Bus accidents occur under various circumstances and cause severe and catastrophic injuries. Survivors of bus accidents include bus passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and occupants of smaller motor vehicles, including cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Fortunately, those who have sustained injuries in a bus crash may be entitled to file a claim against the liable party seeking damages for their accident-related losses.
If you are a bus accident survivor and wish to pursue a personal injury claim for damages, don’t hesitate to contact our San Francisco bus accident lawyers at Greenberg Gross, LLP. We will fight to secure the compensation you need to cover your injuries and losses.
The Role of a Personal Attorney in a Bus Accident
Personal injury lawyers can play a significant role in bus accident cases that result in injuries and losses. We can help you by performing the following tasks and more:
- Advising you on your options for compensation and explaining the civil claims process.
- Investigating your accident, collecting evidence such as eyewitness statements, and photographing the scene.
- Obtaining documentation such as medical records and police reports supporting your claim.
- Identifying the liable party or parties involved.
- Consulting with expert witnesses who can provide medical or professional opinions on aspects of your case.
- Filing a claim and handling negotiations with insurance companies.
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the liable party.
- Representing you in court if your case goes to trial.
Our San Francisco bus accident attorneys will handle your case from start to finish, use appropriate legal strategies to support your claim, and work to secure the compensation you deserve.
Recovering Damages in a San Franciso Bus Accident Claim
Damages in a San Francisco bus accident case take on several forms. Economic damages represent calculable monetary losses evidenced by financial documentation such as bills, invoices, and receipts. These can include the following:
- Medical expenses, such as emergency services, hospitalization, surgeries, doctor’s visits, medication, etc.
- Lost income from taking leave from work to recover
- Diminished future earning capacity due to long-term disability
- Rehabilitation and therapy for long-lasting injuries and impairments
Non-economic damages represent personal losses that cannot be assigned a specific dollar value, including the following:
- Loss of enjoyment and quality of life
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Permanent disability
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of companionship
Certain family members may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim for a loved one who was fatally injured in a bus accident. Recoverable damages could include the funeral, burial, or cremation expenses, and the loss of the decedent’s companionship and support.
Legal Concepts Used to Prove Liability
There are several legal concepts that a bus accident attorney can use to prove liability, including government liability, strict liability, and negligence.
Negligence can be described as failing to exercise the degree of care toward others that would be expected of a reasonable person in a similar situation. Proving negligence in a personal injury claim requires that the following elements be demonstrated:
- Duty of care: The liable party owed a duty to others to avoid engaging in actions that could cause them harm.
- Breach of that duty: The responsible party failed to fulfill their duty by acting carelessly or without enough regard for the safety of others.
- Causation: The breach was the proximate cause of an accident or injury to another.
- Damages: The accident and injuries led to quantifiable losses compensable in a personal injury claim
Claims against manufacturers, such as those who make automotive parts and buses, could be subject to strict liability. In these cases, the plaintiff does not have to prove negligence because manufacturers are always liable for the safety of their products when they are used as intended.
Under normal circumstances, government entities are immune to lawsuits. However, this does not apply in cases involving the negligence of government employees working within the scope of their duties. So, if a government-owned bus was in an accident caused by employee negligence, that entity could be held liable for the injuries and losses of accident survivors.
The Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases
Civil lawsuits are subject to statutes of limitations. These state laws assign a deadline for how long a person has to file a lawsuit after they were the victim of negligence or wrongful actions. For example, according to California law, individuals have two years from the date of injury to pursue a personal injury or wrongful death claim, respectively. However, claims against a government entity are different, and require you to act much sooner.
Defendants in personal injury and wrongful death cases commonly include the following:
- The bus company
- Bus drivers
- Third-party drivers
- School districts, in a school bus accident
- Government entities
- Bus maintenance crews
- Bus and auto parts manufacturers
- Maintenance companies
Common Bus Accident Causes
Compared to vehicle accidents, bus accidents are relatively uncommon. Still, they can be catastrophic due to their increased size and weight. There are many types of buses that can be involved in an accident. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Intercity and interstate buses
- Transit buses
- Tour buses
- Charter buses
- Shuttle buses
- Private buses owned by churches, businesses, etc.
Because of the size of buses, they can be challenging to maneuver and have large blind spots. There are many reasons why bus accidents occur, including the following:
- Driver negligence, including careless driving and traffic violations, and distraction
- Poor bus driver training or vetting
- Buses that fail to maneuver properly due to lack of space, such as in urban areas
- Driver fatigue
- Dangerous road conditions or improperly maintained roads
- Inadequate bus maintenance
- Defective bus equipment
- Bus stability issues due to overloading or uneven weight distribution
In addition to collisions involving other motor vehicles, bus accidents can also refer to injuries suffered by passengers while on the bus or while entering or exiting.
Greenberg Gross, LLP Can Help You Recover Losses for Your San Francisco Bus Accident
If you sustained injuries due to another party’s negligence, you could hold them responsible for your losses. Our San Francisco bus accident attorneys at Greenberg Gross, LLP can recover the compensation you deserve.
Contact Greenberg Gross, LLP today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our legal team to learn more about your rights and options.