Glendale Bus Accident Lawyers
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) oversees one of the largest metro systems in the United States, with hundreds of buses operating over 1,433 miles. In addition to these government-managed vehicles, our county is home to a massive tourism industry, acting as the launch point for numerous travel agencies that provide daily departures for fully packed charter buses. These massive buses are just as likely as cars to be involved in serious accidents, but they cause significantly more damage and trauma.
If you were injured in a bus accident, then you may be able to pursue compensation for your injuries, which can include all of your medical expenses, disability, lost wages, and other costs. But to receive the money you need to heal, you will need to work with a skilled Glendale bus accident attorney at Aghabegian & Associates, PC. Insurance companies for buses are just as aggressive as auto insurance companies, and they will do everything they can to avoid paying out the full costs of your injuries. But, by working with an experienced law firm, you can trust that your case will be handled by the top attorneys in Southern California.
Whether you were injured as a passenger on the bus or a driver, we can provide the legal guidance you need. Call Aghabegian & Associates, PC, at (818) 507-4311 today to schedule a free case evaluation.
While any auto accident can lead to costly injuries, the sheer size, weight, and height of modern buses can cause significantly more damage. Even at low speeds, a 20,000-lb bus can seriously injure another driver in a rear-end collision or T-bone accident, and there are further dangers for pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists. In fact, in a single recent year, large buses were involved in 15,000 accidents that involved injuries and 234 fatal crashes, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Among these, vehicles such as school buses and transit buses were involved in the majority of accidents.
Like semi-trucks, buses have larger blind spots that make it more difficult for operators to see other vehicles that are directly behind the vehicle or near the back tires. If a bus driver were to change lanes without checking his blind spots, he could easily sideswipe another motorist and cause serious trauma.
Weight is also a major factor in bus accidents. Even without any passengers, the average bus can weigh 20,000 lbs and needs a significant amount of time to come to a complete stop. If a driver is distracted, fatigued, or intoxicated, she may fail to stop at an intersection, potentially T-boning other vehicles or hitting pedestrians. LA Transit buses also make frequent stops at street corners to pick up and drop off passengers, and they may swerve into traffic if drivers are not careful.
Bus accidents are not just dangerous for other drivers, but also passengers. If another vehicle collides with a bus, passengers may be thrown into nearby seats or walls. Most buses, like school buses, do not have seatbelts or side-impact airbags. This is because buses are designed to absorb the impact of another vehicle and safely distribute it without harming occupants. However, if a bus is hit with a large amount of force or driven dangerously, it could roll over, which can seriously injure or kill passengers.
Collisions involving buses are typically the fault of drivers: either the bus driver or another motorist. Buses need to be operated with the utmost care, as the potential for a devastating accident is higher given their weight and size. The FMCSA also holds any vehicle that transports passengers to higher standards than other vehicles, meaning bus drivers are expected to take extra precautions when operating them. In the same manner, all passenger vehicle drivers should handle their vehicles responsibly and avoid tailgating a bus or speeding near one.
Factors that contribute to bus accidents in Los Angeles County include:
- Dangerous turns
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive driving
- Ignoring traffic signs
All drivers should operate their vehicles safely, whether they are driving a bus, passenger vehicle, or truck. If another driver struck the bus and caused your injuries, then you may be able to pursue compensation in an auto accident claim.
Liability in bus accidents can be difficult to determine at first, especially if you are a passenger. For passenger injuries, liability may be assigned to the bus driver or another vehicle operator. It is possible for liability to be split between multiple vehicle operators. However, what type of bus you were riding in can influence the claims process.
For example, if you were injured while riding a bus operated by LACMTA or the Glendale Beeline Bus, then you will have to file a government vehicle accident claim. Government vehicle claims have a shorter statute of limitations, or deadline, to file a claim. With government vehicles, the deadline is six months. For private drivers and corporations, that deadline is two years from the date of the accident. This is why it is important that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible to get started on your claim. The same statute of limitations applies whether you are a passenger aboard a government-operated bus or a government-operated bus hit your car.
