Los Angeles Bus Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a serious bus accident, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your losses. At Ellis Law, our bus accident attorneys are ready to discuss your bus accident case during a no-obligation consultation, answer your legal questions, and put your mind at ease about your bus accident claim. We understand how traumatizing this type of situation can be, and our goal is to make it as easy as possible for you from start to finish. We want you to handle healing emotionally and physically while you let us take care of the rest.
Our bus accident attorneys are:
- Experienced at winning compensation for bus accident victims. All of our lawyers are experienced negotiators and litigators. This means you’ll never have a settlement pushed on you if it isn’t truly in your best interest. We want to make sure you get everything you’re entitled to. If the case has to go to trial, all of our lawyers are prepared to handle that as well.
- Knowledgeable in all areas of bus accident law, both private and public. Bus accidents are slightly different than your typical car accident injury, so it’s crucial to find a lawyer who is experienced handling these types of cases. Further, there are nuances between private and public bus accidents that are absolutely crucial for your lawyer to know.
- Determined to hold negligent bus drivers and their employers responsible for the injuries they inflict on victims. Many people don’t realize that there might be multiple people you can hold responsible for injuries you sustain in an accident. It might be the city, the bus driver, their employer, or even a passenger or another driver if they caused the accident. Our dedicated lawyers will do whatever it takes to determine who is responsible and get you the compensation and help you deserve.
Any information you provide to Ellis Law is confidential. Contact us today to learn about our full-service law firm and the many ways in which we help bus accident victims return to their lives after a devastating crash.
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What a Bus Accident Attorney Can Do For You
Filing a bus accident claim is a complicated process best handled by a legal professional. At Ellis Law, we determine all of the parties liable for your accident and hold them responsible for your losses. Our bus accident attorneys protect your rights throughout the entire legal process and fight for the maximum compensation allowable by law for your injuries.
Ellis Law’s bus accident attorneys will build the strongest legal claim possible on your behalf and stand beside you from the beginning to the end of your case.
This may include any of the following and more:
- Evaluating the scene of the accident.
- Hiring expert medical witnesses. Anytime you have a personal injury claim, showing what injuries you sustained is going to be crucial. To do this, it’s important to obtain medical records and also consult with a medical expert. The right medical expert will be able to competently evaluate your injuries and determine what kind of treatment and rehabilitation you might need in the future, as well as try to determine what the cost of that treatment might be. Additionally, an expert medical witness can testify on your behalf at trial if it comes to that. They’re experienced in testifying to complex medical terms in a way that judges and juries can truly understand, which is crucial if you wish to prevail in your case.
- Working with accident reconstructionists;
- Retaining a private investigator;
- Identifying and interviewing eyewitnesses. This is going to be another crucial aspect of your case. In order to determine what happened, it’s necessary to identify and interview any and all witnesses in the area. This includes determining if anyone has video footage of the incident or if there is any nearby video footage from stores, houses, or dash-cams in other cars nearby.
- Aggressively negotiating on your behalf with any insurance company(s). Insurance companies typically have one goal: to make money. To do this, they want to pay out as little money as possible. This is why it’s so important to hire an attorney to help you negotiate with the insurance company or to file a lawsuit. Insurance companies will typically try to offer you a low settlement offer just to dispose of the case and limit their liability. Never accept any kind of offer without seeking legal representation first.
- If needed, filing and presenting your legal case before the court.
When Ellis Law handles your bus accident claim, you can concentrate on healing from your injuries. Call us today to take your first step towards recovering from your injuries and other accident-related losses.
What is a Bus?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or FMCSA defines a bus as any vehicle used to transport nine or more people. Commonly used buses include:
- School buses;
- Municipal transit buses;
- Tour buses;
- Intercity buses; and
- Airport buses.
Bus Accidents are Unique
Bus accidents are unique due to the configuration of buses, their weight, and the number of passengers they carry. Frequently, bus accidents have the potential for significant injuries and fatalities due to their:
- Longer starting and stopping distances;
- Increased chance of rollover;
- Cargo within the passenger area;
- Lack of safety restraints; and
- Number of passengers standing in the aisle.
Bus Accident Injuries
Injuries due to bus accidents range from minor cuts and bruises to more severe, life-threatening trauma. Some commonly cited bus accident injuries include:
- Bone breaks and fractures;
- Torn tendons and ligaments;
- Severe cuts, lacerations, and bruising;
- Brain injuries, such as concussions or skull fractures;
- Back sprains;
- Neck strains;
- Spinal cord trauma;
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI); and
- Wrongful death.
