A commercial vehicle driven on the streets like a passenger bus, is large, heavy and lumbering, and has multiple blind spots. In fact, it even requires a specially licensed and trained driver just to legally be operated. When a bus gets into a wreck with a smaller vehicle, or a person on board is thrown about like a rag doll, victims are often forced to deal with lifelong suffering and need for pain management, among other inconveniences. There could even be loss of a life, a breadwinner, a job, a child, or spouse. Getting paid is a battle.
Victims must choose a law firm with knowledge covering a large area of statutes, codes and procedures. These professionals must also have the financial resources and an extensive record of impressive outcomes. Ehline Law is that splendid, prize-winning firm.
The Shocking Statistics
Back in 2009, 23 people were killed and 1,140 suffered injuries on buses in the Golden State and its surrounding cities like Los Angeles, and Culver City. In 2008, 39 people with died in California as the result of fatal bus accidents, and 311 people passed away in other states. The sheer size and speed of the vehicle, coupled with the amount of occupants means that commuters and bystanders are always at risk.
The experienced Los Angeles bus accident attorneys at Ehline Law Firm PC, and its co-counsel, like Michael P. Ehline, Esq., have an impressive history of performance, instigation, execution, and disposition of cutting edge consumer law cases against private and public tour bus ventures from Fresno all the way to Pasadena. We also have successfully represented clients in cases involving damaged or defective roads, government claims against entities like DASH bus, Big Blue Bus in Santa Monica, and Mass Transit Authority, and other multiple defendants, and more advanced situations involving maritime and airline transport. We fight hard to get you the maximum recompense under the federal, state and local laws.
Our firm has an extensive track record of huge verdicts and settlements (Click Here.)
We are used to taking a leading role in multi-party, and larger, more complex cases like those involving a charter church, or school bus. Michael P. Ehline, Esq., is an inactive U.S. Marine and a fighter. He has litigated significant injury claims, such as train accidents, and has resolved millions of dollars in insurance claims for motorists, and other victims of transportation claims. We help in all forms of injury claims from aircraft, trains, boats, and their affiliated bus lines.
Our promise is to fear no insurance company, or defense firm. From a defective fighter jet, to a poorly manufactured, an unsafe commercial mega bus, to a claim for damages against the State or City, Ehline Law Firm PC lawyers are ready togather critical evidence, go to trial, and do whatever it takes to “make it happen”. We are the real leaders in complex consumer transport law.
Practitioner, Michael P. Ehline, Esq., has consecutively been nominated and honored as a Super Lawyers Rising Star, is involved in bicycle safety and military veterans organizations like the Marine Corps Assn. He regularly speaks at the Circle of Legal Trust at Google+, was voted “best video”, by Anthony Castelli; and is clearly an strong presence in the Los Angeles personal injury attorney scene.
A common carrier at common law was typically an operator of stage coaches, stage wagons. It is defined as:
“One who undertakes for hire or reward to transport the goods of any who may choose to employ him, from place to place.”
They are in a special position of trust, beyond that of an ordinary person. They owe you a heightened duty of care. This means your case will be actionable regardless of whether it is a public or private entity that caused your harm. Meeting a scheduled route, shouldn’t mean shocking injuries to others.
NHTSA statistics show that other vehicles are most likely to collide with the bus’s right side, suggesting problems with visibility during lane changes. Greyhound, as well as other bus lines, deliver a lot of people and goods daily, all around the country. They are typically long trips that involve both intra and inter state transportation. Records from Greyhound indicate that from October 3, 1997 and October 3, 2001, a reported 42 incidents where an occupant attacked or assaulted a driver, or the wheel of the vehicle, or even tried to push on the the brake. This is an example of a foreseeable event, that service operators should be well aware of and take precautions to prevent. There are no seatbelts installed in most cases. Interestingly enough, there is no statute or code requiring buses or limousines of a certain size to be equipped with restraint devices, or for riders to wear them at all, for that matter. A bus company could be found negligent for failing to install them on its own. (Greyhound Lines, Inc. v. Super.Ct. (Chisefski) (1970) 3 Cal.App.3d 356, 359-360.)
Differences Between Bus and Car Accident
Bus mishaps are different on many levels from an ordinary passenger car accident. It can happen in an instant, passengers are allowed to roam about and socialize, can get up and stretch their legs, or use the restroom on larger buses. Unsecured occupants and items can easily be flung about. In a collision, people can be struck in the head and torso, with heavy bags of luggage, and get cut and scraped by sharp objects and uprooted seats with weak, or sheared off anchor bolts. Sometimes alcohol is involved and some parents let their kids run around with zero supervision.
NHTSA statistics suggest that large buses have poor right side visibility. These vehicles weigh well over 10,000 pounds in many cases.School buses may have a nervous driver, distracted by the noise of the kids, want a smoke break, and take a curb to fast. A driver may not be looking in the blind spots for that car that failed to stop for the flashing red lights. (Learn more.) All the above coupled with a vehicle brake defect, for example, can easily result in a macabre, roadside scene.
In one tragic case, our firm was involved in a case where Vegas gaming halls subsidized California commercial bus companies to cheaply ship gamblers to the casinos. It was alleged that these corporate defendants lacked acceptable standard safety measures, and ultimately led to a tragic event of herculean proportions while en route back to California. (Learn More.)
The government has taken active intervention in the prevention of bus collisions. There was a major study conducted that was completed in 2009 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.1 The findings of this study was presented to Congress on bus crash causation, which provided statistics including:
- Most bus crashes occur in a metropolitan area.
- Approximately 1,000 people are injured annually in inter-city and cross-country incidents.
- In inter-city and cross-country mishaps, approximately 50 people are fatally injured annually.
- During 2005-2006 buses involved in 5.6 percent of the nations fatalities.
One thing is certain, more and more people get injured each year in commercial vehicle accidents. This has been at an uptick for the last 20-30 years. There are more and more buses and commercial vehicles on the road than ever before. Approximately 12,000 people suffer serious injuries, and 330 others are fatally lost each year in bus accidents. Statistics show that there are approximately 9,000 bus calamities in the United States every year. Interestingly, the Center for National Truck and Bus Safety Statistics, claims the most common types of mishaps are those between people on foot, and other motor vehicles like passenger cars. In fact, 25% involve pedestrians, such as a jogger or someone walking a dog, and over 60% of deaths from a bus are between another vehicle.
There are Many Other Potential Factors:
- Lack of Security or Supervision
- Poor Visibility
- Onboard Fires
- Poor Maintenance
- Bad Roads
- Driver Error
- Poor Driving for Weather Conditions
- Lack Of Safety Meetings and Training
- Pedestrians Entering the Bus Lane
- Passenger Vehicles Veering in the Bus Lane
- Brake Failure
Compensation can be sought for: past, present and future lost wages, emotional pain and suffering, loss of earning capacity, wage and hour claims, scarring, disfigurement, nursing home care, plastique surgery and all the other exorbitant lifetime medical bills. Claims can be made for the less serious whiplash case, all the way to the very grave tetraplegia, or decapitation. You can even seek punitive damages in some more blatant cases of recklessness and willful neglect.
We are more than willing to preserve the shortened claim filing statute, and take on public bus entities and government claims, even though there is a vast body of law that changes the standards of negligence, helping shield the government from private lawsuits when they harm a person. They aren’t always immune from damages claims. Call and speak with bus accident attorneys Los Angeles, for an amiable consultation with a proven fighter to evaluate and execute your public and private lawsuits. We can examine your potential basis for recovery right now at: (213) 291-9080.