Both public and chartered private transportation are a daily reality for Angelinos. Most people accept that automobile accidents are a daily event in Greater L.A. Some travelers hope to avoid these calamities and delays by using public transportation. Every day, thousands take the subway, light rail, or bus systems to get where they need to go. With all its facilities and conveniences that it offers, bus service can also have bad days and accidents can occur on those days. A bus is a large, lumbering vehicle that could cause a variety of accidents.
Bus accidents can be of many different types. In some accidents you are the passenger of the bus, in others you are the pedestrian and sometimes you are driving another vehicle that gets hit by the bus. Without someone there to protect you, you could be facing many years of consequences. You could be faced with severe injury, loss of mobility, reduced working hours, or emotional trauma that cannot be quantified. Regardless of what the case is like, you are entitled to receive the compensation for any damage done to you and Ehline Law is here to protect and fight for that right.
The Different Types Of Accidents And Your Time-frame
First, it must be understood here that bus accidents can be caused due to many reasons. You might have incurred physical injuries due to reckless driving of the bus driver. However, this is not the only way bus accidents take place. The way a bus is constructed holds the manufacturers of the bus liable for product liability. Sometimes the bus can get hit by another vehicle and if you are hurt due to that hit you have a case on the other vehicle’s owner. No matter what the reason and cause is, if you have been hurt then you deserve the compensation.
Bus Accidents – The Shocking Statistics
If you are living in Greater LA, then you must know the statistics pertaining to the bus accidents in the region. This can be a good heads-up call for you not only in terms of protection but also in terms of what actions you must take when a mishap takes place. In just 2009 there were 29 deaths that resulted due to bus accidents. More than 1100 people were badly injured. Go another year back on the calendar and there were 39 deaths due to bus accidents.
Anyone who uses public transport as a regular means of transport must be prepared on what actions needs to be taken when an accident takes place. 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. Cities with a history of bad bus wrecks include:
- Santa Monica
- Long Beach
- Marina del Rey
- Newport Beach
- San Francisco
- San Bernardino
- Rancho Cucamonga
- Huntington Beach
These areas all have different types of crash dangers. For example, the beach cities have more stop and go bus traffic. Pedestrians and bicyclists in areas like Palos Verdes Estates are often victims of sideswipes. Glendale is located along a high traffic corridor for municipal and charter buses. Inland areas usually involve higher speeds on freeways like the 91 West. These crashes lend themselves to being rollover cases.
The reasons for bus and any type of accidents can be numerous and uncountable. However, there are some common causes of why these accidents take place:
- Little to no security and supervision
- DUI/DWI – Includes prescription drugs like Vicodin, Valium. Beer, Marijuana, etc.
- Faulty Roadway Construction Work – Includes Cal Trans worker negligence.
- Bad maintenance of the bus
- Bad conditions of roads
- Errors from drivers
- Poor visibility
- Failure of brakes
- Lack of driver training
- Privately owned cars misbehaving on roads
- On-board fires
There could be other causes of bus accidents too but all of them call for the same action from you – to call a lawyer as soon as possible.
Bus Companies Have Big Time Lawyers, So Should You
There is a group in the United States that represents busing industry members. So as a group, they will represent the members of the busing industry in their best financial interest. This is not in the best interest of passengers that have been injured in a bus accident. These machines are metal behemoths. A special duty of care is owed to passengers riding these “steel coffins.”
Our experienced staff thinks that passenger safety and security comes first. Also, this should be the priority of the busing industry and bus operators. Thus, we push back against the tactics of the industry and help shed light on the wrongdoing that led to injuries.
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. Thus, their performance, instigation, execution, and disposition of cutting edge consumer law cases against private and public tour bus ventures is unrivaled. So from Fresno all the way to Pasadena, Ehline wins bus accident cases.
We also have successfully represented clients in cases involving damaged or defective roads. So we can effectively litigate government claims against entities like DASH bus, Big Blue Bus in Santa Monica, and Mass Transit Authority. Most of all, we will seek multiple defendants.
We will also use our advanced expertise with more advanced situations involving buses and maritime and airline transport. These cases include shore excursion cases involving the use of passenger buses and vans. So we fight hard to get you the maximum recompense under the passage contract, the bus ticket, as well as 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 multiparty, 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. Thus, we can gather 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 a strong presence in the local 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 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 seat belts 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.)
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. Also, these vehicles weigh well over 10,000 pounds in many cases. Furthermore, school buses may have a nervous driver, distracted by the noise of the kids. So the driver may want a smoke break and take a curb too 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 an 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. (Source Motor Carrier Study.) 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 get injured annually in inter-city and cross-country incidents.
- In inter-city and cross-country mishaps, approximately 50 people get fatally injured annually.
- During 2005-2006 buses involved in 5.6 percent of the nation’s 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. Most important, these alarming national and local statistics apply to Greater Los Angeles as well.
Main Differences Between Bus & Car Accidents
There are many basic differences in buses and passenger vehicles. The most glaring dissimilarity is that buses are not required to have seat belts. Aside from what we have already discussed, buses are built like tanks when compared to a small car. When these two vehicles collide, hands down, the bus wins the strength contest.