Compensation for a Bus Accident
Compensation for a bus accident claim depends on the type and severity of the victim’s injuries, their prognosis for recovery, and the overall effect of the accident on the victim’s life. Generally, damage amounts include both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages for injuries are easily calculable items such as:
- Lost wages due to time off work;
- Loss of future earning capacity. Often, people are injured and can no longer go back to their previous job. Sometimes, they’re required to accept a lower paying job. In most cases, you can receive compensation for the difference between what you used to earn and your lowered earning capacity in the future due to the injuries you suffered in the bus accident.
- Medical and doctor bills for emergency and continuing care;
- Property loss or replacement. This typically includes anything you had on your person, including your phone, laptop, clothes, or anything else you had with you.
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation. The unfortunate reality is that injuries can often be severe, especially when you’re involved in a bus accident. Many buses don’t have seatbelts, causing injuries that are much more serious than if you were involved in a car accident.
- Hospital stay; and
- Medical equipment.
Non-economic damages are more subjective and harder to determine, but our attorneys are well-versed at determining what you might be entitled to. These include:
- Loss of enjoyment of life;
- Pain and suffering;
- Chronic pain;
- Mental and emotional trauma; and
- Loss of consortium.
In order to determine what kind of non-economic damages you’re entitled to, your lawyer can do several things, including the following:
- Talk to family members and find out what activities you used to be able to do before the accident that you can no longer partake in.
- Talk to your employer and see how your injures are affecting your job and the enjoyment you once had at work.
- Speak with doctors who can possibly testify on your behalf regarding what you can no longer do now and in the future, such as play sports, hike, pick up your children, or anything else that has changed as a result of the accident.
Statute of Limitations
Anytime you’re involved in a personal injury accident, including a bus accident, there’s a deadline by which you must file your claim to try to recover compensation. This is known as the statute of limitations. In Los Angeles, the statute of limitation for most auto accident claims is two years from the date of the incident. However, claims against public bus operators are a bit more complicated than that. Whatever public agency was responsible for the accident, you must report the incident to them within 6 months of the accident. In most cases, if you don’t file within 6 months, you won’t be permitted to file for any type of compensation.
There are sometimes exceptions, though. If the injured party was under the age of 18 or was otherwise mentally incompetent or not capable of filing the claim, the statute of limitations is extended. For minors, the statute of limitations would be extended to two years from the date that they turn 18. If you were in an accident on a bus but weren’t aware of your injuries right away and they are discovered later, the statute of limitations might also be extended.
What To Do After a Bus Accident
Being involved in a bus accident can be scary, but it’s important to realize there are certain steps that should be taken afterwards to give yourself the best chance of getting the treatment and the justice you so deserve. The following are some of the steps you should take as soon as possible after an accident:
Seek Medical Treatment
It’s important to seek medical treatment right away. This is true whether you feel injured or not. Sometimes injuries don’t show up right away, or you could end up having internal injuries and not even know it. Getting checked out by a medical professional is always a good idea. Additionally, if at some point in the future you wish to file a claim and try to recover compensation, medical records are going to be a significant aspect of your case. Document everything, as it will make things easier going forward.
Once it seems that everyone is safe and things are under control, it’s important to start collecting as much information as you can. Get witness names and phone numbers so that you can give them to the lawyer you decide to hire. Speak with the bus driver and get their information as well. What company do they work for? Do they have a driver’s license? Is there any other information they can provide you? Take note if any other cars or buses were involved in the accident as well and take down their license plate numbers as well.
Chances are, someone else will call 911 also, but it’s important that you call too. The more you have documented, the better, and it’s important to make sure at least someone calls 911! Everyone involved in the accident might assume that someone else is going to call, and then emergency personnel never gets called.
Consult With a Lawyer
Finally, one of the most important things you can do after an accept is to consult with a lawyer. Once you’re feeling okay medically, you’re going to want to reach out to an attorney experienced in handling bus accidents to help you navigate the next steps. Whether this is collecting an insurance claim or filing a lawsuit is something an experienced lawyer can assist you with.
Contact an Experienced Los Angeles Bus Accident Attorney
If you have questions about your bus accident claim or bus accident compensation, call Ellis Law’s Los Angeles personal injury lawyers today. Our bus accident attorneys are compassionate and understanding regarding your accident injuries and recovery. We want you to move forward from your accident to live your best possible life.
At Ellis Law, there are never any charges unless we reach a settlement or receive a verdict in your favor. Reach out to our Los Angeles office today for more information.