However, if your accident involved a private bus company, such as a tour bus, intercity transit like Greyhound, or another charter company, then your claim will follow the standard claims process. This means you will have up to two years to file a claim against the vehicle’s operator or owner. But these cases are still complicated, as buses are required to have commercial auto insurance. Commercial auto insurance companies have higher policy limits but will vigorously defend their profit margins, meaning you will need strong legal representation to get compensation from them. Luckily, the team at Aghabegian & Associates, PC, is well-prepared to handle your case, whether it involves a local Los Angeles County government agency or a private corporation.
Several types of bus accidents can occur:
- Greyhound bus collision: Greyhound buses drive very long distances, and driver fatigue is a common cause of collisions. Despite being up against a large corporation, victims in Greyhound bus crashes are more likely to recover fair compensation when the case is managed by an experienced personal injury lawyer.
- Charter bus collision: Collisions with charter buses pose a specific set of challenges. When it can be proven that the bus driver operated the bus negligently or recklessly, compensation can be pursued through an insurance claim or lawsuit.
- Tour bus collision: Los Angeles County has a high volume of tour buses, and these drivers spend their days driving the same routes. Driver fatigue and careless driving behavior are common causes of tour bus accidents. Liability often rests with the bus driver, and compensation for damages can be pursued through a lawsuit or insurance claim.
- School bus collision: School bus accidents can result in injury to children, other drivers, pedestrians, or passengers. Filing a claim will require special handling, as school buses are typically maintained by the Los Angeles County School District and require a government vehicle accident claim. However, if your child was injured aboard a private school bus, you may have a claim against the private school itself. In this case, you may have up to two years to file a claim.
- City bus collision: Accidents that involve city buses can be catastrophic, as they drive on some of the busiest and most densely populated streets. Because they fall under the protection of LACMTA, recovering compensation in the case of a city bus accident can be a challenging process requiring experienced legal counsel to manage all the required filings, gather evidence, and present the case on your behalf.
Given the extensive amount of trauma accident victims often suffer in LA County bus accidents, you may be in desperate need of compensation for your medical bills. In the state of California, bus accident victims can pursue several forms of compensation in a personal injury claim. While your first concern may be covering any emergency treatment you required, you can pursue significantly more in compensation.
Bus accident victims are entitled to two types of damages in a claim: economic and non-economic. Economic damages will cover all of your financial losses, such as your medical bills, but it can also include any lost wages if you had to take time off work or the long-term costs of a disability. With non-economic damages, victims can pursue all of the non-financial costs of an accident, such as the physical pain of your injuries, the emotional trauma of the accident, and loss of enjoyment of personal activities.
Altogether, if you were injured in a bus accident in LA County, you can receive compensation for:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Vehicular damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment
If the collision resulted in the passing of a loved one, then as a family member, you may be able to pursue wrongful death damages, which can include:
- Any medical bills left over from before your loved one passed away
- Lost wages that your loved one would have earned if they had survived
- Loss of consortium (companionship, love, and emotional support)
- Funeral and burial costs
As Los Angeles County residents ourselves, we at Aghabegian & Associates, PC, have seen firsthand how devastating these types of collisions can be. That is why we thoroughly investigate each bus accident case we encounter and seek the maximum compensation possible – exploring every current and future loss. We understand that financial compensation cannot erase the trauma that you or your family have experienced, but it can lighten the burden and help to reduce your stress and anxiety.
Our cases are taken on a contingency fee basis – we don’t charge any legal fees unless we win your case. We also offer all potential clients free consultations to discuss their case, so there is no cost to sitting down with us. We serve clients throughout Los Angeles County in English, Spanish, Farsi, and French. If you or your loved one was injured in a Los Angeles bus accident, contact us today at (818) 507-4311 to speak to a compassionate and knowledgeable Los Angeles auto accident attorney.
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Call (818) 507-4311 to learn more.