San Francisco & Oakland
Bus Accident Lawyer
The public bus system is a significant form of transportation for San Franciscans, especially in and around the metropolitan areas. When you step foot on the bus, you are entrusting your safety and security to the person behind the wheel. Although bus drivers are trained and must pass certification and licensing requirements, accidents are bound to happen. The truth is bus crashes occur more than you think, and the injuries resulting are often serious or deadly. It is essential to understand your options if you or a loved one is injured in an accident involving a bus.
Bus Crash Causes
San Francisco has a booming population. According to the SanFrancisco Weekly, the population grew to 884,363 in 2017, hitting an all-time high for the city. Because of this rapid growth, more people and more traffic provide more congestion on the roadways. This means that bus riders have a higher chance of getting into an accident. Busy roads, however, are not the only reason for a bus accident.
One of the leading causes of bus crashes is the driver acting in negligence. Negligence is breaching a legal duty by acting or failing to act in a certain way. In a bus driver’s case, this would include not paying attention, speeding, not signaling before turning, failing to yield to pedestrians, falling asleep at the wheel, and there have also been cases where bus drivers have been found intoxicated.
The bus driver may not always be the one at fault, however. The bus company that employs a particular bus driver may be held liable for negligence. The company is responsible for supervising operations. If they do not sufficiently train, supervise, or otherwise monitor the bus driver as they should, they could be deemed the legal cause for an accident.
It is important to remember that there are also other drivers on the road. A bus crash could be caused by the negligence of another driver. With the large number of drivers in San Francisco, along with the increase in distracted driving, another driver could easily fail to obey traffic regulations and cause a serious bus accident.
The bus you are driving on could have an unknown mechanical problem, such as a broken taillight, a malfunctioning wheel, suspension, or bad brakes. Any of these problems could cause a bus to crash. Of course, the bus driver and bus company may still be held liable, but it is possible that the manufacturer of the part could also be liable.
Bus Crash Statistics
The National Highway Administration accounts for bus statistics. Let’s take a look at the most recent data available.
In 2015, buses and trucks accounted for 11.9 percent of fatal crashes in the United States. Out of the total 6,295,000 nonfatal vehicle crashes in 2015, 4.02 percent, which is 67,000, involved a bus or truck.
In 2015, there were:
- 257 deadly bush accidents
- 49 bus occupant deaths
- 295 total deaths involving bus crashes
- 14,000 bus crashes that resulted in injury
Types of Injuries Sustained in a Bus Crash
Due to the large size of buses, serious injuries and fatalities often occur. The following are common injuries sustained in bus crashes.
- Neck injuries
- Brain injuries
- Facial Lacerations
- Broken Bones
- Spinal Cord Injuries
These are just a few of the injuries that you could sustain from a bus crash. These injuries can be serious and could possibly cause complications for a lifetime. For instance, a spinal cord injury has the potential to paralyze someone.
What to do After an Accident
If you have been injured in an accident, the first thing you want to do is make sure that you receive proper medical attention. Since public buses are commercial carriers, personnel will call an ambulance to come to the scene of the accident to treat any passengers who may have sustained injuries. Even if you don’t feel that you have been hurt too bad, it is important to insist on a full medical evaluation, which will include tests for possible injuries to the back, neck, or spinal cord.
You will also want to make sure that detailed reports are filed with the appropriate law enforcement agencies. The detailed information recorded in the reports can prove to be helpful to your case down the road. If at all possible, take photographs of the accident site and any injuries you sustained with your phone.
Contact a Lawyer
Once you have received medical attention and are fully capable of doing so, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. An attorney who specializes in bus accidents can advise you of your rights. Different rules and regulations may apply to your case. Make sure that you never sign any documents related to the accident without talking it over with a lawyer first.
Another reason why you should contact a lawyer immediately is that California has statutes of limitations that apply to your case. This means that you only have a certain amount of time to file a claim before it is no longer eligible. When choosing counsel, you should look for someone who has experience and proven results in similar cases. Cases involving a bus crash are complicated and complex, and you want to be sure that your case is handled competently and that all filing deadlines are met.
You may be eligible to seek compensation for damages, such as medical expenses, lost income due to time off of work, and pain and suffering. If you need an experienced San Francisco bus accident attorney, contact the experts at Rizio Lipinsky today!
- This article should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship with anyone. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney in your community.
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