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Los Angeles Bus Accident Lawyer

For over two decades, the Los Angeles bus accident lawyers at Ellis Law have successfully represented crash victims who have suffered serious injury, helping them obtain just compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and more. In some cases, we have fought for justice on behalf of the family members of crash victims who tragically lost their lives. If you or a loved one has been harmed as a result of a bus accident in California, the law is on your side.

The Los Angeles car accident attorneys at Ellis Law are available to discuss your case, review pertinent documentation—including medical records, police reports, witness testimonies, and more—and advise you as to your legal options.

In the case of bus accidents, multiple parties may be held liable for damages, including the bus driver, the company that owns the bus, the maintenance subcontractor, the city of Los Angeles, and more. Our California personal injury lawyers will leave no stone unturned in our investigation of your accident, making sure that all responsible parties are held accountable for their actions.

All consultations are confidential and free of charge. At Ellis Injury Law, our success is your success—we charge no attorney fees unless we win your case.

Bus accident statistics in California

Buses have a reputation for safety relative to cars, but serious accidents involving buses do occur. Some of the most horrific bus accidents in recent memory have occurred in California: in just one week of February of 2014, four tour bus accidents took place on dangerous California freeways, resulting in two fatalities and dozens of injuries.

In 2009 (the latest data available), 1140 people were injured and 23 killed in bus accidents in the state of California, numbers that are relatively high compared to the rest of the country. And with approximately 2000 MTA buses and 1300 school buses in operation, in addition to tour and charter busses, the Los Angeles area is the site of many such accidents.

Bus accidents and related injuries

Bus accidents can be devastating because they involve multiple passengers—generally unprotected by seatbelts or airbags, and sometimes wandering freely—in a vehicle that is harder to control and subject to flipping over. Most often, busses collide with other cars or with pedestrians during accidents. Buses can also lose control, skid, or stop suddenly on their own, and malfunctions within the bus (such as with doors) can injure passengers as well.

In a case where a bus rolls over, where the bodies of passengers are flung about (even ejected from the vehicle), or where unsecured luggage and other debris can strike passengers, there can be many devastating injuries.

Common bus accident injuries include:

  • Fractures
  • Torn ligaments or tendons
  • Lacerations and bruises
  • Burns
  • Nerve damage
  • Whiplash
  • Internal injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
  • Head trauma/brain injuries

Injuries may result in disfiguring scars or may require extensive rehabilitative surgery or therapies. In some cases, damage to the body is permanent; in the worst cases, the victims do not survive the bus accident.

Liability issues

Bus accidents can happen for many reasons. Drivers sometimes speed, or disobey the rules of the road, or even drive while distracted or under the influence of alcohol. California law sets high standards for bus drivers, who are among those required to use “the utmost care and diligence for their safe carriage, … [to] … provide everything necessary for that purpose, and … exercise to that end a reasonable degree of skill,” according to California civ. code paragraph 2100.

A driver who acts negligently or recklessly will be liable for injury in a bus accident lawsuit.

In many cases, however, the vehicle itself may have malfunctioned because of poor maintenance. This appears to have been the case in a number of the high-profile tour or charter bus accidents. Some recent studies suggest such problems with school buses as well. A driver may also be inexperienced or inadequately trained. In these cases, the company or municipal entity responsible for maintenance and training will also be liable.

If the bus operates as part of a government entity, as in the case of a school bus or MTA bus, accident victims are compelled to navigate additional bureaucratic complexities. In California, you must file your claim within 180 days, and if you have missing or incorrectly filled-out paperwork, you risk missing that deadline.

The bus accident lawyers at Ellis Law can ensure that your claim is correctly submitted and processed, and that all legal deadlines are met. In the aftermath of a serious injury, the last thing you want to focus on are legal complexities and red tape. Don’t let the burden of litigation keep you from pursuing just compensation for the harm that was done to you. The personal injury attorneys at Ellis Law will take all the responsibility for filing a lawsuit off of your shoulders, so that you and your family can focus fully on recovery.

Compensation for bus accident injuries

The amount of compensation that bus accident victims are entitled to in California varies depending on the extent of injuries and the degree to which the defendant is deemed liable. For instance, in September of 2013, 85 year old Julio Huayanca settled a bus accident lawsuit for $15 million with the Southland Transit Inc. Mr. Huayanca had his leg amputated after a city bus struck him in a crosswalk downtown. The parties reached the settlement just before the jury was to announce a verdict awarding the plaintiff more than $17 million.

How a bus accident lawyer from Ellis Law can help

For more than 20 years, the Los Angeles car accident attorneys at Ellis Law have helped those injured in bus and other motor vehicle crashes secure damages in court to cover the costs—both financial, physical, and emotional—of their injuries. For a free bus or car accident lawsuit consultation, contact us at 1-800-INJURED. We will gladly provide a comprehensive and honest evaluation of your case at no cost or obligation to you.

Video Transcription:

[Derek Turbin]: “I have done hundreds of bus accidents in my my time here in Ellis Law. I think with bus accidents there’s this common misconception that if the bus doesn’t roll over or if it’s not this massive impact with the school bus, burning on fire; then it’s not a serious accident, but that is definitely not the case.

What we’re dealing with here is the bus accident where the common carrier where the driver often doesn’t account for the safety of all the passengers. Where he/she takes off to drive and makes a sudden movement. So what we have to do with bus accidents is convince the other side or convince the jury that this is a serious injury that he/she suffered because the bus driver didn’t quite account for everyone’s safety.

A few other bus accidents that we’ve dealt as we deal with a lot accidents is where the door closes on a passenger or the driver doesn’t assist the passenger in getting and off the bus. And the passenger gets injured because he/she was in a wheelchair and the bus driver took off. What we do here when we’ve had a bus accident is, we always have to think about first the health and safety of our client and second whether the driver did all the proper and appropriate actions to account for the health and safety of our client.”

  1. FMCSA, Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Facts – March 2013, http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/facts-research/CMV-Facts.pdf
  2. LA Times, Survey finds many MTA employees have safety concerns, http://articles.latimes.com/2012/nov/23/local/la-me-metro-safety-20121110
  3. California Civil Codes, paragraphs 2100-2104, http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=civ&group=02001-03000&file=2100-2104
  4. Huffington Post, 13 hurt in tour bus crash in California, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/23/13-hurt-tour-bus-crash-california_n_4493897.html
  5. CBS Local: Los Angeles, Lawsuit filed in SoCal tour bus crash that killed 8, http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2013/02/22/lawsuit-filed-in-socal-tour-bus-crash-that-killed-8/
  6. CBS Local: Los Angeles, Bus company settles amputee lawsuit for $15 million, http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2013/09/16/bus-company-settles-amputee-lawsuit-for-15m/
  7. CBS Local: Los Angeles: LAUSD bus inspection reports show major safety violations, http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2013/05/03/lausd-bus-inspection-reports-show-major-safety-violations/