. Personal injuries can be severe and permanent.  Because buses often do not have seat belts for passengers, even minor bus accidents can often cause serious injuries. Knowing who is responsible and liable for your personal injuries, medical bills, loss of wages, and pain and suffering can require a legally complex investigation.

For a free evaluation of your case, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Easton & Easton at 800-461-8259 today.

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The superior client service Easton & Easton provides has earned the firm an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

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Easton & Easton is honored to have been chosen as one of the "10 Best Personal Injury Law Firms” in all of Southern California" each year Since 2015 based on client satisfaction — one of the highest honors we could ever hope to achieve.

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Doug and Matt Easton have each been featured as Premier 100 Trial Attorneys for California since 2015 — honors given to less than 1% of attorneys.

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Doug Easton has held the “AV Preeminent” Rating for over 30 years and Matt Easton received this prestigious distinction in 2015. The "AV Preeminent" rating is the highest possible rating for both legal ability and ethical standards, and is based on the legal profession’s oldest peer review rating system, dating back to 1887.

Doug, Brian, and Matt Easton have all been chosen as one of the "10 Best" Personal Injury Attorneys in Southern California each year since 2015 based on client satisfaction, an honor given to less than 1% of personal injury attorneys - and Easton & Easton houses three of them.

Brian Easton was selected to the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) in 2015. ABOTA is one of the most premier associations of trial attorneys and judges, requiring a certain number of jury trials as lead counsel and approval by a majority vote of the ABOTA board.

Matt Easton has been selected each year since 2014 as one of the Top 40 Trial Lawyers Under 40 for California by The National Trial Lawyers — an honor given to less than 1% of attorneys.

Doug and Matt Easton have each been chosen as one of The Best Lawyers in America for Plaintiff's Personal Injury Litigation. Best Lawyers lists attorneys who have earned selection through exemplary legal work that attracts the notice of their colleagues. Lawyers cannot buy their way onto this list.

Both Doug and Matt Easton have been selected as Top Personal Injury Attorneys by Avvo with scores of 10 out of 10 based on their skill, experience, results, peer evaluations, and client reviews.

Matt Easton has been selected as one of the Top 10 Personal Injury Attorneys Under 40 in California for 2015 by the National Association of Personal Injury Attorneys — an honor given to less than 1% of personal injury attorneys under the age of 40.

Doug, Brian, and Matt Easton have all been selected by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel among the Nation's Top One Percent of Attorneys each year since 2017.

Orange County Personal Injury Lawyer | Costa Mesa Auto Accident Attorney | Catastrophic Injuries

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My experience with Easton & Easton has been amazing! Gabriel Mendoza and my case manager Katie have been so helpful and taken so much stress off my plate. They’ve been super informative and honest and given me very clear expectations. They’ve taken such a terrible experience (my accident) and eased my mind about the outcome. I can’t thank them enough!!

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I could not be more pleased with the services provided by the Law Offices of W. Douglas Easton. The senior partner Mr. Easton took the time to meet with me and my wife while I was still in the hospital, where he gave my family hope that there was light at the end of a very long, and very dark tunnel. Matt Easton then worked my case, and because of his dedication, experience and expertise I received a settlement that was larger than I EVER thought possible. It was truly astounding! Matt and the entire team at Easton & Easton looked out for me throughout my recovery, and in the end they gave me my life back. Five stars is not enough. Thanks Matt! Thanks Easton & Easton!

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Retaining Easton and Easton was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! From the initial consultation to our final meeting, they were nothing short of exceptional. I was forced to retain their services after firing my previous attorney for not handling the case properly. I dealt with Gabriel and Brian (partner) exclusively throughout the case. They did as promised and were great communicators throughout the entire process. I will recommend them to anyone I know going through a personal injury case. They were ultimately able to untangle the mess caused by my previous lawyer and get a result that I was extremely happy with. Their staff is exceptional as well and provided top notch customer service. Amera was also extremely helpful and easy to deal with as well.

Jeffrey N.

I was in a pretty bad car accident and decided to have Easton & Easton represent me, Travis Easton to be specific. Travis Easton and his paralegal made the whole process effortless. They were so understanding and helpful! The entire thing was a gigantic mess, yet Travis managed to make it run like clockwork. I would HIGHLY recommend Easton & Easton! If you are ever in need of a personal defense attorney Easton & Easton is the firm to represent you!

Mark B.

They are the best law firm in Orange County period. Choosing them to represent me was the best decision of my life.
My life changed in a matter of seconds after a catastrophic spinal cord injury that left me disabled. Brian Easton and his team worked on my case non stop for 3 years and provided me the justice I deserved. I couldn’t have been more content.
I was treated with utmost respect and I felt like I was being represented by a close family member. The responses to my questions were quick and clear. What E & E has done for me is phenomenal.
My sincere thanks to Brian, Matt, Travis, Doug, Gabriel and Amera. They are what they are because of their dedication to provide high quality and professional service to their clients.

Vamsi P.

Brian Easton and his team, Gabe Mendoza and Amera Hajali, helped me during a very difficult time in my life. I had a significant injury from a car accident, and wound up seeking out Easton & Easton when I was having difficulties getting help from my doctors. The Easton team took a lot of stress off of me while acting as my advocates to help me get the care I needed, and saw my case all the way through to a healthy settlement.

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I would highly recommend Easton & Easton.
I was rear ended on my home and pushed into a semi-truck. I was not sure how to go about even using an attorney.
Brian, Gab and Amera were so good about helping me thru the process and representing me.
I was able to concentrate on getting myself better knowing they had my back, taking care of the details and keeping me informed along the way

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The best Law firm by far. I would highly recommend Easton & Easton, LLP and ask for Gabriel Mendoza and staff. He and his colleagues did and exceptional service. Thank you for everything. Job well done!

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