But the occupants in the bus do not fare so well. Not being strapped down means they can easily be ejected, or killed. Same goes for objects like suitcases flying around the cabin. Either way, the occupants of both vehicles are in for trouble if there is a crash.
Common Injuries Due To Bus Accidents
Buses can be called the safest means of transport on the road but when accidents happen even the safest transportation can be life threatening. Whether you are traveling on a public bus or private, here are the common injuries that can occur as a result of an accident.
- Dislocation of bone
- Serious head injuries
- Broken bones
- Burns, abrasions, and contusions
- Damage to spinal cord
- Dental injuries
- Slipped disks
If you are facing any of the injuries mentioned above, you are highly advised to contact an experienced attorney who has handled bus accident cases in the past.
Who Can You Hold Responsible For The Accident?
Who you can hold responsible for the accident depends completely on the type of accident. At times the situation can get too complex to give an easy decision on. However, someone needs to be punished for being irresponsible and negligent in doing his responsibilities.
If the bus driver is not properly trained and the conditions in the bus are not safe, the bus company will be held responsible. At times the bus companies higher third party companies for the maintenance of the bus facilities and so in the case you will file a case against the maintenance company. If the driver of your bus was actually an employee of a tour company then the company will be held responsible.
Sometimes it is not the lack of training but the reckless behavior of the driver that causes the accident and so the driver is held responsible for such an accident. For city bus accidents the government or any other local governing body can be held responsible. The liability goes to part manufacturers of the accident was caused due to failure of a part or if the flimsily built parts have resulted in injuring the passengers.
First, you must always speak to an attorney if you have been injured in a bus accident in order to receive compensation before it’s too late. Secondly, you don’t only qualify for the medical expenses that you have conceded due to injuries but there are many other factors that are brought under consideration and for which you can receive compensation.
Here are these important factors:
- Compensation for the injuries based on their severity
- The costs incurred on the treatment of these injuries
- The mental agony i.e. the pain, you have gone through due to the accident and injuries
- Compensation for lost wages due to the injuries
- Recovery of any loss of wages that might result due to the lost capability of earning because of the injuries
Not only are you entitled to receive the compensation in the form of money from the offending party but you can also go for punitive damage compensation where the defendants are punished for their act to avoid further negligence.
Los Angeles Metro & DASH Bus Accidents
About the DASH and Metro Bus Transportation System
These are buses that run all day during business hours, approximately every 6 minutes (Learn more here.) LA also has Commuter Express and City Ride Programs designed to get people and their bikes around town quickly in this densely packed and populous area. Sadly, these bus lines and their human administrations are imperfect, and not without flaws. Many bus accidents and personal injuries have been caused by the Metro Bus and LADOT systems. Multitudes of these tragic accidents were avoidable and sadly involve several injuries simultaneously. Hence they include whiplash, head injuries, and other personal harm that can even lead to extreme cases of coma. Especially relevant, it could also lead to wrongful death or being paralyzed.
Ehline Law Firm PC goes to work for the wage earner who is now laid up from being knocked out of commission. The negligence by the error the bus drivers, or their masters at the government, was avoidable. These defendants should have acted with reasonable care.
If you are dissatisfied with the poor treatment you received, like denial of services due to racial, gender or other discrimination we can help. Also, we can help if you were thrown about inside, or hit while outside by one of these steel behemoths.
Take, for Example, the following Metro Bus Accidents Below:
June 1, 2003, a 20-year-old woman pushing her bicycle died Saturday when she stepped off a curb and into the path of an MTA bus, police said.The bus was heading east on Adams Boulevard and making a right turn onto Figueroa Street about 4:40 p.m. when the unidentified woman was struck, said Jose Ubaldo, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. MTA bus kills man. May 27, 2007. A fatal accident in the heart of downtown has caused some traffic troubles: A man was struck and killed today by a Metro bus in downtown Los Angeles, authorities said. Paramedics sent to the 500 block of South Spring Street at 11:49 a.m. pronounced the man dead at the scene, said d’Lisa Davies of the Los Angeles Fire Department. The circumstances of the death were under investigation. June 7, 2007, a Metro bus and two other vehicles collided Thursday in the South Robertson area of Los Angeles, leaving two people with injuries, authorities said.
Regardless of if you are young or old, ride Metro Dash or Metro Local buses, you may be at risk for serious personal injuries. Metro Bus or DASH may be held responsible for your personal injuries and exorbitant medical expenses as discussed above.
Ehline Law Firm PC specializes in suing and recovering money for victims of errant bus drivers, as well as negligent manufacturing companies who release defective buses into the stream of commerce. Even if you were handicapped person hurt on a low rise bus, we can help.
At Ehline Law Firm PC we work with the help of a team that knows everything about Los Angeles and has gained decades of experience fighting the numerous types of accident cases (e.g. bus, bicycle, motorbike, car, train, plane accidents etc.) We know what the proper course of action is on these cases. You must also understand your responsibility and limitations. When you are up against big corporate companies and government employee unions, your chances are non-existent if you decide to fight the case on your own.
Let us be your guide and players here. Let Ehline Law get the compensation for every bit of harm done to you. Call and speak with our bus accident attorneys based in Los Angeles, for an amiable consultation. Deal 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) 596-9642.
Hours: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm.