Bus Accidents In Orange County, California
An injury accident involving a bus include many variables and is going to be handled much differently than a normal passenger car accident. The details of the accident can have a substantial impact on how your case must be handled.
The fact that buses carry multiple passengers raises the issue of insurance coverage. While both privately owned and public buses generally have substantial liability insurance coverage, when multiple parties are injured in the same accident, the cumulative damages can easily exceed the policy coverage.
It is for this reason that you must act quickly if you have been injured in an accident involving a bus. Waiting to file your claim could affect your ability to recover anything at all.
It is also important to note that commercial bus drivers operate under an additional set of federal rules laid out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These laws clearly define such things as how long the driver can be behind the wheel, how long the vehicle can be in motion before the driver must take a rest break, when the driver is allowed to use a cell phone and much more.
If you have been hurt in a bus accident in the Orange County area, your first step should be to seek medical attention and to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Types of Bus Accidents
Whether you are a passenger on the bus or an unfortunate motorist hit by the bus, quick action is necessary to ensure that your medical bills and pain and suffering are adequately compensated.
School Bus Accident
Each day, thousands of children use the school bus system to get to and from school. Parents assume that every precaution has been taken to ensure that their children arrive safely. However, in the event of an accident, a child may suffer catastrophic injuries due to the lack of seatbelts and safety harnesses. School bus accidents can seriously damage a child’s brain, neck and spinal cord.
Charter Bus Accident
Tourists visiting California often board charter buses to see the sights and to travel to and from destinations within in the city. While these larger buses generally feature large, comfortable seats, they do not typically include seatbelts. If a charter bus is involved in an accident, there may be multiple responsible parties that can complicate the case. The charter company, driver or manufacturer may be held liable for the injuries you have received during an accident.
Public Transportation Accident
Public transportation buses are commonly used in many California cities. Buses can easily become overcrowded and standing is not only permitted on most public buses, but can be a necessity if seating is unavailable. When a public transportation bus is involved in an accident, the risk for injury may be very high. Although the city may investigate the case, it is important that you still speak with an injury attorney regarding your injuries. This is the only way to protect your rights.
Causes of Bus Accidents
There are a number of reasons a bus might get into an accident, but driver fatigue seems to be one of the most common. Some of the other common (but somewhat less frequent) causes of bus accidents include:
- Road rage or driving aggressively
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Too much time on the road
- Mechanical problems (improper maintenance)
- Error on the part of the driver
- Distractions while driving (cell phone use is common)
Common Bus Accident Injuries
Some of the more common injuries that an individual may face when involved in a bus accident include:
- Trauma to the head
- Brain injuries or TBI
- Injuries to the spinal cord (paralysis)
- Crushing injuries
- Damage to the nerves
- Internal injuries
- Cuts, bruises and burns
We Help You Take Action
Buses are much larger than commuter vehicles and can cause serious injuries in an accident. In addition, most buses do not offer seatbelts, which increases the risk of serious injury in the event of a crash. Some passengers in a bus accident may suffer minor injuries (such as cuts, bruises and sprains) while others can suffer much more severe and life-altering injuries (broken bones, injuries to internal organs, burns, concussions, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injury). For some, these injuries prove fatal.
In the end, your personal injury attorney is your advocate in court. At the Orange County Law Offices of Brent A. Duque, we maintain a staff of a highly professional, knowledgeable, aggressive and successful bus accident attorneys who represent injured people through our offices that stretch across Southern California. Time limitations apply to any injury claim you might have, so for purposes of investigating a possible case and possibly preserving evidence, it’s best for you to contact us immediately after an accident.
Contact our Orange County Personal Injury Attorneys at 1-877-241-9554 to learn more about your legal options. A free consultation is just a phone call away. You can even use our online contact form, and we’ll reply to you quickly.